The last 2 years, Lake Park has changed the way you looked at a state meet. It was through field events. They had the strength that had emphasis through field events which resulted in two state championships. Last year, 5 out of the 6 field events were won by Lake Park athletes. I doubt we will ever see anything like that again. Could Lake Park make it three in a row through just the field events?
Here is a glimpse of the 6 field events in Class 3A for 2012:
The top 2 jumpers from last year are not back. Lake Park’s Zach Ziemek, last year’s champ, has graduated. Adoree’ Jackson of Belleville (East HS) finished 2nd last year as a freshman. He moved over the summer with his family to Southern California. The jumpers that are back however will make this event very challenging.
Tevin Coleman of Oak Forest HS finished 2nd last year in 2A. He has the longest returning jump in the state and will be one of the favorites. Scott Filip of Roselle (Lake Park HS) finished 5th in this event last spring and jumped over 23’ during the season. Matt Harris of LaGrange (Lyons Township HS) was close to 24 feet last year, but he only finished 10th last year in the state meet. Look for a more consistent year from this junior.
The one surprise in this event last year was Ardian Asani of Carpentersville (Dundee-Crown HS), who finished 3rd last year. His best jump last year was 22’ 10 ½”. Look for him to go over 23’ this season.
Other athletes to watch in the Long Jump include Zach Gordon of Wheaton (North HS), Devonte Pruitt of Bolingbrook HS, Matthew Simmons of Chicago Heights (Marian Catholic), Mikail Davis of Peoria (Richwoods HS), and Derrick Ellis of Rock Island HS.
This event is looking to be wide open. Danny Katz of Deerfield HS is the only returning all state athlete in this event placing 3rd last year. A.J. Scarbrough of Barrington HS has the longest returning jump over 46’.
Two athletes to watch here. The first is Carl Heinz of Oak Park (Oak Park-River Forest HS). Heinz finished 10th last year and has the 3rd best returning jump. Most likely, he will be in this event in the state meet. His love is the high jump, but he will participate in this event if his team needs him to. The second jumper is Marcus Jegede of Roselle (Lake Park HS). Last year as a freshman, he jumped 43’ 4 ½”. So far this winter, he has jumped 46’. He will be the surprise in this event if he can continue this rate of improvement.
Competitive event has the following jumpers to keep an eye on: Michael Thomas of LaGrange (Lyons Township HS), Garrett Covington of Edwardsville HS, Jeremy Nicholson of East St. Louis (Senior HS), Scott Filip of Roselle (Lake Park HS), Oshay Hodges of St. Charles (North HS), and Jamion Nash of Belleville (West HS).
The only field event that has a returning champion and a champion that did not attend Lake Park. Carl Heinz of Oak Park (Oak Park-River Forest HS) proved early in the season that he would be the jumper to beat in this event by clearing 7’ early in the year. When it came to jumping at the state meet, he had the mental upperhand over his competitors as he cruised to the state championship clearing 6’ 10”. In June, he went to the New Balance National Meet and finished 2nd there. He is one of the elite jumpers in the country. Watch for him to go after the state record this spring. He has the ability to do it.
This is perhaps the strongest event in regards to returning athletes. There are 6 other returning all state jumpers. Kevin Spejcher of Roselle (Lake Park HS) has the next highest jump last year with a 6’ 11” jump. He is not playing basketball this season so his entire focus is in this event. Oshay Hodges of St. Charles (North HS) finished 2nd last year. He has jumped 6’ 8” and ready to tackle the 7’ barrier. Also watch for Ben Bowers of Hoffman Estates (Conant HS), Matt Wilson of Granite City HS, Alec Brazeau of Wheaton (Wheaton-Warrenville South HS), and Peter Stefanski of Aurora (Marmion Military Academy), who finished 2nd in 2A last year.
Keep also an eye on Jake Murawski of Aurora (Metea Valley HS), Scott Filip of Roselle (Lake Park HS), and Kevin Newman of Buffalo Grove HS.
Only 2 athletes return from last season. The chief vaulter to watch is Eric Gordon of Normal (Community West HS). In January, he cleared 15’ 4” at the Reno Pole Vault Summit. The other all state vaulter is Nick Sgarbosa of Elmhurst (York HS), who finished 9th last year.
Luke Winder of Plainfield (Central HS) cleared 13’ 9” as a freshman last year. So far this winter, he has already cleared 14’ 6”. He could be the one athlete that could challenge Gordon.
Other competitors that will challenge for all-state honors this spring include Alec Brazeau of Wheaton (Wheaton-Warrenville South HS), Cirron Clark of Danville HS, Tom Schuette of Edwardsville HS, Nick Bednarek of Palatine (Fremd HS), Dylan Korzec of Plainfield (North HS), Shawn John of Elmhurst (York HS), and Nate Richartz of McHenry HS.
This event is wide open. No all state returnees in this event. The big question will be who will step up in the Shot Put? The one athlete that I would watch is Josh Freeman of Cary (Cary-Grove HS). His best distance is nearly 4 feet ahead of his next nearest competitor, Riley Kittridge of Aurora (Waubonsie Valley HS). This school has a tradition of turning out great weightmen so watch for big things from Kittridge.
Other athletes to watch in this event include Christian Hollinger of Wheaton (North HS), Mark Balmes of Arlington Heights (Hersey HS), Kyrin Tucker of Normal (Community West HS), Perez Ford of Romeoville HS, and Paul Golen of Elmhurst (York HS).
Brandon Lombardino of Fox Lake (Grant HS) is the only all state athlete returning in this event. Last year, he threw the disc 169’ 4” and placed 5th in the state meet. He should have some solid competition going against him. Josh Freeman of Cary (Cary-Grove HS) has the farthest returning throw with 171’ 4”.
Still, this event is wide open. Other throwers to watch this spring include Jamal Bearden of Aurora (Waubonsie Valley HS), Garrett Jensen of Edwardsville HS, Carlos Varela of Naperville (Neuqua Valley HS), Paul Golen of Elmhurst (York HS), and Mickey Gallagher of Normal (Community West HS).
Comments / Questions? contact Michael Newman > newman.dyestatIL@gmail.com