The boys 60m final answered many questions pertaining regard to the best speedster in the classification
The second stanza of the Illinois Top Times rebirth was nothing short of a spectacular display of talent that featured schools and individuals from across the state. There was no place more defining than the Shirk Center this past weekend. Allow us to dissect some of the many great highlights.
The relative unknown Christian Keyhea (Sr., Mt. Zion) came into the fray with some impressive 60m marks albeit against so-so competition. So what would he do against the big dogs in the sport? Keyhea blasted his way to the final with a stat leading prelim mark of 6.98. Despite some resistance, no one could touch Keyhea in the final as he ran away with the big win in 6.90- good for IL#2.
Dewayne Johnson (Sr., Pontiac) was on top of the 60H hurdle field when he ran a then state best 8.18 in the prelim round. However, Alec Sledge (Sr., Mt. Vernon) would not be deterred. He blasted out of the blocks and won each hurdle takedown and crossed the line ahead of 8.19-8.38.
Jackson Gilbert (Jr., Urbana) became just the third 400m runner to break 50-seconds during the indoor season. It was not even close as he ran away from the field by nearly a second and a half in 49.99.
Wilson Georges (Sr., Limestone) made sure there would be no upset in the 1600m as he dragged the field to a fast first half in 2:04.9. Gavin Genisio (So., Benton) tried to stay in touch but could not keep pace. Georges would eventually close things out in a class record 4:13.10
Jayon Morrow (So., Kankakee) shouldered a tough workload for his team: 60, 4x200, 200, 4x400. He copped three victories- all except the short dash- the 200 (22.38) and the 4x400 (3:30.16) were among the top 10 in the state.
Teegan Davis (Jr., Princeton) got his first Top Times high jump title and closed out the indoor season with the #1 clearance in the state at 6'9.5".
Colin Beers (Sr., Marion) enhanced this team's chances of obtaining an outdoor team title after a tremendous win in the pole vault. He controlled his own destiny against the field by winning early and clearing 15-1. Among his victims was the 2A leader Kyle Hensley (Jr., Mt. Vernon) who placed third.
Neveah Lowe (Jr., Kankakee) and Emmi Scales (Jr., St. Viator) were two of the featured names in the sprint and hurdles games coming into the championship. First, Scales, who produced the second-fastest 60H prelim time of 9.03, had to turn around and slide back to the starting to dash back down the track in the flat variety. The time rang out in 7.82- just a scant off of Lowe's top rated 7.81.
The first final pitted Scales vs. Brianna Dixon (Jr., Rantoul) who actually ran the fastest time in the 60H prelim (8.92) and was competing in the high jump simultaneously. Dixon got the best of Scales in the final with a personal-best 8.77. The elated Dixon's smile was short-lived as she had to go back to high jumping. As for Scales, she had to return to the starting line for the 60 dash. This time she won by the slimmest margin over Lowe 7.74-7.75. So in a short time span, so much action took place to satisfy the diehard track fan.
Claire Allen (Jr., Sandwich) was the favorite in the shot put and she did not disappoint. Allen won almost all of the rounds and landed her best mark, 39-1 on the final sixth attempt.
One of the most exciting races of the day was the 3200m. For quite a while it was a slugfest between Becca Heitzig (So., Lincoln) and Delaney Fitzgerald (Sr., Normal University). They matched lap for lap up to two kilometers. Fitzgerald began to separate from Heitzig and appeared to be on her way to a victory. But hold up... the fast-moving Heitzig busted a sizzling 34.9 final circuit and erased the three-second deficit and won in a huge PB 10:45.78-10:45.85.
Lianna Surtz (Sr., Aurora Rosary) was staked to an early lead in the 800m until the bell lap, that's when Colleen Zeibert (Jr., Rochester) took control and won in 2:16.58. Surtz would return later to win the 1600m by nearly twelve seconds in 5:07.55.
Enter Kankakee as a unit for the first time. Among the entrants, in the 4x200m relay was Lowe and freshman star Naomi Bey-Osborne. And as expected the Kays dominated the field. Though the handoffs and transitions were not the best, Kankakee is very good and still ran 1:43.15- good for a 2A record. They won by over five seconds and one can only imagine what kind of time they are going to put up outside... Lowe and Bey-Osborne placed 1-2 in the 200m (25.70-25.76). The Kays concluded the evening's festivities with a comeback victory in the 4x400 relay, the time was 4:12.40.