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2017 BOYS TRACK & FIELD State Final Preview

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The 2017 IHSA Boys Track & Field State Finals return this weekend to O’Brien Field on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. The Spring Spectacular, one of the largest high school state final meets in the country, will welcome 2,496 individual qualifiers representing 435 high schools throughout Illinois.

The qualifiers breakdown by class is as follows:

Class 1A: 848 qualifiers from 165 schools

Class 2A: 804 qualifiers from 133 schools

Class 3A: 844 qualifiers from 137 schools

The NFHS Network will broadcast all the action live from the track at O’Brien Field, however field events will not be able to be covered, with the exception of awards. To subscribe and watch, visit

A year ago, history was made at the girls' state meet when the first Combined State Champion in IHSA history was crowned. In 2017, its the boys' turn, as nine athletes have entered the IHSA's Wheelchair Division, meaning a Combined State Championship will be awarded. This year's competitors include Seneca's Isaiah Swom, Johnsburg's Angel Martin, Waterloo's Donovan McBride, Champaign Centennial's Jonathan McNamara, O'Fallon's Nathan Rainge, Wauconda's Juan Rodarte, Maine East's Ethan Burkhart, Pana's Tristan Putt, and Homewood-Flossmoor's Aaron Holliday. Combined team state champions are determined by taking the traditional IHSA state final scoring system and combining it with the points earned by their school’s wheelchair student-athletes.

In addition, the IHSA will continue its tradition of recognizing Honorary Officials, as Kevin Dooley, Mike Gibbs and Jack Herschbach will be honored for their contributions to high school track & field in Illinois on Saturday morning.

History and officials will also come together in a unique way in Charleston when Shelbyville High School's Jordan Sieger takes the track to run in the Class 1A 1600-Meter Run prelims on Thursday. Sieger is an active IHSA track & field official (as well as basketball & volleyball), and believed to be the first active IHSA official to compete in the State Finals of a sport they officiate.

New Berlin won its first boys' track & field state championship a year ago, which was also the program’s first-ever Top 10 finish. The Pretzels have six qualifiers this year, so it may be a chance for another newcomer, or a perennial power, to leave Charleston with the state championship trophy. Rockford Christian may top that list of contenders, as the Royal Lions have 19 qualifiers competing one year after placing eighth. Trenton-Wesclin also has 19 qualifiers, tying Rockford Christian for tops in the class. Pleasant Plains was just behind that pace at Sectionals, qualifying 17 athletes, while Deer Creek-Mackinaw (16 qualifiers), Bishop McNamara (15), Newman Central Catholic (15), and Pinckneyville (15) will also have plenty of opportunities to tally team points. Bismarck-Henning (5th in 2016, 10 qualifiers in 2017) and Rushville-Industry (9th, 14) are a pair of returning Top 10 programs who have double-digit athletes competing this weekend, but the field could be wide open with 36 total 1A schools qualifying 10 or more athletes.

Can anyone end Cahokia’s dynasty in Class 2A? That is question entering the 2017 state meet, as the Comanches won their sixth consecutive state title in Class 2A a year ago, which was also the program’s eighth in the past 10 years. Geneseo pushed Cahokia to the limit in 2016, as the runner-up Maple Leafs fell just six points shy of the champs. Geneseo has 15 qualifiers this year to Cahokia’s 17, while 2016 third-place finisher Morgan Park is back with 13 qualifiers of its own. Fenwick enters the prelims with the most opportunities for accumulating team points, as the Friars tallied a class-best 21 state qualifiers. Hillcrest (6th in 2016, 13 qualifiers in 2017) and Erie (8th, 10) will both have their eyes on trophy contention this year, as will Burlington Central, who was seventh a year ago and has 18 qualifiers this weekend. Like Burlington Central, there a host of schools who qualified 18 athletes apiece for Friday’s prelims, including Mascoutah, Metamora, Lanphier, and Vernon Hills. Meanwhile, Mattoon and Richmond-Burton matched the defending champs with 17 athletes each advancing from Sectionals. Kaneland has a pair of runner-up finishes since 2010 and is another program to keep an eye on this weekend with 15 athletes advancing from Sectionals.

East St. Louis returned to the pinnacle of IHSA Boys Track & Field in 2016, winning the program’s 11th overall state title and first since 2008. The Flyers will have 14 competitors this weekend in their bid for a repeat, while fellow Southwestern Conference school Edwardsville, who won state in 2015 and placed second last year, has 15 qualifiers. Amazingly, four programs broke the 20-qualifier threshold in Oak Park-River Forest (26), Neuqua Valley (25), Batavia (24), and Homewood-Flossmoor (21). Neuqua Valley (T8th) and Oak Park-River Forest (10th) are both coming off of Top 10 finishes a year ago. Glenbard West, Hinsdale Central, Lyons, Prospect and Wheaton Warrenville South nearly reached the 20-mark for qualifiers, as all four qualified 19 athletes apiece at Sectionals for Friday’s prelims. Sandburg was third a year ago and will have nine qualifiers, while Minooka (7th in 2016, 11 qualifiers) eyes a second straight Top 10 finish. Top 10 finishes could be in store Barrington for Fremd as well, as both have strength in numbers with 17 prelim qualifiers.

For more detailed previews, predictions, and more great coverage of the IHSA Boys Track & Field State Finals, visit MileSplit Illinois and ILXCTF.

123rd year of State Series
9th year of 3-Class Series
45th year at EIU


O'Brien Field
Eastern Illinois University

Updates/delays posted on Twitter at @IHSAWeather

Detailed event schedule

Thursday, May 25
Class 1A Prelims

10:00 AM - Jumps
11:00 AM - All running events, Pole Vault, Shot Put
1:10 PM - Discus

Friday, May 26
Class 2A Prelims
8:00 AM - Jumps
9:00 AM - All running events, Pole Vault, Shot Put
10:55 AM - Discus

Class 3A Prelims
Noon - Jumps
12:30 PM - Pole Vault
12:55 PM - All running events
1:05 PM - Shot Put
2:45 PM - Discus

Saturday, May 27
1A/2A/3A Finals
10:00 AM - All running events & jumps
12:30 PM - Discus

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All running events broadcast live on NFHS Network at

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