Wesclin senior Jason Bliven and Madison senior Carvel Dixon qualified for two finals apiece each as they led the way for metro-east athletes Thursday during the preliminary round of the Class 1A boys state track and field meet in Charleston.
Ignoring windy and chilly conditions at O'Brien Stadium, Bliven moved into the finals in both the 110 and 300 meters, while Dixon clinched a pair of state medals by sprinting into the finals of both the 100 and 200.
Bliven put himself into position for a possible state championship by clocking in at 40.03 for the fastest time of qualifying. The Warrior standout also posted the fifth-best time in the 110 hurdles at 15.53 seconds.
Dixon also should be a two-time medal winner. The Trojans senior has the third-best time in the 100 (11.0) and posted the fifth-fastest time in the 200 (22.43).
While the Class 1A athletes had the track to themselves, Class 2A and Class 3A athletes from around the state will try to qualify for the finals Friday. The Class 2A preliminaries begin at 8 a.m. with the Class 3A participants taking the field at noon.
The finals in all three classes begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at O'Brien Stadium, which is located on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.
The Nashville Hornets will be well represented in the discus finals, after Devin Holle and Chase Hagene had the third- and fourth-best efforts.
Holle got off a throw of 149-feet-8 inches, while Hagene is right behind him at 149-7.
Sparta ran a 8:22.91 to qualify 10th in the 3,200 relay. Zach Hall, Derrick Barnett, Kyle Hagne and Dylan Huether took the track for the Bulldogs in that race.
Also competing in the Class 1A finals will be 3,200 runners Kenny Heaton of Sparta and Ethan Duclos of Red Bud. The 3,200 does not hold a preliminary round.