There will be many eyes on the CYUP Misfits Invite, but the spotlight will be a bit brighter on Will Sumner
*broadcast starts at 8:10 CST
-This weekend's meet of the week happens to be one of the hottest on the country's season docket. The Gately Track & Field Center is going to be rocking as a bevy of top-flight talented runners as the intention is to bring out the very best in all of the performers.
Track and field fans will be on national record and national chart movement watch. Here is what to look for:
Girls: The national leader Nonah Waldron (Motor City TC/Oak Park, MI) returns to the scene where she clocked a facility record 8.38 which was just off of her 8.32 PB mark. Waldron has hinted several times that she wants to dip into the low 8.20s range as we put a bow on January.
Boys: Another Michigander is at the helm and should blitz the field. USC signee Tamaal Myers II of Detroit Cass Tech has the fifth-best time in the country (7.92). It's time to get under 7.90 and a shot at the top spot of 7.83.
The first national record alert is real. Kaila Jackson (Track Life U/Detroit Renaissance) could very well break Ashley Owens and Tamari Davis' tantalizing 7.19 mark. Jackson ran a sizzling but unexpected 7.26 at the turn of the new year in Louisville, Kentucky- to the delight of her coaches. She has proven that a great cast of talent surrounding her isn't necessary. But a great start is essential and it could happen on Saturday.
Distance star Ava Parekh of Chicago Latin opens her 2022 campaign here, competing in two "off" events. Last year's winner Roisin Willis (Stevens Point WI) ran the second-fastest time ever (2:41.53) and Parekh finished in the runner-up spot. It's a chance to get some leg turnover work in but at the same time get a win. Kylee King of Motor City TC/Oak Park won the 800m at the Morolake Akinosun Elite Invite last weekend. The fact that she rolled in the 2:13 range should be a concern for the entire field.
Girls 4x200 relay-
Heated rivals from the Motor city will tangle in the first of many battles. Track Life U ran their actual high school last weekend and dropped a time in the 1:38.xx range. But since it was on a 300m flat track and mixed in boys it does not count for the official rankings. Oak Park MI on the other hand can run in the 1:40.xx range.
Girls: A loaded field of course will be the center of attention among other great events. The 12-runner field will feature Illinois youngster and great Ali Ince (So., Normal Community) who will be making her season debut in the midst of a basketball season. Ince clocked 4:40.xx last year to position herself as one of the top runners in the country. Keep in mind that the US#1 time is 4:51.27. That should fall with the push of Mary Grace Hegberg (Sr., St. Viator), Kaylie Politza (Sr., Valparaiso IN), Elia Ton-That (Sr., Chicago Northside Prep), Katrina Schlenker (Sr., Batavia), and more!
Boys: The slowest entry is 4:22 and that should mean something. A loaded field led by Warren senior Luke Wiley and his 4:10.95. But there are six others under 4:20 entered including Micah Wilson (St. Charles East), Alex Partlow (Carbondale), and Gavin Genisio (Benton). The national leading 4:06.72 by Gavin Sherry of New York appears safe but several marks inside of 4:15 is doable and that means top ten status.
Girls: 20 sections show the thirst for short and long sprinters alike. Things should get interesting with the final five races looking deep. The penultimate section #19 will feature future star Kaylah Parks of Aurora Flyers, Lyric Steele (Hero Sprint Club/Charlestown IN), Chloe Vines (TLU/Detroit Renaissance), and Gabrielle Jeffries (Motor City).
The plot twists for the "championship" section. Nonah Waldron will return back from the hurdles and/or 4x200 relay. She has an opportunity to do well as in place in the top three overall. She will have to do it against the likes of Delea Martins (Shorewood WI/Milwaukee Mustangs), Leeah Burr (TLU/Detroit Renaissance), and Comari Hawkins (TLU/Detroit Renaissance). We could see several marks land inside of the top 10-15.
Boys: Pay attention to the final section 12 because it's where the fireworks will commence. Liam Gair of Villanova, California hasn't run too many indoor track meets but he is very fleet of foot. Hurdler Tamaal Myers II will be on high alert because he has a 51.46 400H credit on his resume.
PBL senior Ryder James will return back from the HOKA mile. Hopefully, he will have the desire and legs to drop a big time. We believe it will happen either from here or someone else.
Girls: It will be round two between Ava Parekh and Kylee King. It is a nice battle between distance and speed.
Boys: All eyes will be on the nation's #1 track and field athlete according to MileSplit and fresh off of a national record in the 500m (1:01.25). Will Sumner of Woodstock, Georgia is all of that and more. He is US #1 in the 400m (47.69), US#1 in the 800m (1:52.38), and US#10 in the 200m (21.66). The only goal is the all-time record 1:17.58 by Strymar Livingston of New York.
Girls 4x400 relay-
Motor City/Oak Park ran a Michigan all-time best 3:40.69 in 2016. It was in that race that the great Sydney Mclaughlin chased down Motor City on anchor at the New Balance Indoor Nationals. This lastest cast could be very good but time will tell. At the very least they should be able to cop the national lead 3:49.69.
Brooke Probst (Indian Creek/Jump High Athletics) is a top high jumper in the state and is ready to emerge on the national scene. Let's see if she can get over 5'9"
Olivia Campbell (Pittsfield IL)- The weight throw is her event and she is among the top 20 best performers in the country.
Ella O'Neall (Stevenson IL)- Early girls state leader in the shot put is ready to put over 45'