State Stories


2016 Boys Track & Field

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The 2016 IHSA Boys Track & Field State Finals return this weekend to O’Brien Stadium 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 2,607 individual qualifiers representing 415 high schools throughout Illinois.

The qualifiers breakdown by class is as follows:

Class 1A: 867 qualifiers from 161 schools
Class 2A: 765 qualifiers from 123 schools
Class 3A: 975 qualifiers from 131 schools

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

On Saturday, three student-athletes will compete in the IHSA’s Wheelchair Division finals, as Homewood-Flossmoor junior Aaron Holliday, Waterloo freshman Donovan McBride, and O’Fallon junior Nathan Rainge will compete in the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter races, while McBride also qualified in the 800. Rainge holds the IHSA state record in the Wheelchair Division in the 100, 200 and 400 races, respectively. A week ago at the girls’ state meet, the IHSA awarded its first-ever combined team trophies (1st-Glenbard West, 2nd-Metamora, 3rd-Niles West). The boys’ meet was one participant shy of the threshold to contest a combined championship this week.

In addition, the IHSA will continue its tradition of recognizing Honorary Officials, as Geza Ehrentreu, Mike Sullivan, and John Wehmeier will be honored for their contributions to high school track & field in Illinois.

In addition, the 2016 meet marks the end of an era from an IHSA standpoint, as administrator Ron McGraw will oversee his final meet before retirement.

Tolono Unity hoisted its first boy’s track & field state title trophy in school history a year ago when the Rockets edged runner-up Illini West. The defending champion’s enrollment moved them up to Class 2A in 2016, opening the door for a bevy of contenders. Fairfield dominated their Sectional last week, posting a class-best 139 points in the Sectional meet, while St. Joseph Ogden, who was eighth in the state a year ago, tallied 134 points en route to a Sectional crown. Pleasant Plains qualified a Class 1A best 19 athletes this weekend, just ahead of Carlinville and Westmont’s 17 qualifiers, while six schools, including Oregon, Chicago Christian, Pinckneyville, Rushville-Industry, St. Joseph-Ogden and Tremont will all have 16 competitors.

Cahokia made history last season with its fifth consecutive Class 2A crown, besting a trio of previous fourpeats (East St. Louis Senior HS 1975-78, East St. Louis Lincoln HS 1981-84, Thornwood HS 2001-04). The Comanches enter 2016 vying for their sixth consecutive Class 2A crown, and welcome back uber-talented Ja’Mari Ward among its 17 qualifiers. Ward set the NFHS national triple-jump record earlier this month with a jump of 53 feet, 7 1/2 inches that bested the previous high school record set in 1980, but will only run relays this weekend. Geneseo totaled 19 qualifiers en route to the best Sectional score in Class 2A, registering 179 points. Vernon Hills (159, 21 qualifiers) and Northside (152 points, 19 qualifiers) were also strong in Sectional action, with over 150 points apiece. Defending 1A state champ Tolono Unity remains undeterred by the bump up in competition, as the Rockets won a Sectional team championship and qualified 15 athletes. Kaneland has the most qualifiers this weekend with 23 total, as the Knights try to improve on last year’s sixth-place state final finish.

Edwardsville placed second in the state by in both 2012 and 2014, before coming back with a vengeance last year to win the school’s first state championship in boys’ track & field by a comfortable 18-point margin. Perennial power East St. Louis bested the Tigers for the team title in Sectional action this season, and both will have healthy representation with 17 and 14 qualifiers, respectively. Two other historic powers, Oak Park-River Forest (class-best 25 qualifiers) and Lyons (21 qualifiers), who have a combined 26 state titles, posted the best Sectional scores in Class 3A with 187 and 176 points, respectively. Neuqua Valley, who tied for second in the state last year, enters the weekend with 23 qualifiers, the same number as Huntley, while Minooka has a pair of Top 10 finishes since 2010 and hopes its 22 competitors this weekend results in the program’s first trophy.

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

122nd year of State Series
8th year of 3-Class Series
44th year at EIU


O'Brien Stadium
Eastern Illinois University

Updates/delays posted on Twitter at @IHSAWeather

Detailed event schedule

Thursday, May 26
Class 1A Prelims

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

Friday, May 27
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 28
1A/2A/3A Finals
10:00 AM - All running events & jumps
12:30 PM - Discus

By class & event

$10 per session

All running events broadcast live on NFHS Network at

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