Cahokia left O’Brien Stadium last year at Eastern Illinois with the state championship and ambitions of repeating that in 2012. Flash forward one year and we have almost the same scenario. Cahokia comes into this meet as the favorite with fourteen qualifiers. They have quality and quantity within their numbers.
Here is a look at the teams that will contend for the 2A title this weekend in Charleston. They are listed by number of total qualifiers.
Glen Ellyn Glenbard South
Qualifiers: 12 Individuals, 3 Relays – 15 Total
Outlook: If there is any school that could take down Cahokia, it could be this school in the west suburbs of Chicago. What a way for Coach Andy Preuss, who is retiring after this meet, to go out. The Raiders have 15 qualifiers in 13 events. Most of the qualifiers have a chance to place on Saturday. Wesley Sanders will lead the way in qualifying in the sprints and also the 4x1 and 4x2 relays.
South has a strong distance squad led by Sophomores John Wold (800) and Joe Singleton (3200) that could score as well. Nick Boesso will be in the mix of scoring in the Shot and Discus. Elven Walker will be in contention for points in both hurdle races. It’s a deep team that can afford to make a few mistakes. But not that many to leave with another trophy. Last year it was third. They would like to go higher in 2012.
Qualifiers: 10 Individuals, 4 Relays – 14 Total
Outlook: It is going to be hard to refuse the Comanches a return trip to the top of the podium for the state championship trophy. Coach Leroy Millsap has 14 qualifiers ready for Friday. Their 4x4 & 4 x 8 relays have the fastest times in 2A this year. Chris Moore has the longest distance in the Triple Jump this year along with Darren Payton having the fastest time in the 800.
Also expect big points from Sophomore Marlin Brady in the 400 and also Gary Hickman in either of the hurdle races and the Long Jump. The one thing that Cahokia will need is their big guys getting to the finals on Saturday and no mistakes in the relays. If that happens, it will be tough for this team to be stopped.
New Lenox Providence Catholic
Qualifiers: 10 Individuals, 3 Relays – 13 Total
Outlook: Another team that could challenge Cahokia. They have the numbers that could match them, but will they advance to Saturday’s final? The Celtics dove have quality athletes that could score big points. Start with Andrew Helmin in the 300 Intermediate Hurdles. He has the fastest time in that event. Also Mike Monroe in the High Jump and Chad Weaver in the Pole Vault. Both of these athletes could score big on Saturday.
Troy Sheppard will need to have a big day in qualifying in both the 100 and 200. Providence will also be strong in both of the short relays. It could be a bonus if Kevin Ward makes the finals in the 400 or Jesse Long places high in the Shot Put. If they get their big guns to the finals on Saturday, it could make things very interesting for the team crown.
Qualifiers: 9 Individuals, 4 Relays – 13 Total
Outlook: The Bulldogs could make it interesting for the above 3 schools With 13 qualifiers, this is a team that could score big in the finals. Look for big points in the Shot Put with Derek Bunch and Luke Roush. Mahomet could also get points in the Pole Vault from Andrew Roney and Austin Armetta.
On the track, this team could score points in a number of ways. All four relays have good chances of making it to Saturday’s final. Jonathan Schaap and Lucas Prather could score in the 3200 along with Cale McCormick in the 800. Marshall Graham getting in the 100 would be a huge plus.
Qualifiers: 9 Individuals 9, 1 Relay – 10 Total
Outlook: Even though they lost at the Jacksonville Sectional, this squad could place in the top 3 in this meet. Michael Clevenger will be the favorite in both the 3200 and 1600 Meter Runs. Jonathan Boey will challenge in both 100 & 200 Meter Dashes. Carlos Harris could play a big factor in the Generals’ success if he scores in the Triple Jump.
A big plus could be Nathan Allyn and if he can score in the 800. Also watch for Aquintis Williams in the 400 Meter Dash. He could surprise and make the finals. With both making the finals could mean a good chance a trophy returns to Decatur.
Qualifiers: 7 Individuals, 3 Relays – 10 Total
Outlook: Not much room for mistakes for this team this weekend. The main points will come from the distance races and from two athletes , Will Brewster & Luke Zygmunt. Both will be doubling. The big question is how will the adverse heat that is forecast for Charleston will affect the 2. Brewster will be one of the favorites in the 3200 and then he will come back later in the day in the 1600. Zygmunt will be up towards the front in the 800 and will return in the 1600, the tougher of the two doubles.
The Rams could also score points in the Shot Put and the Discus from Joel Valdivia. They could get a big bonus if either the 4 x 1 or the 4 x 2 make the finals.
Qualifiers: 7 Individuals, 3 Relays – 10 Total
Outlook: The Redbirds could get away from Charleston with a top 3 finish. A few things need to occur to make the trophy happen. Charles Fenner will be one of the favorites in the Pole Vault. Also watch Fenner to score points in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles.
Metamora could score points from Jacob Armbrust in the Discus and maybe also the Shot Put. Eric Inman could get some points in the High Jump as well as long as the 4 x 4 relay team scoring points.
Qualifiers: 6 Individuals, 1 Relay – 7 Total
Outlook: A small number of qualifiers but could score some big points. Dion Starnes is the one that could possibly do that for the Braves. Starnes has the second longest mark in the Long Jump from the sectionals. He also will be in the mix in the 110 High Hurdles. He has the fifth fastest time in the 300 Intermediate Hurdles.
There is really no room for mistakes if this team wants to capture a trophy. Bremen has the second fastest time in 2A for the 4x1 relay and will need to place in the top 3. Demetrius Shelton will also need to score high in the 400 Meter Dash.
Qualifiers: 5 Individuals, 1 Relay – 6 Total
Outlook: Absolutely no room for mistakes. A small number of qualifiers but could score some big points in such low numbers. Reggie Bratton will be in the mix for the 100 Meter Dash. Nick Schippel has the fastest 2A time in the 200 and will be the favorite. Jacksonville’s 4 x 1 has the fastest sectional time and will be favored in that race also.
Devante Clark could surprise in the High Jump. Like I said, there is no room for mistakes for this team. No mistakes = a trophy heading back to Jacksonville.