DU QUOIN — Like most sports in Southern Illinois this spring, track and field has felt the affects of chilly weather and above-average rain.
Given a sunny day and 88-degree temperatures, the likes of Du Quoin’s Dasani Edward and Shamar Adams produced results that could bode well for their chances to succeed at next week’s Class 1A meet in Charleston.
Edward was one of two double winners, popping a 22-10 in the long jump and going 43-10 on his only attempt in the triple jump. He also ran the first leg for the 4 x 100 relay team that clocked a scorching 43.23 to beat Christopher by more than two seconds.
The Indians’ 155 points were nearly twice as many as second place Pinckneyville, who managed 86. Vienna (73), Hamilton County (44) and Fairfield (39) rounded out the top five. Du Quoin finished first in eight events, including all four relays.
“We had a lot of (personal records) in the sprints and jumps,” Indians coach Derek Beard said. “We got every sprint relay, every distance relay. It was just a good day all the way around.”
Edward, a junior who’s also known as one of the area’s top wide receivers in football, watched Vienna’s Lane Ross leap 21-8 in the long jump. It apparently gave Edward the push he’s been craving. He came up with a personal record by a foot.
Blessed with top-end speed, Edward appears to have a chance to mount the podium three times next week. He finished second last year in the triple jump with a mark of 44-4 ¼.
“He got me pumped up,” Edward said of Ross. “Usually, I’m winning these meets by a long shot. When he jumped 21-8, he got me excited. It boosts me up in the rankings. I think I can get top three in both the long jump and triple jump.”
Hopes are just as high for Adams, a senior who glided through the 110 hurdles in 15.13, a time that should give him a coveted spot in the middle lanes for his qualifying race next week. He also finished second in the 300 hurdles behind Pinckneyville’s Stetson Lappin while running legs for the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 teams.
Bound for NAIA Missouri Baptist to play football next fall, Adams could plop a cherry on a banana split of a prep career with a state title in the 110 hurdles.
“That’s my race,” he said of the 110 hurdles. “I come out ready for every race. I think that time will put me in the top three in the state. I’m satisfied with that time as of now. I feel like I’ve worked hard the last four years. A state championship would mean everything to me.”
Keenan Johnston was Du Quoin’s other individual winner, clearing 10-6 to win the pole vault. The Indians will have entries in 12 of 18 events next week in Charleston. It wouldn’t be illogical for the Perry County school to bring a state title home if they perform to their past results.
Pinckneyville’s runner-up showing got a boost from Dalton Kitchen, who uncorked a heave of 51-3 in the shot put and also placed second in the discus behind Vienna’s Mason Poland.
The meet’s other double winner was distance ace Ty Barbre of Carmi-White County. He won by nearly a minute in the 3200 with a clocking of 10:06.90, then eased to victory in the 1600 at 4:44.10.
Johnston City’s Austin Brown captured the 100 in 11.55, beating Meridian’s Zion Bartlett by .10 of a second. Bartlett posted his time running in the event’s first heat, meaning he didn’t go head-to-head against Brown.
The tightest race was the 400, where Vienna’s Alex Smith barely held off Theron Smith of Hamilton County with a time of 51.50, a bare .03 ahead of his namesake.