SATURDAY: It's Edwardsville (3A), Springfield SE (2A), Central A&M (1A)
3A: Fantastic national leaders by W-WS 4x8, Bamgbose
2A: Little wins three plus a 2nd; Crawford rules sprints
1A: Meunier doubles; three others get meet records
(scroll down for winners' table)
Teams: Edwardsville won a great 3-way battle with Belleville West and Evanston Twp, 51 to 48.5 to 47.
** - 4x800: An absolute epic as Wheaton-Warrenville South ran US#1 and Illinois all-time best 8:59.03 and Glenbard West was right behind in US#4 9:00.72. Prospect also shone in third with 9:06.18.
** - 300H/200: An eye-popping US#1 41.11 for Evanston Twp sr Margaret Bamgbose (only the great Shalina Clarke has gone faster in state history), who was also second in the 200.
** - 100/200: Sprint rivals Morolake Akinosun and Aaliyah Brown split the short dashes, with Akinosun starting with a monster US#2 11.41 triumph, then Brown clocking 24.17 at twice the distance.
** - SP/DT: Edwardsville jr Emmonnie Henderson paced the champs as she improved to 48-2.5 in the final, while her 3A meet record 157-11 from Friday held up.
** - 800: US#9 2:08.48 from Honoegah jr Courtney Clayton, who outran Glenbard East sr Lindsay Rakosnik (US#11 2:09.23).
Teams: Springfield SE won by 17 points over Walther Lutheran, thanks largely to Charday Crawford's sprint double, two relay wins and Brion Portis' TJ win.
** - 100H/400/300H/200: Lindblom jr Shamier Little accomplished three-quarters of her mammoth quadruple attempt, with 2A meet records of 14.02, 54.19, and 42.80. She was second in the 200 at 24.48.
** - 100/200/4x100/4x200: With all the hype in the 3A dashes, Crawford had arguably the best overall double of the entire meet with super marks of US#3 11.48 (second overall) and an all-classes best of 24.14 – the latter keeping Little from getting her sweep. She also anchored her team's 2A meet record 47.53 and 1:40.38 victories.
Teams: Central A&M overcame the middle-distance power of Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, winning by 11 points thanks to diverse contributions including wins in the discus and both hurdles (by different athletes).
** -800/1600/4x400: Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley sr Sydni Meunier topped teammate Angel Gaesser, 2:11.30 to 2:14.25, then won at 5:07.88 at twice the distance (well off Friday's scorching prelim). The teammates helped GCMS win the 4x400 as well.
** - HJ: Near 1A meet record 5-10 for Argenta-Oreana jr Kandie Bloch, the top HJ for all classes.
** - PV: 1A meet record 11-9 for Seneca sr Alyssa Applebee.
** - 4x100: 1A meet record 48.51 for Seton Academy.
FRIDAY: Little goes two for four in prelims
HIGHLIGHTS (all 2A and 3A prelims)
** - 100/200: With highly touted rivals Aaliyah Brown and Morolake Akinosun in the mix, it was Cessily Jones 11.66 and Margaret Bamgbose 24.17 who notched the fastest prelims.
** - 400: Frosh Britney Ellis upheld her favorite's role with a 54.66.
** - 1600: While not as fast as Sydni Muenier's prelim in 1A, Ariel Michalek led qualifiers at 4:54.21 (and still saved something for Saturday).
** - SP/DT: Emmonnie Henderson showed dominant form with 46-5.25 and 157-11 leaders.
** - TJ: Chaz Duson soared to a 40-6.25w to take a stranglehold on the final.
** - 100H/400/300H/200: Lindblom Prep jr Shamier Little, going for an individual quadruple, sets 2A records of 14.16 (-2.1w) and 43.06 over the barriers. On the flat, though, she qualifies second overall to Carmel Catholic sr Megan Paul (55.96) and Springfield SE jr Charday Crawford (24.53, -2.2w).
** - 100/200/4x200: Crawford not only qualifies first in the 200, but also with 12.13 (-2.6w) in the 100 and anchors her school's top qualifying 1:42.37.
** - LJ:Walther Lutheran jr MaShayla Kirksy just misses 2A record in LJ with top qualifier of 19-3.
THURSDAY: Gibson girls impress in 1A prelims
HIGHLIGHTS (all 1A prelims)
** - 1600/800/4x400: Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley sr Sydney Meunier ran a state-leading 4:50.75 for the mark of the day and added 2:12.32 (2nd) behind teammate Angel Gaesser (2:11.85). They both contributed to their team's top-qualifying 4:01.01.
TONY JONES PREVIEWS
Class 1A: Don't be surprised if four teams battle for title - Byron could be considered the favorite to win their third in a row, but Eureka, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, Moweaqua (Central A&M) and South Holland Seton Academy all might have something to say about that ... MORE
Class 2A: Springfield SE hopes to prevail in tough times - Lady Spartans lost beloved assistant Dana Rountree this past winter, but will try and rally for a title in head coach Tom McBride's final season ... MORE
Class 3A: Returning champs may not be favorites - Belleville West, Evanston, Frankfort Lincoln-Way East, and Wheaton-Warrenville South appear to be at the top of the class, while defenders East St. Louis will have to rally if they want two in a row ... MORE