The Illinois Valley will be well represented at the IHSA Boys Track and Field State Meet this weekend in Charleston in both Class 2A and Class 1A.
The Class 1A preliminaries are Thursday, the Class 2A and 3A preliminaries are Friday and the finals for all classes are Saturday.
Several area athletes are seeded to bring home a state medal – which requires a top-nine finish – or advance to the finals in field or distance events where the top 12 advance to Saturday.
Princeton leads the area with four individual qualifiers along with a relay in 2A.
Junior Teegan Davis advanced to state in four events – the high jump, triple jump, long jump and the 4x100-meter relay.
Davis is tied for the top sectional jump in the high jump at 1.92 meters along with Benet’s Jack Chvatal, Cahokia’s Nicholas Deloach and Paris’ Drew Rogers.
Davis is seeded sixth in the triple jump at 13.84 meters and he’s seeded 13 in the long jump at 6.55 meters.
The junior also will team with Ethan Thompson, Drew Harp and Keegan Fogarty to run the 4x100 relay.
The Tiger foursome placed third in the Rochelle Sectional, but eclipsed the state-qualifying standard at 43.18 seconds, which is ranked 11th entering the preliminaries.
Fogarty also will compete in the 200 and 100 where he’s seeded ninth and 13th, respectively. He ran at state in both events last season and earned a ninth-place medal in the 200.
Harp also qualified in the shot put along with teammate Payne Miller.
Miller placed second in the Rochelle Sectional with a toss of 15.4 meters, while Harp was fourth at 15 meters but surpassed the state-qualifying standard.
Miller is seeded 10th and Harp is seeded 16th.
“We feel good about all of our qualifiers and their opportunities to do well down at state,” Princeton coach Dan Foes said. “The focus will be making it to the next stage. On Friday, we will focus on getting to finals and then on Saturday our athletes can battle it out for placing.
“We are just very proud of all of our athletes and if they perform well, they can all do well. Hopefully we will have decent weather to compete in.”
Also in 2A, La Salle-Peru junior Brett Aimone is seeded to medal in the 110 hurdles.
Aimone placed fourth at the Plano Sectional but ran a 15.17 seconds to beat the state qualifying standard.
Aimone’s sectional time was seventh best in the state.
In Class 1A, St. Bede and Hall are sending two athletes each, while the Amboy co-op and Bureau Valley will each be represented by one runner.
St. Bede senior Tyreke Fortney is the favorite in the 100 in his first state meet as his time of 10.89 seconds at the Wethersfield Sectional was the best in the state. Fortney’s best time this season is 10.66.
The No. 2 seeded runner in the 100 is Hope’s Ryan Williams at 10.94 seconds.
“I definitely want to win my race, which is the 100,” Fortney said.
Fortney also is seeded sixth in the 200 at 22.52 seconds.
“Tyreke has been one of those athletes who when he’s getting ready to run people literally stop what they’re doing just to watch,” St. Bede coach Marty Makransky said. “I never want to put so much pressure on an athlete but, I believe we will see him run both the 100 and 200 on Saturday, which means he should be on the medal stand twice.”
While Fortney is a state meet rookie, teammate Duncan Lawler is a veteran as he’s making his third appearance in the high jump.
He’s one of 19 jumpers tied for the 18th seed at 1.85 meters.
“I want to give it the best I can and shoot for a medal,” Lawler said.
Hall senior Zack Bosi is making his first state appearance and he’s seeded to bring home a medal as his sectional-winning leap of 12.74 meters at Wethersfield is the eighth-best jump entering the preliminaries.
“It’s more important to be to even be able to go down there then do anything. If I can do something, that’s be great,” Bosi said. “Hopefully, I’ll get another [personal record], maybe push 42 (feet). I’m just glad I get to go and get to compete.”
Senior teammate Caleb Savitch won the pole vault at Wethersfield by clearing 3.4 meters and he’s seeded 22nd in his return to state.
BV’s Elijah House is seeded 11th in the 800 at 2:00.97. Astoria senior Isaac Jones is the top seed at 1:56.76.
Amboy co-op’s Brock Loftus of Ohio is making a return trip to state and is seeded 24th in the 3,200 at 10:27.52. Chicago Latin’s Ryan Hardiman and Akili Parekh are the top two seeds at 9:25.83 and 9:26.36, respectively.