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2014 IESA Class AA State Track and Field Meet Preview

For the 15th consecutive year, the EastSide Centre in East Peoria will host the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Class AA State Final Track and Field Meet. Over 3,000 athletes will participate in the two-day meet this Friday and Saturday (May 23-24). East Peoria Central District #86 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 83rd year for the boys and the 43rd year for girls. A total of 262 member schools entered the 2014 Class AA state series and 248 of those schools will be represented at this year's state meet. The sectional qualifying meets were held last Saturday, May 17. The following link will list all qualifiers:

http://www.iesa.org/activities/tr/qualifiers_State_AA.asp?Year=2014

There are 14 events in each of the four divisions (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 1:15 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. A timed finals format is used 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.

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 complete time schedule for the weekend is available at the following link:

http://www.iesa.org/activities/tr/IESA-TR_Schedule.pdf

Results will be updated continuously throughout the weekend and all results should be available Saturday evening on the IESA home page 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. The Parade of Athletes will take place on Friday at 11:15 a.m. and on Saturday the parade begins at 8:20 a.m. 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, Quinton King from Mercer County and Tayla Schwarz from Dixon Reagan will read the Athlete Oath. In 2013, King took home first in both the seventh grade boy's 100 and 200 meter dash while Schwarz captured gold in the seventh grade girl's discus throw and shot put.

On Saturday, Tray Russell from Kewanee Central and Raven Moore from Springfield Franklin will read the Athlete Oath. A year ago, Russell placed first in the seventh grade boy's shot put, while Moore took home first in the seventh grade girl's 400 meter dash.

Jerry Norman of Pekin, Illinois will serve as the 2014 Class AA Honorary Meet Official. The 30 year head judge in the pole vault will lead the annual Parade of Athletes lap on Friday morning (May 23) prior to the start of the tournament. During his coaching tenure at Pekin Edison, Jerry's teams won IESA championships in both basketball and track. His 1979 and 1998 boys basketball teams won the IESA basketball championship and his 1982 boys track team took home first place honors. During that span, Jerry had 12 boys and seven girls capture first place in their individual events. However, it is as the head judge for the pole vault event during the track state finals that many have come to know Jerry. Along with those who've assisted at the event, Jerry has literally watched over 3,500 participants at the pole vault event during the last 30 years. Jerry and his wife Paula are parents to two sons, Brock and Heath, as the couple currently resides in Pekin.

All athletes who place 1-8 in their respective event will be recognized on the infield after the conclusion of their event. The time schedule has periods built into it for presentation of the medals to the individuals and relay team members.

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

For more information, please contact IESA Assistant Executive Director and Track and Field Administrator Julie Cochran at julie@iesa.org.



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