By Dan McGrath

Leo’s 4-x-100 relay team placed ninth and earned two points for the Lions in the IHSA Class 1-A State Track and Field Championships at Eastern Illinois University on Thursday, May 25 and Saturday, May 27.

Freshman Chase Jordan anchored the team, which also included seniors Isiah Knox, Ja’Mari Winters and Kevin Jackson. A ninth-place showing in preliminaries (:43.60) got the Lions through to the finals, where they moved up one spot to eighth despite posting a slightly slower time (:43.85).

Forreston won the event in :42.91, followed by Decatur St. Theresa (:42.98).

Leo’s 4-x-100 and 4-x-200 relay teams qualified for the state meet by virtue of first-place finishes at the Hope Academy Sectional one week previous, The 4-x-200 team (Knox, Jackson, Tim Durr, Jordan) could not get past the preliminaries, placing 13th in 1:31.52.

With a third-place finish at Hope (:11.33), Jordan was an individual state qualifier in the 100 meters. He finished 24th in the preliminaries at :11.35. Peyton Locke of Taylor Ridge Rockridge won the event in :10.86. Brady Anderson of Morrison (5th, :11.01) was the only freshman to finish higher than Jordan.

Catlin Salt Fork won the Class 1-A state championship with 45 points, followed by Shelbyville (30.5), Newton (30), Tuscola (29) and Auburn (25).

Leo Sophomore Nick Armour didn’t qualify for the shot-put finals after finishing 30th (37, feet 6 inches) in preliminaries. Garrett Taylor of Catlin Salt Fork won the event with a best effort of 50 feet, 6 inches. Evan Sanders of Johnson City (25th, 42 feet, 7 inches) and Brynner Inman of Nashville (29th, 39-8) were the only sophomores to place higher than Armour, who was making a return trip to the state meet, qualified by finishing second in the Hope Sectional with a heave of 39-8.

Junior Joshua Ball, another repeat participant, was eliminated from triple-jump competition in the preliminaries, topping out at 40 feet, ½ inch. Junior Max Mibreth of Pecatonica was the winner at 44 feet, 8 inches. Ball was first in the Hope Sectional with a best effort of 41-8.