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2006 IESA Class A State Track and Field Meet This Weekend

Some 2,100 athletes from 218 schools will converge at Corwin Clatt Stadium in the EastSide Centre at East Peoria Friday-Saturday (May 12-13) for the 21st 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 74th year for the boys. IESA began the state series in girls track and field in 1972. This will be the 34th year for girls. A total of 226 member schools entered the 2006 Class A state series and 96 percent (218) of the schools entering athletes in the qualifying sectionals advanced at least one qualifier to the State Final Meet.

Competition in Class 7A and Class 8A 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. 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.

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

7A Girls

Two champions from last year return to defend their individual event titles and the chase for team honors appears to be wide open.

Emily Clay of Bloomington Cornerstone set the 7A girls pole vault record last year at 7-11 and is the leading qualifier from the sectionals at 9-0, topping a field of 19 vaulters. Brittney Algar of Lexington won the high jump last year at 4-9 and is the third-leading qualifier this year at 4-10.

La Harpe's Tiffany Mohr is the sectional leader at 5-1.

The one-two punch of Hannah Booker and Jamee Holmes in the 800 and 1600 could give Tremont a springboard to the team title. Booker is the leading qualifier in both events and Holmes is No. 2. In the 800, Booker posted a 2:32.6 and Holmes ran 2:33.2. There are 47 runners in the 800. In the 1600, Booker ran 5:31.0 and Holmes 5:32.4 in the sectional, the pair leading 43 other qualifiers by four seconds. The Turks also have the leading 4 x 400 meter relay with Holmes running third leg and Booker anchoring. The relay went 4:29.2 in the sectional. La Harpe qualified second with a 4:32.8.

Peoria Pleasant Valley's Kyvierra Hawkins is the leading qualifier in the 100 and 200. She ran a :13.0 in the sectional in the 100 and :27.7 in the 200. Kaitlin Phillips of Hinckley is the leading qualifier in the 400 where 44 runners have qualified for the state meet. Phillips went 1:04.0 and there are four other qualifiers under 1:05.

8A Girls

Bloomington Holy Trinity will be hard-pressed to repeat as team champion, but the Saints have one of the meet's standouts in Kelly Curran.

Curran has a chance to earn points in three events, but the teams to beat appear to be East St. Louis Jackson, Champaign St. Matthew and Bismarck-Henning. Curran brings the top seed time into the 1600 run at 5:33.50. She is third-best in the 800 at 2:33.5 and went 4-4 in the high jump.

East St. Louis Jackson is led by Alexis Fennoy, one of five 7A champions in 2005 who return in their events in 8A this year. Fennoy took the 100-meter hurdles last year in :16.0 and is the leading qualifier with a :16.4 in the sectional. She has the fourth-best qualifying mark in the 200 with a :27.9 and runs a leg on the school's No. 1 seeded 4 x 100 relay.

Champaign St. Matthew is led by Alexandra Bechtel, the leading qualifier in the 100 and 200 and a member of the leading 4 x 200 relay. Bechtel and Kayla Bush of Peoria Roosevelt each posted a time of :13.0 in the 100 in the sectional. Bechtel ran :26.9 in the 200 and the relay team posted a time of 1:55.3.

Bismarck-Henning's hopes rest with Jessica Brito, who won both the 400 dash and the long jump in 7A last year. Brito is the leading qualifier in the 400 with a time of 1:00.1. She qualified second in the long jump at 15-4 after winning in 7A with 15-3.5. The long jump leader is Courtney Doty of Walnut Bureau Valley North who soared 16-1 in the sectional. Brito also is a member of her school's 4 x 400 relay which qualified fifth.

The other 7A champions from last year returning in their events in 8A are Emali Porter of Neponset in the shot put and Melanie Thompson of Buda Bureau Valley South in the discus. Porter qualified No. 14 in the shot with a sectional toss of 29-1. She won 7A last year at 29-2.5. Thompson qualified third in the discus with a toss of 95-2. She won last year in 7A with 88-5.

7A Boys

Perennial team powers Hopkins Park Lorenzo Smith and Carthage could battle for the 7A boys team title in a year when it appears the race for the crown is wide open.

Dontez Pendleton leads Hopkins Park Lorenzo Smith with the No. 2 qualifying times in the 100 and 200. He also runs a leg on the No. 3 seed 4 x 100 relay. Pendleton posted a time of :12.2 in the 100 just a tenth behind leader John Delaney of Buffalo Grove St. Mary's. He is one of three in the 200 with qualifying times of :26.2 behind the :26.1 of leader Jacob Bock of St. Joseph. The relay went :53.2 in the sectional. Buffalo Grove St. Mary's is the relay leader at :51.4 with Delaney anchoring.

Carthage has the sectional leading 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 relays, plus several individual qualifiers. The 4 x 200 relay went 1:48.9 in the sectional, nearly two seconds ahead of No. 2 Onarga Iroquois West (1:50.8). The 4 x 400 relay went 4:05.2 in the sectional, more than two seconds ahead of No. 2 Mansfield Blue Ridge JHS (4:07.8). Carthage should also get points from Ser Whitaker in the 110 hurdles, where he is the No. 4 seed at :17.8, and Erick Klein in the 400 dash where he is the No. 2 seed at :59.5.

Damon Hoene of Sigel St. Michael's is the leading qualifier in the 800 and 1600. He went 2:19.3 in the 800 and 5:06.1 in the 1600. Rob Kinnick of Chrisman Scottland is the No. 1 qualifier in the long jump with a sectional mark of 18-2.5. The next best is a 16-11 from Bryn Price from Neoga. Judson Wienke of Tuscola East Prairie is the leader in the shot put and discus.

Wienke posted a 45-8 in the shot and a 139-6 in the discus.

8A Boys

Heyworth, Lexington and Metamora St. Mary's are the favorites to claim the 8A boys team title. Each school has a standout performer and the one who competes best this weekend could bring the title to his school.

In a meet where 10 of last year's 7A individual event champions return, the relays could decide which school wins the team title. Heyworth has the No. 3 seeded 4 x 100 team, which went :49.1 in the sectional. The leader is Easton Illini Central with a :48.9. Lexington has the No. 20 seeded 4 x 200 relay and the No. 1 seeded 4 x 400 relay. Lexington's sectional time of 3:52.6 in the 4 x 400 is almost two seconds better than No. 2 seed Stewardson-Strasburg's 3:54.1. Metamora St. Mary's has the No. 34 seeded 4 x 200 relay and the No. 24 seed in the 4 x 400 relay.

Metamora St. Mary's is led by Ryan Van Fossen, who is the No. 3 qualifier in the 800 and the No. 1 qualifier in the 1600, and Ryan Donnelly, who is the No. 4 qualifier in the 800 and the No. 3 qualifier in the 1600. Van Fossen, last year's 7A champion in the 1600 in a time of 4:59.55, posted a time of 4:51.8 in the sectional, five seconds ahead No. 2 seed Andrew Schultz of Heyworth (4:56.7) and teammate Donnelly (4:56.8). Van Fossen's time of 2:13.8 in the 800 is two seconds behind T. J. Stinde of Lexington, last year's 800 champion, who posted a 2:11.6 in the sectional.

Lexington's Stinde also is the leading qualifier in the 400 with a :54.1 in the sectional. Last year's 7A champion Tanner Ewing of Wyoming Stark County qualified with the No. 5 seed time at :55.0.

Leading Heyworth is workhorse Jase Wilson, who won both the 100 and 200 in the 7A meet last year in record times, and who is back in both those events, along with the shot put. Wilson is the No. 1 seed in the 100 with a time of :11.6 (he set the 7A record of :11.82 last year). Wilson is the No. 2 seed in the 200 with an identical seed time of :24.3 posted by Brandon Brewer of Hopkins Park Lorenzo Smith. (Wilson set the 7A record of :24.18 last year).

Wilson anchors the Heyworth 4 x 100 relay and is the No. 5 seed in the shot put with a sectional mark of 42-1.

Other champions in 7A last year qualifying in their events this year are: Kam Mason of Fisher in the 100 hurdles with the No. 4 seed time of :16.3; Marshall Link of Colchester West Prairie in the pole vault with the No. 7 seed at 8-0; Bailee Ricketts of Elmwood in the high jump with the No. 2 seed at 5-9; Tyler Link of Stronghurst West Central who won for Biggsville Union last year with the No. 12 seed of 17-10; and Dillon Holloway of Brownstown, the No. 1 seed in the shot put with a mark of 50-10. Holloway's sectional mark is one inch farther than the current 8A record. Holloway also is the No. 2 seed in the discus at 131-2.

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