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56-Event IESA Class A State Track and Field Meet This Weekend

Some 2,312 athletes from 210 schools will converge at Corwin Clatt Stadium in the EastSide Centre at East Peoria Friday-Saturday (May 13-14) for the 20th Class A Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Final Track and Field Meet.

IESA began the state series in boys track and field in 1932. This will be the 73rd year for the boys. IESA began the state series in girls track and field in 1972. This will be the 33rd year for girls. A total of 241 member schools entered the 2005 Class A state series and 87 percent of the schools entering athletes in the qualifying sectionals advanced at least one qualifier to the State Final Meet.

Competition for both girls and boys will be in 14 events for seventh graders and 14 events for eighth graders. 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.

There will be six field events contested Friday, beginning at 1:00 p.m. The running events get under way Friday at 3:00 p.m. Competition Saturday begins at 9:00 a.m. in four field events, the finals in the 100 and hurdles and the remainder of the running events. The complete time schedule for the weekend can be found on the IESA Web Site 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.

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.

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

7A Girls

Assumption Central A&M, East St. Louis Jackson, Neoga and Tuscola East Prairie have the firepower to battle for the 7A Girls team title, which was won by Bloomington Holy Trinity with 47 points in 2004.

Assumption Central A&M is led by standout Lauren Adcock. She is seeded second in the long jump with a sectional mark of 15-9, first in the 800-meter run in 2:32.7, fourth in the 1,600-meter run at 5:45.8 and she is a member of the first-seeded 4 x 400-meter relay at 4:29.3.

East St. Louis Jackson features Alexis Fennoy who is seeded third in the 100-meter hurdles, fourth in the long jump at 15-5, and is a member of the top-seeded 4 x 100-meter relay at :55.0. East St. Louis Jackson also has Shanelle Scott in the shot put (28-10) and discus (86-6) and the school has a 4 x 400-meter relay team seeded thirteenth.

Neoga�s Olivia Mintun is seeded third in the shot put (29-6) and first in the discus at 92-2. She also is fourth-seeded in the 100-meter hurdles at :16.9 and runs a leg on the fifth-seeded 4 x 100-meter relay.

Tuscola East Prairie features Raechel Buckner. She is seeded first in the long jump at 16-0 �, is second seed in the 200-meter dash at :27.6, and runs a leg on the seventh-seeded 4 x 400-meter relay.

In the distance events, there could be some great competition. Molly Dahlquist of Peoria St. Mark posted the top qualifying time in the 1600-meter run at 5:41.8 and the ninth-best time in the 800-meter run. Rachel Lahood of Peoria Heights St. Thomas has the second seed in the 1600 at 5:45.2 and ranks 13th in the 800. Erica Webster of Colchester West Prairie is third-seeded in the 1600 at 5:45.5 and fourth in the 800 at 2:37.1. Mary Francis Leake of Lexington ranks fifth in the 1600 at 5:46.7 and third in the 800 at 2:37.0.

8A Girls

Last year�s 7A team champion Bloomington Holy Trinity looks to wear the favorite�s cap heading into the 2005 meet. Bloomington Holy Trinity took the 2004 7A crown with 47 points and has at least one qualifier in 11 of the 14 events. Last year, Walnut Bureau Valley North and Champaign St. Matthew tied for the 8A team title with 32 points each.

Bloomington Holy Trinity�s Jennifer Monk and Alexis Atkins qualified third and fourth, respectively, in the high jump and 1-2 in the 100-meter hurdles. Atkins also qualified seventh in the 400-meter dash in 1:03.3. Monk won the 7A hurdle title last year in :15.93. The Saints� relays also are strong. The 4 x 100 comes into the State Final with the No. 2 seed time of :54.10. The 4 x 200 is ranked fourth at 1:56.8 and the 4 x 400 is the sectional leader at 4:24.6. Erie could challenge Holy Trinity in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400, while Media Southern comes into the 4 x 200 with the sectional best mark of 1:53.7.

Every one of the 11 individual event champions from last year�s 7A State Final Meet have qualified for this year�s 8A competition.

Media Southern�s Miriam Ruitzen, who played in the post and led her school to third place in the 8A Girls State Final Basketball Tournament in December, is a contender for two individual titles. She won the 7A high jump (4-10) in 2004, and posted the best sectional mark in the high jump with Megan Krampe of Sigel St. Michael�s at 5-1. She has the top seed time in the 400-meter dash at 1:02.0. She also runs a leg on the top-seeded 4 x 200 relay.

Last year�s 7A 400-meter champion LeeAnn Michl of Newton St. Thomas returns in the 400 this year and is seeded sixth at 1:03.2. She took the 7A title in 2004 with a Fully Automatic (FAT) time of 1:02.82

Another contender for two individual titles is Catlin�s Hannah Wilkins, who is seeded No. 1 in both the shot put (33-9.5) and discus (106-0). She will face a still challenge from defending champion Kelsi Hoey of Tuscola East Prairie in both events. Hoey took last year�s 7A shot put title with a toss of 31-1 and qualified fifth for 8A at 31-7.5. Hoey won the 2004 discus with a mark of 101-7 and is seeded fourth in 8A at 100-5.

Meanwhile, Neoga�s Jaimee Roy will take aim on three individual titles. She is the leading qualifier in all three events and also runs a leg on the school�s 4 x 200-meter relay. In the long jump, she went 17-4.5 in the sectional. In the 100-meter dash she posted :12.8 in the sectional and in the 200-meter dash she posted a time of :26.7. She will be challenged in the sprints by Macey Black of Pleasant Hill and Molly Ellis of Rockford Christian. Ellis went :12.9 in the 100 and :27.2 in the 200. Black posted a :13.0 in the 100 and :26.8 in the 200.

In the long jump, last year�s 7A champion Mandi Pranger of Carrollton GS won with a leap of 16-0 and comes in to the 8A State Final seeded fourth at 16-1.25. In the 100, Pranger is seeded No. 3 at 2.9 and 7A champion Kayla Heal of Sparland Midland is seeded No. 6 at :13.0. In the 200, 7A champion Pranger is seeded No. 3 at :26.9. She won the 7A event in 2004 in :27.48.

Rachael Brewer of Tuscola East Prairie is gunning for the 800 and 1600-meter run titles. She posted a 2:28.3 in the 800 for the best sectional seed and ranks third in the 1600 at 5:39.7. Bloomington Holy Trinity�s Kelly Curran, a qualifier in both events, could score pivotal points for the Saints in these events. She comes into the meet with the fourth-best 1600 seed and No. 22 in the 800. Last year�s 7A champion in both events is Kortney Ellingboe of Hamilton. She took the 800 in 7A at 2:39.39 and is seeded fifth in 8A with a sectional mark of 2:33.4. Ellingboe won the 7A title in the 1600 in 5:36.1 and is the No. 1 seed at 5:31.7.

Chelsea May of Newton St. Thomas took the 7A pole vault with a mark of 7-6. She is seeded third in 8A with a vault of 7-3 in sectional, finishing second in that meet behind teammate Megan Ochs, the No. 1 seed at 7-6.

7A Boys

It�s a wide open chase for the 7A boys team title with Lexington a slight favorite to take the crown on the basis of having strong qualifiers in five of the 11 individual events and two relays. Kewanee Wethersfield is defending champion, taking the 2004 title with 32 points. Hopkins Park Lorenzo Smith has a top-ranked relay and well-placed qualifiers in four individual events.

Lexington is led by T. J. Stinde and Ben Snyder. Stinde posted the best 800-meter seed in 2:20.1 and Snyder is seeded third at 2:21.0, along with Ryan Van Fossen of Metamora St. Mary�s. Stinde was one of six high jumpers qualifying for the State Meet with a 5-2 mark in the sectional. Stinde also is seeded eighth in the 400-meter dash. Snyder is eighth-seeded in the 110-meter hurdles at :17.6. They both run legs on the 4 x 400-meter relay that posted a 4:07.5 in the sectional, more than five seconds faster than No. 2 seed Stewardson-Strasburg. If the title is on the line in the meet�s final event, that could be an advantage to Lexington.

Hopkins Park Lorenzo Smith has the No. 1 seed in the 4 x 200-meter relay at 1:46.8. Kwamaine Robinson and Brandon Brewer lead Lorenzo Smith. Robinson is No. 14 seed in the long jump at 16-9 and No. 10 seed in the 200-meter dash at :26.2. Brewer is the No. 5 seed in the 200 at :25.7 and is No. 8 seed in the 100-meter dash at :12.3.

Ryan Van Fossen of Metamora St. Mary�s is the leading qualifier in the 1600-meter run with a 5:07.0 in the sectional. Mitchell List of Easton Illini Central posted a 5:08.2 No. 2 seed time in the 1600 and the No. 5 seed time of 2:23.9 in the 800. Another challenger in the distance races is Van Fossen�s teammate Ryan Donnelly, who ran 5:11.0 in the sectional in the 1600 and 2:25.0 in the 800.

The sprint titles could go to Heyworth�s Jase Wilson, the leading scorer and rebounder on the Hornets� 2005 Class 7A Boys State Basketball Tournament second place team. Wilson, a six-footer, posted the leading qualifying times in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. His physical stature should help him through all the races necessary to score points in the sprints. Wilson qualified as the No. 2 seed in the high jump at 5-6. He also runs a leg on the school�s 8A 4 x 100-meter relay, which is the No. 1 seed in this year�s meet with a time of :48.0. That time is faster than the current 8A state record time of :48.20. Heyworth also has Ben Asmus, the No. 8 seed in the 1600-meter run at 5:19.2, in its 7A point potential.

Another performer to keep an eye on is Elmwood�s Bailee Ricketts. He�s seeded third in the high jump at 5-6, eighth in the long jump at 17-2 and third in the 110 hurdles at :17.1.

8A Boys

In the 14 events in the 8A Boys State Meet only one school has more than one No. 1 seeded individual qualifier or relay.

That school is Peoria Heights Christian and the athlete leading the qualifiers in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash events is Adam Trantham. He will face challenges from Tyler Best of Peoria Limestone Walters and Corey Wiley of Earlville Harding. Best is seeded No. 3 in the 100 and 200. Wiley is seeded No. 4 in the 100 and No. 2 in the 200. Last year�s 7A champion in the 100, Matt Pyse of Erie took the title last spring in :12.31 and is seeded No. 2 in the 8A 100 at :11.6.

Effingham St. Anthony won the 2004 team title with 40 points, the same total that Newton Central produced to win in 2003. There is no clear cut favorite for the 2005 team title. Peoria Heights Christian, Bloomington Holy Trinity and Lewistown Central appear on paper to be the top contenders.

Peoria Heights Christian has individuals in six events and one relay in the State Meet. Bloomington Holy Trinity has individuals in six events and two relays, the 4 x 200 seeded first and the 4 x 400 seeded second. Lewistown Central has individuals in four events and a pair of relays seeded No. 4 in the 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 respectively.

Fisher�s Colten Unzicker and Media Southern�s Layton Housman are aiming to capture a pair of individual titles, but only one can succeed. Unzicker is the No.1 seed in the 400-meter dash at :54.9. Houseman is the No. 1 seed in the 1600-meter run at 4:56.9. Unzicker is seeded No. 2 and Housman No. 3 in the 800-meter run behind Jon Webster of Wyoming Stark County. Last year�s 7A champions in all three events are in their respective races this year. In the 400, D. J. Hovis of Cowden-Herrick won 7A in :57.98 and is seeded sixth in 8A at :55.6. In the 800, Chase Brinkley of Paris Crestwood took the 7A crown in 2:12.15 and is seeded No. 4 in 8A with a sectional mark of 2:14.0. Brinkley led Paris Crestwood to the 2005 Class 7A Boys Basketball Tournament state championship and poured in a title game record 35 points along the way. In the 1600, Delavan�s Kody Nelson won in 7A at 5:01.64 and is the No. 2 seed in 8A at 4:58.0.

Last year�s 7A champion Scott Mammoser of Newton St. Thomas qualified for the pole vault from the sectional with a vault of 11-6. The 8A boys state record is 11-9. Mammoser won 7A with a vault of 10-4.

Four other 7A state champions made it back in their events in 8A. Greenfield�s Sean Berry won the 7A discus last spring in 134-7 and is the leading qualifier in 8A with l51-4.

Caleb Corzine of Assumption Central A&M took the 7A 110-meter hurdle title in :17.21. He is the leading 8A qualifier at a sizzling :15.2, more than a second ahead of the :16.4 recorded by No. 2 seed Alex Montoya of Elmwood. Wes Vaden of Bushnell-Prairie City won the 7A shot in 2004 and is rated No. 3 in 8A with a sectional mark of 42-1.5. Last year�s 7A long jump champion Corey Simpson of New Berlin JHS comes in as the No. 17 seed in 8A with a sectional mark of 17-9 after taking the 7A title a year ago with a leap of 17-2. The leader in the 8A long jump is John David Draminski of Kewanee Wethersfield with a dazzling 20-3.

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