Illinois Top Times Championship – Girls 3A Preview

Published by Mike Newman
Mar 22nd 2013, 1:05pm | 51198 views

By Michael Newman


Unlike the 1A and 2A meets, the 3A meet will be missing some star power with Aailyah Brown and some of her teammates from Lincoln-Way East have decided to move forward to the outdoor season. York’s Emma Fisher has decided the same path. Still, the meet will have some fire power that will produce some great firepower.


The field events will be highlighted by a great shot competition between Emmonnie Henderson (Edwardsville HS, Edwardsville) and Banki Oginni (Hoffman Estates HS, Hoffman Estates).  On the track, some good distance races with state cross country champ Madeline Perez Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn) in the 1600 and defending 3200 Meter champ Kaylee Flanagan (Lake Park HS, Roselle) in the 3200.


Here is a look at each of the events that will be contested Saturday afternoon.


On the track…

3200 Meter Run – No Perez or Fisher but still I think we will see a great race. Meet defending champ Kaylee Flanagan (Lake Park HS, Roselle) has run in the 10:40’s twice this season and will look to drop it lower on Saturday. Her style is to pound the pace and dare the runners in the race to stay with her.


This has been an amazing year in this event where we’ve had 8 runners less than eleven minutes, something we have not seen before. Three of those runners, besides Flanagan, are in this race. Emily Brelsfoard (Normal Community West HS, Normal) won her conference meet 10 days ago (10:53.78) and could push Flanagan in this meet. Ellie Palacios (Mundelein HS, Mundelein) ran a super 10:59 last week at Carthage and could go lower in this race. Lisa Luczak (Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn) ran 10:46 early in the year, but has missed a good portion of the indoor season with mono. She is back. She likes to run in the front and could push the pace.


Keep an eye on Lindsay Graham (Glenbard East HS, Lombard). At her conference meet last week, she ran 11:02 in negative splits (5:36/5:26). With runners to push her, she could be under 11 in this race.


Other runners to watch n this race include Kimber Meyer (North HS, Naperville), Kendall Cast (Metea Valley HS, Aurora), and Grace Rogers (Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn).


4 x 800 Meter Relay – Some of the top relay powers such as Wheaton-Warrenville South, Palatine, and Glenbard West are not in this event. Yorkville, winner of the Mustang Relays at the end of February, enter this meet with the fastest time (9:35.66). Yorkville is led by fantastic freshman Skyler Bollinger. In the Relays, she led off and pushed Yorkville into the lead. Schaumburg ran a great race last week achieving a new seasonal PR at their conference meet behind Palatine. It is a team that will push Yorkville.


St. Charles East, Downers Grove North, Lane Tech and Minooka are all within eight seconds of Yorkville. They could be in the hunt for the win in this meet. Also watch for Naperville North, Hoffman Estates, and Lake Park to run seasonal PR’s in this final indoor meet.


60 Meter Hurdles – Alexis Jimison-Miller (Danville HS, Danville) enters the meet with the fastest time in the 60 (8.64) and the second fastest time in the 55 Hurdles (8.26) just behind Jayla Stewart (Homewood-Flossmoor HS, Flossmoor) and her 8.23 time. It should be a close final between these two. Jimison-Miller is coming off of a hot week wining the hurdles in both her conference meet and the Gene Armer Invitational.


The multi talented Maya Neal (Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville) will be in contention for the title in this meet. She ran 8.43 for 55 Hurdles last week at her conference meet. It is a strong field with Imani Haynes (Marian Catholic, Chicago Heights), Darneisha Spann (Schaumburg HS, Schaumburg), Emma Spagnola (West HS, Aurora) and Logan Tillmon (East HS, Rockford) also looked to be in the finals and going after a top three finish.


60 Meter Dash – Yes, there is a void without Aailyah Brown not in the race. The race should still be a quick one. Savannah Carson (Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville) has the fastest seed time running 7.07 in the 55 Meter Dash. Brittney Ellis (Warren Township HS, Gurnee) has the fastest 60 time of 7.77.


Jenna Moody (Central HS, Plainfield) and Kayla Hylton (Lincoln-Way North HS, Frankfort) have run close to the same time in the 55, but are a tenth behind the above two seasonally. Don’t count them out however. Keep an eye on Freshman Hannah Cohn (St. Ignatius Prep, Chicago). She ran a great triple last Sunday at her conference meet including a 7.27 55 Meter Dash. She is on the verge of some great things this spring.


Other runners to watch include Emani Johnson (Proviso West HS, Hillside), Kimberly Abels (East HS, St. Charles) and Shayna Nwokenkwo & Antoinette Broughton (Homewood-Flossmoor HS, Flossmoor).


800 Meter Run – There in the background being overshadowed by great times in the 3200 and in this event by Courtney Clayton has been Emma Reifel (Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn). All she has done this season has run the 800 under 2:16 twice this year, the only girl to do so in the state. Her best time of 2:15.73 is nearly six seconds faster than the next closest runner in this race Stephanie Urbancik (Downers Grove North HS, Downers Grove).


Reifel is the big favorite in this race. She could go in the 2:14 range if he runs smart like she usually does. Also keep an eye on Torree Scull (East HS, St. Charles), Ali Gutt (Schaumburg HS, Schaumburg), and Kim Seger (North HS, Belvidere).


4 x 200 Meter Relay – Danville, coming off a win over Lincoln-Way East last week at the Gene Armer Invitational, enters the meet with the top seed time of 1:44.68 run at that meet. The Lady Maroons should get some pressure from Plainfield North and St. Charles East in this event. Also keep an eye on West Aurora, Cary-Grove, and St. Ignatius to challenge.


400 Meter Dash – Cameron Pettigrew (Payton College Prep, Chicago) is the second fastest runner in the state in this event (56.01). Her only setback came from the hands of Shamier Little at the University of Kentucky Invitational in February.


This should be a good race between Pettigrew and Brittney Ellis (Warren Township HS, Gurnee). Ellis ran 56.51 in winning the invitational at Carthage last Saturday. She will push Pettigrew. Both could go in the 55’s in this race.


Looking at the seeds, it looks like Courtney Clayton (Hononegah HS, Rockton) will not be in the fast section as she has the seventh fastest seed time. She could set forth a blazing time for Pettigrew and Ellis to chase after. Keep an eye on Brittney Williams & Jordan Shead (East HS, St. Charles), Simone Carr (Glenbard North HS, Carol Stream), and Jenna Moody (Central HS, Plainfield) as well.


1600 Meter Run – I am looking forward to watch this race. Madeline Perez (Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn) will be running this race fresh while Kaylee Flanagan (Lake Park HS, Roselle) will be coming back from the 3200 and Skyler Bollinger (Yorkville HS, Yorkville) will be doubling back from the 4 x 8. I expect both of these runners to be on right with Perez all during the race. In this year of the girls distance runner in Illinois, we have learned to expect the unexpected. Will we see something in the low 4:50’s Saturday night?


Other runners to watch in this race include Meagan Biddle (Hoffman Estates HS, Hoffman Estates),  Brianne Murphy (Lake Park HS, Roselle), and Kelsey Schrader (DeKalb HS, DeKalb).


200 Meter Dash – This will be a repeat of the 400 Meter Final between Cameron Pettigrew (Payton College Prep, Chicago) and Brittney Ellis (Warren Township, Gurnee). Pettigrew has the fastest time heading into this meet with 24.85, an US#30. Ellis has run 25.25. Keep also a close eye on Freshman Kayla Hylton (Lincoln-Way North HS, Frankfort) who ran 25.22 in Texas in January.


The Neuqua Valley pair of Savannah Carson and Maya Neal will be in this race and challenging for the win. Also watch in this race for Antoinette Broughton (Homewood-Flossmoor HS, Flossmoor), Jazmyne Tabb (North HS, Plainfield), and Hannah Cohn (St. Ignatius Prep, Chicago).


4 x 400 Meter Relay – The last race of the night could be a race against the clock. St. Charles East has the fastest time in the state (3:58.73) and is seven seconds faster than Danville. If the Lady Saints run their best, I do not see any team touch them in this race. Also watch for Downers Grove North, Schaumburg, Plainfield North, Lane Tech, and Glenbard West to battle for a top 3 finish.


In the field…

Long Jump – Four of the top twenty jumpers in the nation will heat up the runway Saturday afternoon. Teammates Savannah Carson and Maya Neal (Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville) put on a great show at their conference meet last Friday with Carson jumping a US#5 19-3 ¾. Neal jumped 18-10 ½. Aliyah Harmon (Rich Central HS, Olympia Fields) jumped 19-0 at a meet at Bloom at the beginning of the month and could be the jumper to push Carson here (along with Neal).


The fourth of the top jumpers is Mackenzie Bollinger (Yorkville HS, Yorkville). She hurt her knee earlier this week in practice and her status to compete in this meet on Saturday is uncertain.


Other athletes to watch in this event include Jasmine Brown (DeKalb HS, DeKalb), Emma Spagnola & Kyla Walton (West HS, Aurora), and Patrice Jones (Hononegah HS, Rockton).


Triple Jump – Mackenzie Bollinger (Yorkville HS, Yorkville) would be the top jumper to watch in this event, but her knee injury mixes up the event a little more. Aliyah Harmon (Rich Central HS, Olympia Fields) jumped 38-1 ¼ in December at the U of Chicago.. Since that time, she has been in the 36’s and once at 37 this season.  Charadae Greenlee (Homewood Flossmoor HS, Flossmoor) has jumped 37-8 ½ and could win this event.


This could be anyone’s event to win. Keep an eye on Jasmine Brown (DeKalb HS, DeKalb), Allison Chmelik (East HS, St. Charles), Jabria Stainback (Proviso West HS, Hillside), and Ebony Smith (Waukegan HS, Waukegan).


High Jump – I think this could come down to two jumpers that could capture the win. Natalie O’Keefe (Granite City HS, Granite City) entered the season with only a PR of 5-5. She cleared 5-7 at Triad at the end of February to up that PR. She is capable of going higher on Saturday. Omo Tseumah (Huntley HS, Huntley) has also cleared 5-7 this indoor season. She finished second at state last year. She is a big meet performer that will be up for the challenge at this meet.


Watch for these athletes to be in the mix as well: Kailey James (Glenbard North HS, Carol Stream), Emma Spagnola (West HS, Aurora), Hayley Dorfman (Deerfield HS, Deerfield), Kenna Lonergan (Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville), and Tyshai Freeman (Lake Park HS, Roselle).


Pole Vault – Could we see a 13-0 vault on Saturday? It is a possibility. The top two vaulters in 3A will be pushing each other to higher marks. Carly Schmidt (Lake Forest HS, Lake Forest) cleared 12-9 in winning the Windy City PV Summit at the beginning of the month. Julia Junkroski (Lincoln-Way East HS, Frankfort) has been coming on strong the past few weeks clearing 12-7 in getting second to Sarah Bell at the Gene Armer Invitational last Saturday. The sophomore could pull the surprise here.


After these two, there is a drop off of the seeds of one foot. Other athletes to watch in this event include Maya Golliday (Lake Park HS, Roselle), McKenzie Kroeschell (Oak Park-River Forest HS, Oak Park), Nicole Jaffke (Libertyville HS, Libertyville), and Mackenzie Gallagher (Normal Community West HS, Normal).


Shot Put – Event of the night in Girls 3A. This will be a battle between two of the top 10 athletes in the Shot Put in the country.  Ever since she came out from Basketball, Emmonnie Henderson (Edwardsville HS, Edwardsville) has been on fire in this event. At Gene Armer last Saturday, she upped her PR to 49-1 which is #3 in the country. In one of her first meets of the year, Banki Oginni (Hoffman Estates HS, Hoffman Estates) surprised herself by putting 46-7 ½ in the event. If Henderson is going to go past 50 feet indoors, this meet might be it.


Other competitors to watch include Aaliyah Covington (Edwardsville HS, Edwardsville), Erin Reese (Prospect HS, Mt. Prospect), Morgan Keller (Rolling Meadows HS, Rolling Meadows), Tia Robertson (Normal Community West HS, Normal), and Melissa Dunham (Grant HS, Fox Lake).



Good luck to all athletes, coaches, and fans Saturday!

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