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.
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)
“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.
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.”
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.