Homewood-Flossmoor got things started with a searing 41.75 meet record in the 4x100 relay
BELLEVILLE- There was a ton of hype heaped upon the Norn Armstrong Invitational weeks in advance. And with a good cause since the first weekend in April signals the initial full true weekend of track and field. And to top things off, the climes reached into the 60s which is good news for our beloved sport.
Long Jump: Chicago Kenwood's Sophomore Parrish Hartley (22'6)emerged from the underclass ranks to take the surprise victory over more well known athletes. He has two jumps over 22ft in his four-jump series.
4x100m: There is always anticipation for this event in the early season as big-name teams get their first crack at dropping a big time. It was the speedsters from Homewood-Flossmoor who wiped out the meet record and produced one of the faster early April times in recent history (41.75).
800m: The listed favorite Chicago Kenwood senior Landan Gillespie (1:56.54) got off to a slow start and tried to make his move with 150m to go. Race winner Zach Thoman (1:56.28) of O'Fallon didn't go away lightly and he came from behind to pick off Gillespie and third-place finisher Zachary Balzer (1:56.79) of Minooka.
The win came in the cover of night as St. Mary's Donovan McIntosh (49.24) won the event from section one of ten in a solo effort! Ramontay Abram of host Belleville West took the runner-up crown (49.59)
Often considered a B-team relay event, the 4x200m produced some excellent early season time. Led by a deep sprint corps, Homewood-Flossmoor produced a state-leading performance (1:28.62). Madison showed they will be a 1A force this season by finishing second (1:29.71), followed by 2A leader Troy Triad (1:29.99).
100m: Nathan Hippard of Mascoutah surprised the field by winning the event from the prelude section (10.80; +1.8). The final section was a very close one as Cael Hiser (10.81) of Minooka came from behind to edge Homewood Flossmoor's duo of Olusoga Adeyiga (10.82) and John Gore (10.89), plus teammate Samuel Drey (10.89)
110/300H: East St. Louis' Demarlynn Taylor remains undefeated in hurdle races this season. He took the crown (14.57; +1.5) over Cahokia's Keshawn Lyons and Joshua Guyton (14.88) of St. Mary of St. Louis. Taylor also won the 300H crown with the only sub-40s effort (39.34).
Perhaps the sprint event of the day as the field was about even with 50m to go, no clear leader. Donovan McIntosh (21.95) of St. Mary's (MO) battled Flossmoor's Olusoga Adeyiga (22.01) toward the line before Minooka's Cael Hiser burst through and picked off both for the win (21.94)
The discus event was very competitive. Trailing most of the competition Edwardsville's super sophomore Iose Epenesa went in his bag to produce a winning throw of 162-9.
Nicholas DeLoach produced some fouls in this event which his coaches believed were well over the 48ft mark. We all will have to wait another week to see what the reigning 2A champion has in store. For now, they will take the win and state-leading performance (46-10).
Perhaps the only time the 2A and 3A indoor leaders will battle this season it was the Flyers of East St. Louis (3:24.51) holding off Kenwood's charge (3:24.66) for the final event title of the day in the 4x400m. Both will be contenders in their respective classifications come May.