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2,879 Athletes in 2010 IESA Class AA State Track and Field Meet

A total of 2,879 athletes from 232 schools will converge at Corwin Clatt Stadium in the EastSide Centre at East Peoria Friday-Saturday (May 21-22) for the 26th 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 79th year for the boys. IESA began the state series in girls track and field in 1972. This will be the 37th year for girls. A total of 248 member schools entered the 2010 Class AA state series and 93.5 percent (232) 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 all field events. 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 12:00 noon. The running events will get under way Friday at 1:00 p.m. Competition Saturday begins at 9:00 a.m. with the finals in the hurdles and 100, 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 AA 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 $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for students K-8 and seniors. Gates open to the general public at 11:00 a.m. Friday and at 8:00 a.m. Saturday.

This year, for the fourth 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.

Six members of the IESA Scholar Attitude Award presented by State Farm class of 2010 will be competing this weekend. They are Mary Collins of Arlington Hts. South (long jump), Jana Mudrock of New Lenox Martino (long jump and 4 x 400 relay), Gabrielle Zerrusen of Newton Jasper County (100), Marty Pesch of Williamsvile (pole vault) and Bailey Schmidt of Carlinville (100, 200 and long jump). Last year in the 7AA meet, Bailey Schmidt placed sixth in the 100, tied for seventh in the 200 and second in the long jump.

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

Class 7AA Girls

Defending champion Cahokia Wirth and emerging Springfield Franklin appear to be the schools to beat in the race for the 2010 team title.

Cahokia Wirth's Tatayana Lewis is one of the favorites in the 100 and 200, while the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays are strong contenders. Springfield Franklin's 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 relays may be the strongest in both events, while Courtney Pence can challenge for the 400-meter dash title and sixth grader Jamari Drake went 5-0 in the high jump to post the best sectional mark in that event.

First place is worth 10 team points. Cahokia Wirth won the 7AA title last year with 52 points.

Brittny Ellis of Gurnee Viking will be a formidable challenger to Cahokia Wirth's Lewis. Ellis also is one of the favorites in the 100 and 200 and went 16-2 in the long jump in the sectional. The long jump leader is Brittani Griesbaum of Antioch at 16-04.75.

Brittani Griesbaum will contend for the 400-meter dash title along with her twin sister Danielle, and Springfield Franklin's Pence.

McKayla Harder of Mt. Zion will be in the mix in both the 800 and 1600. Others to watch in the 800 are Cassie Mundekis of Green Valley Midwest Central and Erica Rideout of Chatham Glenwood. Joining Harder in the 1600 will be Cassie Mundekis, Christy Hulett of Normal Parkside, Megam McNicholas of Rochester and Taylor Mueller of Chatham Glenwood.

Megan Stayton of Carlinville had the best discus throw in the sectionals at 91-08. She threw the shot put 28-08 to rank sixth coming into the state meet. The leader in the shot put is Aaliah Herron of East St. Louis Lincoln.

Class 7AA Boys

East St. Louis Lincoln will try to rebound from last year's down year and East St. Louis Younge will try for its second straight Class 7AA title. Each school has a standout individual and each school can earn plenty of points in the relays.

Until last year, East St. Louis Lincoln had finished no worse that second in the 7AA boys meet in eight of the last nine years. Last year, East St. Louis Lincoln stumbled to finish fifth with 23 points, while East St. Louis Younge walked away with the team title scoring 67.5 points some 37.5 points ahead of runner-up Cahokia Wirth. The only other year since the 2000 state meet that East St. Louis Lincoln was not either first or second in the team standings was in 2002.

Younge's Natereace Strong as a sixth grader in 2009 won both the 100 and 200. He can repeat in those events as well as in the shot put where his sectional toss of 43-10.25 is the best by a foot and a half. Teammate Leroy Allen can also score in the 100 and teammate Burce Henley can score in the 200. Joining Strong as a potential point getter in the shot put is Reginald Beck, who also should score points in the discus. The Younge 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays also will contend for the gold medal.

East St. Louis Lincoln has its own triple threat in L. C. Washington who is one of the favorites in the 110-meter hurdles, the shot put and the discus. Washington and teammate Terry Beckner can contend in the shot put. Lincoln's Karon Randolph is a threat in the 200, with teammates Tyshaun Stanback and James Smith contenders in the 400. All three of the Lincoln relays are gold medal potential.

Mitchell Owens of Williamsville, Austin Cash of Pekin Edison and David Rodriguez of Mt. Prospect River Trails are contenders in both the 800 and 1600. All three posted sectional times in the 1600 under 5:00.

Class 8AA Girls

Dee Byrd of Normal Kingsley and Kelsey Schrader of DeKalb Clinton Rosette were double winners in 7AA last year and will be among the favorites in their specialties in the 8AA meet.

So will Sarah Sepanski of Springfield Franklin who won the 7A 100 and 200 last year when she attended Springfield Christ The King.

Sepanski won the 7A 100 last year in a time of 13.38 seconds and is one of seven qualifiers from the sectionals who ran under 13.0 seconds. Sepanski won the 7A 200 last year in 27.96. Byrd won the 7AA 200 last year in 25.90 and won the 7AA 400 in 57.04 seconds. Schrader won the 7AA 800 in 2:24.67 in 2009 and won the 1600 in 7AA last year in 5:13.97.

J. J. Robinson of New Lenox Martino and Danica Dragoo of Germantown Hills will challenge Schrader in both distance events. Joining them in the 800 should be Kriscienda Finley of Rochester, and joining them in the 1600 should be Delaney Loprieno of Algonquin Heineman.

Other 7AA winners last year who return in their event this weekend in 8AA are Kaitlyn Horn of Mendota Northbrook in the shot put, Kylee Kidd of Greenville in the discus, Megan Trost of Bethalto Trimpe in the high jump and Halie Hart of Wadsworth Milburn in the pole vault.

Horn threw the shot 34-05 in the sectional and is second coming into the meet behind Brittany Hay of Georgetown Mary Miller at 35-04.25. Kidd threw the discus 96-03 in the sectional and is one of nine who hit 90-00 or better in the sectional. The leader is Davesha Scott of Carlinville at 99-05. Trost went 4-11 in the high jump at the sectional and won 7AA last year in 4-11.50. Four girls went 5-0 or better in the sectional. The leader is Rachel Rhoades of Williamsville at 5-4. Hart went 8-09 in the sectional as did Avery Henderson of Chatham Glenwood. Hart won 7AA in 2009 at 8-11.

Class 8AA Boys

When the dust settled last year in 8AA East St. Louis Clark stopped the team title win streak of East St. Louis Lincoln at 4 in a row by one-half point (51.5 to 50.0). It appears history will not repeat itself in the race for the team title, let alone for the individual champions from 7AA last year.

The race for the 2010 team title appears to be wide open and the relays might very well settle it. Cahokia Wirth has the credentials to win both the 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 relays. Harvey Brooks and East St. Louis Clark are the top contenders in the 4 x 100 relay.

A year ago Dakota Christian of Robinson Nuttall won the 7AA 110-meter hurdles in 16.52 seconds. His time from this year's sectional is not among the top 10 in the event.

Zach Murphy of Casey-Westfield won the 2009 7AA high jump at 5-8, which is what he cleared in the sectional this year. He is one of six jumpers at 5-8 and that is ninth-best among the qualifiers. Justin Erickson of Charleston, Martel Hunter of Monmouth-Roseville, Logan Zeman of Peru Parkside and Darwyn White of Belvidere Central all went 5-10 in the sectional.

Steven Bradford of Bloomington JHS won the 7AA pole vault last year at 10-10. He went 11-0 in the sectional. The leading qualifier from the sectionals is Brandon Tolliver of Newton Jasper County who went 12-6.

A trio of competitors will battle for the individual titles in the shot put and discus. Will Boman of Paxton-Buckley-Loda was the 7AA shot put champion in 2009 with a toss of 43-04.50. He has the leading sectional mark this year at 48-05.5, and is fifth in the discus at 141-0. Kyrin Tucker of Normal Parkside is the leading qualifier in the discus at 152-7 and is No. 2 in the shot put at 46-09.5. Jacob Cope of Pekin Broadmoor is second in the discus at 147-5 and third in the shot put at 45-10. Colton Sewell of Casey-Westfield won the 7AA discus last year at 120-6 and comes into the 8AA competition off a throw of 124-10 in the sectional.

Brock Snarski of Blue Mound Meridian won both the 800 and 1600 in 7AA last year and returns in both. Brian King of Heyworth won both the 800 and 1600 in 7A last year and will challenge Snarski in both events this year because his school moved from Class A to Class AA on the basis of enrollment. Snarski won the 800 last year in 2:04.94 and King won it in 2:18.14. Snarski won the 1600 in 4:39.12 last year and King won in 5:06.19. They are at the top of the sectional qualifying chart in both events.

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