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2,790 Athletes in 2007 IESA Class AA State Track and Field Meet

A total of 2,790 athletes from 221 schools will converge at Corwin Clatt Stadium in the EastSide Centre at East Peoria Friday-Saturday (May 18-19) for the 23rd Annual Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Class AA State Final Track and Field Meet.

IESA began the state series in boys track and field in 1932. This will be the 76th year for the boys. IESA began the state series in girls track and field in 1972. This will be the 36th year for girls. A total of 245 member schools entered the 2007 Class AA state series and 92 percent (221) 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 12:30 p.m. The running events will get under way Friday at 2:30 p.m. Competition Saturday begins at 9:00 a.m. with the finals in the 100 and hurdles, 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 From the home page, go to the Track and Field icon in the box on top of the home page then click on Class AA 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 11:30 a.m. Friday and at 8:00 a.m. Saturday.

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

Five members of the IESA Scholar Attitude Award presented by State Farm class of 2007 will be competing this weekend. Qualifying for the 8AA girls meet are Haley Loprieno of Algonquin Heineman in the 800 and 1600-meter runs; Sara Losacco of New Lenox Martino in the 400-meter dash and Sarah Flintgruber of Metamora Germantown Hills in the pole vault. Qualifying for the 8AA boys meet are Kyle Clark of Bolingbrook Brooks in the 400-meter dash and Sam Wylde of Normal Kingsley in the 110-meter hurdles.

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

Class 7AA Girls

The chase for the team title appears to be wide open with 10 different schools having an individual event leading qualifier from the sectionals.

The only school with two leading qualifiers is Edwardsville Lincoln. The Wildcats have Samantha Epenesa in the high jump with a leading 5-1 and Meih Huddleston in the 100-meter dash with a leading :12.7. Edwardsville Lincoln also has the leading 4x100-meter relay at :53.40. The Wildcats also have the No. 9 seed in the 4x200-meter relay and the No. 4 seed in the 4x400-meter relay.

East St. Louis Lincoln has one event leader in Joymecia Howard in the 100-meter dash (:15.90). She also is on the school's No. 3 seed in the 4x200-meter relay.

Braidwood Reed-Custer's Stacie Hall is the lone returning champion. She has the No. 1 seed time in the 1600-meter run at 5:25.70 and the No. 3 seed in the 800-meter run at 2:30.60. Hall won the 1600 last year in 5:28.89. Teammate Emily Christian is the No. 2 seed in the long jump at 14-5 and the No. 2 seed in the high jump at 5-0.

Williamsville has the discus leader in Kathryn Spenn. She went 90-05 in the sectional. Williamsville also has the leading 4x400-meter relay. The team of Abbey Stier, Kylie Walsh, Regan Stump and Paige Peterman ran 4:29.50 in the sectional.

This year's Class AA girls state cross-country meet champion Carly Pederson of Normal Chiddix has the No. 2 seed time in the 1600-meter run with a 5:28.60.

Class 7AA Boys

Defending champion East St. Louis Lincoln appears to have a stranglehold on the 7AA boys team title. The Tigers are loaded. They won last year with 46 points and could better that point production this weekend.

Lincoln's Jeremy Nicholson, the defending champion in the long jump and the No. 1 seed by over a foot at 20-1.50, also is the leader in the 100-meter high hurdles at :15.50 and the 200-meter dash at :23.70. Teammate Keenen Lawson is the No. 3 seed in the 100 at :16.30. Lincoln's Demarcus Spraggins is the No. 6 seed in the long jump at 17-7. Charles Bell is the Tigers' No. 8 seed in the shot put at 40-7 and Allen Burris is seeded No. 10 at 38-3.5.

Allen Burris of East St. Louis Lincoln is tied for the No. 1 seed in the pole vault with Grant Johnson of Effingham JHS. Each went 9-0 in the sectional.

The East St. Louis 4x100-meter relay of Michael Scott, Kendrick Lewis, Darmacus Sumrall and Davion Bush and the Forrest Prairie Central 4x100 relay team of Stephen Widlacki, Stirling Sommer, Kyle KasKavage and Spencer Hurley each posted a :50.40 in the sectional and are top-seeded. Lincoln's 4x200-meter relay of Michealan Raymond, Demarcus Spraggins, Devonte Hodges and Marvin Gilmore is top-seeded with a sectional time of 1:41.80. IESA Track and Field Terms and Conditions do not allow athletes to run on both the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. The Tigers' 4x400-meter relay team of Demarcus Spraggins, Donnell Richardson, Marvin Gilmore and Isaiah Doss is the No. 2 seed behind Cahokia Wirth. The Tigers are at 3:59.10 and the Cahokia Wirth foursome of Kenneth Ball, Jabari Taylor, Shaquanja Bonner and Dennis Harris is at 3:57.70.

Class 8AA Girls

Carlinville and East St. Louis Lincoln are the teams to beat on paper. It will be a battle between Carlinville's depth in the field events and East St. Louis Lincoln's depth in the sprints.

East St. Louis Lincoln has Timeka Watkins in the 100-meter hurdles where she posted a sectional time of :14.60, same as Ayanna Scott of Springfield Washington. Last year's seventh grade 100-meter hurdles champion Kristen Bowman of Piasa Southwestern is seeded third at :16.20. Angela Floyd of East St. Louis Lincoln has the top seed time in the 100-meter dash at :12.30. Clemesha Raymond of East St. Louis Lincoln is the No. 2 seed in the 200-meter dash behind defending champion Mone' Bulard of Cahokia Wirth. Raymond is at :25.60 and Bulard is at :25.50. Last year's seventh grade champion Alex Harden of Springfield Franklin is seeded No. 5 at :26.40.

In the relays, East St. Louis Lincoln has the No. 1 seed in the 4x100-meter relay at :50.20, the No. 4 seed in the 4x200-meter relay at 1:52.00 and the No. 1 seed in the 4x400-meter relay in 4:19.40. The Lincoln 4x100 relay includes Ramonda Stennis, Shaquilla Clemons, Clemesha Raymond and Angela Floyd. The 4x400 relay includes Shaquilla Clemons, Johnisha Banks, Tyoneisha Harris and Alexis Coleman.

Tierra Snow of East St. Louis Lincoln is the No. 2 seed in the shot put behind Carlinville's Kelsey Card, last year's seventh grade champion. Card threw 37-2.5 in the sectional to Snow's 32-10. Card also is the leader in the discus, and was the seventh grade champion last year. This year Card is the No. 1 seed at 113-08 in the sectional. She won the event last year in 99-10.

Carlinville has the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the pole vault in Jenna Wernsing and Jennifer Costello, respectively. Costello won the seventh grade title last year at 9-4 and went 9-0 in the sectional. Wernsing was second in seventh grade last year at 9-0. She cleared 9-0.25 in the sectional. Carlinville also has last year's seventh grade high jump champion Katie Graham returning in that event this year. Graham jumped 5-0 in the sectional.

Three other seventh grade champions from last year return. They are: Alex Harden of Springfield Franklin, who is the No. 9 seed in the long jump at 15-5.75; Victoria McCadd of Bolingbrook Humphrey, who is the No. 1 seed in the 400-meter dash at 1:00.70; Charlotte McBrayer of East Peoria, who is No. 4 seed in the 800-meter run at 2:30.00.

Class 8AA Boys

Four seventh grade individual event champions from last year return in Class 8AA this year, and East St. Louis Lincoln may relay its way to the team title.

Brandon Perry of Cahokia Wirth returns in the 110-meter hurdles. He was the seventh grade champion in :16.18 last year and posted a :14.91 in the sectional for the No. 2 seed behind East St. Louis Lincoln's Kenneth McCaster (:14.90).

Ryan Mitsos of New Lenox Liberty, last year's 1600-meter champion and this year's Class AA boys state cross-country champion, is No. 2 seed in the 1600. He went 4:45.60 in the sectional. Leader is Justin Rehfeldt of Rockford Christian who ran 4:44.80 in the sectional. Mitsos is tied for the top seed in the 800-meter run with Eric Gibbs of Warrensburg-Latham. Each went 2:09.50 in the sectional.

Williamsville's Keith Williams returns in the discus and is top-seeded with a toss of 155-1 in the sectional. He won in seventh grade last year at 126-07.

Travis Hill of Mahomet-Seymour won the seventh grade pole vault last year with a vault of 9-4. He is the No. 2 seed this year going 10-6 in the sectional. Leader is Dillan Falbe of Teutopolis at 11-0 in the sectional.

East St. Louis Lincoln has the No. 1 seed in the 4x100-meter relay, the No. 2 seed in the 4x200-meter relay and the No. 1 seed in the 4x400-meter relay. The Tigers' 4x100 relay includes Carlos Bryson, Jeremy Nicholson, Brandon Weston and Isaac Doss and went :46.40 in the sectional. The 4x400 relay team is Bryson, Ryan Tucker, Jarrell Morning and Joshua Gates and posted a 3:41.00 in the sectional. In the 4x200 relay, the Tigers' relay includes Demarco Spraggins, Morning, Gates and Kenneth McCaster.

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