Emma Wilson will look to set a new meet record in the 3200 this year.
This Saturday's edition of the HSR Finals is heating up to be one of the best to ever happen. Many records are going to be on the line come 8am on the 24th.
The day kicks off with the small schools at 8am in the middle of the fieldhouse with the 60 dashes and hurdles.
60m Dash and Hurdles
The hurdlers will take to the track first. This year, the top seed is held by a freshman from FW Concordia, Luigi Rivas. He will be the favorite coming in, but the top returner, Tyler Kaeff of Cloverdale and Stacen Cunningham of Memorial will be looking for an early win to kick off their senior years.
Last years returning champ, Nakita Turner-Lee is looking for a strong repeat and could go for the small school record of 8.76 set back in 2014. She is seeded at 8.79, so with just a little push she should be able to break that record, and possibly go for the overall record of 8.58 if the competition is good enough.
In the dashes, the girls race can almost be handed to defending champ and US #8, Semira Killebrew. She currently holds a PR of 7.41 and will more than likely break her own meet record, set just last year, and possibly break Lynna Irby's overall record set in 2016 of 7.42. Killebrew won't be alone in this though, she has 7 other teammates also entered in the dash. Brebeuf has the potential on their squad to sweep the girls dash if all of them can make it into the finals, scoring a brutal 39 points right off the bat.
The boys 60 dash is a little more up for debate on who will take the win. The thought would be to go with the top seed but separating him and 5th is just .11. This race is very upperclassmen heavy with just two sophomores entered. Isiah Pantiere of Spring Valley gets the top seed time at 7.08. Liam Fletcher of Concordia comes in as the top returner and seeded 6th overall. I think this race may come down to those two guys though. Tyler Thomas could sneak in there a snag a win. The competition is going to be really close in this race and may be the one to watch of the whole morning.
In the boys 3200 we're going to see some of the top in the state for distance square off. Westview is off to a great start, having 5 guys entered and 2 of them in the top 5. Richmond Stoltzfus comes in the top seed with a 9:29.42, with his closest competition 5 seconds behind. Again seed times are just seed times. There is a lot of top talent entered in this race. Quinn Gallagher is always one to keep an eye on. Matt Yoder is just a stud. The Herbst brothers will look to race together and score a few points for Wapahani. I think this race will go to one of those top boys from Westview though, either Yoder or Stoltzfus will take the win, in the lower 9:20's.
Now the girls 3200, the one many will be watching. Your 2017 Cross Country State Champion, NXN Midwest Runner-up and All-American, Emma Wilson will be hunting down that 2011 record of 10:19.57 set by Waverly Neer. Unless someone has a wild breakout day, Wilson will more than likely run most of this race solo. She's used to that though so that won't be a problem. If she wants to break the record and drop a major PR tomorrow she will have to lap the entire field by at least 150-200 meters. We know she can gap the field no problem, but the question will be by how much? If you're not going to be there to see this race, you will be missing history in the making.
When the relays take off, the rest of the day just gets crazy. The boys 4x800 will come down to how strong that anchor leg will be for Westview and Brebeuf. They are both seeded within 5 seconds of each other. A couple guys that are entered in the 3200 are scheduled for this relay so they will have just about 12 minutes before they would hit the track, so a super quick turnaround if they do run. Brebeuf is always a strong team and could probably put up a good fight in the large school races as well, so that's why I'm going to give this race to them.
The West Lafayette Girls look to have the 4x800 in the bag with a seed time about 15 seconds ahead of number 2. As long as they can get out strong and hang on to it they will be the winners here.
Concordia will battle against a team that just went to Nationals in the 4x400, Cascade. This will be a super tight race and may come down to who can push their body across that line just before the other guy. I'll give this one to Cascade, just for having a little more experience. We may see a new met record dropped as well.
The ladies of West Lafayette look to have another relay to claim. This time with a little more competition from Bishop Chatard. WL shouldn't have a big issue though and be able to snag out another 20 points.
Cascade and Concordia will face off again in the 4x200. This time though I think the boys from Ft. Wayne will be able to edge out Cascade to slide into home with a solid 20 points for the morning.
Brebeuf and Bowman Academy will face off in the girls 4x200. Brebeuf gets a leg up on this one in my opinion because they have both Killebrew and Turner-Lee scheduled to race, both of who should be able to win their individual races a little earlier in the day.
The longest races of the day, the DMR. Westview will come head to head with Concordia. Concordia may have the slight advantage due to only Reese Gibson having raced the 3200 earlier in the day, so fresh legs for most. I still think with the power Westview has in their distance squad, they will be able to pull off the win, but just barely.
Brebeuf's girls are looking to show that, that top finish at state last year wasn't a fluke and will go for a solid sub-12:50 performance tomorrow. One of the top 8's to keep an eye on will be Emma Wilson on that anchor leg for Greencastle. This will really show where her strength is in the double this early in the season.
Pole Vault is always a difficult call to make due to so many factors that could cause you to be out earlier than you had expected. Ignoring all of that though, Colton Ritz of Brownstown Central should take home a win, clearing 14' 3" so far this year. Maria Siciliano of West Lafayette looks to be the girl to beat, havng cleared 11' 6" this year already. Taylor Pierce and Megan Young both are strong competitors and may be able to keep this event rolling for a little bit.
Trevor Thompson and Matthew Jenkins look like the seniors to watch over at high jump, both over 6' 5" this year. Thompson has clear 6" 6.5" this year so he's got a little advantage coming in, knowing he can clear that high at least. I'll give this one to him. Addie Wanner of South Adams doesn't look like she'll be caught by anyone else in the field. She's clear 5' 7" this year, 2" higher than the 2nd seed. If she can clear 5'6" I think she'll be able to snag the win.
Kenton Grays has a big lead over the crowd, soaring 22' this year in the long jump. He is the favorite walking in tomorrow. Sammy Sommers of Oak Hill and Hannibal Hall of Heritage aren't far behind and will be looking for big jumps to put the pressure on Grays. Grays for the win, with Hall in 2nd. Woah, Adison Smith, a freshman, of Concordia comes in with a monster seed of 16'10", 6.75" ahead of the rest of the field. Keep an eye on her during the outdoor season folks. This girls going to be good.
Returning state champ and Purdue Football commit, George Karlaftis, only a junior, looks to kick off his junior campaign with a bang. A monster PR would have to be thrown if he wants the meet record, I say give him another year and he may be there though. A low 54' may be what he needs to take the win tomorrow. Zach Dove of Princeton will challenge him a little as well. But Karlaftis should have no problem taking the win. In the girls ring, it may come down to who can get those couple extra inches. Ashley Weatherly of West Lafayette and Lily Grimes of Greensburg will duke it out for those inches. Weatherly is my bet, due to her 43' she threw at state last year.
Keep an eye out for full coverage from the MileSplit crew tomorrow and all weekend long. Follow us on Twitter @MileSplitIN for live updates from the meet.