Here is a glimpse of what to look for in the 2A field events this season:
Maybe out of all the field events, this may be the most wide open of the 6. Junior Travon Diggins of Galesburg HS has the longest jump out of all the returnees and the only all state jumper from 2A with a 6th place finish. Pierre House of Murphysboro HS and Glynn Chatmon of Melrose Park (Walther Lutheran HS) placed in the 1A meet and will be a factor in this event.
Other jumpers to keep a close eye on include Chris Moore of Cahokia HS, Lonnie Washington of Chicago (Perspectives Charter HS), Bradley Wright of Champaign (Central HS), Adonis Hill of Centralia HS, Ian Ferguson of Rock Island (Alleman HS), and Carlos Harris of Decatur (MacArthur HS).
This event is could be similar to the Long Jump. Cody Leach of Chicago (St. Rita HS) a year ago finished 5th place in 3A. He would have been one of the favorites on the higher class this season. The same can be said in this class. The one returning all state jumper in this event in 2A is Aaron Perry of Mt. Zion HS who finished 7th last year. Both Leach and Perry’s personal bests are separated by only one inch making the battle this spring very intriguing. Junior Chris Moore of Cahokia HS was not even on the radar in this event last year. This winter he has already jumped 45’ 5 ¾”. He will be in the mix to keep the crown in this event in Cahokia. Vernon Carter has won this event the last 2 years.
There are 2 all state jumpers from 1A that are moving up. Donald Kellum of Murphysboro HS finished 4th, Austin Burrows of Princeton HS finished 9th. Both will be in the mix this spring.
Other athletes to watch in this include Carlos Harris of Decatur (MacArthur HS), Darmond Lee of Country Club Hills (Hillcrest HS), Donte Arnold of Woodstock HS, Chiko Zintambila of Normal (University HS), and Terrall Rank of Peoria HS.
Could be an interesting event. The favorite would have been Marmion Academy’s Peter Stefanski, who finished 2nd in 2A last year. With Marmion moving up, there is no clear favorite in this event. Eddie Grogg of Woodstock HS has the highest clearance of 6’ 6”. He did make the finals last year, but no heighted. Look for big things from him this year. There are two all state jumpers that return. Justin Kretchmer of Waterloo HS finished 4th last year in 2A and Austen Stewart of Princeton HS finished 4th in 1A.
Talent is pretty equal in this event which makes it interesting. With that said, keep an eye also for these jumpers in 2012: Ian Briscoe of Fairbury (Prairie Central HS), Antonio Crossland of Salem HS, Bobbie Mannie of Herrin HS, Alex King of Metropolis (Massac County HS), and Justin Maskrey of Dunlap HS.
If I could only watch one event in 2A, this could be the one. There are 6 vaulters that return that attained all-state honors last spring. Branden Carrel of Urbana HS won this title last spring with a clearance of 14’ 6”. He will have company to push him this spring. Tyler Ginger of Stanford (Olympia HS) finished 2nd in 1A last year. His best vault last year was 15’ 0”. We could see a great battle here with both of these athletes pushing each other towards 16’.
The 4 other all state vaulters that deserve mention and will be in the hunt for the state championship include Trace Turner of Mt. Vernon HS, Pat Barrett of Lombard (Montini Catholic HS), Mark Panno of Pontiac HS, and Tyler Jourdan of Salem HS.
Also, watch for these vaulters to also make a difference in this event: Austin Armetta of Mahomet (Seymour HS), Brock McGee of Herrin HS, Blake Pasley of Rochester HS, and Charles Fenner of Metamora HS.
At the beginning of last year, it looked like Springfield Lanphier’s Kevin Farley would be the dominant force in this event. Well, he did win his 2nd straight state championship and he did set a record in 2A. But he did have company at the state final that pushed him to the record. Joshua Augusta of Peoria HS set the record early in the final only to be trumped right after that by Farley.
I think it will be fascinating to watch Augusta in the Shot this year. He pushed the state champ last year and the fun thing is he was only a sophomore! Only a novice in this event, this young man once he realizes what he can do could go after Farley’s record and possibly the overall state record.
This is a packed event with 4 other weightmen pushing Augusta. The two that could be the main challengers to Augusta would be Joel Valdivia of Grayslake (Central HS) who finished 4th last year, and Derek Bunch of Mahomet (Seymour HS) who finished 5th.
Joe Huffman of Geneseo HS and Nick Boesso of Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South HS) also were all-state last year. Do not discount them.
Other athletes to watch include Luke Roush of Mahomet (Seymour HS), Kaid Koester of Carbondale HS, and Jon Shippert of Dixon HS.
I think this could be just as interesting as the Shot Put. Brendan Duncan of Waterloo HS just won last year’s title by 1 inch over Springfield Lanphier’s Kevin Farley. Duncan’s prelim throw held off an oncharging Farley on that championship Saturday.
Duncan will have company again this year. Jacob Armbrust of Metamora HS placed 3rd last year and is only 2 feet behind Duncan. Should be a spirited final with Duncan’s record that he set last year most likely will be surpassed.
Two other all-state throwers return from 2011. Luke Vaughn of Champaign (Centennial HS) and Joe Huffman of Geneseo HS should be both in the mix to challenge the above mentioned two.
Other throwers to watch include Nick Arnold of Rockford (Boylan HS), Darius Tumminello of Lake Villa (Lakes HS), Nick Boesso of Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South HS), and Michael Jean of Mattoon HS.
Comments/Questions: contact Michael Newman : newman.dyestatIL@gmail.com