Sometimes good things emerge in unfortunate times...
Brandon Battle was ascending to a height not seen in his track and field career during the 2020 indoor season. The then-emerging junior from Edwardsville HS turned a few heads when ran the 400m in 50.35 at the Music City HS Invitational in Nashville, TN. A month later at the Charger Boys Invite at the U of Illinois, Battle would compete in and win his final race of the high school season, busting 22.73 for 200m. Several days after the race, the season was shut down due to the Coronavirus.
It could have been easy for Battle to completely shut it down physically and mentally until this unknown world calamity subsides. He got to work with the aid of his father, staying busy remote with hill training, strength training, and other forms of base training. Of course, he was doing some speedwork too. Battle emerged one more time in the summer of 2020, competing at the Illinois Meet of Champions in Chicago. He took second in a PB 49.51. A happy Battle explained things later in this interview: HERE
Now, building himself into a superstar as the 2021 undercover season showed, Battle took advantage of opportunities that arose. He traveled to Alabama, Ohio, and finally Chicago. It there in the Windy City that Battle made history at the Illinois Meet of Champions Showcase. No Illinois school has ever broken 48-seconds in the 400m. With time running out on the club season, Battle knew he had to go for broke on the brand new banked 200m oval at Gately Indoor Track & Field Stadium.
Battle bust out of the blocks and sped the first 200 in 22.3 and it was over just like that! The new imprint officially flashed 47.88!!
We are finally here for the 2021 outdoor season. Battle, charged for his first invitational in two seasons, participated in the 4x100m at the Belleville West Norm Armstrong Invitational. No rust shown as he anchored his mates in a state-best 42.63. Later in the menu, he lined up for the 400m and proceeded next got the fandom excited. Battle roared to another PB and state-leading head buster in 47.56. With the social media world still buzzing, Battle put the icing on the cake with a blistering 21.46 half-lap feature.
Some have stated that it would take a while before things get back to normal. That may be true in terms of social distancing and following Covid-19 protocols until this "thing" is behind us. But one thing is for certain, Brandon Battle is ready to take on the world!