Southern Excellence; Northern Exposure

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On Saturday May 7th, Collinsville will host a meet for the ages.  82-degree weather will greet Cahokia and Edwardsville, both looking to repeat as state champions (2A and 3A).  East St. Louis has historically dominated the state of Illinois winning 15 state championships.  This might be the year East St. Louis reasserts its dominance.  Oh, by the way, Lyons Township will attend Collinsville.  Why Do Birds Fly South?  Lyons won the Wanner Invite at Prospect last week and scored a whopping 155 points at Sectional last year.  Lyons Township have milers who have run 4:20, 4:21, and 4:22.  Marion may be the 2nd best team in 2A.  Throw in Patton Seagraves’ perennial relay powerhouse Belleville West (41.97 in 4×1 this year) and you have a meet better than most state meets.


Ja’Mari will be there.

ward 53

The sand says it all. Ja’Mari Ward has jumped 25’6.75″ and 53’7.5″.


A.J. Epenesa will be there.


This is the actual throw of A.J. Epenesa that landed at 206’5″.


Sam Sikon will be there.


This throw by Sam Sikon of Carbondale went 63’11”. Sikon’s best is 64’0.5″


High-flying Darryl Sullivan of Marion we be there.


Darryl Sullivan of Marion went 7’3″ indoors and was featured in Sports Illustrated. He will be challenged by Anthony McRoberts of Cahokia who went 6’9″ last week.


Travis Anderson vs. William Session for the first time this year.

tr anderson

Travis Anderson (pictured) has gone 13.95 and is only a junior. William Session has run 14.00. Last year Session beat Anderson at Sectional in a photo finish, both running 13.98. In the state finals, Session won gold, Anderson silver. Only 25 miles separates Belleville and Edwardsville.  Rematch?


East St. Louis will blow up the relays.


East St. Louis won the 4×4 last year running 3:15 with all underclassmen. This year, in April, the Flyers have been on fire … 41.70, 1:26.43, and 3:15.97.


Can Adam Nelson of Triad beat Ja’Mari again?

adam nelson

This incredible start by Triad’s Adam Nelson led to an upset of Ja’Mari Ward at the Winston Brown Invite. Ja’Mari doesn’t get beat often. Nelson won in a photo finish with both he and Ward running 10.79. Only 12 miles separate Triad and Cahokia. Rematch?



Track fans don’t have to wait until Saturday to experience the #GoldenEra of track and field in Illinois.


Lockport Bill Jackson Invite tonight, Friday, May 6th.


Carl Sandburg

Last year John O’Malley’s crew ran 7:42.03 and everyone returns!


Last year’s Sandburg’s State Champion 4×8 … L to R, Tom Brennan (Jr), Brandon Lucas (Jr), Sean Torpy (Jr), Chris Torpy (Jr), Martin Skucas (So), Dylan Jacobs (Fr). Skucas & Jacobs ran in the state prelims. Torpy & Torpy ran in the finals.  All six return. All six were on the awards stand.

Sandburg won the IHSA Cross Country Championship last fall placing 3-12-14-22-28.  At one time, Sandburg was ranked #1 in the nation.

Lockport is an ABC meet. Check out Sandburg’s three entries in the mile.

  • C – Tom Brennan 4:25
  • B – Brandon Lucas 4:22
  • A – Sean Torpy 4:08

Oh, and by the way, Sandburg has a sprinter too.  Ayo Abiona is a 10.71 sprinter.



#SpeedKills and Derrius Rodgers is one of the state’s best.  How about his 10.63 in the 100 and 21.55 in the 200?  Rodgers is ranked #3 in the state in both sprints behind Josh Eiker and Ja’Mari Ward.


In early April Derrius Rodgers gave Ja’Mari Ward all he could handle. Ward went 10.64 and Rodgers went 10.69.

Nothing better than building a team around a top sprinter and a top thrower.  Lockport’s John Meyer has thrown the shot 63’0 and the discus 177’9″.  However 177’9″ may not win tonight.  Tim McCloyn of Huntley has thrown 184’2″.  By the way, Tim McCloyn was on Huntley’s all-state 4×1 team last year and will play linebacker for ISU next year.  #MultiSport  #SpeedKills


Tim McCloyn, 6’1″ 215-pound sprinter, jumper, and throws the discus 184’2″  Football coaches recruit athletes, not 7-on-7 players or guys that attend “combines”.  #ISU



Maybe the Lockport meet does not have a 53’7″ triple jumper but Luther Newburn of Hillcrest has triple jumped 49’9″, high jumped 6’7″, and long jumped 22’4″.

For the 2nd year in a row, Hillcrest is seeded #1 in the A, B, and C 100 meter.  Times of 10.60, 10.80, and 10.90 can not be verified anywhere.  How can this continue to happen?  I ranted about Hillcrest last year but didn’t mention them by name.  Seed-Time Rants and the Abolition of Prelims.

Interesting, Collinsville made coaches enter the “when and where” next to seed times for the 100, 200, and 400.  You can’t have a good meet when coaches submit false seed times in May.


Plainfield North

We have a deep team, well-designed for ABC meets.  I’d like to think we are in contention to win the Bill Jackson Invite.  We won the #TrackTown championship last week and seem happy & healthy, which is rare after the grind of April.  Our 4×1 and 4×4 are both seeded first in the strong Lockport field and our 4×2 is ready to bust out.  Jack Sebok may challenge the 4:20 barrier in the 1600.

I’ve never seen 75 degree weather at Lockport, so track fans better keep an eye on the results.

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