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2009 IESA Class A State Track and Field Meet This Weekend

A total of 2,564 athletes from 229 schools will converge at Corwin Clatt Stadium in the EastSide Centre at East Peoria Friday-Saturday (May 15-16) for the 24th Annual Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Class A State Final Track and Field Meet.

IESA began the state series in boys track and field in 1932. This will be the 78th year for the boys. IESA began the state series in girls track and field in 1972. This will be the 38th year for girls. A total of 240 member schools entered the 2009 Class A state series and 95.4 percent (229) of the schools entering athletes in the qualifying sectionals advanced at least one qualifier to the State Final Meet.

There are 14 events in each of the classes. There will be a grand total of 56 events. Preliminaries and finals are conducted on the same day in the respective field events which are spread over the two days. In the 100-meter dash and hurdles, there will be preliminaries and semifinals on Friday with the finals on Saturday. Timed finals are the format in all other running events. The best times from all the heats or sections in a respective running event determine final places in that event.

Field event competition begins Friday at 12:00 noon. The running events will get under way Friday at 1:00 p.m. Competition Saturday begins at 9:00 a.m. with the finals in the hurdles and 100, and the remainder of the running and field events. The complete time schedule for the weekend, and the complete event-by-event listing of qualifiers, can be found on the IESA Web Site www.iesa.org. From the home page, go to the Track and Field icon in the box on top of the home page then click on Class A Schedule and/or Class A Qualifiers. Also visit the FanZone icon on the home page for information regarding the meet that spectators should know.

Single-session tickets will be on sale at the stadium each day. Tickets are priced at $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for students K-8 and seniors. Gates open to the general public at 11:00 a.m. Friday and at 8:00 a.m. Saturday.

This year, for the third time in IESA track and field history, the athletes winning medallions will be recognized on the infield after the conclusion of their event. The time schedule has periods for presentation of the medallions to the individuals and relay team members built into it.

Three members of the IESA Scholar Attitude Award class of 2009 will be competing this weekend. They are Amanda Dahlquist of Peoria St. Mark in the 400-meter dash and 4 x 400-meter relay, Grant Leman of Roanoke-Benson in the 400-meter dash and Holly McDowell of the Dallas City-La Harpe (Co-op), tied for the No. 4 seed in the high jump.

Here is a look at each of the four meets within the State Final Meet:

Class 7A Girls

Defending team co-champion Assumption Central A&M, Altamont and perennial powerhouse Carthage appear to be the teams to beat in the race for the team title. Assumption Central A&M shared last year's team championship with Normal Epiphany, both scoring 36 points.

Assumption Central A&M has Mikaela Cole the No. 4 seed in the 1600-meter run with a sectional mark of 5:53.40 and No. 6 seed Paige Seitz at 5:54.30; Kylee Burcham seeded No. 4 in the 400-meter dash at 1:05.30 and No. 10 in the 800-meter run at 2:41.70; Cole also is tied for the No. 4 seed in the pole vault at 6-9.

Altamont has Lauren White at No. 3 seed in the discus with a toss of 81-3; Deidre Ledbetter and Amelia Kopplin at 17.50 in the 100-meter hurdles; shot put leader Gabby Alwardt at 31-10.5 who is ranked tied for No. 2 in the 100-meter dash at 13.30; and Madison Ohnesorge tied for the No. 5 seed in the pole vault at 6-9. The Altamont 4 x 200-meter relay is the No. 1 seed at 1:56.10 and the 4 x 400-meter relay is the No. 3 seed at 4:40.60.

Carthage is led by Graci Bastert who has the top-seeded time in the 400-meter dash at 1:02.50, the No. 2 time in the 800 in 2:32.70 and the No. 2 long jump mark from the sectionals at 15-8. She also is listed on the school's 4 x 400-meter relay that comes into the state meet seeded No. 7. The Carthage 4 x 200-meter relay is the No. 4 seed at 2:00.40.

Class 7A Boys

Jason Fry of Stewardson-Strasburg is the overwhelming favorite in the shot put and discus and wins in those two events would give his school 20 points toward the team title. Fry's No. 1 seed mark in the discus is 134-8, a toss 15 feet beyond the No. 2 seed of 119-8 by Matt Kisselbach of Carrollton GS. Fry's No. 1 seed in the shot put is 42-2 and that is 3 feet 8 inches ahead of No. 2 seed Ted Jansen of Sigel St. Michael's at 38-6.

Villa Grove, behind three wins by Ryan Pearce (200, shot put and discus), won last year's team title with those 30 points.

A strong challenger for the team title will be perennial contender Heyworth. The Hornets' Brian King has the No. 1 sectional time in the 1600-meter run at 5:07.50 and the No. 1 sectional time in the 800-meter run at 2:19.70. Teammate Cade Martens is at 5:24.70 in the 1600. Sam Asmus is the No. 2 seed in the 400-meter dash at 58.40 and qualified for the shot put at 34-11. Jacob Omahana is tied for the No. 9 seed in the 200-meter dash at 26.40.

Tyler Barnas of Walnut Bureau Valley is top-seeded in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.60. None of the 39 other state hurdle qualifiers ran faster than 17 seconds flat in the sectionals.

Normal Epiphany's 4 x 400-meter relay blistered the track in the sectional for the No. 1 seed time of 4:09.80. The five eligible runners for the relay are Michael Billington, Jordan Ellis, Nick Norton, Jake Reinhart and Luke Zenger. Altamont has the No. 2 seed with a time of 4:14.50.

Class 8A Girls

Last year Mt. Pulaski's Jessica Awe shocked the competition in the 7A meet by winning the state titles in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and long jump. She qualified for all three events again in 8A.

A year ago Awe waded through the field in the 100 and won the final going away in 13.35. She comes into the 8A meet tied with four others with the third-best sectional time at 13.20. The top seed is Daria Walker of Madison at 13.00.

In the 200 last year Awe won in a time of 27.23. This year she and Sarah Bell of Normal Epiphany share the top seed in the event with sectional times of 27.20. Madison's Daria Walker and her teammate Mitchell Kenyatta share the No. 3 seed time at 27.70. Sarah Bell was last year's 7A pole vault champion clearing 9-2 in the finals. Bell advanced to the 8A meet winning the sectional with a vault of 10-4, bettering the current all-time state record of 10-3 set by Emily Clay of Bloomington Cornerstone in 2007.

This year Awe went 16-0 in the long jump at the sectional and is tied for the No. 1 seed in the event with Savannah Leannah of Earlville Harding. Last year Awe took the 7A long jump with a leap of 15-8.5. The 8A girls long jump will be contested Friday. That means Awe faces the challenge of running two races in the 100 and prelims and finals in the long jump Friday.

All of the other individual champions from last year's 7A meet are competing in the 8A meet this weekend. But Janie Skulborstad of Champaign Holy Cross, who won the high jump crown at 5-0, is not in that event this year. She will compete in both the 100 and 200. She qualified for the 100 with a time of 13.41 at the sectional and for the 200 with a time of 29.10.

Alyssa Platz of Sigel St. Michael's is back in the shot put with the No. 3 sectional toss of 30-9.75. Carthage's Summer McDowell won the 100-meter hurdles last year and has the top-seeded sectional time this year at 16.30. Hanna Winter of Arlington Hts. Our Lady of the Wayside is the No. 5 seed this year in the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:48.20. Emily Brelsfoard of Normal Epiphany, the Class A cross-country champion this past fall, is the No. 4 seed at 5:46.50. The leader is Madison Zimmer of Delavan, who posted a time of 5:35.00 in the sectional.

Waverly's Sydney Timmons won the discus in 7A with a toss of 88-8 and comes into the 8A meet with a toss of 89-6 in the sectional, good for the No. 6 seed. Genny Stringer of Assumption Central A&M is the top seed with a mark of 110-2. Madeline Jordan of Lake Zurich St. Francis deSales won the 7A 400-meter dash a year ago with a time of 1:03.77 and is the No. 8 qualifier for 8A with a sectional time of 1:05.20. The leader is Kara Toel of Pekin Rankin at 1:00.60. Kaitlyn Corzine of Assumption Central A&M is top-seeded in the 800-meter run with a sectional time of 2:28.40. She won 7A last year in 2:28.39.

Class 8A Boys

Ryan Pearce of Villa Grove won last year's 7A team title for his school all by himself, scoring 30 points, winning the 200-meter dash, the shot put and the discus. He qualified for the 8A meet in all three events again this year.

A year ago Pearce won the 7A shot put with a toss of 43-7. This year he is top-seeded in the event with a sectional mark of 54-6, a full 5 feet 3 inches ahead of No. 2 seed Isaac Murfin of Liberty who hit 49-3 in the sectional.

In the discus, Pearce won the 7A title with a throw of 146-6. This year he is top-seeded in the 8A meet after winning at the sectional with a throw of 159-8. The No. 2 seed in the discus is Nathan Roemer of Streator Woodland, who posted a mark of 145-10.

Pearce's winning time in the 200 last year was 25.47. He went 24.70 in the sectional to share the No. 5 seed. The leader in the event is Carvel Dixon of Madison at 24.30. Heyworth's Jordan Kemp is seeded second at 24.50.

All eight of the other 7A individual champions from a year ago advanced in their events to the 8A meet.

Girard's Tyler Young is seeded second in the long jump this year with a sectional mark of 19-3.75. He won 7A last spring with a jump of 17-11.75. The No. 1 seed this year is Mason McEvers of Greenfield at 19-7.

Alex Rabe of Cissna Park won the 110-meter hurdles a year ago with a time of 16.52 in the finals. He comes into the 8A meet tied for the No. 3 seed time of 17.00 with Devin Shupe of Toledo Cumberland. The top seed is Christopher Norris of East St. Louis Jackson at 15.40. Greenfield's Kaleb Boston is second at 15.70.

Kyle Sims of Mason City Illini Central won the 7A 1600-meter run last year in 5:01.68 and returns in the event at the top seed with a sectional time of 4:52.10. The only other runner in the sectional to dip below the five-minute mark was Grant Inskeep of Peoria St. Vincent de Paul at 4:58.20.

Inskeep was the 7A champion in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:15.45. He ran 2:07.50 in the sectional for the top-seeded time. His time is 5.4 seconds faster than the 2:13.30 of No. 2 seed Matthew Chupp of Arthur.

Greg Johnson of Peoria Roosevelt was the 7A champion in the 100-meter dash. He won the finals last year with a time of 12.53. He is one of seven who qualified for the 8A meet with a time of 12.30 in the sectional. The top seed is Carvel Dixon of Madison who went 11.20 in the sectional. Others under 12 seconds are Tyler Sparks of Sumner Red Hill at 11.50, Javonte Hollowell of Kewanee Wethersfield at 11.70 and Christopher Norris of East St. Louis Jackson at 11.80.

Red Hill's Tyler Sparks won the 7A 400-meter dash a year ago with a time of 56.31 and is the top seed in the event in 8A this year with a sectional time of 54.70. Jake Lowery of Mackinaw Dee-Mack is the No. 2 seed with a time of 55.90.

Kewanee Wethersfield's Colten Franklin took the 7A pole vault at 8-9 and is top seeded in the event this year with a sectional mark of 9-9. Brandon Walk of Altamont is the only other qualifier to hit nine feet with a sectional mark of 9-0.

Billy Weissinger of Hinckley-Big Rock MS returns in the high jump as the No. 1 seed. Last year Weissinger cleared 5-7 to take the 7A crown. He qualified from the sectional with a mark of 6-1, the only competitor among the 37 in the event to better 5-9 in the sectional.

East St. Louis Jackson, Hinckley-Big Rock MS, Kewanee Wethersfield and Madison should challenge Ryan Pearce and Villa Grove for the team title. The Madison 4 x 100-meter relay is top-seeded at 49.30. Kewanee Wethersfield is the No. 2 seed in the 4 x 200-meter relay at 1:43.90 behind leader Hinckley-Big Rock at 1:43.00.



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