Summer Running And Fun Heating Up In Illinois

The IHSA school season has been over for nearly a month now. But that doesn’t mean that the season is over.

The ‘second season’ is now underway. It started with the Southwest Classic (Albuquerque, NM) before heading to Joliet IL for the Senior All-Star meet. The Midwest Distance Festival, which was also held in Joliet, featured some tremendous performances on Illinois soil. From there, there several of the state’s top athletes competed in the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro NC, and at the USATF Junior Nationals Championships on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington IN.

The cream of the crop for summer time action has to be the United States Track and Field (USATF) series. They are in essence the grassroots of running, jumping, or throwing for the youth of the sport. The meets consist of age group competition for boys and girls that run through the end of July and early August concluding with a national championship.

Key summer highlights to date-

Shamier Little (Jr., Lindblom; Chicago) has kept herself busy after securing her spot in next month’s junior world championship; she is competing for the O.F.F. Track Club out of the south suburbs of Chicago. Little, who is nation’s top ranked junior 400H, ran on several winning relays at the USATF Association Championship held in Kankakee IL. The quartet breezed in the Young Women 4x100 (48.34) and 4x400 (3:51.04).

Melissa Dunham (Jr., Fox Lake Grant) won the YW discus throw with a solid heave of 135-3.

MaShayla Kirksy (Jr., Melrose Park Walther Lutheran) outlasted Aliyah Harmon (Jr., Olympia Fields Rich Central) 18-7.25- 18-5.25 in the YW long jump.

Elexis Fairley (Jr., Chicago Morgan Park) matched her season best when she coasted to victory in the YW 100 (12.16).

Brittny Ellis (Fr., Gurnee Warren) advanced to the regional championship in three events: 100, 200, 400. The emerging superstar won the 400 in a fast 55.96.

Rashad Hulbert (Sr., Crete-Monee) continued his rampage as the state’s best hurdler by easily winning the 110HH (14.24) and 400H (53.54).

Bloom Twp. Senior Kaleb Williams nearly produced a personal best in the 400 when he clocked 48.65 to easily dispatch Taylor Click of Lake Forest Academy. Williams was also victorious in the 200 (22.17pb).

Click rebounded in the 800 when he burned the competition with a smoking 1:56.14 and won by nearly five seconds.

Summer fun extends beyond the track-

The summer running extends beyond the track and field. Many enthusiasts instead they may choice to join their local running store for fun run activity. The Chicago-land area is no stranger to informal or formal gatherings. Check out two of the area's finest establishments for more information:

Universal Sole

3052 N. Lincoln Ave; Chicago IL (773) 868-0893


Key events: Monday fun runs @6pm; Weds USOLE fun @TRI; sponsor of various road races

Dick Pond Athletics

29 S. Prospect Ave; Park Ridge IL (847) 720-4083


Key events: Saturday fun run @8:30am; ladies night run @ 6:30pm; sponsor of various road races and community events.