New NSAF Select Meet: MVP Vibe Fest takes off with awesome fields

by Steve Underwood

The NSAF’s newest Select Meet, the Chicagoland MVP Vibe Fest (, brings some great competition plus some exciting, groundbreaking things to the sport that make it truly stand out during this 2021-22 season that is building toward the Nike Indoor Nationals.

First, there’s the most competitive, national-class fields to be seen yet at the spanking new Gately Track & Field Center in Chicago – and one of the best set of entries in any meet in the entire Midwest.

Then there’s a unique collaboration with US Cyber Games™, a PlayCyber by Katzcy program that blends athletics with cybersecurity games.  This gives student-athletes a rare opportunity to engage in another competitive and educational opportunity that they wouldn’t normally have during the course of a meet – and can positively impact their future.

More than 3000 athletes from 300 schools are entered. A Saturday morning high school division includes in-state athletes and others with their teams. But most of the elite out-of-state talent is competing in the High-school age Club division in the afternoon.

The competitive excellenct starts with some top preps who are entered a few of the four Olympic Development events that include pro athletes:

  • Roisin Willis (Stevens Point HS, WI ’22) is in the OD 400m with a group of 51- and 52-second quarter milers. She is fresh off her indoor HSR at 800m (2:00.06) last weekend, but her range is wide. She has run 52.64 for 400m outdoors and has an indoor best this winter of US#5 54.71. Her 400m resume includes a victory at the NSAF USA Meet of Champs in Myrtle Beach last March.
  • Trevin Moyer (Mountain Island Charter NC ’22) and Jordan Anthony (Tylertown MS ’22) are each entered in the 2nd heat of the OD 60m. Anthony was the champ of the NSAF’s The Outdoor Nationals 100m last summer in a PR 10.21 and has dashed US#2 6.70 at 60m this winter. Moyer’s best is 6.73 and also has a US#3 6.25 at 55m from his N.C. state title last weekend. Moyer and Anthony are also entered in the Boys 60m Invitational, so it remains to be seen which event they will contest (or both).

Some of the other top entries and events in the Club age 15-18 events (most being Invitational sections). We’ll start with the horizontal jumps, always strong events at any meet the NSAF is involved with:

  • B Triple Jump – A great battle is brewing between two of the top 3 in the country: US#2 Jayden Louis-Charles (Plano West TX ’22) with a 49-11.75 PR and US#3 Donovyn Fowler (Joplin MO ’22) at 49-9.25. They last met head-to-head in December, both achieving their PRs. The 50-foot barrier, which only Damilare Olukosi has achieved this winter, is in danger.
  • B Long Jump – Fowler is also in the long jump, to be contested earlier, and is second only to US#5 Alex Smith (Hilliard Darby OH ’22) on the entry list. Smith will be looking to improve on his 24-0.5 PR from December.
  • G TJ and LJ – Speaking of barriers, Genesis Jackson has a chance to bust through 40 feet in the girls’ TJ. The MVP League (South County VA HS) senior has a 39-10.25 best to lead the field, while also sporting an 18-3 LJ PR where she also stands as the girl to beat.
  • G 3200m and 1600m – Illinois standout Mary Grace Hegberg, from nearby St. Viator HS (’22), is the girl to beat in the event(s) of her choice as she’s entered as the top seed in both of the longest races. Her bests of 10:17.38 and 4:45.94 date back to last spring. She has run 4:51.81 so far this winter.

    Paityn Noe (Ballard IA ’23), an impressive 3000m winner in the recent Arkansas Invite with a US#3 9:44.97 PR, is a big challenger in the longer race. At half the distance, Morgan Monesmith (Hathaway Brown OH ’22), with a new 4:47.61 PR, stands as the top contender. Ava Parekh, a Chicago Latin senior who has had a fabulous career here in Illinois, is coming off a 4:52 at the Millrose Mile and could also win.
  • G 60mKayVeonna Jackson (Oklahoma Cheetahs) with a 7.39 best is the leader of a taut 60m field that includes Nebraska standout Dajaz Defrand (7.53) and Mississippi’s Kennedi Sanders (7.01 55m).

The MVP Vibe Fest web site notes that the MVP event is led by Coach Maurice Hutton’s Virginia-based MVP Track and Field, in cooperation with US Cyber Games™ (as mentioned above), a PlayCyber by Katzcy program that blends athletics with cybersecurity games. The MVP VIBE FEST bridges the gap between athletics and technology education by attracting some of most talented athletes and exposing them to the wonderful world of cybersecurity and cyber sports. It will bring together track and cybersecurity athletes, along with coaches and industry leaders, to raise awareness of the world of Cyber and the Metaverse, and to develop a pipeline of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, athletics, and math) professionals, with engagement starting as young as 10 years old.

These track athletes are among the best in their field; this event will introduce them to a new arena of competition, where they can learn how to be cyber athletes. When they are not racing on the track, athletes will have the opportunity to engage in cybersecurity competitions with an exhibit hall full of games, information booths, prizes, and much more!


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