Chart toppers: Track & field record chasers, courtesy Fred Kroner
Prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner studied the all-time Area Track Honor Rolls for boys and girls and picked five athletes — or groups — who could challenge all-time marks during the upcoming outdoor season
Luke Vaughn, Centennial, Sr.
Thirty-three years passed between the time Central’s Dave Eichelberger set the area discus mark in 1977 (190 feet, 6 inches) and the time St. Thomas More’s Brandon Noe raised the standard to 203-7 in 2010. Vaughn, an Ole Miss signee, has set a goal of 220 feet for himself this year. Currently, he stands fourth all time at 184-7. In the shot put, the 6-foot-8 Vaughn has broken the school record twice in two indoor meets and is on pace to be the second area athlete to reach 61 feet outdoors.
Kandie Bloch, Argenta-Oreana, Sr.
The University of Illinois recruit tied the all-time area record last spring en route to a Class 1A state championship. She cleared 5 feet, 10 inches and shares the area mark with Centennial’s Cindy Lawrence, who set her record in 1986. In her first three years of high school, Bloch has been a top-four state placer in her specialty each year. To put Bloch’s leap from her junior year in perspective, a jump of 5-10 would have placed 17th in last spring’s NCAA Division I meet.
Jonathan Schaap, Mahomet-S., Sr.
The Bulldogs’ 1,600-meter standout posted the area’s third-best time at that distance a year ago (4 minutes, 14.85 seconds) and needs to only cut another second to shatter a record that has stood since 1975, when Central’s Rick Rundus was clocked in 4:13.8 the year he placed seventh at state. In an early-season indoor meet, Schaap was timed at 4:33. Also ahead of him on the all-time list is Rantoul’s Alan Taylor (4:14.4).
Alexus Jimson-Miller, Danville, Sr.
Like Centennial’s Vaughn, the Vikings’ multi-sport standout has a shot at top marks in more than one event. She enters her final prep season with the second-best time ever in the 100-meter high hurdles (14.17), a fraction behind school record-holder Tiffany Johnson (14.12 in 2003). Jimson-Miller’s best 400 time (57.44) is fourth on the Area Honor Roll. Again, Danville’s school record-holder (Destiny Carter) is the all-time leader. Carter ran 55.07 in 2010.
St. Thomas More, Boys’ 3,200 relay
Only 10 area schools have ever broken the eight-minute barrier in the eight-lap relay — and the Sabers are not yet one of those schools. However, with runners from the state championship cross-country team leading the way, they could shoot into a position of prominence. Sabers Nick Hess, Sean Kelly, Jacob Helfrich and Sam Powers helped the school’s 3,200 unit to an 8:07.66 clocking last weekend, a time that ranks among the top 75 indoors nationally.