CHARLESTON (WCIA) — For someone who just started running the 800 meter run this year, Arcola’s Beau Edwards is a front runner for a state title finishing after first in his heat and fourth overall at 1:56.97. Edwards is hoping to bring home a second state title in the 400 as well after finishing with the eighth best time overall in the event at the Class 1A Boys’ State Track and Field Preliminary Finals at Eastern Illinois University on Thursday.
“I hadn’t run the 800 until like halfway through the season and I started off with a 1:59 with no competition,” Edwards said. “So I thought I’d stick to it and I worked pretty hard and I’m happy I got here.”
Salt Fork’s Nathan Kirby is a person to beat with the chance to bring home multiple medals in Saturday’s finals. As anchor, Kirby helped lead his 4×100 meter relay to victory finishing first overall at 43.08 seconds.
His relay finished first in their heat in the 4×200 at 1:30.53 and fourth overall to advance.
“We were at the line and nervous at first because sometimes our handoffs aren’t the greatest,” Kirby said. “We kind of mess up but all of us you know just got calm and wanted to get that first seed and focus in the finals really.”
Kirby also finished fourth overall in the 110 meter hurdles at 15.05 seconds. Maroa-Forsyth’s Brady Larson will be moving on to Saturday finishing sixth in the event but Judah Christian’s Daryl Okeke was surprised when he beat Kirby in the final heat.
“Gives me more confidence because that was a pretty big PR,” Okeke said. “I wasn’t expecting to beat Kirby there, but that was really good. Yeah I have a lot of confidence for Saturday honestly.”
Pleasant Plains junior Zach Powell and Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond’s Max Allen finished first and second in the 400 coming in under 50 seconds. St. Teresa’s 4×100 meter relay won their heat and came in third overall, resetting a school record they previously held.
“Our goal is to go to state,” St. Teresa junior Christion Harper said. “We just did that. I’m ready for Saturday, I’m excited for it.”
The Class 2A and 3A preliminaries are on Friday with the state finals for all three classes on Saturday.