2013 DyeStat Illinois Indoor Athlete of the Year Awards
By Michael Newman
Two exciting months down, two exciting months to go. We are done with the end of the indoor season waiting for the weather to break for something more pleasant.
Let’s look back at the top athletes in the state that made the start of the 2013 season more pleasant. By class and gender, here are the 2013 DyeStat Illinois Indoor Athletes of the Year. There are three areas that there will be awards for: Sprints / Hurdles, Distances, and Field Events. We will go a little deeper in June!
Boys Sprints / Hurdles – Joe Morrow – Chicago Hales Franciscan HS
This was too tough to call. So does it come down to performances or championships? Marlon Britton (Leo Catholic HS, Chicago) ran the fastest time in the state in the 55 Meter High Hurdles at the Chicago Catholic League Championships (7.47). Joe Morrow finished third at both ICOPS and CCL, but when the money was on the line Morrow, took home both the 60 Meter High Hurdles and 200 Meter Dash titles. With that and narrowly, Morrow gets this honor in 1A.
A mention goes out to Nick Rude (Newman Catholic HS, Sterling), who won the 60 Meter Dash at ITT and also anchored his school to the win in the 4 x 200 Meter Relay in the same meet.
Boys Distances – Blake Hale – Robinson HS
Grant Nykaza (Beecher HS, Beecher) gets mention here with his 1600 Meter win at the Charleston Invitational. Blake Hale gets IAOY for running two out of the top four times in the state in the 800 including the state’s fastest time (1:56.94)
Boys Field Events – Kyle Landon – Chester HS
The 7-0 clearance at the Charleston Invitational in the High Jump is all that Landon needed to get him Field Events IAOY. That clearance tied him for #1 in the nation. He also jumped 21-8 ½ in the Long Jump which is the second best in Class 1A.
A mention goes out to Adam Coulon (Tri Valley HS, Downs) with 15-6 ½ Pole Vault at the Gene Armer Invitational and Jack Denby (Carlinville HS, Carlinville) and his 15-6 clearance in the Pole Vault at the ITT Championships.
Girls Sprints / Hurdles – Jessica Jump – Edwardsville Metro-East Lutheran HS
She has the fastest times in Class 1A in the 55, 60, and 200 Meter Dashes. She also is in the top 10 in Class 1A in the 400 Meter Dash. Add the 2 ITT Championships she won in the 60 & 200 Meter Dash with a sore hamstring gives Jessica Jump the Sprints / Hurdles IAOY.
Girls Distances – Brittany Burmester – Red Bud HS
It came down to the three athletes that won at the ITT championships Brittany Burmester, Rachel Devereux (St. Teresa HS, Decatur), and Cassie Mundekis (Midwest Central HS, Manito). All three had good performances in winning their events in Bloomington last week. Devereux was part of her school’s winning 4 x 800 Meter Relay, but it was Burmester’s second place finish in the 1600 coming off of the 3200 that she won that earns her the IAOY.
Girls Field Events – Kandie Bloch – Argenta-Oreana HS
She was limited to meets due to basketball season. But in the three meets that Kandie Bloch competed in, she went undefeated in both the High Jump and the Triple Jump. She is tied for the highest clearance (5-8) in the High Jump in the state and achieved the longest triple jump last weekend in Class 1A (35-4). With that, she is the IAOY.
Boys Sprints/Hurdles – Jonathan Boey – Decatur MacArthur HS
Boey is the most dominating sprinter in Illinois this indoor season. If we were to give out a sprinter of the year for all classes, he would get it. He has the fastest times statewide in the 55, 60, and 200. He only has one loss, that to Cole Henderson (Pekin HS, Pekin) at the Charleston Invitational. His 60 Meter time is rated 8th best in the United States. Jonathan Boey is the 2A IAOY in the sprints.
Boys Distances – Riley McInerney – Charleston HS
With 2A Cross Country Champ John Wold (Glenbard South HS, Glen Ellyn) sitting out the indoor season, the emphasis fell upon two southern Illinois runners Riley McInerney and Marc Maton (Glenwood HS, Chatham). Maton had the top 2 fastest times in 2A this indoor season in the 3200. McInerney has the fastest time in 2A in the 1600 and that was from the gusty race that the two ran last Saturday. Both will double outdoors. Both distances races at state will be spectacular.
Darren Payton (Cahokia HS, Cahokia) was under consideration, especially with the 1:56.1 anchor he ran at the ITT. The 2:12, even though it was 30 minutes after the relay, in the 800 could not be unnoticed. Therefore, congratulations to Riley McInerney as the Boys 2A Distance IAOY.
Boys Field Events – Ja’Mari Ward – Cahokia HS
This was a TOUGH decision. There are so many quality athletes in 2A competing in field events. Alex King (Massac County HS, Metropolis) will be the odds on favorite in the High Jump outdoors especially after clearing 6-10 twice indoors. Tyler Ginger (Olympia HS, Stanford) was undefeated indoors to 2A athletes in the Pole Vault. His only setbacks occurred to athletes in other classes. Luke Vaughn (Centennial HS, Champaign) has the fourth best performance in the state in the Shot (59-7).
Ja’Mari Ward (Cahokia HS, Cahokia) is the athlete that gets the honors in the 2A field events. He is undefeated in the Long Jump this indoor season and only lost twice in the Triple Jump during in state competitions. From watching him jump last Saturday, he was falling back on his landing and was not consistent on the board. Once his coaches fix those two things (and they will), he will be consistently in the mid 24’s. Remember…he is only a freshman. Congratulations to Ja’Mari as the Boys 2A Field Events IAOY.
Girls Sprints / Hurdles – Shamier Little – Chicago Lindblom HS
Just like Boey in the Boys Sprints, the same can be said about Shamier Little. The only Illinois runner that she has lost to is Aailyiah Brown (Lincoln-Way East HS, Frankfort) in the 200 Meter Dash in a pre-season meet. Otherwise, Little has been untouchable. She is ranked #3 nationally in the 400, and ranked #1 in Illinois in the 55 & 60 Hurdles, and the 400. Because of that, Shamier Little is the Girls 2A Sprints / Hurdles IAOY.
Girls Distances – Katie Adams – Marengo HS
Katie Adams has been on a mission this season after not liking how her cross country season ended last fall. She is undefeated in the three races that she ran in the 3200 including a last 400 quick to defeat Maura Beattie (Woodstock HS, Woodstock) last Saturday. The only 2A runner to beat her was Sydney Billingsley (University HS, Normal) in the 1600 last Saturday.
Billingsley was also considered, but the Adams 10:58 / 5:08 double put her over the top. Congratulations to Katie Adams as the Girls 2A Distance IAOY.
Girls Field Events – Sarah Bell – Bloomington Central Catholic HS
Who else? The only Illinois athlete to defeat Sarah Bell this indoor season was Carly Schmidt (Lake Forest HS, Lake Forest) at the Windy City PV Summit. Bell has broken the indoor state record three times with the last being last Saturday at ITT (13-3). While she is on vacation this week with her family in Florida, we are happy to congratulate Sarah Bell as the Girls 2A Field Events IAOY.
Boys Sprint / Hurdles – ColeHenderson – Pekin HS
Pekin only had two indoor meets, but with the 3A sprints and hurdles wide open, the choice had to be Henderson. He dominated the sprints at the ITT Championships winning both the 60 & 200 Meter Dash. The week prior, Henderson knocked off state list leader Jonathan Boey (MacArthur HS, Decatur) at Charleston in the 55. Henderson had the fastest 3A time in the 55 and third in the 200.
Malik Harrison (Springfield HS, Springfield) was one sprinter that was considered. He is ranked IL #2 in the 400, IL#6 in the 60, and IL#11 in the 200. Kenneth Allen (Thornwood HS, South Holland) was dominating in meets on his track. The only FAT time he has is an IL #1 in the 400 showing he will be a force outdoors. Zach Gordon (Wheaton North HS, Wheaton) is the defending 3A Long Jump king, but he will also make noise in the sprints. He ran 6.48 in the 55 and also led his school to a 1:30.04 in the 4 x 200 Meter Relay.
Congratulations to Cole Henderson as the Boys 3A Sprints / Hurdles IAOY.
Boys Distance – Jack Keelan – Chicago St. Ignatius Prep
Another wide-open 3A area. Jamison Dale (Jones College Prep, Chicago) made a strong charge the last couple of weeks with a pair of impressive 1600 Meter races. Last week, he went out in 2:03 for the first half in route to a 4:17 1600.
When it comes down to it, it has to be Jack Keelan. He did have the fastest time in the 3200 that was surpassed by less than three tenths of a second last Saturday by Tyler Yunk (North HS, Belvidere). Keelan still has the fastest 1600 in the state. The thing that made it so impressive is he ran both of those races basically solo. That is why Keelan is the Boys 3A Distance IAOY.
Boys Field Events – Brandon Lombardino – Fox Lake Grant HS.
The field events were the area that performances went wild. It came down to three choices. Luke Winder (Central HS, Plainfield) rocked the Pole Vault world with his clearance of 16-10. The thing that held him from the IAOY was that he did get third at the Windy Pole Vault Summit. Scott Fillip (Lake Park HS, Roselle) was undefeated in his three Long Jumps events that he competed in including 2 last jump wins at Proviso West and ITT.
Brandon Lombardino has been the athlete in the Shot Put this indoor season. He has won seven times in the seven meets he has been in. He is the only athlete in the Shot that has gone over the 60 foot barrier twice along with having the top 2 marks and the #4 performance in the country. Congratulations to Brandon Lombardino as the Boys 3A Field Events IAOY.
Girls Sprints / Hurdles – Aaliyah Brown – Frankfort Lincoln-Way East HS
Who else could we consider here? Other than the Ted Hayden Classic, Aaliyah Brown has raced inside the state boundaries once at the Mustang Relays. She is ranked in the top five nationally in the 55, 60, & 200 Meter Dash including #1 in the 55. She also anchored the Lady Griffins to a third place finish at the Indoor Nationals. When she gets to the state series, it is hard to imagine anyone getting close to her in the 100 & 200. Congratulations to Aaliyah Brown as the Girls 3A Sprints / Hurdles IAOY.
Girls Distances – Emma Fisher – Elmhurst York HS
There have been so many GREAT performances in this area. Courtney Clayton (Hononegah HS, Rockton) and the 2:11 she ran at Brooks. Madeline Perez (Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn) and the 4:53 that she ran last Saturday at ITT. Skyler Bollinger (Yorkville HS, Yorkville) has run 10:36 & 4:59 this indoor season. Not too bad for a freshman.
I think you have to look back at the race that Emma Fisher ran at her conference meet. She held off Perez to run the US#2 10:26 in the 3200. Then she came back to run 5:06 to beat Perez and Jill Hardies (Central HS, Hinsdale). I am certain we will see the unbelievable during the outdoor track season.
Congratulations to Emma Fisher as the Girls 3A Distances IAOY.
Girls Field Events – Emmonnie Henderson – Edwardsville HS
Four meets. Four first place finishes. That kind of sums it up for Emmonnie Henderson. She has dominated this season. I can’t wait to see her go past 51 feet this outdoor season … a distinct possibility. Her 49-1 effort at Gene Armer is the third best in the country. Savannah Carson (Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville) needs to be mentioned as well. Her 19-3 ¾ Long Jump is rated 5th nationally.
Congratulations to Emmonnie Henderson as the Girls 3A Field Events IAOY.