Coming into the Class A boys meet of the 23rd Illinois Prep Top Times Classic, there were great expectations of races that turned out not to be. But at the same time, it gave the opportunity for some new faces to shine Friday night at the Shirk Center in Bloomington.
Daniel Farmer of Johnston City was awarded the Boys Athlete of the Meet award by winning both the 400 and 200 meter dashes. The senior is running his first indoor season and looks like he has adapted to it nicely. He started his night in the 55 meter dash and got a PR running a 6.61 while placing sixth.
He came back in the 400 and started out slowly. The 6-5 sprinter seemed to be navigating the curves smoothly as he passed the 300 mark in third place. Then he entered the final straightaway and moved past Austin Andrews of Deer Creek Mackinaw to win by half a second.
In the 200, he came out of the blocks slow -- but by the halfway point, he had made up the stagger. He powered to the finish line with a time of 22.47, the #4 time currently in the state.
“This feels great,” Farmer said after accepting his award. “I’ve never run indoors, I never could have done this with out Coach Mings.” Johnston City Head Coach Dan Mings was standing about 15 feet away and his smile was never ending.
Here is a look at some of the other great performances on Friday evening:
Steve Schroeder of Monticello and Jesse Hahne of Danville Schlarmann opened up a 10-second lead in the 3200 as they passed the 1600 in 4:44. With about 4 laps to go, Schroeder moved away from Hahne and cruised to a 9-second win. Schroeder’s time of 9:27.71 established a new Class A meet record. “I wanted to get in the 9:15 range; I want to say that flat out,” he said after his race. “It was my first 3200 of the season and don’t know what else I could expect.” Schroeder came back an hour later to lead off his school’s 4x8 relay team with a 2:00.7 opening split.
Speaking of the 4x8 relay, St. Joseph-Ogden took control of the relay during the third leg and went on to win off of Zeke Elkins’ 2:01.0 anchor. They finished with 8:14.36, 1.5 seconds ahead of second place Sparta. The school also won the 4x400 relay and went on to win in a seasonal-best 3:30.50, taking the lead on the second leg.
Mitch Mammoser of Newton cleared 15-1 on his second attempt and captured the pole vault over Jack Denby of Carlinville.
Kyle Landon cleared a seasonal best height of 6-9 and easily won the high jump. He attempted 6-11, which would have tied the state overall lead. “I hurt my leg last week at the Charleston Invitational and I only went 6-4,” he said.
The shot put had great performances throughout the competition, but in the end Ryan Pearce stood out alone. The Villa Grove senior won with a distance of 54-7.5 , a PR. The battle for second was close, but Duqoin’s Brandon Williams (53-11.5) was three-quarters of an inch better than Adam Weidner of Bureau Valley.
There were expectations of great duals in the other distance races that never developed. Grant Nykaza of Beecher, who was registered in both the 800 and 1600, did not participate in Friday’s meet. It changed the make up of both the races. In the 800, Robinson’s Blake Hale took the lead immediately and never relinquished it. He went by the 400 in 57 and cruised to a 1:57.48 win.
In the 1600, Cole Dill of Tremont had to go to Plan B when he stepped to the line and did not see Nykaza. He was expecting Nykaza to take out a fast pace. The pace went out dreadfully slow (first 400 in 70.5 seconds). Jesse Hahne of Danville Schlarman then started to push the pace along with Adam Crutchley of Villa Grove. In the last 400, Hahne made a final move and it looked like the Danville junior had taken over the race. But Dill made a final move in the last 100 and just nipped Hahne at the line running with an indoor PR of 4:31.70, only .08 ahead of Hahne. Dill had played basketball all winter and just started training again three weeks ago. Hahne had a great double, taking second in the 3200 as well (9:36.48).
Deontae Pryor of Kewanee got to a great start and it was enough to win the 55 dash with a time of 6.50, a personal best. Keith Harris of Leo and Jonathan Hutcheson of Peoria Christian placed 2-3. Colin Carver of Casey-Westfield looked like he was gliding over the 55 hurdles as he won with a personal best of 7.62.