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TF South boys track to bring eight events to state competition—most in school history

State qualifiers move on after a strong showing at sectionals

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (June 11, 2021) – For the first time in school history, TF South High School is sending eight events to the boys track state competition.

A series of excellent performances on Wednesday, June 9, at the 3A sectional tournament at Homewood-Flossmoor High School led TF South to a solid point total, landing the team at fourth overall in their sectional competition.

Athletes who move on to state, however, are not selected based on their team’s points but on their event scores. Eight of the events TF South competed in on Wednesday met the qualifying threshold to move on to the state competition.

State-qualifying events

The list of events below will move on to the state tournament for TF South. Times and distances from the sectional meet are included:

  • 100 Meters — Tylar Mack – 10.94 seconds (Third place finish)
  • 200 Meters — Tylar Mack – 21.73 seconds (Second place finish)
  • 110 Meter Hurdles – 39” — Favour Ojelabi – 15.69 seconds (First place finish)
  • 300 Meter Hurdles – 36” — Navonte Arnold – 41.24 seconds (Second place finish)
  • 4×100 Meter Relay — Derek Smith, Joseph Turner, Ryan Coleman, Tylar Mack – 42.77 seconds (Third place finish)
  • Discus — Isaiah Isom – 47.62 meters (First place finish)
  • High Jump — Christian Heffner – 1.90 meters (Fifth place finish)
  • Triple Jump — Joseph Ogunbode – 13.67 meters (Second place finish)
Tylar Mack qualified for three events at state: the 100 meters, 200 meters, and the 4×100 meter relay. (Photo provided)

“This is the best TF South has ever done at a sectional for boys track and we also have the most qualifiers in the school history. It was a really good night,” Coach Stephen Nelson said.

Isaiah Baez-Isom threw for 47.62 meters in the discus, earning him a state qualification and first place in the sectional tournament. (Photo provided)

Nelson said he was expecting state-qualify scores from many of his athletes on Wednesday, but some students outperformed expectations.

“Navonte [Arnold] was a major surprise. … He took two seconds off his fastest time to make it through,” Nelson said. “He was really excited.”

Navonte Arnold will move on to state in the 300 meter hurdles. (Photo provided)

Christian Heffner’s high jump was also a surprise for Nelson. Nelson said, “This year, he never got above six feet, so to jump six-three at the sectionals was kind of a surprise.”

The TF South boys track team will compete in the state competition on Saturday, June 19 at Eastern Illinois University.


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.


  1. Thanks for another excellent story on TFS athletics. We are very proud to have so many hard working athletes and dedicated coaches in District 215.

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