Illinois Top Times Class A Preview: Top 5 Items To Watch


Date: Friday, March 22, 2024
Location: Shirk Center, Illinois Wesleyan University; Normal, IL
Meet Info: Class A- Doors open at 1p; national anthem- 3p; field events- 3:05p; first running event- 4:15p
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Mya Strahm (Jr., Elmwood) has been one of the top attractions this indoor season thanks to her numerous record-breaking performances in the pole vault. The state's all-time vaulter is now at 13'7.5" and has skied over 13 feet in five of six contests. Strahm recently earned All-American honors at the New Balance Indoor Nationals. Although she is a junior, this year's edition will be Strahm's final participation in the meet. Strahm is already earmarked to the University of Tennesee and will graduate in December 2024.

Under the cover of Dark, Isabella Keller (Fr., Effingham St. Anthony) has put together an amazing season. Initially, Keller was projected to skip the indoor season, but now she will double in the 3200 and 1600. The state's top distance runner from the cross country season clocked an IL#1 10:19.76 and IL#3 4:51.95.  We could see several records fly before the night is over.

Elena Rybak (Jr., Father McGivney) has come of age during the indoor season. She set personal bests in the 800 (2:09.27) and 1600 (4:51.04)- both IL#2 and among the fastest marks in the country. Rybak competed at the NBNI, and that experience should propel her to the Shirk Center. She will compete in the 4x800 and 1600. Both meet records could fall.

The 60m field featuring Layla Lerus (Sr., Chicago Lycee), Alaina Lester (Sr., Belleville Althoff), and Kaitlyn Vahling (Sr., Teutopolis) will be must-watch track and field. The meet record 7.51 appears safe, but we could see marks in the 7.7s, which will be in the top 10 in the state regardless of classification.

Addie Stadsholt (Jr., Athens) has the ninth-best throw in the state (39'11'5") and is on the verge of cracking the 40-foot barrier. Stadsholt is one of the nation's best weight throwers, but unfortunately, it is not offered at the Top Times.


Supreme Muhammad (Sr., Winnebago) vs Reece Curtis (Sr., St. Anne) are the guys to watch in the sprints. He is IL#1 in the 60 (6.85) and 200 (21.89). Muhammad appears to have slipped in the short dash since that slick time in early December. He lost to Curtis at the Cabin Fever. Muhammad's 200 best was on a banked track (standard track), and since the state does not conclude its indoor season at Gately, the time was converted down to 22.29. We will see if both stallions can challenge the meet record of 22.30.

It could be a 1-2 sweep by Tuscola distance star seniors Will Foltz and Jackson Barrett. They come into the fray with 9:18.91 and 9:29.47 season bests. Hopefully, the emerging Elijah Teefey (So., Pleasant Plains) can override the situation.

Another Tuscola sighting will be in the 1600m, with Josiah Hortin (Sr) as the favorite. He has clocked 4:19.37 thus far and has the opportunity to challenge Jason Bill's meet record of 4:19.52. His teammate Will Foltz may double back and provide some support.

The 60HH will feature two top 10 performers, Dominic Martin (Sr., Ridgeview) and Brady Larson (Sr., Maroa-Forsyth). Martin has run 8.26 and Larson 8.30. The final will be very good.

There are three 800m performers under 2:00 led by Isaiah Hill (Sr., Elmwood). He has run a personal best 1:57.58 and could be the favorite if Josiah Hortin opts out. Regardless, there is a wealth of depth with Nicolai Martino (Jr., Winnebago) and Andrew Kurien (Jr., Rockford Christian)