This marks the fifth year that the Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches Association wishes to award Athlete-of-the-Year honors to Illinois Track &Field/Cross Country athletes who have demonstrated remarkable achievements. The 2014 recipients are Parker English of Evanston High School, Emma Spagnola of West Aurora High School, and Patrick Perrier of O’Fallon Twp. High School.
A senior, she earned two gold medals and a bronze at the Class AAA State Track & Field Meet. Parker won the Class AAA 400 meters in 53.88. That time ranks #1 in Illinois and #10 in the USA. She won the 200 meters in 24.23. In the prelims she ran 23.74, a mark that ranks #1 in Illinois and #14 in The USA. She, also, placed third in the Class AAA 100 meters with a time of 12.00. That mark ranks #5 in Illinois. Earlier in the season she had a long jump of 18-6 on two occasions.
A senior, she won the Class AAA 100 m. High Hurdles in 14.10 and the 300 m. Low Hurdles in a State-best 42.45. She, also, placed 3rd in the Long Jump with a jump of 18-9 and helped her 1600 m. Relay to 3rd in a 3:53.32. She was the leading scorer for the State Runner-up Team. Previously she ran 13.90 in the 100 m. Highs. That is the #1 time in Illinois and #26 in the USA. Her 300 LH mark ranks #24 in the USA. At the New Balance Outdoor Championships, Emma finished 3rd in the 400 m. LH with a time of 59.22 out of lane 8. Indoors at the Top Times , she won the 55 HH with 8.82, # 1 in Illinois; placed 2nd in the Long Jump with a 19-2.75. She, also, high jumped 5-4 and ran 58.13 in the 400 indoors.
A senior, He came close to winning the distance triple. He won the Class AAA Cross Country Meet in an Illinois best of 14:21, leading his team to 3rd. At the Class AAA State T& F Meet, he won the 1600 meters in 4:10.34 and placed 2nd in the 3200 meters in 9:07.10. His season bests include an 800 meters (an event he only ran twice) in 1:51.8 (#2 in Illinois); a 1600 4:07.51 (#1 in Illinois and #9 USA); and a 3200 in 9:00.45 (#3 in Illinois). After the State Meet, he placed 2nd in the Nike Festival of Miles with a mile time of 4:06.70 (equals 1600 m. time of 4:05.1). That mark is the 4th best ever ran by an Illinois high school runner.