2024 Indoor Sprint Preview: Can Anyone Stop Katelyn Lehnen?


Allison Ince (Sr., Normal Community) probably will not attempt many quarter-mile races during the indoor season, but it's clear who the best performer of this event is. Ince is slated to run the 400 once or twice before the outdoor season. Look for a 55-second clocking.

Madalyn Marx (So., Mahomet-Seymour) enjoyed a preseason, leading her peers with an impressive 56.91 clocking.

Playing multiple sports is not new to girls in the state, but there are some who, more than others, excel at a variety of them, which can impact the adjoining season. In Becca Heitzig's case, she is a volleyball player, which blended into her cross country post-season. For the senior from Lincoln, it appears the basketball team is poised for a deep post-season run, which will cut into a significant part of the indoor season.

Katelyn Lehnen wields a three-pronged attack with the quarter-mile. It may not be her best event (yet), but she has been very good at it, and her fans would like to see her run it more indoors.

Zawadi Brown is dangerous no matter what race she runs. In her final indoor season, expect to see Ms. Brown run a few more quarter-mile races to improve her speed endurance for the heavy workload that the Wildcats expect to be lifted later in the year. She has run 58.55.

It's hard to believe, but Ahry Comer (Sr., Golconda Pope County) has ever run an indoor 400-meter race. Maybe the basketball season and limited slate of meets is a reason why for Comer who has a 1A state title on her resume. Her all-time best is 56.85, and that is incredibly hard to overlook.

Charlotte Price (Sr., Chicago Lane Tech) is a new name on the scene, and she had a few people buzzing, "Who is Charlotte Price?!" After a lukewarm junior year, she has stormed back with a strong preseason. She finished the preseason with an IL#2 59.59.

Naomi Bey-Osborne (Jr., Kankakee) was the defending 2A champion. She moves up to the 3A class and will face the heavy hitters when the outdoor season takes full command. She did not contest the event at last year's Top Times; it will be a new adventure if she does. NBO is the state's #2 indoor returner at 58.42.

Key athletes to watch: Gabi Walker (Sr., Chicago Depaul College Prep), Mia Rodriguez, Alivia Henkel (Sr., Rochelle), Lilly Gilbertson (Jr., Glen Carbon Father McGivney), Alyson Clements (Jr., Champaign St. Thomas More), Lia Patterson (Jr., Tuscola), Jahnell Bowman (Sr., Plainfield South)