***** Final Performance List*****
We wanted to highlight a few other events being contested this weekend, though, information about them is definitely more difficult to come by.
Boys’ Freshman Mile
Jacob Thomson (Louisville Holy Cross, KY) enters this race as the favorite after running 4:36.64 for this distance on the same track a little less than a month ago. His main competition looks to be coming from Tretez Kinnaird (Butler, KY) and Alec Sievern (Evansville Memorial, IN) who enter at 4:39.14 and 4:40.71, respectively. Kinnaird has done damage at the 800 meter distance this indoor season already, hitting 1:59.77 just a few weeks ago, and he and Thomson have some history as it was Kinnaird handling Thomson easily just a year ago at the KTCCCA Middle School State Championships. Expect a quick start to this race with the lack of experience, but there is definitely a great chance for a fast time or two to be put down.
1600 meter relay
With All-Star teams able to enter in this event, you can only guess what some of the groups are capable of, so here’s what it looks like. Withrow (OH) enters with the fastest seed time among this group and they may be heavy favorites having already hit 4:02 this indoor season. The Michigan Accelerators may be the favorites coming in, though, based on their dominating run last year to beat Withrow’s group handily. Look for those two teams to be well prepared along with Moutain Brook (AL) and Walnut Hills (OH), the 3rd and 4th-place squads from last year’s meet.
Trotwood-Madison enters with the fastest seed time, but it is their win last year that carries more weight. Look for the this group to battle closely with the Maryland Titans squad and the Michigan Accelerators group. No clear favorites out of the rest of the squads, but expect the first heat to be very close to that 3:20 barrier if not just a bit under.
3200 meter relay
Mountain Brook and the Michigan Accelerators put on a show in this race last year, so look for these two groups to be right at the forefront of any action taking place. Kentucky’s Soaring Eagles group has a good make-up and should be one to watch for in the race as well.
A wide open race on the boys’ side with Club Elite of Birmingham (AL) seeded first among the five squads seeded under 8 minutes. After seeing this race go 8:05 for the win last year, expect something a little more impressive to get the win this year as the depth in Kentucky alone should be able to make it interesting.
Now, field events may not always play a big role in some elite meets, but this is an invite that has continually brought in great talent in the field. Pole vault looks to be an area of strength this time around with a couple of 16-footers on the boys’ side and a 12-footer leading the girls. Look for some strong performances in the girls’ long jump and high jump as well. Here’s how the event entries breakdown:
Jalisa Terrell (MLK, GA) took home a USATF Junior Olympic title in the Intermediate division last year when she cleared 5’ 8.75” and has already hit 5’8” this season. She will be facing off against Catherine Claywell (Murray, KY) who skyed to 5’7.5” last year as just a freshman and has been 5’6” in the past two weeks. Miray Seward (Westminster, GA) comes in as Georgia’s reigning Class 2A state champion after clearing 5’6” for the win last year, while Skyler Willis (Withrow, OH) enters after having already topped 5’6” this indoor season. With no ladies over 5’10” yet this season, this group could push close to that height and jump into the top five nationally at this point.
Maudrecus Humphrey (Hoover, AL) is the only entrant over 6-04 making this event much lower key that then past two years when Toledo-product Erik Kynard took to the airways. Six entrants at 6-04 make this even one that could see any number of athletes take home the title this weekend.
Margo Tucker (Lawrence Central, IN) enters with a PR of 12-06 in the vault and will be gunning for the meet record of 12-00 right along with Sandy Morris (Greenville, SC). Tucker has been sharp already this season clearing 11-09 and 12-03 on separate occassions in January, but Morris hit 12-05 earlier this year at the Reno Pole Vault Summit and may be the favorite coming in. Keeley Baskin (Hardin Academy, TN) and Carson Simpson (Mill Creek, GA) have been 11-02 and 10-06 respectively this indoor season, but neither appears ready at this point to challenge for the win.
On the boys’ side, there is a group of five athletes entering with seeds of 15-00 or better, starting with recent Reno Pole Vault Summit runner-up Paul Malquist (Gainsville, GA). Malquist, a recent University of Georgia signee, had previously reached 16-06.75 last summer and 16-0.25 earlier this indoor season. He should be challenged by fellow Georgia native Tyler Porter (Jefferson, GA), as Porter has been 15-07 this year already and brings in a PR of 16-0.75 from last summer. One more Georgian, Michael Kopanski (Mill Creek, GA) enters having been over 15 feet twice this indoor season, while Drew Volz (Bloomington South, IN) and Austin Crenshaw (Germantown, TN) also will be in the mix with both having PRs of 15 feet or better.
Amber Dandy (Red Bank, TN) leads the charge in the long jump with her personal best of 18-10.50. Challenging Dandy, are a trio of Georgia athletes including Julienne McKee (Lassiter, GA), Kendell Williams (Kell, GA), and Kimberly Miller (Tucker, GA). Williams claimed a title in the long jump at the AAU national Championships last summer, McKee reached 18-08.5 last summer, and Miller has hit 18-07 already this indoor season. Combine these four with 8 more ladies who have reached to 18 feet in the last year and you have a very exciting event that should be closely contested and might just lead to a highly-ranked national performance as only 8 athletes nationally have been over 19 feet yet this season.
Tyler Anderson (Hillsboro, TN) enters the weekend as the 10th best jumper of the indoor season nationally and his best competition looks to be coming from Blake Edwards (MLK, TN) who is also among the top 20 jumpers nationally this indoor season. Anderson was the runner-up at Tennessee’s Class AAA state championships last outdoor season, while Edwards put all his talents together in placing 2nd at the AAU National Championships decathlon in the Junior Men’s division. Victor Caro (Brentwood, TN), Zach Galbreath (New Albany, OH), and Mike Patterson (Male, KY) are the other entrants over 22 feet, so look for them to be in the mix as well.
McKee doubles back in the triple jump with the best PR coming in, having jumped 39-06 last summer in claiming the Georgia Games Track and Field Championship. Briauna Jones (Summerville, SC) comes in with an impressive outdoor PR of 38-10 herself and was the runner-up at last year’s South Carolina Class AAAA state championships. As the only two entrants who have reached past 38 feet, McKee and Jones will be the odds-on favorites, but a group of seven more young women have entries reaching past 36-05, so the race may be much closer than it appears on paper with the season being so young for most of the competitors.
Dejon Wilkinson (Summerville, SC) comes in as the highest seed, but the reigning South Carolina Class AAAA state champion has yet to perform this season. Tyler Anderson is also on this list and, though the long jump is his best event, he has shown progress in the triple jump reaching a PR of 45-10 just a few weeks ago in winning at East Tennessee State. Courtney Edwards (Fort Knox, KY) comes in at third on this performance list, but hasn’t had many opportunities to be challenged as he easily won the event at Kentucky’s Class A state championship last spring. Anderson may have the inside track as is the only one of the top three that has jumped already this year, but with Wilkinson and Edwards being accomplished athletes in multiple events, they should be able to make things interesting.
A couple of Louisville, Kentucky area ladies top the performance list in the girls’ shot put, with Cyara Wells (Louisville Ballard, KY) and Jackie Stevens (Bullitt East, KY) both over 38 feet last year. Stevens has put together a nice resume with her wins in both the shot put and discus at Kentucky’s Class AA meet state championships last spring, while Wells was runner-up in Class AAA before having a rough end to her season last year. Isabella May (Noblesville, IN) joins the Louisville ladies as the only entrants even above 36 feet with her PR of 37-9 and with May as the only one of the three to have thrown in a meet this year, it should be interesting to see what kind of results they can produce.
Josh Kles (Jefferson, GA) comes in as the favorite this weekend after having produced a throw of 53’11.75” just last weekend. Kyle Jenkins (Male, KY) will look to challenge after his 51’3” throw last weekend to open his season wasn’t quite to the level of his personal best 53’9”. Steven Scally (Sandusky, OH), who topped 50 feet at the Findlay High School Invite just a few weeks ago, and Steve Wade (Brentwood, TN), a 3rd-place finisher at Tennessee’s Class AAA state meet last spring, enter as the final entrants over 50 feet and will look to push Kles and Jenkins this weekend.