Illinois Top Times Championship – Boys 3A Preview

Published by Mike Newman
Mar 22nd 2013, 1:06pm | 52911 views

By Michael Newman


Just like the last couple of 3A state meets, the field events have dictated who has won the team championships. The field events will dictate the attention of the audience at the Shirk Center Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening.


Luke Winder (Plainfield Central HS, Plainfield) has been a man on a mission after his sub par performance at the Windy City PV Summit. On Saturday, could he clear 17-0? The Lake Park horizontal jumpers will invade the pits on Saturday just like they invaded the leaderboards.


The track events could bring on some new faces that we will see at O’Brien Stadium for the state meet in May.


Here is a look at the events in Boys 3A for the meet on Saturday.


On the track…

3200 Meter Run – Only three of the top fifteen runners on the 3A list are in this race. It still could be an interesting affair. Tyler Yunk (Belvidere North HS, Belvidere) ran his 9:25 this year solo at a meet at Byron. Watch for a fast pace set by him and his teammate Garrett Lee similar to how the two raced during the cross country season. Caleb Beck (Oswego HS, Oswego) has been having a good indoor season with him running 9:26 at the beginning of the month at U of I.


Jonah Hanig (Highland Park HS, Highland Park) and Jesse Reiser (McHenry HS, McHenry) are two runners that will force the pace as well. I definitely see winning times in the low 9:10’s Saturday.


Other runners to watch include Peter Schaible (Jones College Prep, Chicago), Andrew Philipose (Hersey HS, Arlington Heights), Alex Gold (Deerfield HS, Deerfield), and Dan Lathrop (Plainfield South HS, Plainfield).


4 x 800 Meter Relay – This could be a race of surprises in the second final on the track for 3A. Crystal Lake South pulled a shocker by finishing second to Brookfield Central WI at Carthage. The shocker was that the Gators ran the third fastest time in 3A (8:03.97). They enter this meet as the top seed.

This race does not have the power with some of the top distance programs choosing not to run. Niles North has the talent to run a good race here led by Micah Beller and Emmett Barr. Defending 3A state champ Lane Tech is back with Marcello Burbano and newcomer Pablo Hutsalyuk, who ran 1:58 last week in winning the Gene Armer 800.  Southwest Prairie powers Plainfield South and Minooka should be in the mix also. We could see some great relays from Springfield, Jones Prep and Crystal Lake Central as well.


The talent is in this race to have a team flirt with crossing the line in sub 8. The question is…who will it be?


60 Meter High HurdlesAndrew Helmin (Providence Catholic HS, New Lenox) looked good last Sunday at the CCL Championships. The problem was that Marlon Britton of Leo ran an incredible clean race. Helmin will get the chance of redemption on Saturday. He has run 8.39 for 60 HH and 7.61 for 55 HH.


Miercoles Bell (Belleville West HS, Belleville) has the fastest 60HH in 3A running 8.22 earlier in the month at Edwardsville. He will be the one hurdler to push Helmin. Other hurdlers to watch include Zach Zamora (Minooka HS, Minooka), Joel Swanberg (Lincoln-Way Central HS, New Lenox), Zion Mason (North HS, Plainfield), and Elijah Douglas (Crete-Monee HS, Crete).


60 Meter Dash – Last week, Cole Henderson (Pekin HS, Pekin) surprised the Illinois sprint world when he upset Jonathan Boey (6.43) to win at Charleston in his first race of the year. He will not be a surprise on Saturday rather having a bull’s eye on his back. He will be the favorite in this meet.


This is a good field with many quality sprinters that would like to knock off Henderson. Malik Harrison (Springfield HS, Springfield) will have a busy Saturday running in all three sprint races. He could pull off the surprise here.  Others to keep a close eye on include Chris Wiggins (O’Fallon HS, O’Fallon), Julian Crum (St. Rita HS, Chicago), Alex Martin (Hononegah HS, Rockton), and Nick Lynch (North HS, St. Charles).


800 Meter Run – In the season preview, we talked about new faces showing up in this event after the top 12 runners at last year’s state meet all graduated. Kevin Grahovec (Marmion Academy, Aurora) ran a great race at ICOPS running 1:58.01 to finish second. David Cerney (Barrington HS, Barrington) made his debut last week at the MSL Meet where he had a strong kick for his 1:58.08 win.


This is going to be one of those meets that whomever you pick you can’t be wrong. Also keep an eye on Alex Pierce (Minooka HS, Minooka), Chase Skenandore (Oswego East HS, Oswego), Cody Dyer (Plainfield South HS, Plainfield), Jacob Amiri (Downers Grove South, Downers Grove), and Bryce Richards (Mundelein HS, Mundelein).


4 x 200 Meter Relay – This meet will be missing the top two in the state Wheaton North and Edwardsville. This meet could be an Upstate Eight grudge match between St. Charles North and Bartlett. Last week at the Upstate Eight Conference Meet, North held off Bartlett by half a second to win the race. Watch for traditional relay power Belleville West. They come into the event only with a 1:32.91 but have the talent to go much faster.


Other teams to watch include Sandburg, St. Rita, Plainfield East, and Evanston Township.


400 Meter Dash – Malik Harrison (Springfield HS, Springfield) and Paul Ifianayi (Elk Grove HS, Elk Grove Village) are the top two seeds and have the same style of running indoors: get to the front and refuse to give up the lead. That is how Harrison has raced all season starting at Normal West. Ifianayi sped to a 23.9 first 200 in route to the 50.10 win in this race. The first 150 Meters will be the big key in this race.


Other runners I would watch for include John Burke (Waubonsie Valley HS, Aurora), Zach Kirby (North HS, St. Charles), Quinten Nash (Crete-Monee HS, Crete), Chris Wilson (Minooka HS, Minooka), and Andrew Helmin (Providence Catholic HS, New Lenox).


1600 Meter Run – There are so many scenarios that could happen in this race. Jamison Dale (Jones College Prep, Chicago) ran 4:17.88 to win in a meet in Wisconsin last Saturday establishing him as the favorite in this race. Evan Prizy (Schaumburg HS, Schaumburg) finished second at the MSL last Saturday running 4:21. If it gets into sit and kick race, it could work to Prizy’s advantage.


It looks like Alex Baker (Central HS, Crystal Lake) will be running the 4x8 relay earlier in the afternoon. I still think he could challenge for the race win. Caleb Beck (Oswego HS, Oswego) and Garrett Lee (North HS, Belvidere) will be coming back from the 3200. It will be interesting to see how much they left when they step to the line.


Keep a close eye on Luke O’Connor (Jones College Prep, Chicago). He ran 4:22 last week in the race that his teammate Dale won. O’Connor could be the surprise in this race. Also watch for John Graft (Marmion Academy, Aurora), Paxson Menard (North HS, Belvidere), and Cam Knudsen (Minooka HS, Minooka).


200 Meter Dash – Malik Harrison (Springfield HS, Springfield) is back for his third race of the day. He has the fastest time among all of the runners in this race (22.64). Treston Forbes (St. Rita HS, Chicago) won the CCL meet last week and could give Harrison his biggest challenge.

Runners to also watch include Odell McFarland (South HS, Downers Grove), Matt Domer (Mt. Carmel HS, Chicago), Cole Henderson (Pekin HS, Pekin), and Bryce Petty (Bartlett HS, Bartlett).


4 x 400 Meter Relay – The last race of the night will feature an Evanston Township team that ran 3:38 last week at Carthage and will be one of the team’s to watch. Perennial favorites Minooka and Belleville West will challenge the Wildkits for the meet’s last title.


Other teams to watch include St. Charles North, Plainfield East, and Elk Grove.


In the field…


Long Jump – Four of the top 6 3A long jumpers are in this meet. Three of them happen to be from field event powerhouse Lake Park. Scott Filip jumped 23-6 on his last jump at the Proviso West Invitational to win the event. Teammates Marcus Jegede and Shawn Koch went 1-2 in last week’s conference meet with Jegede jumping 23-1 ¼.


Lemonte Booker (Sandburg HS, Orland Park) jumped 22-8 at the end of February and will look to break up a possible Lake Park sweep. Keep an eye on Julian Harvey (Edwardsville HS, Edwardsville), Cole Henderson (Pekin HS, Pekin), Antoine Davis (Belleville West HS, Belleville), and James Travis (Waubonsie Valley HS, Aurora).


Triple Jump – Here again, three of the top four jumpers are from Lake Park…the same jumpers to be exact. Shawn Koch jumped 48-4 ½ a month ago to win at Proviso West. Marcus Jegede wrapped up a great conference meet last week in jumping 47-7 ½. Scott Filip jumped 46-8 in a meet at Batavia. In between the three is Jamion Nash (Belleville West HS, Belleville). He jumped 46-11 at the beginning of the month. This could be an epic event. If the jumpers are on we could see a 49 foot jump winning.


Also watch for James Travis (Waubonsie Valley HS, Aurora), Ethan Cane (Minooka HS, Minooka), and Nehemie Etrenne (Evanston Township, Evanston).


High Jump – This could come down to three athletes. Jonathan Wells (Grant HS, Fox Lake) started off his season jumping 6-8 at Byron. Last week at Carthage, Wells cleared 6-10 to win. If we are talking about natural progression, the next height has to be 7-0. Wells is jumping hot right now. We will see what he has on Saturday.


Mike Monroe (Providence Catholic HS, New Lenox) has been clearing 6-6 & 6-7 all season without being pushed. He will get his chance to compete this week in this good field. Parker Deloye (Barrington HS, Barrington) jumped in his first meet this year in flats because he had trouble with his spikes. He cleared 6-7. Let’s see how high he can jump in spikes on Saturday. Scott Fillip (Lake Park HS, Roselle) jumped 6-7 last week at his conference meet. He will be in the mix this weekend.


This will be a good event. Watch for Londell Lee (Shepard HS, Palos Heights), Julian Harvey (Edwardsville HS, Edwardsville), Manny Bofah (Plainfield North HS, Plainfield), and Kurt Zumbahlen & Peter Andreano (Minooka HS, Minooka).


Pole Vault – The last two meets that Luke Winder (Central HS, Plainfield) has vaulted in, he has not worried about the outcome of high he was jumping. He was thinking about the process on how he got there. The results have put the junior in a complete zone of his own. Last week at Lockport, he cleared 16-10 with three misses at 17-2. Could 17-2 be the next target for him on Saturday?


With Winder focused, it is hard to believe that anyone can touch him. Remember, meets are not done on paper. Tim Ehrhardt (Lake Park HS, Roselle) and Chad Weaver (Providence Catholic HS, New Lenox) along with Winder are the only three athletes over 15-0. These three will challenge for the top three.


Also watch for Derrick Smith (Lake Park HS, Roselle), Kody Cagwin (Rolling Meadows HS, Rolling Meadows), Jack Klopfenstein (O’Fallon HS, O’Fallon), and Joel Swanberg (Lincoln-Way Central HS, New Lenox).


Shot Put – How many athletes will be over 60 feet in this event? This has been the one surprise event over all classes in boys track this winter. Brandon Lombardino (Grant HS, Fox Lake) moved over 60 feet last week at Carthage with a 61-1 ½ mark. He will be challenged by Matt Dziedzic (Libertyville HS, Libertyville) has gone over 59 this season. Two more over 58 feet include Jared Kern (Harlem HS, Machesney Park), and Kyrin Tucker (Normal West HS, Normal). Riley Kittridge (Waubonsie Valley HS, Aurora) is knocking on the door at 57-10. I think any of these athletes can go over 60 on Saturday. Competition breeds great performances. This is what I think we will have here.


Also watch for James Torgenson (Springfield HS, Springfield), Tyler Brown (Richwoods HS, Peoria), and Brad Wasilewski (Grant HS, Fox Lake).



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

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