After watching Deshon Buchanan compete last season, Belleville West track coach Patton Segraves knew he had a potenetial state-caliber sprinter in the making.
Now the rest of the state will know it, too.
Now a junior, Buchanan used his raw power to get out of the starting blocks with a burst and never looked back as he won the 60-meter dash in just a shade over 6.9 seconds to lead the way for the Maroons on Friday at the (Edwardsville) Tigers Indoor Track and Field Meet at Principia College.
In an 11-team meet which included Class 3A state power Edwardsville and four-time defending Class 2A state champion Cahokia, Buchanan had one of the top performances as the many of the area’s top track athletes gave glimpse of things to come during 2015.
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“Deshon got out of the blocks quickly and that’s a little surprising considering we really haven’t done a lot of work with the starting blocks quite yet,” Segtraves said. “After working with him last year we knew what he could do and this was a good way for him to start his season.
“That time tonight will be the second-fastest in the state this season and should be one of the top 50 in the nation. But the race of the night was the frosh-soph 60 meters, where we had four runners in the top five. We’ve got a few young sprinters with a lot of potetnial.”
West also won the varsity 800-meter relay and got a throw of 52 feet from Ricky Nelson, who won the shot put.
Host Edwardsville got an impressive win from senior Isaiah Michl in the 400. A University of Illinois recruit, Michl won the competitive event which included top 400 runners Tremain Streater of Collinsville and Tyran Lyons of Cahokia.
Cahokia competed without nationally-ranked junior Jamari Ward. One of the nation’s best in both the triple jump and long jump, Ward is competing this weekend in a national indoor meet in New York City. Comanches coach Leroy Millsap is with Ward at the meet.
But that didn’t stop the Comanches from shining in the 3,200, 1,600 and 800 relays. The Comanches actually crossed the finish line in front of West in the 800 relay, but were disqualified.
Cahokia actually trailed both Edwardsville and O’Fallon in the varsity 3,200 relay, but got a strong anchor leg from junior Chris McGee to post the come-from behind win.
“We had a freshman who had run a 2-minute, 1-second split who had been running on the varsity, that we put on the leadoff leg of the fresh-soph 3,200 tonight to try and steal both races,” Comanches assistant coach John Dowell said. “We got behind in the varsity race and Chris (McGee) just ran a great anchor leg to help bring us back.”