Watch out for: The area will be well represented in Lawrenceville in the distance running events and the pole vault. Altamont’s Andrew Sharp is fresh off a pair of wins in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs at Tuesday’s Herald & Review Area Best meet, but he’ll be challenged in the 3,200 by Effingham St. Anthony sophomore Peter Keller, who qualified for state last year as a freshman. Cumberland’s Tye Sutherland is also a favorite in the 800-meter run, an event he has regularly won this spring.
Several area pole vaulters could also qualify for state out of Lawrenceville, with Casey-Westfield, Teutopolis and Newton capable of sending multiple vaulters to Charleston. Casey sophomore Riley Smith has the area-best vault this spring at 15-1, and teammate Josh Blome also has a good chance to qualify. The same goes for Teutopolis duo Andrew Kowalski and Austin McWhorter and Newton brothers Brandon and Michael Tolliver-Goode.
Riley Drees is also a likely candidate to keep T-Town’s streak of state-qualifying hurdlers alive. Drees has been among the area’s best in both the 110 and 300 hurdles.
Tolono Unity Sectional
Watch out for: Argenta-Oreana has the best chance for multiple state qualifiers of the area teams competing in Tolono. At the top of that list for the Bombers is sprinter/jumper Austin Wenskunas.
Wenskunas has held his own in a strong year for sprinters in the area — he ran a 10.96 100-meter dash this spring — and he’s looking to repeat as a state qualifier in the long jump after making it to Charleston last spring in the event.
Argenta also has another skilled jumper in Quinton Crawley, and one of the top hurdlers in the area in Luke Tucker. Tucker has the No. 2 time in the area in the 300 hurdles and a top 10 time in the 110 hurdles.
Making the sprints even more interesting in Tolono will be Maroa-Forsyth’s Ben Williams. The Trojans’ senior ran 10.85 in the 100 on Tuesday joining only a handful of Class 1A sprinters to run sub-11 seconds this spring.
Cerro Gordo-Bement could also do well in the sprints with Gage Fowler and C.J. Somers.
Springfield Lanphier Sectional
Watch out for: The bulk of the Class 2A area teams will head to Champaign Centennial for sectionals, leaving just Eisenhower, Lincoln and Taylorville to head to Springfield.
Taylorville has two state qualifier candidates in Darian Norville in the shot put and Zach Wilson in the sprints. Norville qualified in the shot put last year as a junior but did not make finals.