Nerves don’t bother Lindblom’s LittleShamier Little of Lindblom (right) wins the 400-meter dash, followed by Mercedes Young of Hillcrest. | Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 20, 2011 8:47PM
CHARLESTON, Ill. – Shamier Little has been here before, not that it’s any less stressful the second time around.
“I have tremendous butterflies,” the Lindblom sophomore said during Friday’s Class 2A girls track and field state preliminaries at O’Brien Stadium.
Even after winning her heat of the 100-meter hurdles with the day’s fastest qualifying time? “I still feel the same,” said Little, who was a top-eight placer in two events at state as a freshman.
Running scared seems to agree with Little in any case. She qualified first for Saturday’s finals in two events, running 14.60 seconds in the 100 hurdles and going 55.60 – the fastest 2A time in the state this season – in the 400. Little also made the finals in the 200, qualifying fourth at 24.79.
Right behind Little in the 100 hurdles was No. 2 qualifier Amber Farrell of IMSA, the defending champ in that event and the 300 hurdles. Farrell had the fastest qualifying time in the latter, a 44.53, but believes her best is yet to come.
“I wasn’t going all out,” she said of the 300 hurdles race. “The last 100, I sprinted in but I could see I was in front so I took it easy a little bit.”
That won’t be the case in the finals, where Farrell aims to end a weather-challenged spring on a high note.
“A lot of our meets were canceled this year,” she said. “I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to get my best times.
“There is a bit more pressure and more competition. But that’s good. I like having good competition.”
There is no shortage of that in the Class 2A sprints, where the stage is set for some intriguing showdowns Saturday.
Kankakee’s Dominique Kimpel, last year’s 100 and 200 champ, qualified first in both events at 11.95 and 24.18, respectively. She opted out of the 400 in order to help the Kays qualify fifth in the 400 relay.
Sycamore’s Lake Kwaza qualified second in the 100 and third in the 400, while Morgan Park’s Elexis Fairley advanced with the seventh best times in both the 100 and 200.
Woodstock’s Kayla Beattie, ranked fourth nationally in the 1,600, coasted in with the best qualifying time (5:08.10), which was about 19 seconds off her season best. She’ll also run the 3,200, an event in which she’s ranked second nationally and for which there were no preliminaries.
Afterward, Beattie deferred comment. “I just want to focus on my races [today],” she said.