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2011 IESA Class A State Track and Field Meet This Weekend

For the 12th consecutive year, the EastSide Centre in East Peoria will host the 27th Annual Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Class A State Final Track and Field Meet. A total of 2,508 athletes will participate in the two-day meet this Friday and Saturday (May 13-14). IESA has had the same classes of track and field since 1985. East Peoria Robein Grade School serves as the host school.

The IESA state series in boys track and field began in 1932 and the girls state series began in 1972. This will be the 80th year for the boys and the 40th year for girls. A total of 246 member schools entered the 2011 Class A state series and 227 of the schools entering athletes in the qualifying sectionals advanced at least one qualifier to the State Final Meet. The sectional qualifying meets were held last Saturday, May 7.

There are 14 events in each of the four classes (7th grade girls; 7th grade boys; 8th grade girls; 8th grade boys). There will be a grand total of 56 events. Field event competition begins Friday at 12:00 noon. In the field events, the preliminaries and finals are conducted on the same day that the respective event is held. Some field events are held on Friday and some are held on Saturday. The running events get under way Friday at 1:00 p.m. with the preliminaries and semifinals of the hurdle event. The finals for the hurdle event are held on Saturday morning starting at 9:00 a.m. Only the hurdle event and the 100-meter dash are held with preliminaries and semifinals. In all other running events, timed finals is the format. The best times from all the heats or sections in a respective running event determine final places in that event.

Competition on Saturday begins at 9:00 a.m. with the finals of the hurdles and the 100-meter dash. Running events will run continuously throughout the day. Field events will also get started at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and will also continue throughout the day. The event is expected to conclude around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. 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.

Single-session tickets will be on sale at the stadium each day. Tickets are priced at $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for students K-8 and seniors. Gates open to the general public at 10:30 a.m. Friday and at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

Gates for the competitors and teams will open at 10:00 a.m. on Friday and 7:00 a.m. on Saturday. This is 30 minutes earlier than previous years. The Parade of Athletes will take place on Friday at 11:15 a.m. and at 8:20 a.m. on Saturday. The parade is a chance for the competitors to walk the track with their team amidst applause, music, and cheers from coaches, parents, family, and fans. At the conclusion of the Parade of Champions, the Athlete Oath will be read by four athletes who will be competing in this year's meet. On Friday, Marques Cooper from East St. Louis Jackson and Ryan Dooley from Assumption Central A & M will read the oath. Cooper, an 8th grader, won the 7th grade shot put last year and enters the meet this year with the best sectional qualifying mark. Dooley, a 7th grader, won the 7th grade girls 100 meter hurdle event last year as a 6th grader and will be competing in the 8th grade girls hurdle event this year. She enters that event with the 4th best qualifying mark. On Saturday, it's all in the family as siblings Peter and Anna Sophia Keller will read the athlete oath. Both attend Effingham Sacred Heart and both will be looking to repeat their performances of last year. Peter, an 8th grader, won the 7th grade boys 1600 meter run a year ago and enters this weekend with the fastest 1600 meter sectional time. Anna Sophia, a 6th grader, won the 7th grade 1600 meter run last year as a 5th grader and will be looking to claim her 2nd 7th grade 1600 meter title. She has the fastest sectional qualifying time by nearly 20 seconds and is nearly 8 seconds faster than the fastest 8th grade girls' qualifier. Should Anna Sophia win this year, she will then be halfway home to a record that only two other people in the history of the IESA state track and field series hold---winning the same event four different times. Teneil Casady of Dallas City won the 400 meter dash in 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997. The 1996 win was particularly impressive in that Casady competed at the 8th grade level even though she was just a 7th grader. Scott Mammoser of Newton St. Thomas won the pole vault event in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.

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.

Fans are encouraged to visit the FanZone icon on the IESA home page for information that spectators should know regarding the meet.



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