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RECENT NEWS AND UPDATES

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2017 Track Team Picture

2017 MAPLE LEAF BOYS TRACK & FIELD TEAM

Minus a few

BACK GENESEO TRACK

RECENT NEWS AND UPDATES

.

2017 Track Team Picture

2017 MAPLE LEAF BOYS TRACK & FIELD TEAM

Minus a few

BACK GENESEO TRACK

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IMPORTANT EVENTS

WHAT: Honoring of State Medalists
WHERE: Middle School Gym
WHEN: Thursday, June 1st
TIME: 7:00 p.m.

WHAT: Team Banquet
WHERE: Evangelica-Free Church on Chicago Street
WHEN: Tuesday, June 6th
TIME: 6:00 p.m.

COME ON OUT AND BACK “da LEAFS”

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On Medal Stand

1600 METER RELAY TEAM CLAIMS GOLD

Pictured are the All-State 2A 1600 Meter Relay All-State Award Winners.
In the middle are: Nathan Soria, Reed Vanderheyden, Nick Swartzendruber, and Lucas Hofer who WON Geneseo’s First Ever State Relay Championship at the IHSA Meet.

LEAFS 4TH IN STATE

On Saturday, May 27th, the Leafs sent 7 qualifiers in 6 events to the IHSA State Finals. I have been coming to this meet for over 30 years and I have NEVER seen better weather for this meet. The daytime high of 80 degree with a slight wind of 5 mph resulted in PERFECT competition conditions.

Senior Sam Thomas got the day going in the Shot Put where he was already sitting 8th with his preliminary throw of 52′ 07 1/2″. Sam had a great series of throws. His first of three final tosses landed over 52 feet. There was very little movement in the standings and when the event was over, Sam had become just the 2nd Geneseo athlete to earn All-State Honors in THREE different sports his senior year. The Leafs were on the board with two critical points.

Next up was the 3200 Meter Relay. The field was loaded and and the race live up to the it’s hype. Several of the teams “front-end loaded” their orders. Senior Cayson Frerichs led off for the Leafs with a season best time of 1:59.24cr to have us sitting in 5th place. Senior Andrew Benhart was up next and threw down a 2:00.24cr with a strong finish to hang on to 5th place. Normal U-High was gone and on their way to the State Title while a ferocious battle was being raged among 8 teams for the silver medals. Senior Nathan Soria rocketed the Leafs into 2nd place with a 55 second opening 400. The field closed and when he handed off the baton after a courageous 2:01.24cr the Leafs were sitting 4th. Nick Swartzendruber, running anchor for the Leafs, covered the opening 400 in 58 seconds with eight teams all within one second of each other. It was simply one of the most amazing races I’ve ever witnessed. Nick was in 4th place with 200 meter to go with the “Wolves licking their chops”. Nick dug deep and moved the Leafs into 2nd place in the homestretch battling every step of the way. His final split was an impressive 1:56.64cr and the Leafs had broken the school record running 7:56.33. Add 8 points to the Leafs team score to tally 10 points.

Up next were Junior Reed Vanderheyden and Senior Andrew Pischke in the 110 Meter High Hurdles. They were sitting in lanes 8 and 9 as they were the final two qualifiers for the final. The race was unusual in that none of the finalists ran into technique problems and resulted in a new 2A state meet record. Reed grabbed 7th place in 15.02 while Andrew placed 8th in 15.16 as each man moved up one place over the final flight of hurdles. We thought that they had added 5 team points. Unfortunately, a yellow flag went up and we heard the dreaded “Geneseo, please send a Coach to the dugout” announced over the P.A. That is never a good thing and were eventually told that Andrew had been disqualified. An official saw his trail leg not go completely over the hurdle. We protested the call, asking for video evidence to confirm the call. We were told that it was a judgement call and the call would stand. No one deserves this fate, let alone Andrew who has been through so this season already. He proved what kind of man he is by wiping the tears from his eyes and telling his teammates to keep rolling. The University of LaCrosse has hit a home run by signing him. Add 3 points to the Leafs team total for a score of 13.

Next up was Junior Nick Swartzendruber in the 400 Meter Final. Nick was still feeling the effects of his 800 Meter Relay leg that saw him go “deep to the well”. He got out aggressively and came home in 7th place to nail down another All-State Medal to his collection and 3 more points for the Maple Leafs total. The team had 16 Points with two scoring opportunities to go.

Junior Reed Vanderheyden was up next in the finals of the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. The race was extremely fast and competitive with an ALL-TIME IHSA RECORD for ANY CLASS being set. Reed ran a gutsy race and was hurting pretty bad coming off the final flight of hurdles. He was passed by two runners in the final step to go from 3rd place to 5th place. Add 5 critical points to the Leafs score to total 21.

Last up for the Leafs was the 1600 Meter Relay. I am sure that this is true for all of the teams but we certainly had some tired men. Nathan was running his 4th race, while both Reed and Nick were running their 6th races in two days. For Nick, that included four 400’s and two 800’s. Junior Reed Vanderheyden exploded from the starting blocks and ran a spirited race (just after the 300 I.H.) and handed off with the Leafs sitting in a close 3rd and splitting 50.74cr. Senior Nathan Soria was up next and also ran a highly spirited race that saw him hand off the baton in 3rd place after throwing down ad split of 50.94cr. Senior Lucas Hofer grabbed the baton and got out nicely but was passed on the backstretch dropping to 4th place. He gauged his effort perfectly and exploded off the final turn to grab the lead and just kept on going. He handed off the “stick” to “Nasty” with a 20 meter lead after splitting 50.44cr. Junior Nick Swartzendruber got out hard to discourage any of the pursuing teams and had a HUGE GRIN on his face during the final 100 meters. He split a 50.04cr and brought the Maple Leafs home in a new school record of 3:21.27. This was the first Relay Gold Medal in SCHOOL HISTORY!!! What a way to end the meet. Add 10 more points to the team score. The Leafs ended up with a total of 31 points. That was a mere 2 points out of 3rd and only 6 points out of 1st. The Leafs had placed 4th in the 2A STATE MEET! GREAT JOB, MEN!

Leafs who placed in the IHSA State Finals and scored points are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden, Nathan Soria, Lucas Hofer, Nick Swartzendruber (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Cayson Frerichs, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Nick Swartzendruber (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 5th Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 7th Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash)
  • 7th Place: Reed Vanderheden (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 8th Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put)

RESULTS

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Andrew Hurdling

LEAFS CONTINUE TO CLEAR “HURDLES”

Pictured is Senior Andrew Pischke who qualified for Saturday’s
final in the 110 Meter High Hurdles

LEAFS HAVE BIG DAY IN IHSA PRELIMS

On Friday, May 26th, the Leafs participated in the 123rd IHSA State Track and Field Championship. Friday was qualifying for the 2A and 3A teams with all finals taking place on Saturday, May 27th. The weather was perfect with little to no wind (7 mph) and a daytime high of 78Àö It doesn’t get much better than that.

Action for the Leafs began at 9:00 a.m. sharp with the running of the 3200 Meter Relay. The team brought with them a plethora of experience, shooting for All-State Honors for the 3rd straight year in this event. The goal was to win the heat and auto-advance to Saturday’s final. The team executed that goal to perfection with Cayson Frerichs (2:00.34cr), Andrew Benhart (2:00.74cr), Nathan Soria (2:01.74cr) and Nick Swartzendruber (2:01.14cr.) The race set up perfectly so that Nick could cruise it in the last 400 meters and save something for his 400 meter dash and the 1600 meter relay. The team ran a solid time of 8:03.24.

Meanwhile, in the Shot Put, Senior Sam Thomas was in the process of booking his ticket into Saturday’s Final. Sam tossed the shot put 52′ 07 1/2″ to qualify in the 8th of 12 spots. Great job, Sam. This is Sam’s 2nd straight state meet so the experience he gained from last year is priceless.

Next up was Senior Jacob Verplaetse who was ready to do battle in the Pole Vault. Jacob cleared 12′ 00″ to tie for 10th in the second flight. Jacob did a great job of competing in his first state meet experience. A lot of “first timers” no-height. It took 13′ 03″ to qualify for the finals.

Meanwhile, Junior Ryver Griffin was competing in the Triple Jump. Ryver was in the 2nd flight and struggled to get his mark down on his first two jumps. He nailed his final jump soaring over the 40′ marker, landing 41′ 2″ to place 10th in his flight. Ryver did a great job qualifying for his first state meet. It took 43′ 1 3/4″ to qualify for the finals.

Next up for the Leafs were Senior Andrew Pischke and Junior Reed Vanderheyden who were both in heat two of four in the 110 Meter High Hurdles. They placed 3rd and 4th in the highly competitive heat with Reed running 14.77 and Andrew running 14.88. We had to sweat out two more heats but when the “dust had settled” they had both squeaked into Saturday’s Final qualifying in the last two spots. Job well done, Men!!! Qualifying two team members in one event is VERY rare.

Up next was Junior “Nasty” Nick Swartzendruber in the 400 Meter Dash. Nick was considered a “long shot” to qualify for the finals. Nick’s opinion of that was on display in the first 100 meters as he “Roared” down the backstretch, going out faster than he has ever gone out in his life. The end result was a 2nd place finish and a new Junior Class School Record for the Maple Leafs as he ran a “jaw-dropping” 49.91 to qualify for Saturday’s Final.

Junior Reed Vanderheyden lined up for the Leafs next in heat two (of 3) in the 300 Intermediate Hurdles. Already a two time All-Stater in the event, he had a solid race going until the 5th hurdle and then struggled to get “back on his step”. He “CRUSHED” the final hurdle and barely stayed on his feet to cross the finish line in 3rd place with a time of 39.15. Reed showed a tremendous amount of “grit” to gut out the 2nd half of the race. Great effort, Reed.

The Leafs closed their day out in the 1600 Meter Relay. The goal was to win the heat and auto-qualify. Mission accomplished as Junior Reed Vanderheyden (52.24cr on a short recovery), Senior Nathan Soria (51.24cr), Senior Lucas Hofer (50.84cr), and Junior Nick Swartzendruber (49.84cr) not only won their heat but held the number one qualifying time “when the dust had settled” after the 3rd heat had finished. The Leafs time was 3:23.07. Bring on SATURDAY!!!

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Heading to State

“STATE MEET FEVER……CATCH IT”

Row 1: Ryver Griffin, Raymond Venneberg, Jacob Verplaetse, Cayson Frerichs, Kyle Sellers, Kyle Hofer; Row 2: Sam Thomas, Reed Vanderheyden, Nick Swartzendruber, Lucas Hofer, Andrew Pischke, Nathan Soria, Colton Pischke

14 LEAFS HEADED TO STATE

On Thursday, May 25th, the Leafs departed Geneseo headed for Charleston, Illinois and the 123rd year for the State Series. The Leafs qualified in the following events:

  • Pole Vault: (Jacob Verplaete)
  • Shot Put: (Sam Thomas)
  • Triple Jump: (Ryver Griffin)
  • 3200 Meter Relay: (Cayson Frerichs, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Nick Swartzendruber)
  • 110 Meter High Hurdles: (Andrew Pischke)
  • 110 Meter High Hurdles: (Reed Vanderheyden)
  • 400 Meter Dash: (Nick Swartzendruber)
  • 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles: (Reed Vanderheyden)
  • 1600 Meter Relay: (Reed Vanderheyden, Nathan Soria, Lucas Hofer, Reed Vanderheyden)
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Animal Jacob

JACOB IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Jacob Verplaetse who was selected by the coaching staff as the
“Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of May 15th – May 21st

SENIOR JACOB VERPLAETSE IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Senior Jacob Verplaetse was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of May 15th – May 21st. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Rochelle I.H.S.A. Sectional Meet held on Thursday, May 18th.

Jacob has been a key member of our pole vault squad ever since he entered Geneseo High School. Jacob cleared 9’06” as a freshman and has continued his climb upwards ever since. On Thursday, May 18th, Jacob “threw down” a THIRTEEN INCH personal best as he soared 13′ 01″. By the way, that also happens to be the IHSA State Meet qualifying height so Jacob QUALIFIED FOR THE STATE MEET. To say he is closing his high school athletic career out on a “high” would be putting it mildly.

Jacob has put in countless hours of practice time into the pole vault and has benefited from the coaching skills of many individuals including: Matthew Deets, Wes Jackson, Steve Sulfridge, Jay Wilson, Daniel Rakestraw, Larry Ward, Mel Snook, Chad Thomas, and former teammate, Arthur Atwell. I know that the list is on the long side but our Pole Vault Coaching slot has been a literal revolving door. We greatly appreciate all of the contributions that each coach brought to “da table”. Jacob has done a great job of adjusting to the different coaching philosophy that each man possesses and “made it work”.

Jacob has always possessed a strong competitive fire but something helped him literally raise “da bar” this year and we’ll call that SENIOR PRIDE. What he accomplished at the Rochelle Sectional Meet was literally “jaw-dropping” with his sequence of jumps. He opened at 10′ 07″ and then Coach Matthew Deets had him and fellow Maple Leaf, Raymond Venneberg, skip the next height. They both cleared 11″ 07 and then P.R’d at 12′ 01″. From there, Jacob just kept going as he then cleared 12′ 07″ before facing the state qualifying standard of 13′ 01″.

Jacob is no stranger to athletic success having served the “Green Machine” football team, at the Varsity Level, for the past three seasons. He also has been a key member of the Geneseo High School Bowling Club for two season before the “Club” became and IHSA Event for the Maple Leafs. Jacob threw a career high 202 while earning his Varsity Letter. He also played soccer for the Geneseo High School his freshman and sophomore years (doubling up with football.) He also went four for four in regard to Varsity Letters for the Maple Leaf Track and Field Team, primarily as a pole vaulter. He also hurdled, sprinted, and pretty much did anything the coaching staff asked him to do. You see, Jacob has a TEAM FIRST philosophy and we are extremely proud of him.

Jacob is the proud son of Jane and Dean Verplaetse. He is also the proud middle child of seven children. They include Wyatt (27), Lauren (24), Luke (21), Andrew (current 10th grader), Eric (current 9th grader), and Will (current 7th grader.) Keep Dreaming Big, Jacob. All the best at the IHSA State Meet. Get ready to discover the wonders of the “Harvard of the Midwest”.

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Relay Record Breakers

37 YEAR-OLD SCHOOL 3200 METER RELAY RECORD GOES DOWN

Pictured are: Cayson Frerichs, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, and Nick Swartzendruber who made history by taking down the 37 year-old school record set in 1980

LEAFS HAVE STRONG SHOWING AT THE
LOADED ROCHELLE SECTIONAL

On Thursday, May 18th, the Leafs loaded the bus and took off for Rochelle at 1:00 p.m. to compete in the IHSA Sectional Meet. Unfortunately, the meet fell during our Final Exams but we had no decision in creating that conflict. Anyway, away we went to join teams from: Burlington Central, Byron, Dixon, Erie-Prophetstown, Freeport, Galena, Geneseo, Genoa-Kingston, Maple Park Kaneland, Rochelle, Rock Falls, Rock Island Alleman, Sterling, Stillman Valley, and Sycamore. This particular sectional field has been ranked as the most competitive 2A sectional in the state for several years. We were a bit surprised when the assignments were released and we saw that Alleman and Geneseo had been added to the field with all of the “Big Dogs” also staying put. We were both excited and concerned about the change. Ultimately, we felt it was a plus for our team to go up against such a strong sectional field knowing it would provide our qualifiers with a better set-up (competition-wise) for the State Finals the following weekend. The only problem is, you have to qualify to get there and weather can become a HUGE issue and it did.

The weatherman gave us a daytime high of 71Àö with 15 to 20 southwest winds blowing during the first part of the meet (field events.) Some of those events were helped and some were made more challenging. More on the actual competition later. The wind gradually shifted to a strong north wind early in the running events. During the transition, the conditions were great for about an hour. Then, the wind again kicked up which made it extremely difficult for extra athletes (rather than just the top two in each event) to qualify for the State Meet.

Leading the team to a strong 3rd place finish were State Qualifiers: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump with a 15″ personal best); Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles); Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash); Sam Thomas (Shot Put); Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault with a 13″ personal best); the 1600 Meter Relay (Reed Vanderheyden, Nathan Soria, Lucas Hofer, Nick Swartzendruber); and the 3200 Meter Relay (Cayson Frerichs, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Nick Swartzendruber who broke the 37 year-old school record set in 1980 of 8:00.54c (Jeff Renihan, Bryan Colbert, Dave Paxson, Keith Kincaid.) The new record is 7:57.89. The team also gained valuable points from the following men who barley missed “booking their tickets” to “da big dance”: Ben Cosgrave (4th in Long Jump with a season best jump of 20′ 05 3/4″); Raymond Venneberg (7th place in Pole Vault….SKIED over his season best jump of 12′ 01″); the 400 Meter Relay Team (Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke) who placed 3rd with a season best time of 44.00 missing by a mere .09 seconds; Lucas Hofer (3rd in 400 Meter Dash…with a STRONG north wind on the backstretch…he would have qualified on time with a “normal wind”; and Andrew Pischke (Drew) was running the race of his life in the 300 meter hurdles but saw his race end when he came up just short on the FINAL hurdle….despite the wind…..Coach Deets said he had the 3rd fastest time in the state going….he got up and finished. Way to “Man Up, Andrew”. Simply put, the Leafs had a TREMENDOUS NIGHT and the intense competition provided via this sectional has our team ready for the State Finals.

Now on to STATE!

Leafs who scored points in the meet via their top six place finish were:

  • 2nd Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden, Nathan Soria, Lucas Hofer, Nick Swartzendruber (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Cayson Frerichs, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Nick Swartzendruber (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump)
  • 4th Place: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put)
  • 5th Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 6th Place: Colton Pischke, Logan Weber, Ben Cosgrave, Keegan Minnaert (800 Meter Relay)

RESULTS

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Animal Blake

BLAKE IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Junior Blake Duncan who was selected by the coaching staff as the
“Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of May 8th – May 14th

JUNIOR BLAKE DUNCAN IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Junior Blake Duncan was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of May 8th – May 14th. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Moline F/S Invitational held on Monday, May 8th and in the Northern Illinois Big-12 Track and Field Conference Meet held on Friday, May 12th.

Being a junior, Blake did not suit up for the Moline F/S Invitational. His action was limited to the NIB-12 Conference Meet. During that meet he injured his foot and was limited to running only one race. What a race that was. Blake toed “da line” for the 3200 Meter Run seeded to place 6th and over 10 seconds out of 5th. When the gun sounded Blake and his training partner (Brandon Ramos) ran an extremely aggressive race strategy. They both realized how important it was to “set the tone” for the meet by bringing their “A-Game” and fighting for every point our team could grab.

Blake made the decision to be “in it” early and rolled through early splits of 71 – 2:25 – 3:40 – and the 1600 in 4:55. The top 3 runngers were “gone” but there was a tremendous battle being waged for the 4th, 5th, and 6th place points. Blake hung tough and matched multiple surges and it was eventually down to him hanging on DeKalb’s two sub 10 minute men. Blake fought a tremendous battle and threw down a 66 second final as he moved into 4th place on the backstretch. DeKalb’s top man kicked him down but Blake made him go “DEEP TO WELL”. As Blake staggered across the finish line, I saw him smile because he knew he run a tremendous race. When I yelled you just ran 9:51 (that’s an EIGHTEEN SECOND SEASON BEST IMPROVEMENT) he raised both arms….still staggering around.

Blake’s race caught the attention of the entire team and helped to ignite one of the sparks that grew into a “raging fire” that is also called, “momentum”. The whole NIB-12 took notice and realized that the Two-Time Defending Champion Maple Leafs would NOT go down without a fight. There were many other brave efforts on display during the evening and it was a difficult choice to select this week’s Animal of the Week Award Winner. After considerable discussion amongst the coaching staff, Blake was selected with a unanimous selection. Way to roll, Blake.

His time of 9:51.96 is the 16th fastest individual time in school history. It is also the 11th fastest junior individual time in school history. When one considers the proud tradition that Geneseo has in track and field and in this particular case distance running, it obvious that Blake has broken through to a new level. He has already been elected as a Tri-Captain for next fall’s cross country team. There is no better way to lead than by example and few do it any better than Blake Duncan. His work ethic and dedication to the pursuit of excellence is nothing short of impressive. Keep paying the dues that excellence demands. While you’re at it don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

Blake is the proud son of Shawna and Chad Duncan. He is also the proud older brother of Alexander (Alex….current 2nd grader.) All the best in the future, Blake. It is a true honor to be one of your coaches. Thanks for going “All In”. You have already discovered an important life skill. Goals that are extremely difficult to achieve bring an intense level on intrinsic reward. Keep Dreaming Big. Can you say STATE MEET FEVER?

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Team after Conference winLEAFS WIN

Pictured is much of the team seconds after the final team scores were announced.
We went a little CRAZY!!!

LEAFS WIN DRAMATIC, COME FROM BEHIND,
NIB-12 THREE-PEAT

On Friday, May 12th, the Leafs traveled to Sycamore High School for the Northern Illinois Big-12 Conference Track and Field Championship. This was the track team’s first ever visit to Sycamore. The field included teams from: DeKalb, Geneseo, Kaneland, LaSalle-Peru, Morris, Ottawa, Rochelle, Sterling, Sycamore, and Yorkville. The weatherman provided the meet with near ideal conditions with a daytime high of 71Àö and mild winds (they did pick up a bit late in the meet.)

After the seeding meeting was held on Wednesday, May 10th at Sycamore High School, we had each team’s entries and were able to analyze the team battle “on paper”. It looked like a 3-team battle between Sterling (92 points), Geneseo (91 points), and Yorkville (88 points.) Pre-Season favorite, DeKalb, was only seeded 5th (63.50 points) due to several key injuries. It looked like a “barn-burner” and the pre-meet hype lived up to its name and more.

Sterling got off to a tremendous start in the field events out-performing their seeds. The Leafs were close . . . scoring 15 of their projected field events points and were led by Senior Sam Thomas (2nd in the Shot Put with a career best and state-ranked 53′ 03.5″) and Junior Ryver Griffin who moved from 6th to 3rd on his final Triple Jump attempt to nail down 6 critical team points with his 3rd place finish. It was that kind of night and every single point was omnipotent.

On the track, the Leafs scored in 11 of the 12 events and came from over 20 points down after the 800 Meter Relay to move ahead by scoring 16 points with 1st and 3rd place finishes in both the 400 Meter Dash (Nick Swartzendruber and Lucas Hofer) and in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles (Reed Vanderheyden and Andrew Pischke.) The entire team was caught up in the battle and each man did what he could do to contribute.

After the 200 Meter Dash where Reed Vanderheyden grabbed 3rd place, we were 9 1/2 points down to Yorkville. We needed to win the 1600 Meter Relay without Reed (evented out) and have Yorkville NOT score. The 4 x 4 ran an impressive 3:25 (w/out Reed….welcome back Lucas Hofer!!!) However, Yorkville grabbed 6th so we thought we lost by 1/2 point. The team gathered and each coach told them how proud of them we were. What a team effort. They were ready to go and congratulate Yorkville when the team scores started to be announced. When they announced Yorkville placing 2nd, our team erupted. It was a moment I will never forget. The pure emotion. It turned out that there were some mistakes announced following the 200 Meter Dash and it was re-analyzed. Andrew Pischke had placed 6th and Yorkville’s 2nd man (who we thought had placed 4th) had placed 7th. When the dust had settled, the Leafs had 3-Peated with a hard-fought 98.50 to 94 point win. The Leafs outperformed their seeds by a critical 7.50 points.

It was truly a meet where every single man was a “difference maker”. Pretty cool stuff. I could go on for a very long time but won’t. A special thanks to our senior class for leading the team to another conference crown. Now on to Sectionals. The team was led by top 3 finishers: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash); Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); Kyle Sellers, Natan Soria, Lucas Hofer, Nick Swartzendruber (1600 Meter Relay); Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles); Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run); Sam Thomas (Shot Put); and the 3200 Meter Relay team consisting of Andrew Benhart, Kyle Sellers, Nathan Soria, Matthew Ganson.

Listed are the team members who scored points in the meet via their top 6 place finishes:

  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Sellers, Natan Soria, Lucas Hofer, Nick Swartzendruber (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put)
  • 2nd Place: Andrew Benhart, Kyle Sellers, Nathan Soria, Matthew Ganson (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 3rd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (200 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 5th Place: Blake Duncan (3200 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: Kyle Sellers, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Keegan Minnaert (800 Meter Relay)
  • 5th Place (Tie): Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Zach Humphrey (Discus)
  • 6th Place: Andrew Pischke (200 Meter Dash)

RESULTS

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1st Place Finishers

LEAFS 4TH IN F/S NIB-12

Pictured are Geneseo’s F/S first place finishers. Pictured from L to R are: Carson
Cocquit, Neo Colter, Kaden Rink, Colton Pischke, Peter Rizzo, and Kyle Hofer.

On Friday, May 12th, the Leafs traveled to Sycamore High School for the Northern Illinois Big-12 Conference Track and Field Championship. The F/S Conference Meet was held in conjunction with the Varsity Conference Meet. The field included teams from: DeKalb, Geneseo, Kaneland, LaSalle-Peru, Morris, Ottawa, Rochelle, Sterling, Sycamore, and Yorkville. The weatherman provided the meet with near ideal conditions with a daytime high of 71Àö and mild winds (they did pick up a bit late in the meet.)

After the seeding meeting was held on Wednesday, May 10th, at Sycamore High School, we had each team’s entries and were able to analyze the team battle “on paper”. We LOADED up for the Varsity Division and put any F/S athlete that we thought even had a slight chance of placing in the Varsity Division “UP”. We knew that we needed every single point that we could muster. With that being said, our team possesses a tremendous amount of depth and we were pleasantly surprised that even though we had so many guys moved up we were still seeded to place 6th in the competitive NIB-12.

The competition was fierce and the host Sycamore Spartans came ready to “rumble”. They were only seeded for 4th place but ended up winning the meet with an even 100 points. Not far behind was the pre-meet favorite, Kaneland (Knights) who fell a mere 3 points short with 97. Morris grabbed 3rd scoring 95 points with the Leafs outperforming their seeds to grab 4th place while scoring 76 points. The team was led by “Gold Medalists: Kyle Hofer (Long Jump & Triple Jump); Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles), Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run); and the 3200 Meter Relay Team of Kaden Rink, Neo Colter, Carson Cocquit, and Peter Rizzo.

The team was led by the following individuals who placed in the top 6 to score points for the team:

  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (Long Jump)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles_
  • 1st Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Kaden Rink, Neo Colter, Carson Cocquit, Peter Rizzo (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus)
  • 4th Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Luke Sebastian (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 5th Place: Jordan Seeley (200 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Tucker Ziegenhorn (Discus)
  • 5th Place: Nathan Carroll, Carson Cocquit, Kaden Rink, Peter Rizzo (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 6th Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Max Bealer, Billy Cosgrave, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (800 Meter Relay)
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Animal Lucas

Spartans

LUCAS IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Lucas Hofer who was selected by the coaching staff as the
“Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of May 1st – May 7th

SENIOR LUCAS HOFER IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Senior Lucas Hofer was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of May 1st – May 7th. During that time, the Leafs competed in the UTHS J.V. Invitational held on Tuesday, May 2nd and in their own Geneseo John McCormick Invitational held on Friday, May 5th.

No one on our team has been faced with more adversity than Lucas Hofer. No one on our team has demonstrated more resilience than Lucas Hofer. Putting it lightly, “Hof” has had a tough senior year. His senior campaign started off on the first day of football practice. It was a no-contact day and he was running a simple cut and tragically tore his ACL in his right knee. Thus, he was forced to miss his entire senior football season because of a fluke accident. CRAZY and terribly unfair.

Lucas underwent reconstructive surgery on his ACL and the long rehabilitation route. Eventually, he was cleared to start conditioning and eventually competing. The only problem was that included a ginormous brace to protect his healing knee. He could train and race but only while wearing the brace. Throughout this extremely trying ordeal, Lucas kept an incredibly positive attitude. He attended every practice, even when he couldn’t run. He attended every meet, even when he couldn’t compete. All this for a returning All-Stater from the Leafs 4th Place 1600 Meter Relay Team. Simply amazing. Patience and resilience.

“Hof’s” week started on Tuesday, May 2nd, at the United Township J.V. Invitational. It is almost unheard of for a returning All-Stater to participate in a J.V. Invite but circumstances were, in the words of Coach Deets, “It is what it is”. He competed in the 400 Meter Dash and won it in a time of 54.51. He then came back in the 200 Meter Dash and placed 6th in a time of 24.87. I had a conversation with Lucas and shared with him the story of Ethan Reschke who “tore up” each of his knees during his sophomore and junior years. He came back his senior year to play basketball (with braces) and then ran track without them (he had been cleared.) He slowly came around and qualified for state in the 400 Meter Dash (didn’t qualify for the finals.) He then moved on to Monmouth College where he has earned All-American Honors 6 Times and is still counting (currently a senior.) I told Lucas his best days are ahead of him when he moves on to the University of Dubuque. He smiled and nodded his head.

Onto Friday, May 5th, and Geneseo’s John McCormick Inv. Lucas raced in the 400 Meter Dash (C-Division) and placed 2nd in a fine time of 53.84. Then, after the senior recognition, the next race up was the B-section of the 1600 Meter Relay. Matthew Ganson, Ben Cosgrave, and Andrew Benhart teamed up with Lucas to win the race in an excellent time of 3:32.24. The most amazing thing about the race was Lucas and his 3rd leg of the relay. He just looked different to me. He was so smooth on the backstretch and ROARED down the homestretch to finish in a huge season best of 52.84cr. As I watched him sprinting home, to my horror I noticed that he didn’t have his brace on. I immediately approached him thinking he made that decision against his medical advice. Coach Deets quickly intercepted me and shared that he had been cleared by our outstanding trainer, Kasey Zibton, to race for the first time without it. All I can say is, “Watch Out” because here comes “da Hof”.

Thanks for always being such a great team man. We wish you all the success that is possible for you this season, and most importantly, in college. DREAM BIG! You are a VERY special young man that has helped to make our team the same. Lucas is no stranger to “da big stage” having earned 3 Varsity Letters for the “Green Machine” as a starting tailback on offense and also as a starting Defensive Back. He also helped lead the Leafs to a 2nd place team finish at the IHSA State Track & Field Championship as he earned All-State Honors in the 1600 Meter Relay that grabbed 4th place. Lucas is the proud son of Erin and Eric Hofer. He is also the proud older brother of Claire (7th Grader) and Kyle (9th Grader). You have become Geneseo’s true “Cinderella Man”. Keep fighting the good fight! Get ready to fly without the brace. Don’t forget to have some fun along the way.

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Moline FS Gold Medalists

LEAF “GOLD MEDALISTS”

Pictured are Geneseo’s “Big 3”
Luke Sebastian, Kaden Rink, and Andrew Verplaetse each won an individual event!
(Luke: 300 Intermediate Hurdles.; Kaden: Triple Jump; Andrew: Pole Vault)

MOLINE F.S. INVITATIONAL

On Monday, May 8th, the Leafs traveled to Moline’s historic Browning Field to participate in the annual Moline F.S. Invitational. The meet featured three entries for each individual event and only one team for each relay. The field included teams from: Alleman, Erie-Prophetstown, Geneseo, Moline, Rock Island, and United Township.

The weatherman was kind to us because the sun came out just in time for the start of the meet and shot the temperature up from the upper 50’s to the upper 60’s in no time. With the NIB-12 coming up on Friday, we used the meet as a final competitive opportunity for some team members and a “tune-up” for others. We did NOT load up any events trying to score points. It is that exact point that makes me shake my head in amazement that the team claimed the “Silver” with a close 2nd place finish to team champion Moline, falling a mere 7 points short. Maybe, all the teams had the same idea with their entries, but I doubt it. Our future looks GREAT!

The Leafs were led by our three “Gold Medalists”: Kaden Rink (Triple Jump); Luke Sebastian (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); and Andrew Verplaetse (Pole Vault.)

Team members who scored points for the team via their top 6 place finish included:

  • 1st Place: Kaden Rink (Triple Jump)
  • 1st Place: Luke Sebastian (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 2nd Place: Billy Blaser (Shot Put)
  • 2nd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus)
  • 2nd Place: Colby Rapps (3200 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Luke Sebastian (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Carroll, Jordan Seeley, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (400 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Jordan Seeley, Carson Cocquit, Kaden Rink, Peter Rizzo (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Kaleb Decker, Neo Colter, Augie Schmitt, Juan Mejias-Dansbach (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Colton Pischke (100 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Kaden Rink (400 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Tucker Ziegenhorn (Discus)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Carroll, Jordan Seeley, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (800 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Kyle Hofer (200 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place (tie): Jaycob Norton (High Jump)
  • 4th Place: Nathaniel Tisor (Long Jump)
  • 5th Place: Justin Lyman (Shot Put)
  • 5th Place: Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Zach Bauer (800 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Kyle Hofer (100 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Mick Mooney (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 6th Place: Colton Pischke (400 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Colby Rapps (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)

RESULTS

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Andrew and Reed hugging

ANDREW PISCHKE AND REED VANDERHEYDEN TAKE DOWN 110 METER HIGH HURDLES SCHOOL RECORD.

Pictured are Senior Andrew Pischke and Junior Reed Vanderheyden moments
after learning that each man had DESTROYED the school record in the
110 Meter High Hurdles. In the background “Photo Bombing”
is former Leaf Hurdler, Cam Yeater

LEAFS WIN MCCORMICK ABC INVTE ON SENIOR NIGHT

On Friday, May 5th, the Leafs played host to their annual Geneseo John McCormick Invitational. The meet is named after long-time track coach, John McCormick, who guided the Maple Leafs for 29 years. Coach McCormick is a member of the Illinoiis Track & Cross Country Coaches Association (ITCCCA) Hall of Fame.

The field included teams from: Alleman, Canton, Dixon, Erie/Prophetstown, Forreston, Fulton, Galesburg, Geneseo, LaSalle-Peru, Metamora, Ottawa, Peoria Richwoods, Princeton, Rock Falls, and Sherrard. The meet features A-B-C competition in the individuals along with A and B Relays. The end result is a ton of guys were given the opportunity to compete.

The meet had to co-exist with the construction project (Project Leaf) which is on-going. The construction crew (with a strong arm twist from Geneseo Athletic Director, Travis Mackey) allowed the use of the brand new west grandstand. The west field lights were also “christened” with a temporary “hook-up”. Mr. Mackey also brought in portable field lights for the backstretcth. In addition, former Rock Island Throwing Starter, Jason Nunnm (Under Coach Mackey) came out to help “fire-up” our FAT. Garrett Albers (Geneseo), Dennis Hartz (Sterling), Trent Swords (Ottawa) and the incomparable James Roodhouse (Geneseo) made it happen. It took a while but it was rolling just in time for the 800 Meter Run.

The highlights were many. Leading that effort were 110 Meter High Hurlers Reed Vanderheyden and Andrew Pischke who both SMASHED the school record for the 110 Meter High Hurdles (14.84c) with times of 14.64c and 14.74c. The previous school record was held by: Cory Parrish (2000), Jim Varga (1986), and Fred Little (1984.) The team claimed “Gold” (1st Place) in FOURTEEN EVENTS. Team members who earned a first place finish in the meet where: Cole Howard (Shot Put-C); Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-A & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-B); 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-C & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-C); Kyle Sellers (800 Meter Run-B); Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run-A); Sam Thomas (Shot Put-A) Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles-B & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-A); Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay-A): Kyle Hofer, Drew Rapps, Ryver Griffin, Keegan Minnaert (800 Meter Relay-B): Matthew Ganson, Ben Cosgrave, Lucas Hofer, Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Relay-B); Noah Sebastian, Carson Cocquit, Spencer Lindstrom, Peter Rizzo (3200 Meter Relay-B.)

The team showed impressive depth as they impressively scored in 36 of the 44 events. The following team members helped the team place first over via their scoring points for the team via their top 6 place finish in the meet:

  • 1st Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put-C)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-A)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Sellers (800 Meter Run-B)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run-A)
  • 1st Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put-A)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-A)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay-A)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer, Drew Rapps, Ryver Griffin, Keegan Minnaert (800 Meter Relay-B)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson, Ben Cosgrave, Lucas Hofer, Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Relay-B)
  • 1st Place: Noah Sebastian, Carson Cocquit, Spencer Lindstrom, Peter Rizzo (3200 Meter Relay-B)
  • 2nd Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Blake Duncan (3200 Meter Run-A)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer (Long Jump-C)
  • 2nd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash-C)
  • 2nd Place (Tie): Jack Morrell (Pole Vault-C)
  • 2nd Place: Brandon Ramos (3200 Meter Run-B)
  • 2nd Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault-B)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Carroll, Jordan Seeley, Lucas Hofer, Keegan Minnaert (400 Meter Relay-B)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden, Kyle Sellers, Nathan Soria, Nick Swartzendruber (1600 Meter Relay-A)
  • 3rd Place: Billy Blaser (Shot Put-B)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run-B)
  • 3rd Place: Colton Pischke (Long Jump-B)
  • 3rd Place: Brandon Ramos (1600 Meter Run-C)
  • 3rd Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault-A)
  • 4th Place: Matthew Ganson (100 Meter Dash-B)
  • 4th Place: Andrew Benhart, Matthew Ganson, Nathan Soria, Nick Swartzendruber (3200 Meter Relay-A)
  • 5th Place: Eli Allen (Discus-C)
  • 5th Place: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump-B)
  • 5th Place: Kade Coons (High Jump-C)
  • 5th Place: Billy Cosgrave (High Jump-B)
  • 5th Place: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump-A)
  • 5th Place: Kyle Hofer (100 Meter Dash-C)
  • 5th Place: Andrew Pischke (200 Meter Dash-B)
  • 5th Place: Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash-B)
  • 6th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump-A)
  • 6th Place: Nathan Soria (400 Meter Dash-A)
  • 6th Place: Nathan Carroll, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (800 Meter Relay-A)

RESULTS

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Seniors in Relay

GOING OUT IN STYLE

Pictured are seniors: Tate Neff, Nelson Laingen, Noah Sebastian, and Chandler Schwartz. The quartet teamed up one last time in the 1600 Meter Relay.

LEAFS WIN U.T. JV INVITATIONAL

On Tuesday, May 2nd, the Leafs traveled to East Moline’s Soule Bowl to participate in the annual United Township Junior Varsity Invitational. The meet is the last competitive opportunity for many of our team members and the goal was to “go out in style”, striving for a personal best. The field included teams from: Alleman, Galesburg, Geneseo, Moline, Rock Island, and United Township.

The weatherman gave us a middle-of-the-road day with a daytime high of 51Àö with strong 15-20 mph winds that died a bit as the meet progressed. Overall, it was COLD and WINDY

We didn’t try to load up and left a ton of guys at home. When the team scores were announced we were SHOCKED to find out that we had won the meet. The team scored 185 points to outdistance 2nd place Moline who scored 124 points for 2nd place. Leading the team were the following “Gold Medalists” who won their events: Billy Blaser (Shot Put); Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash); Zach Humphrey (Discus); Brandon Ramos (1600 Meter Run); Colby Rapps (3200 Meter Run); Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault); Logan Weber (200 Meter Dash); Ben Cosgrave, Drew Rapps, Logan Weber, Keegan Minnaert (400 Meter Relay); 1st Place: Matthew Ganson, Blake Duncan, Nathan Lambert, Peter Rizzo (1600 Meter Relay); and Peter Rizzo, Zach Bauer, Blake Duncan, Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Relay.)

Team members who scored points in the meet via their top six place finish are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Billy Blaser (Shot Put)
  • 1st Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Zach Humphrey (Discus)
  • 1st Place: Brandon Ramos (1600 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Colby Rapps (3200 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 1st Place: Logan Weber (200 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Ben Cosgrave, Drew Rapps, Logan Weber, Keegan Minnaert (400 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson, Blake Duncan, Nathan Lambert, Peter Rizzo (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Peter Rizzo, Zach Bauer, Blake Duncan, Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Ben Cosgrave (200 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 2nd Place: Max Bealer, Kade Coons, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (400 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Cade Backes, Rylan Coons, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (800 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Noah Sebastian, Nelson Laingen, Chandler Schwartz, Tate Neff (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Matthew Ganson (800 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Kyle Hofer (Long Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus)
  • 3rd Place: Peter Rizzo (1600 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Blake Duncan (800 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Kyle Hofer (200 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 4th Place: Ryan Kass (Discus)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Lambert (Long Jump)
  • 4th Place: Nathaniel Tisor, Max Bealer, William Venneberg, Dawson DeCap (800 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Kade Coons, Neo Colter, Kale Decker, Juan Mejias-Dansbach (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 5th Place: Ben Cosgrave (100 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Nathan Lambert (High Jump)
  • 5th Place: Luke Sebastian (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 5th Place: Augie Schmitt, Andrew Schmidt, Juan Mejias-Dansbach, Adam Wells (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Eli Allen (Discus)
  • 6th Place: Kaleb Decker (1600 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Lucas Hofer (200 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Colby Rapps (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 6th Place: Logan Weber (100 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Nathan Yoder (3200 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Nathaniel Tisor, Rylan Coons, Luke Sebastian, Cade Backes (400 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Noah Sebastian, Nelson Laingen, Chandler Schwartz, Tate Neff (1600 Meter Relay)

RESULTS

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Animal Colton

COLTON IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Sophomore Colton Pischke who was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 24th – April 30th

SOPHOMORE COLTON PISCHKE IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Sophomore Colton Pischke was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 24th – April 30th. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Geneseo F.S. Invitational held on Tuesday, April 25th. The Leafs were also scheduled to compete in the Pekin Invitational on Friday, April 28th but the meet was cancelled.

Colton got his week started by winning the sophomore 110 Meter High Hurdles in a meet record (tying) and the 2nd fastest time ever run by a Geneseo Sophomore. His time was 15.34c (converted from a hand-held time by rounding up the 1/10th and adding .24.) Simply put, the dude was FLYING!!! That is also the 18th fastest time by an individual of ANY grade in SCHOOL HISTORY.

Next up came the sophomore long jump where Colton placed 2nd. His season best in the long jump of 19′ 05″ is the sixteenth farthest for a sophomore in school history. Not bad for a secondary event. Way to FLY!

Up next was the sophomore 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. Colton blitzed the field and clocked and impressive time of 42.74c. His season best of 41.95 has him currently sitting as the 5th fastest sophomore in school history. It also places him at 20th overall for an individual of any grade level in school history.

Colton concluded his evening with a 5th place in the sophomore 200 Meter Dash (Coach Deets had him working on his leg speed.) His time was 24.84c into a head wind. Colton scored 30 points all by himself. Putting it lightly, Colton had a HUGE night!

Colton is a highly competitive young man who is motivated by many things. Near the top of that list is trying to match or better his older brother and fellow teammate Andrew. Colton has bettered Andrew’s times during both his Freshman and Sophomore years. Considering that Andrew earned All-State Honors in BOTH events last year as a junior that is a “jaw dropping” fact.

Colton did a wonderful job of stepping up and filling in for Andrew during his post surgery recovery time. He also did a wonderful job of welcoming his brother back into practice and competition. We are still in the ABC portion of our season and Colton helps provide the Leafs with the most depth of any hurdle crew in the State of Illinois. The fact that each man has worked extremely hard to reach such an elite status makes it all the more impressive.

Colton is no stranger to success. After enjoying a tremendous Freshman year that saw him run the 2nd fastest freshmen times for the 110 Meter High Hurdles and 300 Intermediate Hurdles in School History (second to only Reed Vanderheyden.) In middle school Colton Sprinted to the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in the 100 Meter High Hurdles (33 inches) as an 8th grader after grabbing 3rd as a 7th Grader. He was also a key part of the 1600 Meter Relay Team that placed 5th his 7th Grade Year. Colton is also a par of the “Green Machine” earning his Varsity Letter as a sophomore last fall splitting his time between 4 back on offense and cornerback on defense. The bottom line is this guy is a winner who is LOADED with PASSION AND PURPOSE. Keep attacking the season Colton. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey. All the best. The hurdles school records are all in danger and your name is that conversation.

Colton is the proud son of Melissa (current Booster Club President) and Mark Pischke. He is also the proud younger brother of current senior Andrew and proud older brother of 6th grader Addison who is quite an athlete herself. Melissa is our booster club president.

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Where's the rain?

MAKING LEMONADE OUT OF LEMONS

Friday, April 28th’s Pekin Invitational was cancelled. There was a missed communication that resulted in our traveling all the way there only to find out the meet was cancelled. What to do?

PEKIN INVITATIONAL CANCELLED

On Friday, April 28th, the Leafs traveled to Pekin High School to participate in the annual Pekin Invitational. The field included teams from: East Peoria, Geneseo, Limestone, Macomb, Peoria Manual, Morton, Normal West, Springfield Lanphier, Peoria Notre Dame, Pekin, Peoria Christian, Peoria Richwoods, and Washington.

So, when we rolled into Pekin High School and entered their stadium we saw NO ONE. I ran to the coaches office and the door was locked. I ran to the restroom and the door was locked. NOT GOOD. Pekin High School had just dismissed their students for the day and I saw a boy standing by the gate we had come in. I asked him if he was on the track team and told him who we were. He was not on the track team but shared that he heard an announcement at the end of their school day saying that the meet was cancelled and so was practice.

I will admit that I was both upset and shocked. Upset that we hadn’t been notified and shocked because the weather was the best we have seen all season. 61Àö with virtually NO wind. After talking to the other coaches and thinking things over, we decided to have practice that included some time trials right there. It took a few minutes for everyone to refocus but refocus they did. I headed out with Coach Moe and the distance crew for our traditional 15-minute warm-up. While we were gone, Pekin’s head coach came out, unlocked the restroom doors and spoke to Coach Deets. He apologized for the mix-up. They had emailed and called (left a message.) No one got them until we were already there. It was just a mix-up.

On to the workout/time trial. There were no crossbars for the high jumpers and vaulters so they worked on their approaches. There were no rakes for the long jump or triple jumpers so they did the same. We didn’t have a discus tape measure and the grass was wet for the throwers so they worked on technique. The sprinters had no blocks but Coach Deets had them do a time trail for a 100 Meter Dash and then race a 800 Meter Relay. The 3200 Meter Men ran a 2800 (1 1/2 miles) time trial trying to be at or below 10:00 flat pace (they both made it.) Finally, the 800 men raced an 800 Meter time trial and then came back with a 400 Meter Dash (about 40 minutes later.) Everyone put forth a great effort. So much so that Coach Fredericks decided to treat the team to dinner at Avanti’s.

The definition of resilience is the ability to overcome adversity. That is exactly what our team did. I feel certain that 99% of all teams in a similar situation would of packed it up and gone home. Accomplishing NOTHING. We didn’t do that. Once given the task, the team attacked it with enthusiasm. I have never been prouder of a group of young men in my life. Bring on “Championship Meet Season” because we ARE READY!

RESULTS

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Dodgeball Chanps

THE SENIORS RULE

Pictured are the Dodgeball Champions. The Senior Class of 2017.

DODGEBALL CHAMPIONS CROWNED

Almost every season, we have a Dodgeball tournament on a rainy day when we the Geneseo Facility after school. I say, “Almost” because last season it never happened. The team reminded us of that fact almost daily. Well…..never say never.

On Wednesday, April 26th, the tournament happened. The Seniors squared off against our HUGE Freshmen Class and the action was INTENSE. The seniors won and moved into the “Finals”. While that game was being played, in the next court over the Sophomores and Juniors went “at it”. It is hard to describe just how intensely the games were played. Coach Moe mentioned to me that a few guys were “hot” after he made a referee call they didn’t like. The Juniors won the other Semi-Final and moved onto “da Finals”.

The Seniors then did battle against the Juniors. The game was equally intense and saw the Class of 2017 STANDING TALL when the final man was downed as they claimed “da Title”. They were rightfully excited about the win and eagerly posed for the above picture. The Juniors fought a valient fight and earned the runner-up “Silver Medal”. I received a few “nasty” glances myself from the Juniors when the action was over (about a referee call or two…) You couldn’t pay me to referee basketball games following today. It was “hot in da kitchen” 🙂

Meanwhile, the fight next door for the “Bronze” was being waged between the Freshmen and the Sophomores. Ultimately, class order reigned supreme as the Sophomores fought off a heated challenge from the Freshmen. Thus, the order of finish was: 1.) Seniors; 2.) Juniors; 3.) Sophomores; 4.) Freshmen. It was a lot of fun and after the games we proceeded with practice since the rain that had been forecast hadn’t arrived yet. WELL DONE, MEN!

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FS Meet Helpers

FINISH LINE

Action was heated at the finish line. Pictured are some of the meet workers
who helped us pull off hosting our F/S Invite

LEAFS WIN GENESEO F/S INVITATIONAL

On Tuesday, April 25th, the Leafs played host to their annual F/S Invitational. The meet has a unique format that allows for separate levels of competition for Freshmen and Sophomore in individual events (2 entries per school.) The relay teams had no restrictions other than all of the athletes had to be either Freshmen or Sophomores. Medals were awarded to the top 6 finishers in each event. A special shout goes out to our Athletic Director Travis Mackey for allowing us to host this meet. Several of the coaches told us that this is one of their favorite meets of the season. I wish another school would offer such a format but until they do this will have to do.

The weather man provided us with a daytime high of 81Àö with winds from the south blowing at 15-20 mph early in the meet but dying action progressed. The field included teams from Alleman, Galesburg, Geneseo, Kewanee, Princeton, Rock Falls, Rock Island, Sterling, and United Township.

The team was led by 11 first place finishes. That is an unusually large number. The Leafs had a GREAT night and won the meet by 96 points. Team members who earned a “GOLD MEDAL” via their first place finish were: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump-10); Neo Colter (3200 Meter Run-09); Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run-10); Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump-09); Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-10 & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-10); Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash-09 & 400 Meter Dash-09); and Tucker Ziegenhorn (Discus-09 & Shot Put-09.)

Leafs who scored points in the meet via their top six place finish included:

  • 1st Place: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump-10)
  • 1st Place: Neo Colter (3200 Meter Run-09)
  • 1st Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run-10)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump-09)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-10)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-10)
  • 1st Place: Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash-09)
  • 1st Place: Jordan Seeley (400 Meter Dash-09)
  • 1st Place: Tucker Ziegenhorn (Discus-09)
  • 1st Place: Tucker Ziegenhorn (Shot Put-09)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer, Jordan Seeley, Peter Rizzo, Kaden Rink (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Eli Allen (Discus-09)
  • 2nd Place: Billy Blaser (Shot Put-10)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles-09)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-09)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke (Long Jump-10)
  • 2nd Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run-10)
  • 2nd Place: Zach Wilson (Pole Vault-10)
  • 2nd Place Tie: Zach Wilson (High Jump-10)
  • 2nd Place: Carson Cocquit, Juan Mejias-Dansbach, Augie Schmitt, Spencer Lindstrom (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus-10)
  • 3rd Place: Colby Rapps (3200 Meter Run-09)
  • 3rd Place: Kaden Rink (Triple Jump-10)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Verplaetse (Pole Vault-10)
  • 4th Place: Zach Bauer (800 Meter Run-09)
  • 4th Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run-10)
  • 4th Place: Luke Sebastian (110 Meter High Hurdles-10)
  • 4th Place: William Venneberg (Long Jump-09)
  • 4th Place: Eric Verplaetse (Pole Vault-09)
  • 5th Place: Billy Cosgrave (High Jump-10)
  • 5th Place: Billy Cosgrave (400 Meter Dash-10)
  • 5th Place: Jerry Green (200 Meter Dash-09)
  • 5th Place: Spencer Lindstrom (1600 Meter Run-09)
  • 5th Place: Colton Pischke (200 Meter Dash-10)
  • 5th Place: Colby Rapps (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-09)
  • 5th Place: Max Bealer, Jordan Seeley, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (400 Meter Relay)
  • 5th Place: Nathaniel Tisor, Max Bealer, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (800 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Carson Cocquit (400 Meter Dash-10)
  • 6th Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run-09)
  • 6th Place: Kaleb Decker (1600 Meter Run-10)
  • 6th Place: Logan Hansen (200 Meter Dash-09)
  • 6th Place: Justin Lyman (Discus-10)
  • 6th Place: Brad Smith (3200 Meter Run-09)
  • 6th Place: Ethan Welfer (Triple Jump-09)

RESULTS

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Animal Cayson

CAYSON IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Cayson Frerichs who was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 17th – April 23rd.

SENIOR CAYSON FRERICHS IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Senior Cayson Frerichs was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 17th – April 23rd. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Moline J.V. Invitational held on Tuesday, April 18th and in the Rock Island ABC Invitational held on Friday, April 21st.

Being one of out “Big Dogs” Cayson did not see any action in the Moline J.V. Invitational held on Tuesday, April 18th. He stayed behind to run a quality workout with his middle distance teammates and ran sets of repeat 300’s. Coach Moe stayed behind and then drove over to the meet. I was afraid that he was sick because he didn’t look too hot. Well, that was because he ran the workout with middle distance group (the distance group did another workout) and uttered “Cayson and Nasty Killed Me”. Translated, that means the guys ran a GREAT workout and Coach Moe had a front row seat to the whole thing (there is NO better place to be than THERE.)

I wasn’t surprised to hear that Cayson and “da guys” got after it. They never need a whole lot of “rah rah”. They are intensely motivated and extremely competitive. Cayson has been a key contributor during his entire high school athletic career. He added another chapter to that story Friday, April 21st in Rock Island at their annual ABC Meet. The field included 14 quality teams with most of the schools having enrollments over 2500 students (we have 830.) It is really a 3A Invite and it offers us the opportunity to “step up” and “bark with da big dogs”. Bark they did!

Cayson’s night started with him anchoring our 3200 Meter Relay Team. This was the first time that we have been able to put the whole relay together and it was a lot of fun to watch. Harlem pushed our team a bit but in the end, Cayson simply ran away from their anchorman finishing with a strong kick that saw him run an even-paced 2:02 where he split 61 seconds for the first 400. He then doubled back in the open 800 Meter Run and ran another strong race finishing 4th in 2:02.68. The only guys who finished ahead of him were fresh (they didn’t run the 3200 Meter Relay.) Cayson looked strong the whole way. He then finished his night off in style by helping the 1600 Meter Relay team also claim “Gold” with an outstanding 2nd leg split of 52.24cr. He is rounding into top form just in time for “Championship Meet Season”.

Cayson has already tasted a lot of athletic success. He is a 4-Year Three-Sporter. He starred in soccer as a defensive centerback where he earned three Varsity Letters while also earning All-Conference and All-Metro Honors THREE TIMES EACH. He also played basketball for all four years earning two Varsity Letters and starting as a “2 guard”. Finally, in track and field he has already earned his 4th straight Varsity Letter. He has starred for the Maple Leafs as a middle distance runner and has run the anchor leg for the Maple Leafs at the last two I.H.S.A. STATE FINALS were he helped lead the team to ALL-STATE HONORS as the team placed 5th in 2015 and then grabbed 2nd in last year’s finals. The team’s 2016 time of 8:00.71 barely missed breaking the 1980 school record of 8:00.54 by a mere .17 seconds. They also pushed the State Champion Cahokia Comanches to a winning time of 8:00.08 finishing only .63 seconds out of the State Championship. This all helped lead the team to 2nd place in the team standings (highest in school history) as they brought back a GINORMOUS 2ND PLACE TEAM TROPHY.

We are extremely proud of everything you have given this team, Cayson. You carry a huge dose of “Passion and Purpose” with you each and every day. Keep up the great job and don’t forget to enjoy the ride. Also, KEEP DREAMING BIG!!!

Cayson is the proud son of Karna Frerichs and Curt Frerichs. He is also the proud older brother of sister Keeli (current freshman who is a star athlete in her own right.)

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Parents at Team Dinner

OUR ENTIRE TEAM THANKS YOU

Pictured are “da key players” in pulling off Team Dinner #1.
Front Row- Melissa Pischke, Kari Rink, Alisande Rapps
Back-Sara Stohl, Shannon Allen, Karna Frerichs, Kurt Frerichs, Sally Cosgrave.
Thanks to any other parents who helped but were not there for “da picture”

TEAM DINNER #1 IS A HIT

On Thursday, April 20th, the Track Booster Club treated the team to a delicious team dinner “Pot Luck” style. There was a little bit of everything. The team-bonding, which is a critical element to our team’s success, was “A HIT”. I rolled in a bit late, after tackling a few hills at Richmond Hill Park with our distance runners who were not in Friday, April 21st’s Rock Island ABC Inv. I was proud to hear that the team had already thanked the parents who were there and also had said “Grace”. Well done, Men. Too many people take their parents for granted. I have always been fond of the saying “You Can’t Pick Your Parents”. It is of course true. It should also be pointed out that almost every single member of our team “Hit a Home Run” in that department. A special shout out goes to Sally Cosgrave and Kari Rink for leading the Team Dinner Effort.

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At Rock Island

“HOF” AND “HIS CREW”

Pictured is Lucas Hofer surrounded by a couple teammates and several classmates
who made the trip out to support “da team”. The picture was taken right after
Lucas placed 3rd in the 400 Meter Dash-C.

LEAFS 4TH AT ROCK ISLAND ABC INVITATIONAL

On Friday, April 21st, the Leafs traveled to Rock Island’s Public Stadium to participate in the 33rd annual Rock Island ABC Invitational. The meet is “loaded” with “all-staters” in every event and is considered to be one of the highest qualify meets this weekend. The field included teams from Alleman, Barlett, Geneseo, Homewood-Flossmoor, Machesny Park (Harlem), Moline, Naperville Central, Peoria High, Peoria Richwoods, Plainfield East, Rockford Auburn, Rockford Guilford, Rock Island, Thornton Fractional North, and United Township.

The weatherman gave us a day free of rain but did throw 10-15 winds blowing from the north (which did diminish throughout the evening) and a chilly day with a daytime high of 56Àö with temperatures falling to 51Àö at the conclusion of the meet. Rock Island has one of the top facilities in Northwestern Illinois and always runs a first class meet. Strong teams from Homewood-Flossmoor and Naperville Central battled it out all night for first while the Leafs battled Plainfield East, United Township, and Machesney Park (Harlem) for the bronze plaque (3rd place.) When the dust had settled, the Leafs had claimed 4th place falling a mere 5 points back of Plainfield East and one point ahead of United Township. The Leafs had a strong meet with many highlights.

The team was led by hurdlers: Andrew Pischke, Colton Pischke, and Reed Vanderheyden who claimed “GOLD” in 5 of the 6 hurdle races. Also joining in the fun were: Kaden Rink (800-C), the 1600 Meter Relay Team of Kyle Sellers, Cayson Frerichs, Nick Swartzendruber, Reed Vanderheyden, and the 3200 Meter Relay team of: Nathan Soria, Andrew Benhart, Nick Swartzendruber, and Cayson Frerichs. Performances of note were many but highlighted by Reed’s 300 I.H. win, the 1600 and 3200 Meter Relay Team wins in great times, and Senior Thrower, Sam Thomas, who placed 2nd in the Shot Put-A with a personal best of 52′ 01″. Great job, Men! We are moving towards “Championship Meet Season” so get ready to “Blast Off”. DREAM BIG!!!

Leading the team were the following individuals and relay teams that scored points for the team via top 6 place finish.

  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-A)
  • 1st Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run-C)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-A)
  • 1st Place: 1600 Meter Relay (Kyle Sellers, Cayson Frerichs, Nick Swartzendruber, Reed Vanderheyden)
  • 1st Place: 3200 Meter Relay (Nathan Soria, Andrew Benhart, Nick Swartzendruber, Cayson Frerichs)
  • 2nd Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put-A)
  • 2nd Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault-B)
  • 3rd Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run-C)
  • 3rd Place: Blake Duncan (3200 Meter Run-A)
  • 3rd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash-C)
  • 3rd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus-C)
  • 3rd Place: Brandon Ramos (3200 Meter Run-B)
  • 3rd Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash-A)
  • 3rd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles-A)
  • 4th Place: Kade Coons (High Hump-C)
  • 4th Place: Cayson Frerichs (800 Meter Run-A)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Soria (1600 Meter Run-B)
  • 4th Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault-A)
  • 5th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Triple Jump-C)
  • 5th Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put-B)
  • 5th Place: Kyle Sellers (800 Meter Dash-B)
  • 5th Place: Sam Thomas (Discus-B)
  • 6th Place: Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash-B
  • 6th Place: Kyle Hofer, Billy Cosgrave, Kaden Rink, Peter Rizzo (F/S800 Meter Medley Relay)

RESULTS

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Gene Shipley Sign

LEAFS COMPETE AT HISTORIC SITE

Moline’s Track is named in honor of Hall of Fame Coach Gene Shipley.
Coach Shipley enjoyed an amazing career (State Champs) and served our
country bravely during World War II.

LEAFS CLAIN GOLD AT MOLINE J.V. INVITE

On Tuesday, April 18th, the Leafs traveled to Moline’s Browning Field to compete in the Moline J.V. Invitational held on the historic Gene Shipley Track. The field included teams from: Alleman, Galesburg, Geneseo, Moline, Rock Island, and United Township. The weatherman was once again kind to us with a wonderful daytime high of 71Àö. The winds were a bit strong (15-20 mph) early in the meet but died as the meet progressed.

There are positive and negative things about everything including J.V. Invitationals. One pro is that our non-“Big Dogs” get a chance to “bark” and have some success. Another plus is several Leafs earned medals for high places in the meet. One negative is that (very often) the freshen are competing against seniors. That is why we will try and have three dual meets with F/S and Varsity Level Competition next year.

I am also in favor of not keeping team scores for J.V. Invitationals. However they do and we happened to end up with the most points. We certainly didn’t try to load up and kept a boatload of team members home to practice with Coaches Deets and Moe. The fact that our team was able to win this meet is a true reinforcement of our program’s philosophy that there is strength in numbers. We have a plethora of depth on our team and that was on display Tuesday night in Moline.

The team was led by the following “Gold Medal” performances: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run); Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash); Lucas Hofer (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); Cole Howard (Shot Put); Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run); Jordan Seeley (200 Meter Dash); Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault); Ben Cosgrave, Drew Rapps, Logan Weber, Keegan Minnaert (400 Meter Relay); Logan Weber, Keegan Minnaert, Lucas Hofer, Ben Cosgrave (1600 Meter Relay)

Leafs who scored points in the meet via their top six place finish are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Lucas Hofer (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 1st Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Jordan Seeley (200 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 1st Place: Ben Cosgrave, Drew Rapps, Logan Weber, Keegan Minnaert (400 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Logan Weber, Keegan Minnaert, Lucas Hofer, Ben Cosgrave (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Cole Howard (Discus)
  • 2nd Place: Spencer Lindstrom (3200 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Max Bealer, Kade Coons, Logan Hansen, Jordan Seeley (800 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Neo Colter (3200 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Charlie Wiese (Shot Put)
  • 3rd Place (Tie): Zach Wilson (High Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Max Bealer, Jordan Seeley, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (400 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Cade Backes Rylan Coons, Jerry Green, Nathan Lambert (800 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Peter Rizzo, Neo Colter, Kaden Rink, Noah Sebastian (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Billy Blaser (Shot Put)
  • 4th Place (Tie): Nathan Lambert (High Jump)
  • 4th Place: Colby Rapps (3200 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Luke Sebastian (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Tucker Ziegenhorn (Discus)
  • 4th Place: Carson Cocquit, Nelson Laingen, Chandler Schwartz, Tate Neff (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 5th Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: Jack Morrell (Pole Vault)
  • 5th Place: Noah Sebastian (800 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: Logan Weber (100 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Augie Schmitt, Andrew Schmidt, Nathan Yoder, Juan Mejias-Dansbach (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Ryan Kass (Discus)
  • 6th Place: Nathan Lambert (Triple Jump)
  • 6th Place: William Venneberg, Luke Sebastian, Nelson Laingen, Colby Rapps (1600 Meter Relay)

RESULTS

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Animal Andrew

ANDREW IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Andrew Pischke who was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 10th – April 16th.

SENIOR ANDREW PISCHKE IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Senior Andrew Pischke was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 10th – April 16th. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Rock Island J.V. Invitational held on Tuesday, April 11th and in the Galesburg ABC Invitational held on Thursday, April 13th.

Andrew’s competitive week was restricted to the Galesburg ABC Invitational held on Thursday, March 13th. Andrew was competing in the hurdles for the first time since his hip surgery back in September. The road to recovery has been long and challenging. Andrew went under “da knife” on September 8th and discovered a partial labrum tear and other muscle issues during the surgery. The surgery was successful but it would be six months before he would be cleared to start training again. Any by training, I mean, “the bare minimum”.

During the whole process, Andrew’s patience was tested to the max but he persevered with an impressive level of “passion and purpose” that saw him keep flashing that infectious smile of his. He was rewarded with a couple of low-key indoor competitive opportunities (highly controlled.) He then moved outdoors and ran some sprints and sprint relays while working on his hurdle technique, all under the careful care Coach Matthew Deets. Andrew was finally given the “Green Light” to run the hurdles at the Galesburg ABC Invitational. This was, of course, following a spring break “get away” trip that saw Andrew and three of his teammates make a road trip down to Pensacola, Florida. Down and back all in the space of 3 days. They drove straight through (with someone riding “shot gun” just to help keep them alert.) They all came back sun burned and happy. Many stories will come to life via “da Pensacola Escape”.

Andrew’s Thursday night was limited to the two hurdle races. First up was the 110 Meter High Hurdles. I will admit I said a small prayer and crossed my fingers as the gun went off and away he sprinted. He ROARED to a class C MEET RECORD of 15.15 which is under the STATE QUALIFYING STANDARD of 15.29. He destroyed the old class C record of 16.44 seconds by 1.29 seconds. SIMPLY AMAZING. His night wasn’t done yet. He also competed in the C Division of the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles where, once again, he DESTROYED the meet record of 43.66 (set by his brother Colton Pischke last year) with an impressive time of 41.59 winning his 2nd event of the night. He was huffing and puffing after the race but his smile told me what I really needed to know…..his felt GREAT! Maybe great is an overstatement but it wasn’t hurting. He is not “out of the woods” yet but we will take where he is and hope for more of the same for his dear friend Lucas Hofer who is waging his own surgical comeback.

Andrew is no stranger to success after earning ALL STATE HONORS via his 5th Place finish in the IHSA STATE FINALS in the 110 Meter High Hurdles and 9th place finish in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. Andrew was one of the main reasons the Geneseo Maples soared to new heights placing 2nd in the STATE as a TEAM in 2016. Andrew has earned 3 Varsity Letters in Football (2 and 4 back on offense and inside linebacker on defense.) He is well on his way to earning his 4th Varsity Letter in Track and has already been honored as being selected as a team captain. Keep Dreaming BIG, Andrew. The harder the challenge the greater the reward. Our new sectional assignment is right up that alley along with your remarkable recovery. Keep up of the great work and don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

Andrew is the PROUD son of Melissa and Mark Pischke. He is also the PROUD older brother of Colton (10th grade) and Addison (6th grade.) By the way….the are pretty awesome hurdlers also. KEEP FLYING! All the best in the remaining meets and off to College and the University of Wisconsin Lacrosse. Can you say, “ALL-AMERICAN”?

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Galesburg Hurdlers

“GET da BROOMS OUT”

Pictured are Geneseo 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdlers: Colton Pischke, Andrew Pischke, and Reed Vanderheyden. Each man won his individual race. This was Andrew’s season debut in the hurdles following a long rehabilitation program following off-season hip surgery.

LEAFS GRAB 2ND AT GALESBURG ABC INVITE

On Thursday, April 13th, the Leafs traveled to Galesburg High School’s Van Dyke Stadium to participate in the 8th Annual “Silver Streak ABC Invitational”. The field included teams from: Canton, Geneseo, Galesburg, Limestone, Monmouth-Roseville, Morton, Peoria High School, and United Township. The meet is traditionally held on a Friday but was moved up to Thursday to avoid a conflict with “Good Friday”. Last year’s field lost Dixon but gained Monmouth-Rosevile and Peoria High to fill the 8-team field.

This meet has endured some challenging weather conditions since its inception. However, for the 2nd straight year, we were given a wonderful opportunity for outstanding performances with a daytime high of 71Àö with temperatures falling during the meet do 56Àö. The winds were blowing 10-15 mph for the first half of the meet and then eventually disappeared.

There are pros and cons to the ABC format. I truly believe that the pros (getting a ton of guys into scoring opportunities) outweigh the cons (going head-to-head with only two men per event) which is what we will see in the NIB-12, Sectional, and State. Luckily, we do have the Pekin Invitational coming up in two weeks that also offer the traditional meet format.

The Leafs scored points in 48 out of the 50 events. In the two events the team didn’t score, they placed 7th missing by only one place from scoring points. That is simply AMAZING and demonstrates the TOTAL TEAM effort that was on display Thursday night in Galesburg at the incredible Van Dyke Stadium. Everywhere I looked, Leafs were locked in heated competition and every man fought HARD! We were once again, a bit short, on the line-up due to several Spring Break conflicts. Despite that fact the team waged a meet-long battle with the powerful United Township Panthers. In the end, the Leafs came up only 14 points behind the Panthers, with the final team scores reading 333 to 319. Galesburg had a fine meet themselves after being hit heavy by graduation of several key pieces to their team to finish a strong 3rd with 243 points.

The Leafs won an amazing 17 events and were led by double individual Gold Medalists Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-B & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-B) and his older brother Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-C & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles C.) Other highlights (there were MANY) included the return to action for Senior Nathan Soria (3200 Meter Run) following a hamstring injury suffered at the Top Times Inv.; Andrew Pischke running the hurdles for the first time this season following hip surgery over the winter; Reed Vanderheyden ROARING in both the 110’s (1/100 of a second out of first) and running a MONSTER 300 I.H. in 37.94 barely missing his own school record of 37.86); Our 400 Meter Runners sweeping the A-B-C races (Matthew Ganson, Kyle Sellers, Nick Swartzendruber); Nathan Carroll popping a 3 FOOT personal best in the C Triple Jump: and “Nasty” Nick Swartzendruber jumping in for Reed V. in the 1600 Meter Relay Anchor Slot directly after running the 200 Meter Dash (A) final in 51.94cr with a mere 10 minute recovery. I could go on for a long time but will stop here. WHAT A NIGHT! Way to Roll,Leafs. I can hardly wait for our next meet. Our team is EXPLODING with personal best EVERYWHERE! I need to have Tessie Freddy buy a few more bags of Tootsie Rolls. Keep DREAMING BIG!

Team members who scored points for the team via their top 6 place finish included:

  • 1st Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run-C)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash-C)
  • 1st Place: Jack Morrell (Pole Vault-C)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Brandon Ramos (3200 Meter Run-B)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Sellers (400 Meter Dash-B)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash-A)
  • 1st Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put-A)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-A)
  • 1st Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault-A)
  • 1st Place: Nathan Carroll, Nathan Lambert, Ryver Griffin, Jordan Seeley (800 Meter Relay-B)
  • 1st Place: Nathan Carroll, Keegan Minnaert, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (1600 Meter Relay-B)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson, Cayson Frerichs, Kyle Sellers, Nick Swartzendruber (1600 Meter Relay-A)
  • 1st Place: Noah Sebastian, Andrew Benhart, Kyle Sellers, Nick Swartzendruber (3200 Meter Relay-A)
  • 2nd Place: Cayson Frerichs (800 Meter Run-A)
  • 2nd Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put-B)
  • 2nd Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Noah Sebastian (800 Meter Run-B)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Soria (3200 Meter Run-A)
  • 2nd Place: Joe Stohl (Shot Put-C)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles-A)
  • 2nd Place: Dalton Stamp, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay-A)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer, Jordan Seeley, Kade Coons, Keegan Minnaert (400 Meter Relay-B)
  • 2nd Place: Peter Rizzo, Spencer Lindstrom, Neo Colter, Carson Cocquit (3200 Meter Relay-B)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run-A)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump-C)
  • 3rd Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run-C)
  • 3rd Place: Ben Cosgrave (Triple Jump-B)
  • 3rd Place: Billy Cosgrave (High Jump-C)
  • 3rd Place: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump-A)
  • 3rd Place: Kyle Hofer (Long Jump-C)
  • 3rd Place: Zach Humphrey (Discus-A)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Lambert (High Jump-A)
  • 3rd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus-C)
  • 3rd Place: Sam Thomas (Discus-B)
  • 3rd Place: Dalton Stamp, Logan Weber, Ben Cosgrave, Keegan Minnaert (800 Meter Relay-A)
  • 4th Place: Cameron Darin (Pole Vault-B)
  • 4th Place: Lucas Hofer (200 Meter Dash-C)
  • 4th Place: Colton Pischke (Long Jump-B)
  • 4th Place: Brandon Ramos (1600 Meter Run-B)
  • 4th Place: Nick Swartzendruber (200 Meter Dash-A)
  • 4th Place: Logan Weber (200 Meter Dash-B)
  • 5th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump-A)
  • 5th Place: Zach Wilson (High Jump-B)
  • 6th Place: Logan Weber (100 Meter Dash-B)

RESULTS

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With Nathan

“LAMBO” STANDS TALL

Pictured is Junior Nathan Lambert surrounded by teammates following his big night which
included jumping 5″ 10″ which is a FOUR INCH P.R.!!!!!

LEAFS ROLL AT ROCK ISLAND J.V. INVITATIONAL

On Tuesday, April 11th, the Leafs traveled to Rock Island Public Stadium to participate in the 7-team Rock Island Junior Varsity Invitational. The meet features unlimited entries and is contested at Rock Island’s awesome track and field facility. What makes the meet even better is how well run the meet is. Outstanding meet administration and strong competition made for an exciting night of Track and Field. The weatherman even cooperated (some) as we had a daytime high of 54Àö with 10-15 mph winds that diminished even as we arrived in Rock Island. By the end of the meet, the temperature was in the mid 40s with zero wind. For April 11th in the Midwest, we will take it and smile.

The highlights were many and when “the dust had settled”, the Leafs found themselves on top with a winning score of 137.50 points to top Pleasant Valley’s 122. This is even more amazing whey you factor in just how many guys we were missing due to Spring Break. A huge factor in deciding this meet is our team depth. There is a lot of truth to the statement that there is “strength in numbers”. We have a team that numbers 92 guys and that is pretty “jaw-dropping”. Add in the fact that our school enrollment is in the low 800’s and many opposing coaches simply shake their heads in wonder. Every man truly DOES matter and influences team performance on a daily basis.

Leading the team were the following GOLD MEDALISTS: Ben Cosgrave (110 Meter High Hurdles); Ben Cosgrave (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash); Nathan Lambert (High Jump); Drew Rapps, Ben Cosgrave, Keegan Minnaert, Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Relay); and Kyle Hofer, Colton Pischke, Drew Rapps, Ben Cosgrave (1600 Meter Relay.)

Leafs who scored in the meet via their top 6 place finish include:

  • 1st Place: Ben Cosgrave (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Ben Cosgrave (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Nathan Lambert (High Jump)
  • 1st Place: Drew Rapps, Ben Cosgrave, Keegan Minnaert, Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer, Colton Pischke, Drew Rapps, Ben Cosgrave (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke (400 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Jack Morrell (Pole Vault)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Carroll, Kade Coons, Logan Hansen, Jordan Seeley (800 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Neo Colter, Peter Rizzo, Kaleb Decker, Spencer Lindstrom (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 3rd Place (Tie): Nathan Lambert (Long Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus)
  • 3rd Place: Joe Stohl (Shot Put)
  • 3rd Place: Max Bealer, Jordan Seeley, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (400 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Tisor, Rylan Coons, Billy Cosgrave, Cade Backes (400 Meter Relay)
  • 5th Place: Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Jordan Seeley (200 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place (Tie): Zach Wilson (Pole Vault)
  • 5th Place: Cade Backes, Rylan Coons, Jerry Green, Nathan Lambert (800 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Nathan Carroll (High Jump)
  • 6th Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Kade Coons (Triple Jump)
  • 6th Place: Colton Pischke (Long Jump)

RESULTS

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Animal Sam

SAM IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Sam Thomas who was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 2rd – April 9th.

SENIOR SAM THOMAS IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Senior Sam Thomas was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 3rd – April 9th. During that time, the Leafs competed in a quadrangular hosted by the Dixon Dukes on Tuesday, April 4th, and the annual United Township ABC Invitational held on Saturday, April 8th.

Sam’s competitive week began in Dixon as the Leafs participated in a quadrangular with host Dixon, Rock Falls, and Stillman Valley that took place on Tuesday, April 4th. Sam placed 3rd in the Discus with a toss of 120′ 10″. He then followed that up with a winning throw in the shot put of 47′ 05″. Both performances were season bests despite the cool weather conditions.

Next up was the United Township ABC Invitational. Sam was a big part of Coach Wes Vaden’s throwers who went 6 for 6 in regard to season bests. That’s pretty amazing and gave our team a tremendous “surge” early in the meet that provided omnipotent momentum. The end result was our team was able to pull off a HUGE upset and win the meet against great odds. We have a couple of key guys injured to start with. Add in 2016 All-Staters, Andrew Pischke and Lucas Hofer, coming back after off-season surgeries as a result of unfortunate football injuries. Finally factor in the fact that our team just started spring break and we were missing quite a few guys. It was simply an amazing day and our Throwers “Jump Started” the team.

Sam placed 3rd in the B-Discus with a season best throw of 126′ 00″. He then followed that up with a lifetime best in the A-Shot Put of 51′ 10″. Sam has been working very hard and it was great to see him have such a great day. Sam was recently selected as one of our teams’ five elected captains. There is not better way to lead then via example. Keep up the great job, Sam, and keep DREAMING BIG!

Sam is in the unique position of becoming the first Geneseo athlete to become All-State in THREE sports. Sam earned All-State Honors in football and then followed that up with an All-State performance in the IHSA State Wrestling Finals where he placed 5th. Two down and one to go. It won’t be easy but anything that has true value never is. The high level of intrinsic satisfaction that is only attainable following a successful challenge is there for the taking. Remember that all of the “little things” will help to determine the outcome.

Sam is the proud son Bob Thomas and Glenda Kemnitz and the proud brother of Joe, Jane, and Mary Thomas. He is also the proud step-brother of Logan and Nick Swartzendruber. All the best in the coming weeks, Sam. Keep your foot on the gas pedal and don’t forget to enjoy the ride. Carpe Diem!!!

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With UT trophy

U.T. “GOLD”

Pictured are a few of “da Team” who were still around when we decided to take this impromptu picture. Pictured are: Row 1: Colton Pischke, Lucas Hofer, Cayson Frerichs; Row 2: Sam Thomas, Andrew Benhart, Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, and Ben Cosgrave

LEAFS WIN U.T. ABC INVITATIONAL

On Saturday, April 8th, the Leafs traveled to East Moline’s Soule Bowl to participate in the annual United Township ABC Invitational. The meet officially kicks off the outdoor invitational season. The field included teams from: Alleman, Dunlap, Galesburg, Geneseo, Moline, Rock Island, Sherrard, Sterling, T.F North, and United Township. The meet utilized an ABC format for each of the 14 of the individual events. It also offered competition in the relay events at both the A and B levels. The bottom line is a ton of guys were given the opportunity to compete from each school.

The weatherman was kind to us with a daytime high of 71Àö. It was only 52Àö when we arrived at 8:30 am but it warmed up quickly. What a welcomed change from the last two weeks where it rained almost every single day and included an unseasonably cold weather pattern.

The Leafs were competing with a limited squad due to a couple of key injuries, ACT testing, and the start of Spring Break so quite a few Maple Leafs have “left da state”. I’m sure every school was missing someone but it’s hard to imagine any team missing more than we were. The Leafs competed with who was available and boy did they COMPETE!

Competing for a top three team finishing plaque honestly wasn’t even on my radar. U.T DOMINATED at the Quad Cities Indoor Invitational and were HEAVY favorites “on paper”. Add in traditional powerhouse Rock Island and newcomer to this year’s meet, the Dunlap Eagles, and you can figure out my reasoning. Not so fast my friend. The Leafs fought like crazy, scrapping for every point that could be had, EVERYWHERE I looked. When team scores started to be read late in the meet, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that we were in a “DOG FIGHT” with United Township and Dunlap. When the dust had settled, the Leafs had shocked the field, and this “Veteran Coach” by WINNING THE WHOLE THING by 8 points over a classy United Township Team.

This was truly a total team effort. The team received critical points across the board and we desperately needed every single one of them. We certainly didn’t have everything go perfectly. Every athletic competition will have it’s ups and downs. What especially made the coaching staff proud was just how many teammates stuck around until the end of the meet cheering like CRAZY in the final events. Men, I truly believe THAT was the difference maker. It was also cool to see other teams carrying flags and sprinting across the field during the 4 X 4’s. That is a compliment to our team and intense spirit that it possesses. Trying to emulate success is an intelligent trait.

The team was led by our “Gold Medalists” who included: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run-B); Ben Cosgrave (110 Meter High Hurdles-C & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-C); Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump-C); Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-B); Noah Sebastian (800 Meter Run-B); Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash-A); Sam Thomas (Shot Put-A); Nick Swartzendruber, Cayson Frerichs, Kyle Sellers, Reed Vanderheyden (1600 Meter Relay-A); Matthew Ganson, Drew Rapps, Jordan Seeley, Kaden Rink (1600 Meter Relay-B); Kyle Sellers, Andrew Benhart, Cayson Frerichs, Nick Swartzendruber (3200 Meter Relay-A); and Peter Rizzo, Spencer Lindstrom, Nathan Carroll, Neo Colter (3200 Meter Relay-B.)

The following team members scored points in the meet via their top six place finish in their event:

  • 1st Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run-B)
  • 1st Place: Ben Cosgrave (110 Meter High Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Ben Cosgrave (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump-C)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Noah Sebastian (800 Meter Run-B)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash-A)
  • 1st Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put-A)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-A)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Cayson Frerichs, Kyle Sellers, Reed Vanderheyden (1600 Meter Relay-A)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson, Drew Rapps, Jordan Seeley, Kaden Rink (1600 Meter Relay-B)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Sellers, Andrew Benhart, Cayson Frerichs, Nick Swartzendruber (3200 Meter Relay-A)
  • 1st Place: Peter Rizzo, Spencer Lindstrom, Nathan Carroll, Neo Colter (3200 Meter Relay-B)
  • 2nd Place: Billy Cosgrave (High Jump-C)
  • 2nd Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus-C)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-B)
  • 2nd Place: Brandon Ramos (3200 Meter Run-B)
  • 2nd Place: Kaden Rink (1600 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles-A)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Carroll, Kyle Hofer, Ryver Griffin, Keegan Minnaert (800 Meter Relay-B)
  • 3rd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash-C)
  • 3rd Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put-B)
  • 3rd Place: Colton Pischke (Long Jump-B)
  • 3rd Place: Dalton Stamp (200 Meter Dash-C)
  • 3rd Place: Sam Thomas (Discus-B)
  • 3rd Place: Logan Weber (200 Meter Dash-B)
  • 3rd Place: Dalton Stamp, Reed Vanderheyden, Andrew Pischke, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay-A)
  • 3rd Place: Kyle Hofer, Jordan Seeley, Drew Rapps, Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Relay-B)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Pischke, Jordan Seeley, Dalton Stamp, Kyle Sellers (800 Meter Relay-A)
  • 4th Place: Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash-B)
  • 4th Place: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump-A)
  • 4th Place: Jack Morrell (Pole Vault-C)
  • 4th Place: Joe Stohl (Shot Put-C)
  • 4th Place: Zach Wilson (Pole Vault-B)
  • 5th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump-A)
  • 5th Place: Zach Humphrey (Discus-A)
  • 5th Place: Andrew Pischke (200 Meter Dash-A)
  • 6th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Triple Jump-B)
  • 6th Place: Drew Rapps (100 Meter Dash-C)
  • 6th Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run-A)
  • 6th Place: Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash-B)

RESULTS

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Swiper

SWIPER IS BACK

Pictured is “Swiper” who has served as the team’s mascot for the last three years.

“CAPTAIN COS” BRINGS SWIPER OUT OF HIBERNATION

Senior Ben Cosgrave was chosen by last year’s “Keeper of the Swiper” (C.J. Magerkurth) to carry on the tradition (started by August Stamp.) Only he knows the true story of how this “Nasty Looking FOX” joined our locker room. We came in one day and “Swiper” was in “da house”. Putting it mildly, “Swiper” has seen better days. His rein almost ended last season when he was “grooving” a bit too much to the “jams” that were playing in the locker room after early-bird class and proceeded to free fall off the speaker to the floor. C.J. managed to put him back together (for the most part) and anchored him to a sturdier support. Ben kept “Swiper” over the off-season (I truly didn’t know if we would ever see him again) until his return on Thursday, April 6th. He was greeted by a “THUNDEROUS OVATION” from the team. “Swiper” has high goals for our team and expects each of you to pursue excellence both in the classroom and on the athletic field. Strive for PERSONAL BESTS with a strong dose of PASSION AND PURPOSE.

BACK GENESEO TRACK

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Bracket Winners

SHOW ME “DA MONEY”

Pictured are Nathan “Lambo” Lambert, Zach Bauer, Coach Philip Moe, and Nelson Laingen

“MOE” FANTASY NCAA BASKETBALL BRACKET WINNERS ANNOUNCED

This is the third year of Coach Philip Moe’s basketball bracketology. However it didn’t start this year until the “Sweet 16” due to some conflicts. 50 plus guys (including yours truly) joined in the fun. Coach Moe is a busy dude with MANY duties and I truly don’t know how he finds the time to do all the work that is required for “bracketology”. It doesn’t hurt that Coach LOVES college basketball. The top 3 point scorers earned “Moe Prizes”. When the dust had settled, Junior Nathan Lambert was standing tall with 22 points to claim first place (and first pick of “da Moe prizes.) Next up was Freshman Zach Bauer who was a close 2nd with 20 points. Rounding out the top 3 was Senior Nelson Laingen who claimed 3rd with 17 points. A good time was had by all. Filling out a bracket definitely makes the tournament more exciting. Thanks. Coach Moe!!!

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Andrew and Lucas in Dixon

“Da Boys Are Back in Town”

Pictured are returning All-Staters Andrew Pischke and Lucas Hofer. Lucas had just completed his first race of the season (400 meters controled.) Matthew Ganson can be seen in the background “photo-bombing”

LEAFS COME OUT ON TOP IN DIXON QUADRANGULAR (Varsity)

On Tuesday, April 4th, the Leafs traveled to Dixon to take part in an “old fashioned” quadrangular meet that included: the host Dixon Dukes, the Geneseo Maple Leafs, the Rock Falls Rockets, and the Stillman Valley Cardinals. We added this meet after our schedule was “set”. Head Coach, Kel Bond, graciously extended an invitation to us after we sent out a request to join their meet. After that, he also accepted our suggestion to make it an “old school” meet that included both Varsity and F/S Levels of competition. We believe it was a win/win situation for each school. The scoring for the meet was 6-4-3-2-1 for individual events and 6-4-2 for the relays. The unlimited entry limit was in effect so anyone who placed, scored.

The weatherman gave us a dry day (it has rained almost every day for the last two weeks) with a daytime high of 52Àö. There was a light wind of 8 miles per hour. Considering the crummy weather that we have been dealing with (which resulted in us canceling a few practices due to pouring rain and COLD temperatures), we were EXTREMELY grateful for the day the Lord blessed us with.

Leading the team to a hard fought 129-114 win over host Dixon were Gold Medalists: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump); Colton Pischke (Long Jump); Sam Thomas (Shot Put); Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault); and the 400 Meter Relay team consisting of: Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, and Colton Pischke. It should also be noted that the Dukes outscored the Leafs on the track 81-75 while our field eventers carried the team over “da top” of “da hill” by outscoring the Dukes 54-33. It should also be pointed out that we didn’t “load up” our line-up, using it more as a competitive practice. We greatly appreciate being included in the meet.

Leafs who contributed to the team score included the following men:

  • 1st Place: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (Long Jump)
  • 1st Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Blake Duncan (1600 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Zach Humphrey (Discus)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Lambert (High Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Andrew Pischke (100 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Brandon Ramos (3200 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Sellers (200 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke, Ryver Griffin, Nathan Lambert, Logan Weber (800 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Matthew Ganson, Andrew Benhart, Jordan Seeley, Cayson Frerichs (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Cayson Frerichs, Kyle Sellers, Peter Rizzo, Noah Sebastian (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Kade Coons (High Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 3rd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Dalton Stamp (100 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Sam Thomas (Discus)
  • 3rd Place: Adam Wells (3200 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Kaden Rink, Peter Rizzo, Chandler Schwartz, Tate Neff) (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Benhart, Kaden Rink, Blake Duncan, Carson Cocquit (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Ben Cosgrave (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Cole Howard (Discus)
  • 4th Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 4th Place: Jack Morrell (Pole Vault)
  • 4th Place: Colton Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Drew Rapps (Long Jump)
  • 4th Place: Logan Weber (100 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Kade Coons (Triple Jump)
  • 5th Place: Dalton Stage (Discus)
  • 5th Place: Chandler Schwartz (800 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: Logan Weber (200 Meter Dash)

RESULTS

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Buses

LEAF ARMADA INVADES DIXON

Pictured are 3 of the 4 White Buses that we used to transport “da team”
in addition to Pink’s Bus Service’s Biggest “Big Yellow”

Due to the size of our team (92 men), we had to use three white buses in addition to “Big Yellow” to transport everyone to Dixon. Coach Tessie rode “Big Yellow” while the “three amigos” (Coaches Freddy, Moe, and Deets) drove white buses. All four vehicles where filled to capacity but, fortunately, no one had to “triple up” on “Big Yellow”. I must say, it was pretty impressive seeing our “Geneseo Contingency” walking in to Dixon’s stadium 🙂

LEAFS DOMINATE DIXON QUADRANGULAR (F/S)

On Tuesday, April 4th, the Leafs traveled to Dixon to participate in quadrangular that included teams from: Dixon, Geneseo, Rock Falls, and Stillman Valley. Two levels of competition were held (Varsity AND F/S.) This meet was added late and Dixon graciously allowed us to participate. In addition, they also altered the meet format when we suggested an “Old School” meet format that provided both Varsity and F/S Levels of competition. This format has disappeared over the last decade and forced the F/S athletes to compete head-to-head with the Varsity. That isn’t always a good thing and we hope that will change in future years.

There was a F/S Invitational the next day so quite a few of our opponents’ F/S squads were missing a few men. Hopefully, we can do this again next year and their full squads can participate if we catch a better date for each school.

Leading the Leafs was freshman Kyle Hofer who had a HUGE night that saw him capture first place in FOUR EVENTS as he captured “gold” in the triple jump, both hurdle races (110’s and the 300’s), and the 200 meter dash. If he was sleeping on the way home, we know why. Great Job, “Little Hof”! The Leafs grabbed 15 of the 18 possible first places so I won’t list them all here. Even though the fields were on the weak side due to the schedule conflict we simply LOVE this format and as mentioned above, hope to add at least one more of these meets next year.

The meet utilized the traditional quadrangular scoring format of 6-4-3-2-1 for the individual events while awarding 6-4-2 points in the relays. An unlimited entry format was also utilized. Leafs who scored team points are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Billy Blaser (Shot Put)
  • 1st Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (200 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump)
  • 1st Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus)
  • 1st Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: William Venneberg (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 1st Place: Zach Wilson (High Jump)
  • 1st Place: Max Bealer, Jerry Green, Logan Hansen, Jordan Seeley (800 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Nathan Carroll, Billy Cosgrave, Kaleb Decker, Brad Smith (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Spencer Lindstrom, Colby Rapps, Juan Mejias-Dansbach, Carson Mariman (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Cade Backes (Long Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Billy Blaser (Discus)
  • 2nd Place: Carson Cocquit (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Neo Colter (3200 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Billy Cosgrave (High Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Noah Coughlan (Shot Put)
  • 2nd Place: Spencer Lindstrom (1600 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Kaden Rink (Triple Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Luke Sebastian (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Luke Sebastian (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Zach Wilson (Pole Vault)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Tisor, Zach Wilson, Billy Cosgrave, Cade Backes (400 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Carson Cocquit, Andrew Verplaetse, Augie Schmitt, Carson Mariman (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Augie Schmitt, Nathan Yoder, Zach Bauer, Brad Smith (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Eli Allen (Discus)
  • 3rd Place: Eli Allen (Shot Put)
  • 3rd Place: Max Bealer (Long Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Carroll (800 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Carroll (High Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Jerry Green (100 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Eric Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 3rd Place: Jaycob Norton, Mick Mooney, Ethan Welfer, Dawson DeCap (400 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: William Venneberg, Luke Sebastian, Juan Mejias-Dansbach, Colby Rapps (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Zach Bauer (1600 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Charlie Cathcart (Discus)
  • 4th Place: Rylan Coons (High Jump)
  • 4th Place: Billy Cosgrave (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Logan Hansen (100 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place: Justin Lyman (Shot Put)
  • 4th Place: Carson Mariman (Pole Vault)
  • 4th Place: Mick Mooney (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Tisor (Long Jump)
  • 5th Place: Justin Lyman (Discus)
  • 5th Place: Alex McAvoy (Shot Put)
  • 5th Place: Augie Schmitt (800 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: Brad Smith (1600 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: William Venneberg (Long Jump)
  • 5th Place: Ethan Welfer (Triple Jump)

RESULTS

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Animal Brandon

BRANDON IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Brandon Ramos who was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of March 27th – April 2nd.

SENIOR BRANDON RAMOS IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Senior Brandon Ramos was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of March 27 – April 2nd. During that time, the Leafs did not compete. They were scheduled to travel to Sterling to take on the “Golden Warriors” in a dual meet on Wednesday, March 29th. The weatherman had other plans as a cold, rainy day doomed the meet.

Brandon’s week started with him organizing a Sunday run that included Blake Duncan and yours truly. We ran the 11-mile hill loop and battled a strong south head wind for the first 4 miles, barely averaging under 8 minute mile pace. That all changed when we took the turn to head west. Let me sum it up that by the end of the run, Blake’s GPS watch told us that we had AVERAGED 7:08 for 11 miles. OUCH! Well done, Brandon and Blake.

Brandon’s next significant moment came on Wednesday (the date of the proposed meet.) The weather was crummy and after speaking with Coach Deets (we had the LATE 7 PM facility slot) we decided to cancel practice for the team. Brandon talked me into giving it a shot for the middle distance and distance runners, hoping for break in the weather. I’m not too hard to talk into going for a run. Brandon suggested a threshold run of repeat 400’s so we would be close to the school in case the weather took a turn for the worse. Brandon ended up running 4 miles (16 400 Meter Repeats) with a mere 100 meter jog in-between. I ran the same workout (well behind him) and his optimism was contagious. On a day I was considering canceling practice, we ended up having a TREMENDOUS workout.

Brandon’s improvement since last year is “jaw-dropping”. He decided to go “All In” over the summer (call it SENIOR PRIDE) and he has been on a roll ever since. Keep “paying the price that excellence demands”, Brandon. In the words of a former world class marathoner, “The Will to Win Means NOTHING Without the Will to Prepare”. Truer words have never been spoken and you have lived them. That’s why running means so much to you now. Keep “Dreaming BIG” and don’t forget to enjoy the ride. You are a very special young man and it has been a great pleasure to have run a great number of miles with you. I have had the privilege of watching your meteoric rise. I hope you continue this pursuit for the rest of your life. You have found a sport that you are really good at and can continue for as long as you wish to. Keep posting your goals somewhere in your bedroom and try to make them come to fruition.

Brandon is the proud son of Trina Millard and Robert Ramos. He is also the proud older brother of Aiden (currently in 4th grade); Emma (currently in kindergarten); and Delany (just turned ONE.) Brandon is a 4th Quarter SENIOR and life doesn’t get much sweeter than that. He has the powerful love of his family and pride of being a senior to help power him through the end of his high school experience. We wish you all the best, Brandon. You have earned everything you have achieved the old-fashioned way. That is called “HARD WORK”. That is a skill that will pay HUGE dividends for you the rest of your life. Now KEEP CRANKIN”

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Heavy Downpour

STERLING DUAL CANCELED DUE TO POOR WEATHER

WHEN: Wednesday, March 29th
WHERE: Sterling High School

The meet will NOT be rescheduled.

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Animal Nasty

“NASTY” IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Junior Nick “Nasty” Swartzendruber who was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of March 20th – March 26th.

JUNIOR NICK SWARTZENDRUBER IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Junior Nick Swartzendruber was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of March 20 – March 26th. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Illinois Top Times Invitational on Saturday, March 25th. The meet is considered to be the “unofficial indoor state championship”. Not everyone was there but each event was filled with an extremely high level of quality. The meet was hosted on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington, Illinois. The event was held in the beautiful Shirk Center.

Nick “Nasty” (he is truly one of the nicest guys on the team but earned his nickname in football….the boy likes to HIT) has been in the running for the “Animal of the Week” each and every week since the season began. This week the “Animal” found him along with a construction hat. Coach Mackey asked if we would add the construction hat to the “Animal Award” to symbolize what the construction crew has had to overcome this winter. They have enjoyed an extremely mild winter but there have been several weeks of below zero wind chills. They never missed a day. They are like the mailman (woman)…..rain or snow….sleet or hail…..they ALWAYS DELIVER. Wearing a construction worker’s hat is a pretty awesome concept to add to the honor of being selected as our team’s “Animal of the Week”.

Nick’s track and field story truly takes flight when he decided NOT to go out for the sport as a Freshman. Only after his future step dad, Bob Thomas, had a “heart-to-heart” chat with him did he reluctantly join the team. Then, after he participated in the (no-longer existing) Geneseo Decathlon which culminated with every athlete running the 800 meters, did we (the coaching staff) see his potential to become a middle distance runner. It took another “heart-to-heart” conversation but he made his 800 meter debut at the Galesburg ABC Invitational and ran (if my memory servers me correctly) a sub 2:10. After that, the “secret was out”. Nick could have easily not given his best effort on that day but that is not who Nick is. He is quite simply, a ferocious competitor.

Nick’s Illinois Top Times day started with him running the opening leg of the 3200 Meter Relay. He found himself in a race in which most of the top teams front-end loaded it (put their fastest man first.) The end result was that he was near the rear of the field at the 400. He clocked in with a BLAZING 58 seconds (for him). He then moved up nicely and ROARED off the final curve only failing to catch the top two teams because he ran out of room. His split was the 5th fastest 800 Meter Run EVER for a Geneseo Junior (opening splits count for school records in distance of at least 400 meters.) The team ended up running a monster race clocking 8:09 and taking TWELVE seconds off of their season best time.

Nick also led off the 1600 Meter Relay which was racing in the “fast heat”. Nick had a solid start (there is still a lot of work to be done coming out of the blocks) and got out nicely. He then went after the leaders and rolled off of the final turn and sprinted past the leaders to hand-off the baton to Cayson with the Leafs leading. The team ran tremendously and placed an amazing 4th. Why amazing? Because our 3rd man, Senior Nathan Soria, strained his hamstring 100 meters into his leg and was limping noticeably. We tried to get him to stop but he kept going and ran 56.04cr. How? I have no clue. Reed Vanderheyden brought the team home in 3rd (we ended up 4th since heat one beat our time.) Luckily, the training staff felt that Nathan had only a mild strain and will return to us.

Nick, we are tremendously proud of you and salivating at what the future holds. Both the 800 Meter and 3200 Meter School Records are scared. Even the 1600 Meter Relay is a bit nervous. Keep working hard and dreaming big. We certainly know you aren’t intimidated by “da BIG stage” as evidenced by your “Green Machine” D.B. and Outside Linebacker STARTER status and two Varsity Letters in Football in addition to your track exploits. It’s pretty amazing that the boy who almost didn’t come out for track has already earned All-State Honors TWICE in the 3200 Meter Relay and ONCE in the 1600 Meter Relay (in case you’re not counting that’s THREE ALL-STATE MEDALS.) He still has two state meets ahead of him. Unreal. Anyway, keep “Dreaming Big” and don’t forget the enjoy the ride.

Nick is the proud son of Jodi Swartzendruber-Thomas and the late Jason Swartzendruber. He is also the proud Step-Son of “Leaf Legend” Robert “Bob” Thomas. Nick is also blessed with multiple siblings who include: Joe (current Junior in college); Logan (current Freshman in college); Sam (fellow State Meet Qualifier and a current Senior for the Leafs who earned All-State Honors in both Football and Wrestling already this school year); Jane (current Junior in high school and multi-sport star), and Mary (current Freshman and multi-sport star in her own right.) WHAT A FAMILY…..SIMPLY AMAZING!!!

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Illinois Top Times

LEAFS COMPETE AT THE ILLINOIS TOP TIMES INVITATIONAL

Pictured are Row 1: Reed Vanderheyden, Nathan Soria, Andrew Benhart, Cayson Frerichs;
Row 2: Nick Swartzendruber, Kyle Sellers, Colton Pischke; Row 3: Andrew Pischke, Lucas Hofer; Row 3: Nathan Lambert

LEAFS ‘MIX IT UP” WITH THE STATE’S BEST

On Saturday, March 25th, the Leafs traveled to the campus of Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington, Illinois to compete in the Illinois Top Times Indoor Invitational. Competition was held in the beautiful Shirk Center with entries being based on the State Rankings for the 2017 Indoor Season. Coaches then had to either declare each athlete as competing or non-competing. The fields were limited and they simply went down the list of declared athletes to fill each event. Not all of the State-Ranked Athletes competed but the field was certainly highly elite, to say the least.

Competition for the Leafs began with the 60 Meter High Hurdle Prelims. There were four heats with the 8 runners headed to the finals. Heat winners and then the next 4 fastest times advanced. Reed Vanderheyden was up first in heat 3. Reed ran a solid race sprinting to a time of 8.50 which had him sitting in 7th place with one heat to go. Colton Pischke raced in the fourth and final heat and had the best reaction to “da gun” that I’ve ever seen from him. Unfortunately, things went south from there. He ended up with the 14th fastest time in the 24-man field and gained some additional “Big Meet” experience as he raced to a finishing time of 8.73. Reed Vanderheyden “survived” the final heat as no one ran faster. The heat winner advances so he was the last man in (that is a lot better than being the first man out!)

Up next came the 3200 Meter Relay. The fields were “loaded” in every event and this was no exception. “Nasty” (Nick Swartzendruber) took the baton first and blazed a 1:58.94cr that saw him hand off with the Leafs in 3rd place. Nick’s time ties for 5th on the All-Time Junior Individual List (not bad considering it is still only MARCH.) Andrew “Benny” Benhart took “da stick” next and ran a solid race in “no man’s land” splitting a solid 2:05.94cr. Nathan Soria was up next and also ran in “no man’s land” for most of his race splitting a solid 2:05.04cr. Anchorman, Cayson Frerichs, saw some team movement as Metamora and Mohomet-Seymour joined the action up front with Cahokia while Thornridge fell back. Cayson cranked out a :57 first 400 (fastest on the team) and was sitting 4th until the final 100 when he saw Cahokia’s anchorman tying up. He dug even deeper and caught him helping the Leafs grab 3rd place with an outstanding leg of 2:01.34cr.

Up next was “Vanderhurdle” who was racing in the finals of the 60 Meter High Hurdles for the THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR! Reed was seeded 7th on time but out-performed the seed sheets, as usual, by running a season best time of 8.48 that saw him grab the 6th place medal. We are “licking our chops” knowing that both Colton and Reed are far better at the longer hurdle races. Bring on the 110 Meter High Hurdles and the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. Cross your fingers and maybe we can even dream of seeing “Big Pish” making a comeback before too long. While I’m at it, let’s add “Big Hof” to that list (although not in the hurdles, he prays!)

We scratched Reed from the 400 Meter Dash to save him for the 1600 Meter Relay as his shins are a bit tender from the indoor season. So the Leafs lined up for the day’s final event with Nick Swartzendruber leading off again. He continued his tremendous day by running an outstanding split of 51.94cr that saw him put the Leafs into the LEAD. Cayson Frerichs raced in the 2nd position and did a great job of hanging onto Cahokia’s 2nd man. Cayson raced to a solid split of 53.24cr and the Leafs were a close 2nd. Nathan Soria took “da stick” 3rd and roared after the leader. Unfortunately, he felt something “pop” in his left hamstring and almost had to drop out of the race as he pulled up significantly. Somehow, he got back after it but was noticeably limping on his 2nd lap. Somehow, he still ran a 56.04cr split. Reed Vanderheyden grabbed the baton last and ROARED after the field. He ran everyone down but Cahokia and Thornridge with his highly spirited 52.54cr. Erie-Prophetstown’s winning time of 3:30.59 in heat one just edged us by 5/100’s of a second.

Now, as we move forward into the outdoor season let’s pray for a speedy recovery for Nathan (Our Athletic Trainer thinks it’s a mild strain.) He will probably be out for at least two weeks (if not longer.) I am confident that other men will step up. We (da coaches) are very proud of the efforts put for by the team today and all indoor season. We are also VERY excited about the upcoming outdoor season. Keep working hard, Men. Remember, we PEAK FOR CHAMPIONSHIP MEET SEASON!!!!!

RESULTS

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Captains

2017 ELECTED TEAM CAPTAINS

Pictured are the 2017 Elected Team Captains. Pictured from left to right are: Nathan Soria,, Andrew Pischke, Sam Thomas, Andrew Benhart, and Ben Cosgrave

33 Team Members Received Votes

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Animal Reed

REED IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Reed Vanderheyden who was selected as the “Animal of the Week”
Award Winner for the week of March 13th – March 19th.

REED VANDERHEYDEN SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S “ANIMAL OF THE WEEK”

Junior Reed Vanderheyden was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of March 13 – March 19th. During that time, the Leafs competed in a triangular on Tuesday, March 14th and in the NIB-12 Indoor Invitational on Saturday, March 18th.

Reed got his competitive week started on Tuesday, March 14th as the Leafs competed in a triangular with Moline and Sterling. Reed started his night by winning the 60 Meter High Hurdles in an excellent time of 8.65 FAT. He followed that up with a photo-finish in the 400 Meter Dash that saw him crossing “da line’ 1/100 of a second behind his teammate and fellow junior, Nick Swartzendruber. Reed finished his night off by leading off the Leaf’s 1600 Meter Relay that crossed the finish line over 6 seconds up on 2nd place Sterling. We used the meet as a quality “workout” and tried to keep it pretty low-key.

Reed’s week wasn’t over yet. He once again toed the line at the NIB-12 Indoor Invitational on Saturday, March 18th. Reed’s day started with the 60 Meter High Hurdles and saw him win a highly competitive race that saw the top 4 runners all finish within 9/100’s of a second of each other. Reed crossed the line FIRST with an excellent time of 8.57 FAT. He next led fellow junior, Nick Swartzendruber, across the finish line by 1/10 of a second as they ran to a 1-2 finish. Reed finished his day off by anchoring the Maple Leafs’ 1600 Meter Relay team with an excellent split time of 53.34cr and saw the Leafs win by over FIVE SECONDS.

Next up will be the Illinois Top Times Invitational where Reed will run the 60 Meter High Hurdles and anchor our 1600 Meter Relay. Reed is no stranger to “Big Meet” experience. His journey started in middle school where he was a key member of the 2012 STATE Cross-Country Team Champions. He then followed that up with multiple state medals in track and field including STATE TITLES in the 100 Meter High Hurdles in both his 7th and 8th grade years. He followed that up with unparalleled success at the high school level. Reed enjoyed a tremendously successful Freshman year that culminated with a new school record and 5th place finish (ALL-STATE HONORS) in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. He followed that up an even more impressive season that saw Reed help lead the Leafs to a 2ND PLACE TEAM FINISH (Highest in School History.) Reed’s contributions were numerous and were highlighted with a STATE RUNNER-UP finish and new school record in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles and a sub 50 second anchor on Geneseo’s 4th Place STATE MEET finish in the 1600 Meter Relay. Not too bad of a career for ANYONE. All of Geneseo is smiling at the fact that Reed is still only a JUNIOR!

Reed has helped to raise the bar in regard to what is possible for an athlete from “Little Geneseo”. We wish you all the best as our season moves forward. Your commitment to the sport is rare. That is a great compliment to your God-Given talent which is tremendously enhanced by your deep sense of Passion and Purpose. Keep leading via example and get ready to head outdoors. We are very proud of you and hope your personal goals can be attained. You have helped to put Geneseo on “da Map”. Now, as you move forward, don’t ever forget to have FUN each and every day. Like Coach Deets has said so many times…”The journey is just as important as the end result”. Treasure it all. You are a very special young man and deserve everything you achieve. Keep “Dreaming Big”. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

Reed is the PROUD son of Dana Vanderheyden and Gary Vanderheyden. He is also the PROUD baby brother of “Leaf Legend” Hannah who is now a sophomore in college and has plenty of STATE Medals herself. The “Vanderhurdles” have written and are continuing to rewrite Geneseo Track History. Stay Tuned In!!!! By the way….the new “do” ROCKS!!!

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Relay Runners showing new uniforrms

LEAFS BREAK OUT NEW UNIFORMS

Modeling the team’s brand new uniforms are: Nathan Soria, Reed Vanderheyden, Andrew Benhart, Nick Swartzendruber, and Cayson Frerichs. These men won both the 1600 Meter & 3200 Meter Relays in addition to scoring in other events (see below.)

LEAFS CLAIM NIB-12 INDOOR BRONZE

On Saturday, March 18th, the Leafs traveled to Sterling’s Westwood Sports Complex to participate in the Annual NIB-12 Conference Invitational. Participating in the meet were teams from: DeKalb, Geneseo, Kaneland, LaSalle-Peru, Morris, Ottawa, Rochelle, Sterling, Sycamore, and Yorkville.

The meet offers all of the NIB-12 members (actually 10 schools) the chance to get an early season peek at each other. Each team was limited to two athletes per individual events and one team in each relay. We decided to load up our relays and try to improve upon the Illinois Top Times Seeds while not over-taxing any team members with huge meet duties. The end result was we didn’t maximize our team point total. That will happen outdoors for the actual Conference Championship. We are still very much, a work in progress. We are still trying to fit all the correct pieces of our “puzzle” into the correct “spots”. This process will continue during the coming weeks.

Leading the team were the following individual who grabbed some NIB-12 Gold via their first place efforts: Reed Vanderheyden (60 Meter High Hurdles & 400 Meter Dash); Nick Swartzendruber, Cayson Frerichs, Nathan Soria, Reed Vanderheyden (1600 Meter Relay,) and Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Cayson Frerichs (3200 Meter Relay.) The competition was fierce in every event. The Leafs ended up 3rd behind strong teams from DeKalb and Yorkville. Right on our heels were Sterling, and Kaneland. The outdoor NIB-12 Conference promises to be another tremendous meet come the middle of May. Leafs who scored points in the meet via their top six finish are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Cayson Frerichs, Nathan Soria, Reed Vanderheyden (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Cayson Frerichs (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Colton Pischke (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 5th Place: Blake Duncan (3200 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put)
  • 5th Place: Colton Pischke, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (800 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run)

RESULTS

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Foam

POLE VAULTERS “TASTE” HEAVEN

Pictured are several members of Geneseo’s Pole Vault Crew “relaxing” in the “Ole Foam”

COACH EHLERT HITS “PAY DIRT”

Middle School Head Boys Track Coach and Tri-Athletic Director, Todd Ehlert, contacted Gill Athletics in regard to what the policy was in regard to the warranty on our pole vault pit. The foam on the top pad and two of the main sections was shot and there was a “deep hole” that the vaulters would disappear into. We were both SHOCKED when the answer was TEN YEARS. The end result was we received brand new foam sections for the top pad and two of the main sections. Unbelievable. The value of this is somewhere between 5 to 8 THOUSAND DOLLARS.

It was not an easy job to take the old foam out and carefully replace it with the brand new foam. It had to be done delicately so the foam would not be torn. The vaulters did a marvelous job. The old foam will be donated to Augustana College’s Vault Coach, Chad Thomas, who can make good use of it. He has been extremely helpful to us over the years so that is the perfect destination for the used foam.

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Duck Dynasty

GOT FUR?

“Da 100-Man Challenge” has been issued

100-MAN CHALLENGE

The 2017 Maple Leaf Boys Track Team currently has 93 members. That is the LARGEST TEAM that Geneseo has had THIS CENTURY!!! Coach Fredericks has long had the goal of seeing a team consisting of AT LEAST 100 Men. The Leafs have been close in the last couple of years, just falling short. A couple of years ago, the incentive of Coach Fredericks getting a tattoo was suggested by the team and quickly nixed by “da real boss” (MRS. FREDERICKS). During the past week, Coach Fredericks experienced an “epiphany” when the idea of allowing the team members who want to (and can) grow facial hair to do so (a no-no for any athlete Coach Fredericks has coached from Day One.) After conferring with Coach Matthew Deets, he decided to offer the 100-Man Challenge. If the team number reaches or exceeds 100 before the deadline of Friday, March 24th, team members will be allowed to grow facial hair. When the challenge was offered to the team, the locker room erupted with enthusiasm. Ultimately, that is the goal of our coaching staff. To motivate our team. Coach Fredericks has long been a believer in the power of “strength in numbers”. Any new team members must “stick it out” and join for the right reason. It is his sincere hope that we will find 7 or more new team members who will enjoy the experience of being a member of our team and make our team STRONGER. We have NO weak links. It should be interesting to see what the next week brings. DREAM BIG!!!!

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Animal Coach Deets

COACH DEETS IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Coach Matthew Deets who was selected as the “Animal of the Week”
Award Winner for the week of March 6th – March 12th.

MATTHEW DEETS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S “ANIMAL OF THE WEEK”

Coach Matthew Deets was selected by the TEAM as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of March 6 – March 12th. During that time, the Leafs did not compete but had a great week of practice.

This is Coach Deets’ 5th year with us. He teaches Chemistry and Physics (general and advanced placement) in addition to coaching Track and Field. We were lucky to find Coach Deets with the help of his former Head Track Coach, Paul Olson of Augustana College. Coach Olson has been the Head Track Coach at Augustana for 49 years (as of 2017) in addition to having been the Head Cross Country Coach for 51 years, as of last fall. He is also a teacher first, as evidenced by his PhD and heavy class load. I turned to Coach Olson when we desperately needed a science teacher who could coach track. He quickly answered our need with the name of Matthew Deets. I’ll never forget how he described the incredible work ethic that Matthew had demonstrated to him and told me he was a “lifer”. I asked him what he meant and he replied that Matthew Deets was a “Once in a Life Catch”. After working with Matthew Deets for the past five years I couldn’t agree more. It has been an honor and privilege to watch the teaching and coaching evolution of Matthew Deets. He has already become one of the best teachers and coaches in our school district and he has only been at this for FIVE YEARS. It’s hard to comprehend this and extremely exciting to know that he will continue to grow for the rest of his career. Matthew Deets is a LIFETIME LEARNER. As good as all of this is, he is even a better person. Keep “Dreaming Big”, Coach Deets and get ready to attack “da Pile” this coming May at “Dirty’s”.

Matthew is our “Super Coach”. I coach the distance and middle distance runners with Coach Moe. Coach Vaden coaches the throwers. That, currently leaves EVERYTHING ELSE under the direction of Matthew Deets. He keeps Coach Moe around on some days to help him and we have used Jay Wilson, Chad Thomas, and Arthur Atwell to help with the Pole Vault to some extent. That leaves a HUGE workload for Matthew Deets. We are currently a coach short and desperately trying to fill that slot. In the meantime, Matthew Deets just keeps bringing his “A-GAME”. That is what he brings each and every single day. It was pretty cool to see the team want HIM for this award. Awarding a Coach has never even been a thought. We had decided to not have an animal for the off week but the team’s voice has been heard. Thanks Coach Deets for being such an outstanding TEACHER AND COACH. Geneseo was very lucky you decided to come to “da Maple City”.

Matthew prepped at Polo High School in Polo, Illinois were he was a 4-year Varsity Track Award winner participating in the hurdles and triple jump and anywhere else they needed him. He also played football all 4 years (2 Varsity Letters) “da boy can HIT”. He also threw in one year of Wrestling. The he moved onto Augustana College where he was a 4-year Varsity Letter Winner and 2 time All-Conference Award Winner in BOTH the Indoor Heptathlon and outdoor Decathlon. He is still in great shape and routinely jumps into workouts with the team. Way to lead by example, Coach Deets.

Matthew is the proud husband to the musically accomplished (cello) Lauryn. Lauren is a fellow educator in the Pleasant Valley School District where she teaches music. Not to be outdone, Matthew is also an accomplished Barbershop Singer. Who Knew? A man of many secrets. Matthew and Lauryn are also the proud parents of Josephine (3 months old.) Matthew is the proud son of Kevin and Janne Deets. He is also the proud younger brother of Ryan Deets (current Polo Track Coach) and baby brother Kyle (current Augie Women’s Throws Coach.) All three brothers are PROUD AUGUSTANA COLLEGE GRADUATES and TRACK AND FIELD ALUMNS!!!

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Luke and Andrew

JUST “HANGING OUT”

Pictured are Senior Lucas Hofer and Andrew Pischke. Andrew made his season debut in both
the 60 Meter Dash and the 200 Meter Dash (LANE 5.) Each man is a returning All-Stater.
“Hof” is still on the “I.R.” for the time being but is making steady progress.

LEAFS TRIUMPHANT IN STERLING TRIANGULAR

On Tuesday, March 14th, the Leafs traveled to Sterling’s Westwood Sports Complex to compete in a triangular with the host Sterling Golden Warriors and the Moline Maroons. There were also three girls teams (Alleman, Moline, and Sterling.) The fact that the meet was COED was a good thing, even though it was a school night, as it allowed for critical recovery time in between events. The field events started at 4:30 p.m. while the running events began at 5:00 p.m.

Our coaching staff pieced together the entries not concerned with optimal scoring. We wanted to see a lot of Leafs run in relays. As a result, we ran three teams in the 3200 Meter Relay, five teams in the 800 Meter Relay, and SEVEN teams in the 1600 Meter Relay. Our team currently has NINETY-TWO Team Members (that is the largest team Geneseo has had this CENTURY!!!) An even better comment is that even though the 400 Meter Run is an extremely challenging distance to race, seven teams were entered to run the 1600 Meter Relay which involved 28 men. All seven teams raced. Our seniors are doing a tremendous job of leading and our team is certainly a work in progress as we attempt to put “this puzzle” together and optimize each athlete’s talents. The team’s willingness to try anything and everything goes a long way into explaining why this is such a special group. Only time and a lot of hard work will take us to our optimal level. Stay tuned in for further updates. Thus far both thumbs are up.

The team was led by the following 1st place finishers: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash); Sam Thomas (Shot Put); Reed Vanderheyden (60 Meter High Hurdles); Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault); Colton Pischke, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (800 Meter Relay); Reed Vanderheyden, Andrew Benhart, Kaden Rink, Cayson Frerichs (1600 Meter Relay-A Team); and Andrew Benhart, Kaden Rink, Peter Rizzo, Carson Cocquit) (3200 Meter Relay-A Team.) Scoring was (5-3-2-1 for Individual Events and 5-3-0 for Relay Events. Leafs who scored points in the meet either placed in the top 4 individually or participated in a relay team that placed in the top 2. Leafs scoring in the meet are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (800 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden, Andrew Benhart, Kaden Rink, Cayson Frerichs (1600 Meter Relay-A Team)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Benhart, Kaden Rink, Peter Rizzo, Carson Cocquit) (3200 Meter Relay-A Team)
  • 2nd Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Blake Duncan (1600 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Noah Sebastian (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Venderheyden (400 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 2nd Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Nathan Soria, Jordan Seeley, Colton Pischke (1600 Meter Relay-B Team)
  • 2nd Place: Cayson Frerichs, Kyle Sellers, Andrew Rizzo, Neo Colter (3200 Meter Relay-B Team)
  • 3rd Place: Cameron Darin (Pole Vault)
  • 3rd Place: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Soria (1600 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Ben Cosgrave (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Zach Humphrey (Shot Put)
  • 4th Place: Andrew Pischke (200 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place: Colton Pischke (60 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place: Andrew Verplaetse (Pole Vault)

RESULTS

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Animal Kyle

KYLE IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Kyle Sellers who was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner
for the week of February 27th – March 5th.

KYLE SELLERS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S “ANIMAL OF THE WEEK”

Senior Kyle Sellers was selected by the Geneseo coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” award winner for the week of February 27 – March 5th. During that time, the Leafs competed in both the Quad City Indoor Invitational on Tuesday, February 28th and Wednesday, March 1st and the Sterling Gold Medal Invitational on Saturday, March 4th.

Kyle’s week started on Wednesday, March 1st at Augustana College’s Pepsico Center. The Leafs were participating in the 22nd Annual Quad City Indoor Invitational. The field included 16 quality teams. Kyle started his night by leading off the 3200 Meter Relay. He ROARED through the first 400 meters in 59 seconds showing tremendous “Passion and Purpose”. Kyle tied up a bit but held on bravely for a split time of 2:09.54cr and helped the team claim one of only two First Places on the night as the team broke the tape with a winning time of 8:24.59. He then toed “da line” in the 1600 Meter Relay Exhibition which directly followed the “Varsity” race. Kyle got out nicely as the lead-off man and sprinted to a fine split of 55.34cr. Kyle was unable to attend our first meet (Knox College Indoor Invitational) due to a scholarship interview conflict that was unavoidable. Thus, this was his season debut. It was a very nice start to the season for Mr. Sellers.

Next up was the Sterling Gold Medal Invitational held at Sterling’s Westwood Sports Complex. We allowed Kyle the opportunity to choose his events and he selected to race in the open 800 Meter Run and in the 1600 Meter Relay. The 800 Meter Run was a very competitive field and Kyle did a good job of positioning himself as he rolled through the 400 Meter Split in 62 seconds and looked great. He kept moving up in the 2nd 400 and passed several runners to grab 5th place in a season best time of 2:09.04c. He then “laced’em up again” for the 1600 Meter Relay. This time he was on the Varsity and threw down a season-best tying time of 55.34c running the 3rd leg all by himself. Way to Roll, Kyle Sellers.

Kyle is no stranger to success at the Varsity Level. He has, in his high school career, earned FOUR Varsity Letters in Cross Country and has already wrapped up his 2nd in Track (he played Baseball his first two years with the Freshmen and Sophomore Teams.) He also has a season of Freshmen Basketball on his resume (I guess that’s why he kicks my butt every time we play some “ball”. Kyle is a very talented young man with a HUGE desire to excel. He has also been a strong leader via example for our team. Keep up the good job, Kyle. You deserve all the success you’ve earned and MORE. DREAM BIG!!!! Hopefully, you’ll be finding yourself in the STATE FINALS come late May.

Prior to high school Kyle starred at the Middle School Level in both XC and Track. He ran in the State Championship on the track team as a part of the 800 Meter Relay as a 7th grader. In addition, he just missed the Top 7 in XC as an 8th grader and then ran in the Top 7 all season long as an 8th grader. He helped lead the team to the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP as the team was tied after 5 men and they had to go to the 6th man. The fact that Kyle’s finish was better was the deciding factor. A total team victory. I will never forget the smiles on the boys faces as they were presented the CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY!

Kyle is the proud son of Jamie and Cory Sellers. He is also the proud older brother of Jack (09.) All the best during the rest of the season and beyond, Kyle. You are a classy young man and we are proud to be your coaches. You have been successful at everything you’ve gone “all in” on and I know that will continue for the rest of your life. There is something magical about being a senior. Use it well and go and capture your goals. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

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Reed and Colton

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Pictured are Geneseo Hurdlers Reed Vanderheyden and Colton Pischke.
Each man enjoyed a big day for the Leafs and tied (to the 1/100) in the 60 H.H.

LEAFS ROLL AT STERLING GOLD MEDAL INVITATIONAL

On Saturday, March 4th, the Leafs traveled to Sterling’s Westwood Sports Complex to participate in the Sterling Gold Medal Invitational. The field included teams from: Dixon, Geneseo, Indian Creek, Oregon, Rock Falls, and Sterling. We love the fact that the meet allows for unlimited entries so everyone who was healthy and available was offered the opportunity for competition at one of the best high school indoor tracks in the State of Illinois.

Due to various conflicts (primarily a band and choir conflict) the team was competing without THIRTY-FOUR team members. OUCH! Oh well, the men who were able to compete really competed at a high level. The meet was non-scored but I scored it anyway. Without the Leafs trying to maximize scoring mythical team scoring was 1.) Geneseo 170; 2.) Dixon 115; 3.) Sterling 70; 4.) Oregon 39; 5.) Rock Falls 33; 6.) Indian Creek 2.

The team grabbed SEVEN first place finishes to lead the way. The following Leafs attained GOLD MEDALS: Colton Pischke (60 Meter High Hurdles (tie); Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run); Reed Vanderheyden (60 Meter High Hurdles (tie), 200 Meter Dash, 400 Meter Dash); Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault), and the 1600 Meter Relay (Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Kyle Sellers, Nathan Soria.)

Team members who scored “mythical” team points via their top 6 place finish included the following men:

  • 1st Place Tie: Colton Pischke (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place Tie: Reed Vanderheyden (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (200 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Kyle Sellers, Nathan Soria (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 2nd Place Tie: Colton Pischke (60 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place; Nathan Soria (1600 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 2nd Place: Blake Duncan, Brandon Ramos, Neo Colter, Carson Cocquit (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Carson Cocquit (400 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Dalton Stamp, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (800 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place Tie: Ben Cosgrave (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Zach Humphrey (Shot Put)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Lambert (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Dalton Stamp (200 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place: Andrew Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 5th Place: Billy Cosgrave (400 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Colton Pischke (200 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Kyle Sellers (800 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place Tie: Dalton Stamp (60 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Billy Cosgrave (High Jump)

RESULTS

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With the Baton

Q.C.A. GOLD MEDALISTS

Pictured are: Kyle Sellers, Andrew Benhart, Nick Swartzendruber, Nathan Soria, and
Reed Vanderheyden. These 5 men were a part of either (or both) the 1600 Meter Relay and
the 3200 Meter Relay. Each Relay EARNED GOLD via their FIRST PLACE FINISHES

LEAFS PLACE 3RD AT QUAD CITY INDOOR INVITE

On Tuesday and Wednesday, February 28th and March 1st, the Leafs traveled to the campus of Augustana College to participate in the 22nd Annual Quad City Indoor Track and Field Invitational. The field events were held in the Carver Center on Tuesday evening while the running events were held on Wednesday in the Pepsico Building. The field included teams from:
Alleman, Assumption, Bettendorf, Davenport Central, Davenport North, Davenport West, Geneseo, Mercer County, Moline, Muscatine, North Scott, Orion, Pleasant Valley, Rock Island, Rockridge, and United Township.

It is still VERY early in the season and we tried to be as careful as possible with our entries. Our number one goal is to field our optimal team when it matters the most which is what we call “Championship Meet Season”. We define that as starting with Geneseo’s John McCorminck Geneseo Track and Field Invitational. With that in mind, the boys came ready to compete with the best in the Q.C.A. The 16-team field guaranteed a quality field in every event. The meet format was sprint-orientated with minimal recovery time for distance runners (no doubling) and included no 800 meter run.

Daddy Coaches and Babies

FAN SUPPORT

Pictured are Josie Deets and Callen Moe who came out to support the team. They are being supported by their Daddies (Matthew Deets and Philip Moe.) This was Josie’s first track meet!!!

LEAFS ROLL AT GOLD MEDAL INVITATIONAL

On Saturday, March 4th the Leafs traveled to Sterling’s Westwood Sports Complex to participate in the annual Sterling Gold Medal Invitational. The meet offers unlimited entrees so all available team members could compete. We did have a band/choir conflict so we were missing quite a few men. Participating in the meet were teams from Dixon, Geneseo, Indian Creek, Oregon, Rock Falls, and Sterling.

The Leafs were able to claim two first place finishes in the tough field as both the 1600 and 3200 Meter Relays who each claimed GOLD. The 1600 Meter Relay Team consisted of: Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, and Reed Vanderheyden while the 3200 Meter Relay included: Kyle Sellers, Andrew Benhart, Nick Swartzendruber, and Nathan Soria. The Leafs also received Top 3 finishes from: Colton Pischke (55 Meter High Hurdles); Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault); Cole Howard (Shot Put); Reed Venderheyden (55 Meter High Hurdles); and Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault.)

Team members who scored points in the meet via their top 6 place finishes are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Reed Vanderheyden (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Sellers, Andrew Benhart, Nick Swartzendruber, Nathan Soria (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke (55 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 3rd Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 3rd Place: Reed Venderheyden (55 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 3rd Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 6th Place: Dalton Stamp, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (800 Meter Relay)

RESULTS

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Animal Jordan

JORDAN IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Freshman Jordan Seeley who was selected as this season’s first
“Animal of the Week” Award Winner

JORDAN SEELEY SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S “ANIMAL OF THE WEEK”

Freshman Jordan Seeley was selected by the Geneseo coaching staff as the team’s first “Animal of the Week” award winner for the week of February 20 – February 26. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Knox College Indoor Invitational on Friday, February 24th.

It is unusual for a freshman to be selected as the first “Animal of the Week” award winner. Following the completion of the Knox College Indoor Invitational, the coaching staff put their heads together and after a lengthy discussion, MANY team members were considered and Jordan was unanimously selected. Factors that went into the decision were many and the fact that Jordan participated in the winter track summit was a plus. Add to that the fact that Jordan considers himself to be a 100 meter / 200 meter dash man and was willing to run both the 800 meter relay and 1600 meter relays even though the 400 meter distance is, in his eyes, a bit over his distance. After discussing the reasoning of why he was placed in both events he smiled and told us he’d do his best.

This was our first meet of the season and the coaching staff decided to try to balance out our relay entries instead of “loading” one team. Jordan’s 800 Meter Relay team raced to 6th place with a time of 1:43.63 with Jordan running the 3rd leg running an impressive split time of 24.78hr (the h represents a hand-held time and the r represents the fact that it was a relay split.) Jordan’s time ended up being the 2nd fastest 200 meter split on the ENTIRE TEAM. That was a pretty awesome way for him to begin his high school track and field career. He was pretty tired after the race but had a HUGE smile on his face after we shared the split times with the relay members.

After a lengthy recovery, Jordan toed “da line” again in the meet’s final event. That would be the 1600 Meter Relay. Once again, we tried to balance the teams and were truly uncertain which of our teams would lead the way. Jordan’s team ROARED to 2nd place in the meet with him running the anchor leg in an impressive 56.84cr (c =’d converted to FAT by rounding up the 1/10 and then adding .24; and the r =’s relay.) The reason we convert the relay splits for the 1600 meter relay and 3200 meter relays is for team rankings that are all done with FAT times or converted times for consistency. Jordan was pretty tired after his race but handled the challenge with tremendous poise. He raced with a tremendous amount of “passion and purpose”. He had the 3rd fastest split on his team and was the ONLY freshman in the event for the Leafs.

He not only accepted the challenge of participating in the 1600 Meter Relay, but he raced it with impressive tactics and pacing. He was uncertain how it would turn out and honestly voiced his doubts before the race with the coaching staff. Then he demonstrated the trust in our coaching staff that is critical if we are going to become the team we hope to become by accepting the challenge and giving it his best effort. He did this with such a “team first” attitude that he earned this season’s first “Animal of the Week” Award. Jordan’s potential is “SCARY GOOD”. What a great way to start the season. All the best in the coming weeks, months, and years, Jordan. We are extremely glad you made the decision to become a part of this team and become a “difference maker”. In addition, your leadership via example is omnipotent (ALL IMPORTANT.) Job Well Done!

Jordan is no stranger to athletics. He enjoyed an impressive middle school track experience by qualifying for the STATE FINALS in the 800 Meter Relay as both a 7th AND 8th Grader. He was also robbed of a trip in the 100 Meter Dash (yea…we’re biased but it’s true.) He followed that up with a STRONG freshman soccer season where he saw action at the freshmen, sophomore, junior varsity, and varsity levels. He led the freshman team in assists and scored a “boatload” of goals along the way.

Jordan is the proud son of Shane and Chris Seeley. He is also the “baby” brother to Joshua (27) and Justin (21.) The sky is the limit, Jordan. DREAM BIG and continue chase your potential. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

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Knox College Winners

DUNCAN AND SWARTZENDRUBER LEAD LEAFS

Pictured are Juniors Nick Swartzendruber and Blake Duncan
who were the Leaf’s Two Gold Medalists

LEAFS OPEN SEASON AT KNOX COLLEGE

On Friday, February 24th, the Leafs traveled to T. Fleming Field House on the campus of Knox College to participate in the traditional season opener. The field included teams from: Dunlap, Elmwood, Galesburg, Geneseo, and Peoria Notre Dame. The meet was non-scored and featured a format changed because of a reduction in teams which allowed for unlimited entries. The end result was everyone that was healthy and available was able to compete and the meet was finished by around 9:15 p.m.

Last season this meet was moved up two weeks due to a facility conflict with Knox College hosting their indoor conference meet. This conflict allowed us to join the fun at the Quad City Indoor Invitational hosted by Rock Island High School at Augustana College. We had so much fun last year that we decided to keep both meets on the schedule even though that ends up giving us three meets in nine days (Sterling Gold Medal Meet on Saturday, March 4th.) As a result, we were extremely careful with our entries and considered Friday’s meet as a “rust buster” to start the season off.

Leading the charge were Gold Medalists Blake Duncan and Nick Swartzendruber who won the 1600 Meter Run and 800 Meter Run respectfully. Each man is only a junior which put a smile on the coaching staff’s faces. Adding strong 2nd place finishes were: Colton Pischke (High Jump & 55 Meter High Hurdles); Nathan Soria (800 Meter Run); Reed Vanderheyden (400 Meter Dash); and the 1600 Meter Relay team of Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Carson Cocquit, Jordan Seeley. The following Leafs placed in the top 6 earning Varsity Points:

  • 1st Place: Blake Duncan (1600 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place Tie: Colton Pischke (High Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke (55 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Soria (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (400 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Carson Cocquit, Jordan Seeley (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Benhart (800 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Ben Cosgrave (Triple Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 3rd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (55 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 3rd Place Tie: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 3rd Place: Dalton Stamp, Logan Weber, Max Bealer, Nathan Carroll (800 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place Tie: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Soria, Nathan Carroll, Drew Rapps, Noah Sebastian (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Brandon Ramos (1600 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Dalton Stamp (55 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place Tie: Kade Coons (High Jump)
  • 5th Place Tie: Cameron Darin (Pole Vault)
  • 5th Place Tie: Nathan Lambert (High Jump)
  • 5th Place: Colton Pischke (400 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Dalton Stamp (200 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Carson Cocquit (800 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Ben Cosgrave (55 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 6th Place: Kyle Hofer (400 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Drew Rapps, Kade Coons, Jordan Seeley, Nathan Lambert (800 Meter Relay)

RESULTS

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Callen on Wheels

CALLEN MOE SAYS IT’S TIME TO ROLL

Pictured is Callen Moe who is 0 years of age.
He has been watching the team and feels it is time to enter competition.
His goal?! Have fun and aim for a personal best every time out!

LET’S GO LEAFS!

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We Want You

2017 SEASON BEGINS

-Full Team Practice will begin on Monday,

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IMPORTANT EVENTS

WHAT: Honoring of State Medalists
WHERE: Middle School Gym
WHEN: Thursday, June 1st
TIME: 7:00 p.m.

WHAT: Team Banquet
WHERE: Evangelica-Free Church on Chicago Street
WHEN: Tuesday, June 6th
TIME: 6:00 p.m.

COME ON OUT AND BACK “da LEAFS”

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On Medal Stand

1600 METER RELAY TEAM CLAIMS GOLD

Pictured are the All-State 2A 1600 Meter Relay All-State Award Winners.
In the middle are: Nathan Soria, Reed Vanderheyden, Nick Swartzendruber, and Lucas Hofer who WON Geneseo’s First Ever State Relay Championship at the IHSA Meet.

LEAFS 4TH IN STATE

On Saturday, May 27th, the Leafs sent 7 qualifiers in 6 events to the IHSA State Finals. I have been coming to this meet for over 30 years and I have NEVER seen better weather for this meet. The daytime high of 80 degree with a slight wind of 5 mph resulted in PERFECT competition conditions.

Senior Sam Thomas got the day going in the Shot Put where he was already sitting 8th with his preliminary throw of 52′ 07 1/2″. Sam had a great series of throws. His first of three final tosses landed over 52 feet. There was very little movement in the standings and when the event was over, Sam had become just the 2nd Geneseo athlete to earn All-State Honors in THREE different sports his senior year. The Leafs were on the board with two critical points.

Next up was the 3200 Meter Relay. The field was loaded and and the race live up to the it’s hype. Several of the teams “front-end loaded” their orders. Senior Cayson Frerichs led off for the Leafs with a season best time of 1:59.24cr to have us sitting in 5th place. Senior Andrew Benhart was up next and threw down a 2:00.24cr with a strong finish to hang on to 5th place. Normal U-High was gone and on their way to the State Title while a ferocious battle was being raged among 8 teams for the silver medals. Senior Nathan Soria rocketed the Leafs into 2nd place with a 55 second opening 400. The field closed and when he handed off the baton after a courageous 2:01.24cr the Leafs were sitting 4th. Nick Swartzendruber, running anchor for the Leafs, covered the opening 400 in 58 seconds with eight teams all within one second of each other. It was simply one of the most amazing races I’ve ever witnessed. Nick was in 4th place with 200 meter to go with the “Wolves licking their chops”. Nick dug deep and moved the Leafs into 2nd place in the homestretch battling every step of the way. His final split was an impressive 1:56.64cr and the Leafs had broken the school record running 7:56.33. Add 8 points to the Leafs team score to tally 10 points.

Up next were Junior Reed Vanderheyden and Senior Andrew Pischke in the 110 Meter High Hurdles. They were sitting in lanes 8 and 9 as they were the final two qualifiers for the final. The race was unusual in that none of the finalists ran into technique problems and resulted in a new 2A state meet record. Reed grabbed 7th place in 15.02 while Andrew placed 8th in 15.16 as each man moved up one place over the final flight of hurdles. We thought that they had added 5 team points. Unfortunately, a yellow flag went up and we heard the dreaded “Geneseo, please send a Coach to the dugout” announced over the P.A. That is never a good thing and were eventually told that Andrew had been disqualified. An official saw his trail leg not go completely over the hurdle. We protested the call, asking for video evidence to confirm the call. We were told that it was a judgement call and the call would stand. No one deserves this fate, let alone Andrew who has been through so this season already. He proved what kind of man he is by wiping the tears from his eyes and telling his teammates to keep rolling. The University of LaCrosse has hit a home run by signing him. Add 3 points to the Leafs team total for a score of 13.

Next up was Junior Nick Swartzendruber in the 400 Meter Final. Nick was still feeling the effects of his 800 Meter Relay leg that saw him go “deep to the well”. He got out aggressively and came home in 7th place to nail down another All-State Medal to his collection and 3 more points for the Maple Leafs total. The team had 16 Points with two scoring opportunities to go.

Junior Reed Vanderheyden was up next in the finals of the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. The race was extremely fast and competitive with an ALL-TIME IHSA RECORD for ANY CLASS being set. Reed ran a gutsy race and was hurting pretty bad coming off the final flight of hurdles. He was passed by two runners in the final step to go from 3rd place to 5th place. Add 5 critical points to the Leafs score to total 21.

Last up for the Leafs was the 1600 Meter Relay. I am sure that this is true for all of the teams but we certainly had some tired men. Nathan was running his 4th race, while both Reed and Nick were running their 6th races in two days. For Nick, that included four 400’s and two 800’s. Junior Reed Vanderheyden exploded from the starting blocks and ran a spirited race (just after the 300 I.H.) and handed off with the Leafs sitting in a close 3rd and splitting 50.74cr. Senior Nathan Soria was up next and also ran a highly spirited race that saw him hand off the baton in 3rd place after throwing down ad split of 50.94cr. Senior Lucas Hofer grabbed the baton and got out nicely but was passed on the backstretch dropping to 4th place. He gauged his effort perfectly and exploded off the final turn to grab the lead and just kept on going. He handed off the “stick” to “Nasty” with a 20 meter lead after splitting 50.44cr. Junior Nick Swartzendruber got out hard to discourage any of the pursuing teams and had a HUGE GRIN on his face during the final 100 meters. He split a 50.04cr and brought the Maple Leafs home in a new school record of 3:21.27. This was the first Relay Gold Medal in SCHOOL HISTORY!!! What a way to end the meet. Add 10 more points to the team score. The Leafs ended up with a total of 31 points. That was a mere 2 points out of 3rd and only 6 points out of 1st. The Leafs had placed 4th in the 2A STATE MEET! GREAT JOB, MEN!

Leafs who placed in the IHSA State Finals and scored points are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden, Nathan Soria, Lucas Hofer, Nick Swartzendruber (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Cayson Frerichs, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Nick Swartzendruber (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 5th Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 7th Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash)
  • 7th Place: Reed Vanderheden (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 8th Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put)

RESULTS

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Andrew Hurdling

LEAFS CONTINUE TO CLEAR “HURDLES”

Pictured is Senior Andrew Pischke who qualified for Saturday’s
final in the 110 Meter High Hurdles

LEAFS HAVE BIG DAY IN IHSA PRELIMS

On Friday, May 26th, the Leafs participated in the 123rd IHSA State Track and Field Championship. Friday was qualifying for the 2A and 3A teams with all finals taking place on Saturday, May 27th. The weather was perfect with little to no wind (7 mph) and a daytime high of 78Àö It doesn’t get much better than that.

Action for the Leafs began at 9:00 a.m. sharp with the running of the 3200 Meter Relay. The team brought with them a plethora of experience, shooting for All-State Honors for the 3rd straight year in this event. The goal was to win the heat and auto-advance to Saturday’s final. The team executed that goal to perfection with Cayson Frerichs (2:00.34cr), Andrew Benhart (2:00.74cr), Nathan Soria (2:01.74cr) and Nick Swartzendruber (2:01.14cr.) The race set up perfectly so that Nick could cruise it in the last 400 meters and save something for his 400 meter dash and the 1600 meter relay. The team ran a solid time of 8:03.24.

Meanwhile, in the Shot Put, Senior Sam Thomas was in the process of booking his ticket into Saturday’s Final. Sam tossed the shot put 52′ 07 1/2″ to qualify in the 8th of 12 spots. Great job, Sam. This is Sam’s 2nd straight state meet so the experience he gained from last year is priceless.

Next up was Senior Jacob Verplaetse who was ready to do battle in the Pole Vault. Jacob cleared 12′ 00″ to tie for 10th in the second flight. Jacob did a great job of competing in his first state meet experience. A lot of “first timers” no-height. It took 13′ 03″ to qualify for the finals.

Meanwhile, Junior Ryver Griffin was competing in the Triple Jump. Ryver was in the 2nd flight and struggled to get his mark down on his first two jumps. He nailed his final jump soaring over the 40′ marker, landing 41′ 2″ to place 10th in his flight. Ryver did a great job qualifying for his first state meet. It took 43′ 1 3/4″ to qualify for the finals.

Next up for the Leafs were Senior Andrew Pischke and Junior Reed Vanderheyden who were both in heat two of four in the 110 Meter High Hurdles. They placed 3rd and 4th in the highly competitive heat with Reed running 14.77 and Andrew running 14.88. We had to sweat out two more heats but when the “dust had settled” they had both squeaked into Saturday’s Final qualifying in the last two spots. Job well done, Men!!! Qualifying two team members in one event is VERY rare.

Up next was Junior “Nasty” Nick Swartzendruber in the 400 Meter Dash. Nick was considered a “long shot” to qualify for the finals. Nick’s opinion of that was on display in the first 100 meters as he “Roared” down the backstretch, going out faster than he has ever gone out in his life. The end result was a 2nd place finish and a new Junior Class School Record for the Maple Leafs as he ran a “jaw-dropping” 49.91 to qualify for Saturday’s Final.

Junior Reed Vanderheyden lined up for the Leafs next in heat two (of 3) in the 300 Intermediate Hurdles. Already a two time All-Stater in the event, he had a solid race going until the 5th hurdle and then struggled to get “back on his step”. He “CRUSHED” the final hurdle and barely stayed on his feet to cross the finish line in 3rd place with a time of 39.15. Reed showed a tremendous amount of “grit” to gut out the 2nd half of the race. Great effort, Reed.

The Leafs closed their day out in the 1600 Meter Relay. The goal was to win the heat and auto-qualify. Mission accomplished as Junior Reed Vanderheyden (52.24cr on a short recovery), Senior Nathan Soria (51.24cr), Senior Lucas Hofer (50.84cr), and Junior Nick Swartzendruber (49.84cr) not only won their heat but held the number one qualifying time “when the dust had settled” after the 3rd heat had finished. The Leafs time was 3:23.07. Bring on SATURDAY!!!

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Heading to State

“STATE MEET FEVER……CATCH IT”

Row 1: Ryver Griffin, Raymond Venneberg, Jacob Verplaetse, Cayson Frerichs, Kyle Sellers, Kyle Hofer; Row 2: Sam Thomas, Reed Vanderheyden, Nick Swartzendruber, Lucas Hofer, Andrew Pischke, Nathan Soria, Colton Pischke

14 LEAFS HEADED TO STATE

On Thursday, May 25th, the Leafs departed Geneseo headed for Charleston, Illinois and the 123rd year for the State Series. The Leafs qualified in the following events:

  • Pole Vault: (Jacob Verplaete)
  • Shot Put: (Sam Thomas)
  • Triple Jump: (Ryver Griffin)
  • 3200 Meter Relay: (Cayson Frerichs, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Nick Swartzendruber)
  • 110 Meter High Hurdles: (Andrew Pischke)
  • 110 Meter High Hurdles: (Reed Vanderheyden)
  • 400 Meter Dash: (Nick Swartzendruber)
  • 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles: (Reed Vanderheyden)
  • 1600 Meter Relay: (Reed Vanderheyden, Nathan Soria, Lucas Hofer, Reed Vanderheyden)
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Animal Jacob

JACOB IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Jacob Verplaetse who was selected by the coaching staff as the
“Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of May 15th – May 21st

SENIOR JACOB VERPLAETSE IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Senior Jacob Verplaetse was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of May 15th – May 21st. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Rochelle I.H.S.A. Sectional Meet held on Thursday, May 18th.

Jacob has been a key member of our pole vault squad ever since he entered Geneseo High School. Jacob cleared 9’06” as a freshman and has continued his climb upwards ever since. On Thursday, May 18th, Jacob “threw down” a THIRTEEN INCH personal best as he soared 13′ 01″. By the way, that also happens to be the IHSA State Meet qualifying height so Jacob QUALIFIED FOR THE STATE MEET. To say he is closing his high school athletic career out on a “high” would be putting it mildly.

Jacob has put in countless hours of practice time into the pole vault and has benefited from the coaching skills of many individuals including: Matthew Deets, Wes Jackson, Steve Sulfridge, Jay Wilson, Daniel Rakestraw, Larry Ward, Mel Snook, Chad Thomas, and former teammate, Arthur Atwell. I know that the list is on the long side but our Pole Vault Coaching slot has been a literal revolving door. We greatly appreciate all of the contributions that each coach brought to “da table”. Jacob has done a great job of adjusting to the different coaching philosophy that each man possesses and “made it work”.

Jacob has always possessed a strong competitive fire but something helped him literally raise “da bar” this year and we’ll call that SENIOR PRIDE. What he accomplished at the Rochelle Sectional Meet was literally “jaw-dropping” with his sequence of jumps. He opened at 10′ 07″ and then Coach Matthew Deets had him and fellow Maple Leaf, Raymond Venneberg, skip the next height. They both cleared 11″ 07 and then P.R’d at 12′ 01″. From there, Jacob just kept going as he then cleared 12′ 07″ before facing the state qualifying standard of 13′ 01″.

Jacob is no stranger to athletic success having served the “Green Machine” football team, at the Varsity Level, for the past three seasons. He also has been a key member of the Geneseo High School Bowling Club for two season before the “Club” became and IHSA Event for the Maple Leafs. Jacob threw a career high 202 while earning his Varsity Letter. He also played soccer for the Geneseo High School his freshman and sophomore years (doubling up with football.) He also went four for four in regard to Varsity Letters for the Maple Leaf Track and Field Team, primarily as a pole vaulter. He also hurdled, sprinted, and pretty much did anything the coaching staff asked him to do. You see, Jacob has a TEAM FIRST philosophy and we are extremely proud of him.

Jacob is the proud son of Jane and Dean Verplaetse. He is also the proud middle child of seven children. They include Wyatt (27), Lauren (24), Luke (21), Andrew (current 10th grader), Eric (current 9th grader), and Will (current 7th grader.) Keep Dreaming Big, Jacob. All the best at the IHSA State Meet. Get ready to discover the wonders of the “Harvard of the Midwest”.

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Relay Record Breakers

37 YEAR-OLD SCHOOL 3200 METER RELAY RECORD GOES DOWN

Pictured are: Cayson Frerichs, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, and Nick Swartzendruber who made history by taking down the 37 year-old school record set in 1980

LEAFS HAVE STRONG SHOWING AT THE
LOADED ROCHELLE SECTIONAL

On Thursday, May 18th, the Leafs loaded the bus and took off for Rochelle at 1:00 p.m. to compete in the IHSA Sectional Meet. Unfortunately, the meet fell during our Final Exams but we had no decision in creating that conflict. Anyway, away we went to join teams from: Burlington Central, Byron, Dixon, Erie-Prophetstown, Freeport, Galena, Geneseo, Genoa-Kingston, Maple Park Kaneland, Rochelle, Rock Falls, Rock Island Alleman, Sterling, Stillman Valley, and Sycamore. This particular sectional field has been ranked as the most competitive 2A sectional in the state for several years. We were a bit surprised when the assignments were released and we saw that Alleman and Geneseo had been added to the field with all of the “Big Dogs” also staying put. We were both excited and concerned about the change. Ultimately, we felt it was a plus for our team to go up against such a strong sectional field knowing it would provide our qualifiers with a better set-up (competition-wise) for the State Finals the following weekend. The only problem is, you have to qualify to get there and weather can become a HUGE issue and it did.

The weatherman gave us a daytime high of 71Àö with 15 to 20 southwest winds blowing during the first part of the meet (field events.) Some of those events were helped and some were made more challenging. More on the actual competition later. The wind gradually shifted to a strong north wind early in the running events. During the transition, the conditions were great for about an hour. Then, the wind again kicked up which made it extremely difficult for extra athletes (rather than just the top two in each event) to qualify for the State Meet.

Leading the team to a strong 3rd place finish were State Qualifiers: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump with a 15″ personal best); Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles); Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash); Sam Thomas (Shot Put); Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault with a 13″ personal best); the 1600 Meter Relay (Reed Vanderheyden, Nathan Soria, Lucas Hofer, Nick Swartzendruber); and the 3200 Meter Relay (Cayson Frerichs, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Nick Swartzendruber who broke the 37 year-old school record set in 1980 of 8:00.54c (Jeff Renihan, Bryan Colbert, Dave Paxson, Keith Kincaid.) The new record is 7:57.89. The team also gained valuable points from the following men who barley missed “booking their tickets” to “da big dance”: Ben Cosgrave (4th in Long Jump with a season best jump of 20′ 05 3/4″); Raymond Venneberg (7th place in Pole Vault….SKIED over his season best jump of 12′ 01″); the 400 Meter Relay Team (Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke) who placed 3rd with a season best time of 44.00 missing by a mere .09 seconds; Lucas Hofer (3rd in 400 Meter Dash…with a STRONG north wind on the backstretch…he would have qualified on time with a “normal wind”; and Andrew Pischke (Drew) was running the race of his life in the 300 meter hurdles but saw his race end when he came up just short on the FINAL hurdle….despite the wind…..Coach Deets said he had the 3rd fastest time in the state going….he got up and finished. Way to “Man Up, Andrew”. Simply put, the Leafs had a TREMENDOUS NIGHT and the intense competition provided via this sectional has our team ready for the State Finals.

Now on to STATE!

Leafs who scored points in the meet via their top six place finish were:

  • 2nd Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden, Nathan Soria, Lucas Hofer, Nick Swartzendruber (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Cayson Frerichs, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Nick Swartzendruber (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump)
  • 4th Place: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put)
  • 5th Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 6th Place: Colton Pischke, Logan Weber, Ben Cosgrave, Keegan Minnaert (800 Meter Relay)

RESULTS

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Animal Blake

BLAKE IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Junior Blake Duncan who was selected by the coaching staff as the
“Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of May 8th – May 14th

JUNIOR BLAKE DUNCAN IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Junior Blake Duncan was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of May 8th – May 14th. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Moline F/S Invitational held on Monday, May 8th and in the Northern Illinois Big-12 Track and Field Conference Meet held on Friday, May 12th.

Being a junior, Blake did not suit up for the Moline F/S Invitational. His action was limited to the NIB-12 Conference Meet. During that meet he injured his foot and was limited to running only one race. What a race that was. Blake toed “da line” for the 3200 Meter Run seeded to place 6th and over 10 seconds out of 5th. When the gun sounded Blake and his training partner (Brandon Ramos) ran an extremely aggressive race strategy. They both realized how important it was to “set the tone” for the meet by bringing their “A-Game” and fighting for every point our team could grab.

Blake made the decision to be “in it” early and rolled through early splits of 71 – 2:25 – 3:40 – and the 1600 in 4:55. The top 3 runngers were “gone” but there was a tremendous battle being waged for the 4th, 5th, and 6th place points. Blake hung tough and matched multiple surges and it was eventually down to him hanging on DeKalb’s two sub 10 minute men. Blake fought a tremendous battle and threw down a 66 second final as he moved into 4th place on the backstretch. DeKalb’s top man kicked him down but Blake made him go “DEEP TO WELL”. As Blake staggered across the finish line, I saw him smile because he knew he run a tremendous race. When I yelled you just ran 9:51 (that’s an EIGHTEEN SECOND SEASON BEST IMPROVEMENT) he raised both arms….still staggering around.

Blake’s race caught the attention of the entire team and helped to ignite one of the sparks that grew into a “raging fire” that is also called, “momentum”. The whole NIB-12 took notice and realized that the Two-Time Defending Champion Maple Leafs would NOT go down without a fight. There were many other brave efforts on display during the evening and it was a difficult choice to select this week’s Animal of the Week Award Winner. After considerable discussion amongst the coaching staff, Blake was selected with a unanimous selection. Way to roll, Blake.

His time of 9:51.96 is the 16th fastest individual time in school history. It is also the 11th fastest junior individual time in school history. When one considers the proud tradition that Geneseo has in track and field and in this particular case distance running, it obvious that Blake has broken through to a new level. He has already been elected as a Tri-Captain for next fall’s cross country team. There is no better way to lead than by example and few do it any better than Blake Duncan. His work ethic and dedication to the pursuit of excellence is nothing short of impressive. Keep paying the dues that excellence demands. While you’re at it don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

Blake is the proud son of Shawna and Chad Duncan. He is also the proud older brother of Alexander (Alex….current 2nd grader.) All the best in the future, Blake. It is a true honor to be one of your coaches. Thanks for going “All In”. You have already discovered an important life skill. Goals that are extremely difficult to achieve bring an intense level on intrinsic reward. Keep Dreaming Big. Can you say STATE MEET FEVER?

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Team after Conference winLEAFS WIN

Pictured is much of the team seconds after the final team scores were announced.
We went a little CRAZY!!!

LEAFS WIN DRAMATIC, COME FROM BEHIND,
NIB-12 THREE-PEAT

On Friday, May 12th, the Leafs traveled to Sycamore High School for the Northern Illinois Big-12 Conference Track and Field Championship. This was the track team’s first ever visit to Sycamore. The field included teams from: DeKalb, Geneseo, Kaneland, LaSalle-Peru, Morris, Ottawa, Rochelle, Sterling, Sycamore, and Yorkville. The weatherman provided the meet with near ideal conditions with a daytime high of 71Àö and mild winds (they did pick up a bit late in the meet.)

After the seeding meeting was held on Wednesday, May 10th at Sycamore High School, we had each team’s entries and were able to analyze the team battle “on paper”. It looked like a 3-team battle between Sterling (92 points), Geneseo (91 points), and Yorkville (88 points.) Pre-Season favorite, DeKalb, was only seeded 5th (63.50 points) due to several key injuries. It looked like a “barn-burner” and the pre-meet hype lived up to its name and more.

Sterling got off to a tremendous start in the field events out-performing their seeds. The Leafs were close . . . scoring 15 of their projected field events points and were led by Senior Sam Thomas (2nd in the Shot Put with a career best and state-ranked 53′ 03.5″) and Junior Ryver Griffin who moved from 6th to 3rd on his final Triple Jump attempt to nail down 6 critical team points with his 3rd place finish. It was that kind of night and every single point was omnipotent.

On the track, the Leafs scored in 11 of the 12 events and came from over 20 points down after the 800 Meter Relay to move ahead by scoring 16 points with 1st and 3rd place finishes in both the 400 Meter Dash (Nick Swartzendruber and Lucas Hofer) and in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles (Reed Vanderheyden and Andrew Pischke.) The entire team was caught up in the battle and each man did what he could do to contribute.

After the 200 Meter Dash where Reed Vanderheyden grabbed 3rd place, we were 9 1/2 points down to Yorkville. We needed to win the 1600 Meter Relay without Reed (evented out) and have Yorkville NOT score. The 4 x 4 ran an impressive 3:25 (w/out Reed….welcome back Lucas Hofer!!!) However, Yorkville grabbed 6th so we thought we lost by 1/2 point. The team gathered and each coach told them how proud of them we were. What a team effort. They were ready to go and congratulate Yorkville when the team scores started to be announced. When they announced Yorkville placing 2nd, our team erupted. It was a moment I will never forget. The pure emotion. It turned out that there were some mistakes announced following the 200 Meter Dash and it was re-analyzed. Andrew Pischke had placed 6th and Yorkville’s 2nd man (who we thought had placed 4th) had placed 7th. When the dust had settled, the Leafs had 3-Peated with a hard-fought 98.50 to 94 point win. The Leafs outperformed their seeds by a critical 7.50 points.

It was truly a meet where every single man was a “difference maker”. Pretty cool stuff. I could go on for a very long time but won’t. A special thanks to our senior class for leading the team to another conference crown. Now on to Sectionals. The team was led by top 3 finishers: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash); Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); Kyle Sellers, Natan Soria, Lucas Hofer, Nick Swartzendruber (1600 Meter Relay); Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles); Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run); Sam Thomas (Shot Put); and the 3200 Meter Relay team consisting of Andrew Benhart, Kyle Sellers, Nathan Soria, Matthew Ganson.

Listed are the team members who scored points in the meet via their top 6 place finishes:

  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Sellers, Natan Soria, Lucas Hofer, Nick Swartzendruber (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put)
  • 2nd Place: Andrew Benhart, Kyle Sellers, Nathan Soria, Matthew Ganson (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 3rd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (200 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 5th Place: Blake Duncan (3200 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: Kyle Sellers, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Keegan Minnaert (800 Meter Relay)
  • 5th Place (Tie): Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Zach Humphrey (Discus)
  • 6th Place: Andrew Pischke (200 Meter Dash)

RESULTS

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1st Place Finishers

LEAFS 4TH IN F/S NIB-12

Pictured are Geneseo’s F/S first place finishers. Pictured from L to R are: Carson
Cocquit, Neo Colter, Kaden Rink, Colton Pischke, Peter Rizzo, and Kyle Hofer.

On Friday, May 12th, the Leafs traveled to Sycamore High School for the Northern Illinois Big-12 Conference Track and Field Championship. The F/S Conference Meet was held in conjunction with the Varsity Conference Meet. The field included teams from: DeKalb, Geneseo, Kaneland, LaSalle-Peru, Morris, Ottawa, Rochelle, Sterling, Sycamore, and Yorkville. The weatherman provided the meet with near ideal conditions with a daytime high of 71Àö and mild winds (they did pick up a bit late in the meet.)

After the seeding meeting was held on Wednesday, May 10th, at Sycamore High School, we had each team’s entries and were able to analyze the team battle “on paper”. We LOADED up for the Varsity Division and put any F/S athlete that we thought even had a slight chance of placing in the Varsity Division “UP”. We knew that we needed every single point that we could muster. With that being said, our team possesses a tremendous amount of depth and we were pleasantly surprised that even though we had so many guys moved up we were still seeded to place 6th in the competitive NIB-12.

The competition was fierce and the host Sycamore Spartans came ready to “rumble”. They were only seeded for 4th place but ended up winning the meet with an even 100 points. Not far behind was the pre-meet favorite, Kaneland (Knights) who fell a mere 3 points short with 97. Morris grabbed 3rd scoring 95 points with the Leafs outperforming their seeds to grab 4th place while scoring 76 points. The team was led by “Gold Medalists: Kyle Hofer (Long Jump & Triple Jump); Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles), Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run); and the 3200 Meter Relay Team of Kaden Rink, Neo Colter, Carson Cocquit, and Peter Rizzo.

The team was led by the following individuals who placed in the top 6 to score points for the team:

  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (Long Jump)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles_
  • 1st Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Kaden Rink, Neo Colter, Carson Cocquit, Peter Rizzo (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus)
  • 4th Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Luke Sebastian (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 5th Place: Jordan Seeley (200 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Tucker Ziegenhorn (Discus)
  • 5th Place: Nathan Carroll, Carson Cocquit, Kaden Rink, Peter Rizzo (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 6th Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Max Bealer, Billy Cosgrave, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (800 Meter Relay)
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Animal Lucas

Spartans

LUCAS IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Lucas Hofer who was selected by the coaching staff as the
“Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of May 1st – May 7th

SENIOR LUCAS HOFER IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Senior Lucas Hofer was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of May 1st – May 7th. During that time, the Leafs competed in the UTHS J.V. Invitational held on Tuesday, May 2nd and in their own Geneseo John McCormick Invitational held on Friday, May 5th.

No one on our team has been faced with more adversity than Lucas Hofer. No one on our team has demonstrated more resilience than Lucas Hofer. Putting it lightly, “Hof” has had a tough senior year. His senior campaign started off on the first day of football practice. It was a no-contact day and he was running a simple cut and tragically tore his ACL in his right knee. Thus, he was forced to miss his entire senior football season because of a fluke accident. CRAZY and terribly unfair.

Lucas underwent reconstructive surgery on his ACL and the long rehabilitation route. Eventually, he was cleared to start conditioning and eventually competing. The only problem was that included a ginormous brace to protect his healing knee. He could train and race but only while wearing the brace. Throughout this extremely trying ordeal, Lucas kept an incredibly positive attitude. He attended every practice, even when he couldn’t run. He attended every meet, even when he couldn’t compete. All this for a returning All-Stater from the Leafs 4th Place 1600 Meter Relay Team. Simply amazing. Patience and resilience.

“Hof’s” week started on Tuesday, May 2nd, at the United Township J.V. Invitational. It is almost unheard of for a returning All-Stater to participate in a J.V. Invite but circumstances were, in the words of Coach Deets, “It is what it is”. He competed in the 400 Meter Dash and won it in a time of 54.51. He then came back in the 200 Meter Dash and placed 6th in a time of 24.87. I had a conversation with Lucas and shared with him the story of Ethan Reschke who “tore up” each of his knees during his sophomore and junior years. He came back his senior year to play basketball (with braces) and then ran track without them (he had been cleared.) He slowly came around and qualified for state in the 400 Meter Dash (didn’t qualify for the finals.) He then moved on to Monmouth College where he has earned All-American Honors 6 Times and is still counting (currently a senior.) I told Lucas his best days are ahead of him when he moves on to the University of Dubuque. He smiled and nodded his head.

Onto Friday, May 5th, and Geneseo’s John McCormick Inv. Lucas raced in the 400 Meter Dash (C-Division) and placed 2nd in a fine time of 53.84. Then, after the senior recognition, the next race up was the B-section of the 1600 Meter Relay. Matthew Ganson, Ben Cosgrave, and Andrew Benhart teamed up with Lucas to win the race in an excellent time of 3:32.24. The most amazing thing about the race was Lucas and his 3rd leg of the relay. He just looked different to me. He was so smooth on the backstretch and ROARED down the homestretch to finish in a huge season best of 52.84cr. As I watched him sprinting home, to my horror I noticed that he didn’t have his brace on. I immediately approached him thinking he made that decision against his medical advice. Coach Deets quickly intercepted me and shared that he had been cleared by our outstanding trainer, Kasey Zibton, to race for the first time without it. All I can say is, “Watch Out” because here comes “da Hof”.

Thanks for always being such a great team man. We wish you all the success that is possible for you this season, and most importantly, in college. DREAM BIG! You are a VERY special young man that has helped to make our team the same. Lucas is no stranger to “da big stage” having earned 3 Varsity Letters for the “Green Machine” as a starting tailback on offense and also as a starting Defensive Back. He also helped lead the Leafs to a 2nd place team finish at the IHSA State Track & Field Championship as he earned All-State Honors in the 1600 Meter Relay that grabbed 4th place. Lucas is the proud son of Erin and Eric Hofer. He is also the proud older brother of Claire (7th Grader) and Kyle (9th Grader). You have become Geneseo’s true “Cinderella Man”. Keep fighting the good fight! Get ready to fly without the brace. Don’t forget to have some fun along the way.

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Moline FS Gold Medalists

LEAF “GOLD MEDALISTS”

Pictured are Geneseo’s “Big 3”
Luke Sebastian, Kaden Rink, and Andrew Verplaetse each won an individual event!
(Luke: 300 Intermediate Hurdles.; Kaden: Triple Jump; Andrew: Pole Vault)

MOLINE F.S. INVITATIONAL

On Monday, May 8th, the Leafs traveled to Moline’s historic Browning Field to participate in the annual Moline F.S. Invitational. The meet featured three entries for each individual event and only one team for each relay. The field included teams from: Alleman, Erie-Prophetstown, Geneseo, Moline, Rock Island, and United Township.

The weatherman was kind to us because the sun came out just in time for the start of the meet and shot the temperature up from the upper 50’s to the upper 60’s in no time. With the NIB-12 coming up on Friday, we used the meet as a final competitive opportunity for some team members and a “tune-up” for others. We did NOT load up any events trying to score points. It is that exact point that makes me shake my head in amazement that the team claimed the “Silver” with a close 2nd place finish to team champion Moline, falling a mere 7 points short. Maybe, all the teams had the same idea with their entries, but I doubt it. Our future looks GREAT!

The Leafs were led by our three “Gold Medalists”: Kaden Rink (Triple Jump); Luke Sebastian (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); and Andrew Verplaetse (Pole Vault.)

Team members who scored points for the team via their top 6 place finish included:

  • 1st Place: Kaden Rink (Triple Jump)
  • 1st Place: Luke Sebastian (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 2nd Place: Billy Blaser (Shot Put)
  • 2nd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus)
  • 2nd Place: Colby Rapps (3200 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Luke Sebastian (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Carroll, Jordan Seeley, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (400 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Jordan Seeley, Carson Cocquit, Kaden Rink, Peter Rizzo (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Kaleb Decker, Neo Colter, Augie Schmitt, Juan Mejias-Dansbach (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Colton Pischke (100 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Kaden Rink (400 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Tucker Ziegenhorn (Discus)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Carroll, Jordan Seeley, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (800 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Kyle Hofer (200 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place (tie): Jaycob Norton (High Jump)
  • 4th Place: Nathaniel Tisor (Long Jump)
  • 5th Place: Justin Lyman (Shot Put)
  • 5th Place: Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Zach Bauer (800 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Kyle Hofer (100 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Mick Mooney (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 6th Place: Colton Pischke (400 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Colby Rapps (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)

RESULTS

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Andrew and Reed hugging

ANDREW PISCHKE AND REED VANDERHEYDEN TAKE DOWN 110 METER HIGH HURDLES SCHOOL RECORD.

Pictured are Senior Andrew Pischke and Junior Reed Vanderheyden moments
after learning that each man had DESTROYED the school record in the
110 Meter High Hurdles. In the background “Photo Bombing”
is former Leaf Hurdler, Cam Yeater

LEAFS WIN MCCORMICK ABC INVTE ON SENIOR NIGHT

On Friday, May 5th, the Leafs played host to their annual Geneseo John McCormick Invitational. The meet is named after long-time track coach, John McCormick, who guided the Maple Leafs for 29 years. Coach McCormick is a member of the Illinoiis Track & Cross Country Coaches Association (ITCCCA) Hall of Fame.

The field included teams from: Alleman, Canton, Dixon, Erie/Prophetstown, Forreston, Fulton, Galesburg, Geneseo, LaSalle-Peru, Metamora, Ottawa, Peoria Richwoods, Princeton, Rock Falls, and Sherrard. The meet features A-B-C competition in the individuals along with A and B Relays. The end result is a ton of guys were given the opportunity to compete.

The meet had to co-exist with the construction project (Project Leaf) which is on-going. The construction crew (with a strong arm twist from Geneseo Athletic Director, Travis Mackey) allowed the use of the brand new west grandstand. The west field lights were also “christened” with a temporary “hook-up”. Mr. Mackey also brought in portable field lights for the backstretcth. In addition, former Rock Island Throwing Starter, Jason Nunnm (Under Coach Mackey) came out to help “fire-up” our FAT. Garrett Albers (Geneseo), Dennis Hartz (Sterling), Trent Swords (Ottawa) and the incomparable James Roodhouse (Geneseo) made it happen. It took a while but it was rolling just in time for the 800 Meter Run.

The highlights were many. Leading that effort were 110 Meter High Hurlers Reed Vanderheyden and Andrew Pischke who both SMASHED the school record for the 110 Meter High Hurdles (14.84c) with times of 14.64c and 14.74c. The previous school record was held by: Cory Parrish (2000), Jim Varga (1986), and Fred Little (1984.) The team claimed “Gold” (1st Place) in FOURTEEN EVENTS. Team members who earned a first place finish in the meet where: Cole Howard (Shot Put-C); Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-A & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-B); 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-C & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-C); Kyle Sellers (800 Meter Run-B); Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run-A); Sam Thomas (Shot Put-A) Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles-B & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-A); Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay-A): Kyle Hofer, Drew Rapps, Ryver Griffin, Keegan Minnaert (800 Meter Relay-B): Matthew Ganson, Ben Cosgrave, Lucas Hofer, Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Relay-B); Noah Sebastian, Carson Cocquit, Spencer Lindstrom, Peter Rizzo (3200 Meter Relay-B.)

The team showed impressive depth as they impressively scored in 36 of the 44 events. The following team members helped the team place first over via their scoring points for the team via their top 6 place finish in the meet:

  • 1st Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put-C)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-A)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Sellers (800 Meter Run-B)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run-A)
  • 1st Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put-A)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-A)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay-A)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer, Drew Rapps, Ryver Griffin, Keegan Minnaert (800 Meter Relay-B)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson, Ben Cosgrave, Lucas Hofer, Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Relay-B)
  • 1st Place: Noah Sebastian, Carson Cocquit, Spencer Lindstrom, Peter Rizzo (3200 Meter Relay-B)
  • 2nd Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Blake Duncan (3200 Meter Run-A)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer (Long Jump-C)
  • 2nd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash-C)
  • 2nd Place (Tie): Jack Morrell (Pole Vault-C)
  • 2nd Place: Brandon Ramos (3200 Meter Run-B)
  • 2nd Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault-B)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Carroll, Jordan Seeley, Lucas Hofer, Keegan Minnaert (400 Meter Relay-B)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden, Kyle Sellers, Nathan Soria, Nick Swartzendruber (1600 Meter Relay-A)
  • 3rd Place: Billy Blaser (Shot Put-B)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run-B)
  • 3rd Place: Colton Pischke (Long Jump-B)
  • 3rd Place: Brandon Ramos (1600 Meter Run-C)
  • 3rd Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault-A)
  • 4th Place: Matthew Ganson (100 Meter Dash-B)
  • 4th Place: Andrew Benhart, Matthew Ganson, Nathan Soria, Nick Swartzendruber (3200 Meter Relay-A)
  • 5th Place: Eli Allen (Discus-C)
  • 5th Place: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump-B)
  • 5th Place: Kade Coons (High Jump-C)
  • 5th Place: Billy Cosgrave (High Jump-B)
  • 5th Place: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump-A)
  • 5th Place: Kyle Hofer (100 Meter Dash-C)
  • 5th Place: Andrew Pischke (200 Meter Dash-B)
  • 5th Place: Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash-B)
  • 6th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump-A)
  • 6th Place: Nathan Soria (400 Meter Dash-A)
  • 6th Place: Nathan Carroll, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (800 Meter Relay-A)

RESULTS

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Seniors in Relay

GOING OUT IN STYLE

Pictured are seniors: Tate Neff, Nelson Laingen, Noah Sebastian, and Chandler Schwartz. The quartet teamed up one last time in the 1600 Meter Relay.

LEAFS WIN U.T. JV INVITATIONAL

On Tuesday, May 2nd, the Leafs traveled to East Moline’s Soule Bowl to participate in the annual United Township Junior Varsity Invitational. The meet is the last competitive opportunity for many of our team members and the goal was to “go out in style”, striving for a personal best. The field included teams from: Alleman, Galesburg, Geneseo, Moline, Rock Island, and United Township.

The weatherman gave us a middle-of-the-road day with a daytime high of 51Àö with strong 15-20 mph winds that died a bit as the meet progressed. Overall, it was COLD and WINDY

We didn’t try to load up and left a ton of guys at home. When the team scores were announced we were SHOCKED to find out that we had won the meet. The team scored 185 points to outdistance 2nd place Moline who scored 124 points for 2nd place. Leading the team were the following “Gold Medalists” who won their events: Billy Blaser (Shot Put); Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash); Zach Humphrey (Discus); Brandon Ramos (1600 Meter Run); Colby Rapps (3200 Meter Run); Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault); Logan Weber (200 Meter Dash); Ben Cosgrave, Drew Rapps, Logan Weber, Keegan Minnaert (400 Meter Relay); 1st Place: Matthew Ganson, Blake Duncan, Nathan Lambert, Peter Rizzo (1600 Meter Relay); and Peter Rizzo, Zach Bauer, Blake Duncan, Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Relay.)

Team members who scored points in the meet via their top six place finish are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Billy Blaser (Shot Put)
  • 1st Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Zach Humphrey (Discus)
  • 1st Place: Brandon Ramos (1600 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Colby Rapps (3200 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 1st Place: Logan Weber (200 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Ben Cosgrave, Drew Rapps, Logan Weber, Keegan Minnaert (400 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson, Blake Duncan, Nathan Lambert, Peter Rizzo (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Peter Rizzo, Zach Bauer, Blake Duncan, Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Ben Cosgrave (200 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 2nd Place: Max Bealer, Kade Coons, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (400 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Cade Backes, Rylan Coons, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (800 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Noah Sebastian, Nelson Laingen, Chandler Schwartz, Tate Neff (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Matthew Ganson (800 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Kyle Hofer (Long Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus)
  • 3rd Place: Peter Rizzo (1600 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Blake Duncan (800 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Kyle Hofer (200 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 4th Place: Ryan Kass (Discus)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Lambert (Long Jump)
  • 4th Place: Nathaniel Tisor, Max Bealer, William Venneberg, Dawson DeCap (800 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Kade Coons, Neo Colter, Kale Decker, Juan Mejias-Dansbach (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 5th Place: Ben Cosgrave (100 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Nathan Lambert (High Jump)
  • 5th Place: Luke Sebastian (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 5th Place: Augie Schmitt, Andrew Schmidt, Juan Mejias-Dansbach, Adam Wells (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Eli Allen (Discus)
  • 6th Place: Kaleb Decker (1600 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Lucas Hofer (200 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Colby Rapps (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 6th Place: Logan Weber (100 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Nathan Yoder (3200 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Nathaniel Tisor, Rylan Coons, Luke Sebastian, Cade Backes (400 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Noah Sebastian, Nelson Laingen, Chandler Schwartz, Tate Neff (1600 Meter Relay)

RESULTS

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Animal Colton

COLTON IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Sophomore Colton Pischke who was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 24th – April 30th

SOPHOMORE COLTON PISCHKE IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Sophomore Colton Pischke was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 24th – April 30th. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Geneseo F.S. Invitational held on Tuesday, April 25th. The Leafs were also scheduled to compete in the Pekin Invitational on Friday, April 28th but the meet was cancelled.

Colton got his week started by winning the sophomore 110 Meter High Hurdles in a meet record (tying) and the 2nd fastest time ever run by a Geneseo Sophomore. His time was 15.34c (converted from a hand-held time by rounding up the 1/10th and adding .24.) Simply put, the dude was FLYING!!! That is also the 18th fastest time by an individual of ANY grade in SCHOOL HISTORY.

Next up came the sophomore long jump where Colton placed 2nd. His season best in the long jump of 19′ 05″ is the sixteenth farthest for a sophomore in school history. Not bad for a secondary event. Way to FLY!

Up next was the sophomore 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. Colton blitzed the field and clocked and impressive time of 42.74c. His season best of 41.95 has him currently sitting as the 5th fastest sophomore in school history. It also places him at 20th overall for an individual of any grade level in school history.

Colton concluded his evening with a 5th place in the sophomore 200 Meter Dash (Coach Deets had him working on his leg speed.) His time was 24.84c into a head wind. Colton scored 30 points all by himself. Putting it lightly, Colton had a HUGE night!

Colton is a highly competitive young man who is motivated by many things. Near the top of that list is trying to match or better his older brother and fellow teammate Andrew. Colton has bettered Andrew’s times during both his Freshman and Sophomore years. Considering that Andrew earned All-State Honors in BOTH events last year as a junior that is a “jaw dropping” fact.

Colton did a wonderful job of stepping up and filling in for Andrew during his post surgery recovery time. He also did a wonderful job of welcoming his brother back into practice and competition. We are still in the ABC portion of our season and Colton helps provide the Leafs with the most depth of any hurdle crew in the State of Illinois. The fact that each man has worked extremely hard to reach such an elite status makes it all the more impressive.

Colton is no stranger to success. After enjoying a tremendous Freshman year that saw him run the 2nd fastest freshmen times for the 110 Meter High Hurdles and 300 Intermediate Hurdles in School History (second to only Reed Vanderheyden.) In middle school Colton Sprinted to the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in the 100 Meter High Hurdles (33 inches) as an 8th grader after grabbing 3rd as a 7th Grader. He was also a key part of the 1600 Meter Relay Team that placed 5th his 7th Grade Year. Colton is also a par of the “Green Machine” earning his Varsity Letter as a sophomore last fall splitting his time between 4 back on offense and cornerback on defense. The bottom line is this guy is a winner who is LOADED with PASSION AND PURPOSE. Keep attacking the season Colton. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey. All the best. The hurdles school records are all in danger and your name is that conversation.

Colton is the proud son of Melissa (current Booster Club President) and Mark Pischke. He is also the proud younger brother of current senior Andrew and proud older brother of 6th grader Addison who is quite an athlete herself. Melissa is our booster club president.

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Where's the rain?

MAKING LEMONADE OUT OF LEMONS

Friday, April 28th’s Pekin Invitational was cancelled. There was a missed communication that resulted in our traveling all the way there only to find out the meet was cancelled. What to do?

PEKIN INVITATIONAL CANCELLED

On Friday, April 28th, the Leafs traveled to Pekin High School to participate in the annual Pekin Invitational. The field included teams from: East Peoria, Geneseo, Limestone, Macomb, Peoria Manual, Morton, Normal West, Springfield Lanphier, Peoria Notre Dame, Pekin, Peoria Christian, Peoria Richwoods, and Washington.

So, when we rolled into Pekin High School and entered their stadium we saw NO ONE. I ran to the coaches office and the door was locked. I ran to the restroom and the door was locked. NOT GOOD. Pekin High School had just dismissed their students for the day and I saw a boy standing by the gate we had come in. I asked him if he was on the track team and told him who we were. He was not on the track team but shared that he heard an announcement at the end of their school day saying that the meet was cancelled and so was practice.

I will admit that I was both upset and shocked. Upset that we hadn’t been notified and shocked because the weather was the best we have seen all season. 61Àö with virtually NO wind. After talking to the other coaches and thinking things over, we decided to have practice that included some time trials right there. It took a few minutes for everyone to refocus but refocus they did. I headed out with Coach Moe and the distance crew for our traditional 15-minute warm-up. While we were gone, Pekin’s head coach came out, unlocked the restroom doors and spoke to Coach Deets. He apologized for the mix-up. They had emailed and called (left a message.) No one got them until we were already there. It was just a mix-up.

On to the workout/time trial. There were no crossbars for the high jumpers and vaulters so they worked on their approaches. There were no rakes for the long jump or triple jumpers so they did the same. We didn’t have a discus tape measure and the grass was wet for the throwers so they worked on technique. The sprinters had no blocks but Coach Deets had them do a time trail for a 100 Meter Dash and then race a 800 Meter Relay. The 3200 Meter Men ran a 2800 (1 1/2 miles) time trial trying to be at or below 10:00 flat pace (they both made it.) Finally, the 800 men raced an 800 Meter time trial and then came back with a 400 Meter Dash (about 40 minutes later.) Everyone put forth a great effort. So much so that Coach Fredericks decided to treat the team to dinner at Avanti’s.

The definition of resilience is the ability to overcome adversity. That is exactly what our team did. I feel certain that 99% of all teams in a similar situation would of packed it up and gone home. Accomplishing NOTHING. We didn’t do that. Once given the task, the team attacked it with enthusiasm. I have never been prouder of a group of young men in my life. Bring on “Championship Meet Season” because we ARE READY!

RESULTS

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Dodgeball Chanps

THE SENIORS RULE

Pictured are the Dodgeball Champions. The Senior Class of 2017.

DODGEBALL CHAMPIONS CROWNED

Almost every season, we have a Dodgeball tournament on a rainy day when we the Geneseo Facility after school. I say, “Almost” because last season it never happened. The team reminded us of that fact almost daily. Well…..never say never.

On Wednesday, April 26th, the tournament happened. The Seniors squared off against our HUGE Freshmen Class and the action was INTENSE. The seniors won and moved into the “Finals”. While that game was being played, in the next court over the Sophomores and Juniors went “at it”. It is hard to describe just how intensely the games were played. Coach Moe mentioned to me that a few guys were “hot” after he made a referee call they didn’t like. The Juniors won the other Semi-Final and moved onto “da Finals”.

The Seniors then did battle against the Juniors. The game was equally intense and saw the Class of 2017 STANDING TALL when the final man was downed as they claimed “da Title”. They were rightfully excited about the win and eagerly posed for the above picture. The Juniors fought a valient fight and earned the runner-up “Silver Medal”. I received a few “nasty” glances myself from the Juniors when the action was over (about a referee call or two…) You couldn’t pay me to referee basketball games following today. It was “hot in da kitchen” 🙂

Meanwhile, the fight next door for the “Bronze” was being waged between the Freshmen and the Sophomores. Ultimately, class order reigned supreme as the Sophomores fought off a heated challenge from the Freshmen. Thus, the order of finish was: 1.) Seniors; 2.) Juniors; 3.) Sophomores; 4.) Freshmen. It was a lot of fun and after the games we proceeded with practice since the rain that had been forecast hadn’t arrived yet. WELL DONE, MEN!

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FS Meet Helpers

FINISH LINE

Action was heated at the finish line. Pictured are some of the meet workers
who helped us pull off hosting our F/S Invite

LEAFS WIN GENESEO F/S INVITATIONAL

On Tuesday, April 25th, the Leafs played host to their annual F/S Invitational. The meet has a unique format that allows for separate levels of competition for Freshmen and Sophomore in individual events (2 entries per school.) The relay teams had no restrictions other than all of the athletes had to be either Freshmen or Sophomores. Medals were awarded to the top 6 finishers in each event. A special shout goes out to our Athletic Director Travis Mackey for allowing us to host this meet. Several of the coaches told us that this is one of their favorite meets of the season. I wish another school would offer such a format but until they do this will have to do.

The weather man provided us with a daytime high of 81Àö with winds from the south blowing at 15-20 mph early in the meet but dying action progressed. The field included teams from Alleman, Galesburg, Geneseo, Kewanee, Princeton, Rock Falls, Rock Island, Sterling, and United Township.

The team was led by 11 first place finishes. That is an unusually large number. The Leafs had a GREAT night and won the meet by 96 points. Team members who earned a “GOLD MEDAL” via their first place finish were: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump-10); Neo Colter (3200 Meter Run-09); Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run-10); Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump-09); Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-10 & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-10); Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash-09 & 400 Meter Dash-09); and Tucker Ziegenhorn (Discus-09 & Shot Put-09.)

Leafs who scored points in the meet via their top six place finish included:

  • 1st Place: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump-10)
  • 1st Place: Neo Colter (3200 Meter Run-09)
  • 1st Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run-10)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump-09)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-10)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-10)
  • 1st Place: Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash-09)
  • 1st Place: Jordan Seeley (400 Meter Dash-09)
  • 1st Place: Tucker Ziegenhorn (Discus-09)
  • 1st Place: Tucker Ziegenhorn (Shot Put-09)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer, Jordan Seeley, Peter Rizzo, Kaden Rink (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Eli Allen (Discus-09)
  • 2nd Place: Billy Blaser (Shot Put-10)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles-09)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-09)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke (Long Jump-10)
  • 2nd Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run-10)
  • 2nd Place: Zach Wilson (Pole Vault-10)
  • 2nd Place Tie: Zach Wilson (High Jump-10)
  • 2nd Place: Carson Cocquit, Juan Mejias-Dansbach, Augie Schmitt, Spencer Lindstrom (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus-10)
  • 3rd Place: Colby Rapps (3200 Meter Run-09)
  • 3rd Place: Kaden Rink (Triple Jump-10)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Verplaetse (Pole Vault-10)
  • 4th Place: Zach Bauer (800 Meter Run-09)
  • 4th Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run-10)
  • 4th Place: Luke Sebastian (110 Meter High Hurdles-10)
  • 4th Place: William Venneberg (Long Jump-09)
  • 4th Place: Eric Verplaetse (Pole Vault-09)
  • 5th Place: Billy Cosgrave (High Jump-10)
  • 5th Place: Billy Cosgrave (400 Meter Dash-10)
  • 5th Place: Jerry Green (200 Meter Dash-09)
  • 5th Place: Spencer Lindstrom (1600 Meter Run-09)
  • 5th Place: Colton Pischke (200 Meter Dash-10)
  • 5th Place: Colby Rapps (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-09)
  • 5th Place: Max Bealer, Jordan Seeley, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (400 Meter Relay)
  • 5th Place: Nathaniel Tisor, Max Bealer, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (800 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Carson Cocquit (400 Meter Dash-10)
  • 6th Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run-09)
  • 6th Place: Kaleb Decker (1600 Meter Run-10)
  • 6th Place: Logan Hansen (200 Meter Dash-09)
  • 6th Place: Justin Lyman (Discus-10)
  • 6th Place: Brad Smith (3200 Meter Run-09)
  • 6th Place: Ethan Welfer (Triple Jump-09)

RESULTS

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Animal Cayson

CAYSON IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Cayson Frerichs who was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 17th – April 23rd.

SENIOR CAYSON FRERICHS IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Senior Cayson Frerichs was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 17th – April 23rd. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Moline J.V. Invitational held on Tuesday, April 18th and in the Rock Island ABC Invitational held on Friday, April 21st.

Being one of out “Big Dogs” Cayson did not see any action in the Moline J.V. Invitational held on Tuesday, April 18th. He stayed behind to run a quality workout with his middle distance teammates and ran sets of repeat 300’s. Coach Moe stayed behind and then drove over to the meet. I was afraid that he was sick because he didn’t look too hot. Well, that was because he ran the workout with middle distance group (the distance group did another workout) and uttered “Cayson and Nasty Killed Me”. Translated, that means the guys ran a GREAT workout and Coach Moe had a front row seat to the whole thing (there is NO better place to be than THERE.)

I wasn’t surprised to hear that Cayson and “da guys” got after it. They never need a whole lot of “rah rah”. They are intensely motivated and extremely competitive. Cayson has been a key contributor during his entire high school athletic career. He added another chapter to that story Friday, April 21st in Rock Island at their annual ABC Meet. The field included 14 quality teams with most of the schools having enrollments over 2500 students (we have 830.) It is really a 3A Invite and it offers us the opportunity to “step up” and “bark with da big dogs”. Bark they did!

Cayson’s night started with him anchoring our 3200 Meter Relay Team. This was the first time that we have been able to put the whole relay together and it was a lot of fun to watch. Harlem pushed our team a bit but in the end, Cayson simply ran away from their anchorman finishing with a strong kick that saw him run an even-paced 2:02 where he split 61 seconds for the first 400. He then doubled back in the open 800 Meter Run and ran another strong race finishing 4th in 2:02.68. The only guys who finished ahead of him were fresh (they didn’t run the 3200 Meter Relay.) Cayson looked strong the whole way. He then finished his night off in style by helping the 1600 Meter Relay team also claim “Gold” with an outstanding 2nd leg split of 52.24cr. He is rounding into top form just in time for “Championship Meet Season”.

Cayson has already tasted a lot of athletic success. He is a 4-Year Three-Sporter. He starred in soccer as a defensive centerback where he earned three Varsity Letters while also earning All-Conference and All-Metro Honors THREE TIMES EACH. He also played basketball for all four years earning two Varsity Letters and starting as a “2 guard”. Finally, in track and field he has already earned his 4th straight Varsity Letter. He has starred for the Maple Leafs as a middle distance runner and has run the anchor leg for the Maple Leafs at the last two I.H.S.A. STATE FINALS were he helped lead the team to ALL-STATE HONORS as the team placed 5th in 2015 and then grabbed 2nd in last year’s finals. The team’s 2016 time of 8:00.71 barely missed breaking the 1980 school record of 8:00.54 by a mere .17 seconds. They also pushed the State Champion Cahokia Comanches to a winning time of 8:00.08 finishing only .63 seconds out of the State Championship. This all helped lead the team to 2nd place in the team standings (highest in school history) as they brought back a GINORMOUS 2ND PLACE TEAM TROPHY.

We are extremely proud of everything you have given this team, Cayson. You carry a huge dose of “Passion and Purpose” with you each and every day. Keep up the great job and don’t forget to enjoy the ride. Also, KEEP DREAMING BIG!!!

Cayson is the proud son of Karna Frerichs and Curt Frerichs. He is also the proud older brother of sister Keeli (current freshman who is a star athlete in her own right.)

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Parents at Team Dinner

OUR ENTIRE TEAM THANKS YOU

Pictured are “da key players” in pulling off Team Dinner #1.
Front Row- Melissa Pischke, Kari Rink, Alisande Rapps
Back-Sara Stohl, Shannon Allen, Karna Frerichs, Kurt Frerichs, Sally Cosgrave.
Thanks to any other parents who helped but were not there for “da picture”

TEAM DINNER #1 IS A HIT

On Thursday, April 20th, the Track Booster Club treated the team to a delicious team dinner “Pot Luck” style. There was a little bit of everything. The team-bonding, which is a critical element to our team’s success, was “A HIT”. I rolled in a bit late, after tackling a few hills at Richmond Hill Park with our distance runners who were not in Friday, April 21st’s Rock Island ABC Inv. I was proud to hear that the team had already thanked the parents who were there and also had said “Grace”. Well done, Men. Too many people take their parents for granted. I have always been fond of the saying “You Can’t Pick Your Parents”. It is of course true. It should also be pointed out that almost every single member of our team “Hit a Home Run” in that department. A special shout out goes to Sally Cosgrave and Kari Rink for leading the Team Dinner Effort.

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At Rock Island

“HOF” AND “HIS CREW”

Pictured is Lucas Hofer surrounded by a couple teammates and several classmates
who made the trip out to support “da team”. The picture was taken right after
Lucas placed 3rd in the 400 Meter Dash-C.

LEAFS 4TH AT ROCK ISLAND ABC INVITATIONAL

On Friday, April 21st, the Leafs traveled to Rock Island’s Public Stadium to participate in the 33rd annual Rock Island ABC Invitational. The meet is “loaded” with “all-staters” in every event and is considered to be one of the highest qualify meets this weekend. The field included teams from Alleman, Barlett, Geneseo, Homewood-Flossmoor, Machesny Park (Harlem), Moline, Naperville Central, Peoria High, Peoria Richwoods, Plainfield East, Rockford Auburn, Rockford Guilford, Rock Island, Thornton Fractional North, and United Township.

The weatherman gave us a day free of rain but did throw 10-15 winds blowing from the north (which did diminish throughout the evening) and a chilly day with a daytime high of 56Àö with temperatures falling to 51Àö at the conclusion of the meet. Rock Island has one of the top facilities in Northwestern Illinois and always runs a first class meet. Strong teams from Homewood-Flossmoor and Naperville Central battled it out all night for first while the Leafs battled Plainfield East, United Township, and Machesney Park (Harlem) for the bronze plaque (3rd place.) When the dust had settled, the Leafs had claimed 4th place falling a mere 5 points back of Plainfield East and one point ahead of United Township. The Leafs had a strong meet with many highlights.

The team was led by hurdlers: Andrew Pischke, Colton Pischke, and Reed Vanderheyden who claimed “GOLD” in 5 of the 6 hurdle races. Also joining in the fun were: Kaden Rink (800-C), the 1600 Meter Relay Team of Kyle Sellers, Cayson Frerichs, Nick Swartzendruber, Reed Vanderheyden, and the 3200 Meter Relay team of: Nathan Soria, Andrew Benhart, Nick Swartzendruber, and Cayson Frerichs. Performances of note were many but highlighted by Reed’s 300 I.H. win, the 1600 and 3200 Meter Relay Team wins in great times, and Senior Thrower, Sam Thomas, who placed 2nd in the Shot Put-A with a personal best of 52′ 01″. Great job, Men! We are moving towards “Championship Meet Season” so get ready to “Blast Off”. DREAM BIG!!!

Leading the team were the following individuals and relay teams that scored points for the team via top 6 place finish.

  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-A)
  • 1st Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run-C)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-A)
  • 1st Place: 1600 Meter Relay (Kyle Sellers, Cayson Frerichs, Nick Swartzendruber, Reed Vanderheyden)
  • 1st Place: 3200 Meter Relay (Nathan Soria, Andrew Benhart, Nick Swartzendruber, Cayson Frerichs)
  • 2nd Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put-A)
  • 2nd Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault-B)
  • 3rd Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run-C)
  • 3rd Place: Blake Duncan (3200 Meter Run-A)
  • 3rd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash-C)
  • 3rd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus-C)
  • 3rd Place: Brandon Ramos (3200 Meter Run-B)
  • 3rd Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash-A)
  • 3rd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles-A)
  • 4th Place: Kade Coons (High Hump-C)
  • 4th Place: Cayson Frerichs (800 Meter Run-A)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Soria (1600 Meter Run-B)
  • 4th Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault-A)
  • 5th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Triple Jump-C)
  • 5th Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put-B)
  • 5th Place: Kyle Sellers (800 Meter Dash-B)
  • 5th Place: Sam Thomas (Discus-B)
  • 6th Place: Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash-B
  • 6th Place: Kyle Hofer, Billy Cosgrave, Kaden Rink, Peter Rizzo (F/S800 Meter Medley Relay)

RESULTS

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Gene Shipley Sign

LEAFS COMPETE AT HISTORIC SITE

Moline’s Track is named in honor of Hall of Fame Coach Gene Shipley.
Coach Shipley enjoyed an amazing career (State Champs) and served our
country bravely during World War II.

LEAFS CLAIN GOLD AT MOLINE J.V. INVITE

On Tuesday, April 18th, the Leafs traveled to Moline’s Browning Field to compete in the Moline J.V. Invitational held on the historic Gene Shipley Track. The field included teams from: Alleman, Galesburg, Geneseo, Moline, Rock Island, and United Township. The weatherman was once again kind to us with a wonderful daytime high of 71Àö. The winds were a bit strong (15-20 mph) early in the meet but died as the meet progressed.

There are positive and negative things about everything including J.V. Invitationals. One pro is that our non-“Big Dogs” get a chance to “bark” and have some success. Another plus is several Leafs earned medals for high places in the meet. One negative is that (very often) the freshen are competing against seniors. That is why we will try and have three dual meets with F/S and Varsity Level Competition next year.

I am also in favor of not keeping team scores for J.V. Invitationals. However they do and we happened to end up with the most points. We certainly didn’t try to load up and kept a boatload of team members home to practice with Coaches Deets and Moe. The fact that our team was able to win this meet is a true reinforcement of our program’s philosophy that there is strength in numbers. We have a plethora of depth on our team and that was on display Tuesday night in Moline.

The team was led by the following “Gold Medal” performances: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run); Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash); Lucas Hofer (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); Cole Howard (Shot Put); Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run); Jordan Seeley (200 Meter Dash); Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault); Ben Cosgrave, Drew Rapps, Logan Weber, Keegan Minnaert (400 Meter Relay); Logan Weber, Keegan Minnaert, Lucas Hofer, Ben Cosgrave (1600 Meter Relay)

Leafs who scored points in the meet via their top six place finish are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Lucas Hofer (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 1st Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Jordan Seeley (200 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 1st Place: Ben Cosgrave, Drew Rapps, Logan Weber, Keegan Minnaert (400 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Logan Weber, Keegan Minnaert, Lucas Hofer, Ben Cosgrave (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Cole Howard (Discus)
  • 2nd Place: Spencer Lindstrom (3200 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Max Bealer, Kade Coons, Logan Hansen, Jordan Seeley (800 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Neo Colter (3200 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Charlie Wiese (Shot Put)
  • 3rd Place (Tie): Zach Wilson (High Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Max Bealer, Jordan Seeley, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (400 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Cade Backes Rylan Coons, Jerry Green, Nathan Lambert (800 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Peter Rizzo, Neo Colter, Kaden Rink, Noah Sebastian (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Billy Blaser (Shot Put)
  • 4th Place (Tie): Nathan Lambert (High Jump)
  • 4th Place: Colby Rapps (3200 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Luke Sebastian (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Tucker Ziegenhorn (Discus)
  • 4th Place: Carson Cocquit, Nelson Laingen, Chandler Schwartz, Tate Neff (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 5th Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: Jack Morrell (Pole Vault)
  • 5th Place: Noah Sebastian (800 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: Logan Weber (100 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Augie Schmitt, Andrew Schmidt, Nathan Yoder, Juan Mejias-Dansbach (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Ryan Kass (Discus)
  • 6th Place: Nathan Lambert (Triple Jump)
  • 6th Place: William Venneberg, Luke Sebastian, Nelson Laingen, Colby Rapps (1600 Meter Relay)

RESULTS

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Animal Andrew

ANDREW IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Andrew Pischke who was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 10th – April 16th.

SENIOR ANDREW PISCHKE IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Senior Andrew Pischke was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 10th – April 16th. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Rock Island J.V. Invitational held on Tuesday, April 11th and in the Galesburg ABC Invitational held on Thursday, April 13th.

Andrew’s competitive week was restricted to the Galesburg ABC Invitational held on Thursday, March 13th. Andrew was competing in the hurdles for the first time since his hip surgery back in September. The road to recovery has been long and challenging. Andrew went under “da knife” on September 8th and discovered a partial labrum tear and other muscle issues during the surgery. The surgery was successful but it would be six months before he would be cleared to start training again. Any by training, I mean, “the bare minimum”.

During the whole process, Andrew’s patience was tested to the max but he persevered with an impressive level of “passion and purpose” that saw him keep flashing that infectious smile of his. He was rewarded with a couple of low-key indoor competitive opportunities (highly controlled.) He then moved outdoors and ran some sprints and sprint relays while working on his hurdle technique, all under the careful care Coach Matthew Deets. Andrew was finally given the “Green Light” to run the hurdles at the Galesburg ABC Invitational. This was, of course, following a spring break “get away” trip that saw Andrew and three of his teammates make a road trip down to Pensacola, Florida. Down and back all in the space of 3 days. They drove straight through (with someone riding “shot gun” just to help keep them alert.) They all came back sun burned and happy. Many stories will come to life via “da Pensacola Escape”.

Andrew’s Thursday night was limited to the two hurdle races. First up was the 110 Meter High Hurdles. I will admit I said a small prayer and crossed my fingers as the gun went off and away he sprinted. He ROARED to a class C MEET RECORD of 15.15 which is under the STATE QUALIFYING STANDARD of 15.29. He destroyed the old class C record of 16.44 seconds by 1.29 seconds. SIMPLY AMAZING. His night wasn’t done yet. He also competed in the C Division of the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles where, once again, he DESTROYED the meet record of 43.66 (set by his brother Colton Pischke last year) with an impressive time of 41.59 winning his 2nd event of the night. He was huffing and puffing after the race but his smile told me what I really needed to know…..his felt GREAT! Maybe great is an overstatement but it wasn’t hurting. He is not “out of the woods” yet but we will take where he is and hope for more of the same for his dear friend Lucas Hofer who is waging his own surgical comeback.

Andrew is no stranger to success after earning ALL STATE HONORS via his 5th Place finish in the IHSA STATE FINALS in the 110 Meter High Hurdles and 9th place finish in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. Andrew was one of the main reasons the Geneseo Maples soared to new heights placing 2nd in the STATE as a TEAM in 2016. Andrew has earned 3 Varsity Letters in Football (2 and 4 back on offense and inside linebacker on defense.) He is well on his way to earning his 4th Varsity Letter in Track and has already been honored as being selected as a team captain. Keep Dreaming BIG, Andrew. The harder the challenge the greater the reward. Our new sectional assignment is right up that alley along with your remarkable recovery. Keep up of the great work and don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

Andrew is the PROUD son of Melissa and Mark Pischke. He is also the PROUD older brother of Colton (10th grade) and Addison (6th grade.) By the way….the are pretty awesome hurdlers also. KEEP FLYING! All the best in the remaining meets and off to College and the University of Wisconsin Lacrosse. Can you say, “ALL-AMERICAN”?

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Galesburg Hurdlers

“GET da BROOMS OUT”

Pictured are Geneseo 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdlers: Colton Pischke, Andrew Pischke, and Reed Vanderheyden. Each man won his individual race. This was Andrew’s season debut in the hurdles following a long rehabilitation program following off-season hip surgery.

LEAFS GRAB 2ND AT GALESBURG ABC INVITE

On Thursday, April 13th, the Leafs traveled to Galesburg High School’s Van Dyke Stadium to participate in the 8th Annual “Silver Streak ABC Invitational”. The field included teams from: Canton, Geneseo, Galesburg, Limestone, Monmouth-Roseville, Morton, Peoria High School, and United Township. The meet is traditionally held on a Friday but was moved up to Thursday to avoid a conflict with “Good Friday”. Last year’s field lost Dixon but gained Monmouth-Rosevile and Peoria High to fill the 8-team field.

This meet has endured some challenging weather conditions since its inception. However, for the 2nd straight year, we were given a wonderful opportunity for outstanding performances with a daytime high of 71Àö with temperatures falling during the meet do 56Àö. The winds were blowing 10-15 mph for the first half of the meet and then eventually disappeared.

There are pros and cons to the ABC format. I truly believe that the pros (getting a ton of guys into scoring opportunities) outweigh the cons (going head-to-head with only two men per event) which is what we will see in the NIB-12, Sectional, and State. Luckily, we do have the Pekin Invitational coming up in two weeks that also offer the traditional meet format.

The Leafs scored points in 48 out of the 50 events. In the two events the team didn’t score, they placed 7th missing by only one place from scoring points. That is simply AMAZING and demonstrates the TOTAL TEAM effort that was on display Thursday night in Galesburg at the incredible Van Dyke Stadium. Everywhere I looked, Leafs were locked in heated competition and every man fought HARD! We were once again, a bit short, on the line-up due to several Spring Break conflicts. Despite that fact the team waged a meet-long battle with the powerful United Township Panthers. In the end, the Leafs came up only 14 points behind the Panthers, with the final team scores reading 333 to 319. Galesburg had a fine meet themselves after being hit heavy by graduation of several key pieces to their team to finish a strong 3rd with 243 points.

The Leafs won an amazing 17 events and were led by double individual Gold Medalists Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-B & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-B) and his older brother Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-C & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles C.) Other highlights (there were MANY) included the return to action for Senior Nathan Soria (3200 Meter Run) following a hamstring injury suffered at the Top Times Inv.; Andrew Pischke running the hurdles for the first time this season following hip surgery over the winter; Reed Vanderheyden ROARING in both the 110’s (1/100 of a second out of first) and running a MONSTER 300 I.H. in 37.94 barely missing his own school record of 37.86); Our 400 Meter Runners sweeping the A-B-C races (Matthew Ganson, Kyle Sellers, Nick Swartzendruber); Nathan Carroll popping a 3 FOOT personal best in the C Triple Jump: and “Nasty” Nick Swartzendruber jumping in for Reed V. in the 1600 Meter Relay Anchor Slot directly after running the 200 Meter Dash (A) final in 51.94cr with a mere 10 minute recovery. I could go on for a long time but will stop here. WHAT A NIGHT! Way to Roll,Leafs. I can hardly wait for our next meet. Our team is EXPLODING with personal best EVERYWHERE! I need to have Tessie Freddy buy a few more bags of Tootsie Rolls. Keep DREAMING BIG!

Team members who scored points for the team via their top 6 place finish included:

  • 1st Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run-C)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash-C)
  • 1st Place: Jack Morrell (Pole Vault-C)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Brandon Ramos (3200 Meter Run-B)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Sellers (400 Meter Dash-B)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash-A)
  • 1st Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put-A)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-A)
  • 1st Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault-A)
  • 1st Place: Nathan Carroll, Nathan Lambert, Ryver Griffin, Jordan Seeley (800 Meter Relay-B)
  • 1st Place: Nathan Carroll, Keegan Minnaert, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (1600 Meter Relay-B)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson, Cayson Frerichs, Kyle Sellers, Nick Swartzendruber (1600 Meter Relay-A)
  • 1st Place: Noah Sebastian, Andrew Benhart, Kyle Sellers, Nick Swartzendruber (3200 Meter Relay-A)
  • 2nd Place: Cayson Frerichs (800 Meter Run-A)
  • 2nd Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put-B)
  • 2nd Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Noah Sebastian (800 Meter Run-B)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Soria (3200 Meter Run-A)
  • 2nd Place: Joe Stohl (Shot Put-C)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles-A)
  • 2nd Place: Dalton Stamp, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay-A)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer, Jordan Seeley, Kade Coons, Keegan Minnaert (400 Meter Relay-B)
  • 2nd Place: Peter Rizzo, Spencer Lindstrom, Neo Colter, Carson Cocquit (3200 Meter Relay-B)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run-A)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump-C)
  • 3rd Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run-C)
  • 3rd Place: Ben Cosgrave (Triple Jump-B)
  • 3rd Place: Billy Cosgrave (High Jump-C)
  • 3rd Place: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump-A)
  • 3rd Place: Kyle Hofer (Long Jump-C)
  • 3rd Place: Zach Humphrey (Discus-A)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Lambert (High Jump-A)
  • 3rd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus-C)
  • 3rd Place: Sam Thomas (Discus-B)
  • 3rd Place: Dalton Stamp, Logan Weber, Ben Cosgrave, Keegan Minnaert (800 Meter Relay-A)
  • 4th Place: Cameron Darin (Pole Vault-B)
  • 4th Place: Lucas Hofer (200 Meter Dash-C)
  • 4th Place: Colton Pischke (Long Jump-B)
  • 4th Place: Brandon Ramos (1600 Meter Run-B)
  • 4th Place: Nick Swartzendruber (200 Meter Dash-A)
  • 4th Place: Logan Weber (200 Meter Dash-B)
  • 5th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump-A)
  • 5th Place: Zach Wilson (High Jump-B)
  • 6th Place: Logan Weber (100 Meter Dash-B)

RESULTS

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With Nathan

“LAMBO” STANDS TALL

Pictured is Junior Nathan Lambert surrounded by teammates following his big night which
included jumping 5″ 10″ which is a FOUR INCH P.R.!!!!!

LEAFS ROLL AT ROCK ISLAND J.V. INVITATIONAL

On Tuesday, April 11th, the Leafs traveled to Rock Island Public Stadium to participate in the 7-team Rock Island Junior Varsity Invitational. The meet features unlimited entries and is contested at Rock Island’s awesome track and field facility. What makes the meet even better is how well run the meet is. Outstanding meet administration and strong competition made for an exciting night of Track and Field. The weatherman even cooperated (some) as we had a daytime high of 54Àö with 10-15 mph winds that diminished even as we arrived in Rock Island. By the end of the meet, the temperature was in the mid 40s with zero wind. For April 11th in the Midwest, we will take it and smile.

The highlights were many and when “the dust had settled”, the Leafs found themselves on top with a winning score of 137.50 points to top Pleasant Valley’s 122. This is even more amazing whey you factor in just how many guys we were missing due to Spring Break. A huge factor in deciding this meet is our team depth. There is a lot of truth to the statement that there is “strength in numbers”. We have a team that numbers 92 guys and that is pretty “jaw-dropping”. Add in the fact that our school enrollment is in the low 800’s and many opposing coaches simply shake their heads in wonder. Every man truly DOES matter and influences team performance on a daily basis.

Leading the team were the following GOLD MEDALISTS: Ben Cosgrave (110 Meter High Hurdles); Ben Cosgrave (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash); Nathan Lambert (High Jump); Drew Rapps, Ben Cosgrave, Keegan Minnaert, Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Relay); and Kyle Hofer, Colton Pischke, Drew Rapps, Ben Cosgrave (1600 Meter Relay.)

Leafs who scored in the meet via their top 6 place finish include:

  • 1st Place: Ben Cosgrave (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Ben Cosgrave (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Nathan Lambert (High Jump)
  • 1st Place: Drew Rapps, Ben Cosgrave, Keegan Minnaert, Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer, Colton Pischke, Drew Rapps, Ben Cosgrave (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke (400 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Jack Morrell (Pole Vault)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Carroll, Kade Coons, Logan Hansen, Jordan Seeley (800 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Neo Colter, Peter Rizzo, Kaleb Decker, Spencer Lindstrom (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 3rd Place (Tie): Nathan Lambert (Long Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus)
  • 3rd Place: Joe Stohl (Shot Put)
  • 3rd Place: Max Bealer, Jordan Seeley, Logan Hansen, Jerry Green (400 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Tisor, Rylan Coons, Billy Cosgrave, Cade Backes (400 Meter Relay)
  • 5th Place: Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Jordan Seeley (200 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place (Tie): Zach Wilson (Pole Vault)
  • 5th Place: Cade Backes, Rylan Coons, Jerry Green, Nathan Lambert (800 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Nathan Carroll (High Jump)
  • 6th Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Kade Coons (Triple Jump)
  • 6th Place: Colton Pischke (Long Jump)

RESULTS

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Animal Sam

SAM IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Sam Thomas who was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 2rd – April 9th.

SENIOR SAM THOMAS IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Senior Sam Thomas was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of April 3rd – April 9th. During that time, the Leafs competed in a quadrangular hosted by the Dixon Dukes on Tuesday, April 4th, and the annual United Township ABC Invitational held on Saturday, April 8th.

Sam’s competitive week began in Dixon as the Leafs participated in a quadrangular with host Dixon, Rock Falls, and Stillman Valley that took place on Tuesday, April 4th. Sam placed 3rd in the Discus with a toss of 120′ 10″. He then followed that up with a winning throw in the shot put of 47′ 05″. Both performances were season bests despite the cool weather conditions.

Next up was the United Township ABC Invitational. Sam was a big part of Coach Wes Vaden’s throwers who went 6 for 6 in regard to season bests. That’s pretty amazing and gave our team a tremendous “surge” early in the meet that provided omnipotent momentum. The end result was our team was able to pull off a HUGE upset and win the meet against great odds. We have a couple of key guys injured to start with. Add in 2016 All-Staters, Andrew Pischke and Lucas Hofer, coming back after off-season surgeries as a result of unfortunate football injuries. Finally factor in the fact that our team just started spring break and we were missing quite a few guys. It was simply an amazing day and our Throwers “Jump Started” the team.

Sam placed 3rd in the B-Discus with a season best throw of 126′ 00″. He then followed that up with a lifetime best in the A-Shot Put of 51′ 10″. Sam has been working very hard and it was great to see him have such a great day. Sam was recently selected as one of our teams’ five elected captains. There is not better way to lead then via example. Keep up the great job, Sam, and keep DREAMING BIG!

Sam is in the unique position of becoming the first Geneseo athlete to become All-State in THREE sports. Sam earned All-State Honors in football and then followed that up with an All-State performance in the IHSA State Wrestling Finals where he placed 5th. Two down and one to go. It won’t be easy but anything that has true value never is. The high level of intrinsic satisfaction that is only attainable following a successful challenge is there for the taking. Remember that all of the “little things” will help to determine the outcome.

Sam is the proud son Bob Thomas and Glenda Kemnitz and the proud brother of Joe, Jane, and Mary Thomas. He is also the proud step-brother of Logan and Nick Swartzendruber. All the best in the coming weeks, Sam. Keep your foot on the gas pedal and don’t forget to enjoy the ride. Carpe Diem!!!

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With UT trophy

U.T. “GOLD”

Pictured are a few of “da Team” who were still around when we decided to take this impromptu picture. Pictured are: Row 1: Colton Pischke, Lucas Hofer, Cayson Frerichs; Row 2: Sam Thomas, Andrew Benhart, Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, and Ben Cosgrave

LEAFS WIN U.T. ABC INVITATIONAL

On Saturday, April 8th, the Leafs traveled to East Moline’s Soule Bowl to participate in the annual United Township ABC Invitational. The meet officially kicks off the outdoor invitational season. The field included teams from: Alleman, Dunlap, Galesburg, Geneseo, Moline, Rock Island, Sherrard, Sterling, T.F North, and United Township. The meet utilized an ABC format for each of the 14 of the individual events. It also offered competition in the relay events at both the A and B levels. The bottom line is a ton of guys were given the opportunity to compete from each school.

The weatherman was kind to us with a daytime high of 71Àö. It was only 52Àö when we arrived at 8:30 am but it warmed up quickly. What a welcomed change from the last two weeks where it rained almost every single day and included an unseasonably cold weather pattern.

The Leafs were competing with a limited squad due to a couple of key injuries, ACT testing, and the start of Spring Break so quite a few Maple Leafs have “left da state”. I’m sure every school was missing someone but it’s hard to imagine any team missing more than we were. The Leafs competed with who was available and boy did they COMPETE!

Competing for a top three team finishing plaque honestly wasn’t even on my radar. U.T DOMINATED at the Quad Cities Indoor Invitational and were HEAVY favorites “on paper”. Add in traditional powerhouse Rock Island and newcomer to this year’s meet, the Dunlap Eagles, and you can figure out my reasoning. Not so fast my friend. The Leafs fought like crazy, scrapping for every point that could be had, EVERYWHERE I looked. When team scores started to be read late in the meet, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that we were in a “DOG FIGHT” with United Township and Dunlap. When the dust had settled, the Leafs had shocked the field, and this “Veteran Coach” by WINNING THE WHOLE THING by 8 points over a classy United Township Team.

This was truly a total team effort. The team received critical points across the board and we desperately needed every single one of them. We certainly didn’t have everything go perfectly. Every athletic competition will have it’s ups and downs. What especially made the coaching staff proud was just how many teammates stuck around until the end of the meet cheering like CRAZY in the final events. Men, I truly believe THAT was the difference maker. It was also cool to see other teams carrying flags and sprinting across the field during the 4 X 4’s. That is a compliment to our team and intense spirit that it possesses. Trying to emulate success is an intelligent trait.

The team was led by our “Gold Medalists” who included: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run-B); Ben Cosgrave (110 Meter High Hurdles-C & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-C); Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump-C); Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-B); Noah Sebastian (800 Meter Run-B); Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash-A); Sam Thomas (Shot Put-A); Nick Swartzendruber, Cayson Frerichs, Kyle Sellers, Reed Vanderheyden (1600 Meter Relay-A); Matthew Ganson, Drew Rapps, Jordan Seeley, Kaden Rink (1600 Meter Relay-B); Kyle Sellers, Andrew Benhart, Cayson Frerichs, Nick Swartzendruber (3200 Meter Relay-A); and Peter Rizzo, Spencer Lindstrom, Nathan Carroll, Neo Colter (3200 Meter Relay-B.)

The following team members scored points in the meet via their top six place finish in their event:

  • 1st Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run-B)
  • 1st Place: Ben Cosgrave (110 Meter High Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Ben Cosgrave (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-C)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump-C)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles-B)
  • 1st Place: Noah Sebastian (800 Meter Run-B)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash-A)
  • 1st Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put-A)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-A)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Cayson Frerichs, Kyle Sellers, Reed Vanderheyden (1600 Meter Relay-A)
  • 1st Place: Matthew Ganson, Drew Rapps, Jordan Seeley, Kaden Rink (1600 Meter Relay-B)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Sellers, Andrew Benhart, Cayson Frerichs, Nick Swartzendruber (3200 Meter Relay-A)
  • 1st Place: Peter Rizzo, Spencer Lindstrom, Nathan Carroll, Neo Colter (3200 Meter Relay-B)
  • 2nd Place: Billy Cosgrave (High Jump-C)
  • 2nd Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus-C)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-B)
  • 2nd Place: Brandon Ramos (3200 Meter Run-B)
  • 2nd Place: Kaden Rink (1600 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run-C)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles-A)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Carroll, Kyle Hofer, Ryver Griffin, Keegan Minnaert (800 Meter Relay-B)
  • 3rd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash-C)
  • 3rd Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put-B)
  • 3rd Place: Colton Pischke (Long Jump-B)
  • 3rd Place: Dalton Stamp (200 Meter Dash-C)
  • 3rd Place: Sam Thomas (Discus-B)
  • 3rd Place: Logan Weber (200 Meter Dash-B)
  • 3rd Place: Dalton Stamp, Reed Vanderheyden, Andrew Pischke, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay-A)
  • 3rd Place: Kyle Hofer, Jordan Seeley, Drew Rapps, Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Relay-B)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Pischke, Jordan Seeley, Dalton Stamp, Kyle Sellers (800 Meter Relay-A)
  • 4th Place: Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash-B)
  • 4th Place: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump-A)
  • 4th Place: Jack Morrell (Pole Vault-C)
  • 4th Place: Joe Stohl (Shot Put-C)
  • 4th Place: Zach Wilson (Pole Vault-B)
  • 5th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump-A)
  • 5th Place: Zach Humphrey (Discus-A)
  • 5th Place: Andrew Pischke (200 Meter Dash-A)
  • 6th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Triple Jump-B)
  • 6th Place: Drew Rapps (100 Meter Dash-C)
  • 6th Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run-A)
  • 6th Place: Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash-B)

RESULTS

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Swiper

SWIPER IS BACK

Pictured is “Swiper” who has served as the team’s mascot for the last three years.

“CAPTAIN COS” BRINGS SWIPER OUT OF HIBERNATION

Senior Ben Cosgrave was chosen by last year’s “Keeper of the Swiper” (C.J. Magerkurth) to carry on the tradition (started by August Stamp.) Only he knows the true story of how this “Nasty Looking FOX” joined our locker room. We came in one day and “Swiper” was in “da house”. Putting it mildly, “Swiper” has seen better days. His rein almost ended last season when he was “grooving” a bit too much to the “jams” that were playing in the locker room after early-bird class and proceeded to free fall off the speaker to the floor. C.J. managed to put him back together (for the most part) and anchored him to a sturdier support. Ben kept “Swiper” over the off-season (I truly didn’t know if we would ever see him again) until his return on Thursday, April 6th. He was greeted by a “THUNDEROUS OVATION” from the team. “Swiper” has high goals for our team and expects each of you to pursue excellence both in the classroom and on the athletic field. Strive for PERSONAL BESTS with a strong dose of PASSION AND PURPOSE.

BACK GENESEO TRACK

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Bracket Winners

SHOW ME “DA MONEY”

Pictured are Nathan “Lambo” Lambert, Zach Bauer, Coach Philip Moe, and Nelson Laingen

“MOE” FANTASY NCAA BASKETBALL BRACKET WINNERS ANNOUNCED

This is the third year of Coach Philip Moe’s basketball bracketology. However it didn’t start this year until the “Sweet 16” due to some conflicts. 50 plus guys (including yours truly) joined in the fun. Coach Moe is a busy dude with MANY duties and I truly don’t know how he finds the time to do all the work that is required for “bracketology”. It doesn’t hurt that Coach LOVES college basketball. The top 3 point scorers earned “Moe Prizes”. When the dust had settled, Junior Nathan Lambert was standing tall with 22 points to claim first place (and first pick of “da Moe prizes.) Next up was Freshman Zach Bauer who was a close 2nd with 20 points. Rounding out the top 3 was Senior Nelson Laingen who claimed 3rd with 17 points. A good time was had by all. Filling out a bracket definitely makes the tournament more exciting. Thanks. Coach Moe!!!

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Andrew and Lucas in Dixon

“Da Boys Are Back in Town”

Pictured are returning All-Staters Andrew Pischke and Lucas Hofer. Lucas had just completed his first race of the season (400 meters controled.) Matthew Ganson can be seen in the background “photo-bombing”

LEAFS COME OUT ON TOP IN DIXON QUADRANGULAR (Varsity)

On Tuesday, April 4th, the Leafs traveled to Dixon to take part in an “old fashioned” quadrangular meet that included: the host Dixon Dukes, the Geneseo Maple Leafs, the Rock Falls Rockets, and the Stillman Valley Cardinals. We added this meet after our schedule was “set”. Head Coach, Kel Bond, graciously extended an invitation to us after we sent out a request to join their meet. After that, he also accepted our suggestion to make it an “old school” meet that included both Varsity and F/S Levels of competition. We believe it was a win/win situation for each school. The scoring for the meet was 6-4-3-2-1 for individual events and 6-4-2 for the relays. The unlimited entry limit was in effect so anyone who placed, scored.

The weatherman gave us a dry day (it has rained almost every day for the last two weeks) with a daytime high of 52Àö. There was a light wind of 8 miles per hour. Considering the crummy weather that we have been dealing with (which resulted in us canceling a few practices due to pouring rain and COLD temperatures), we were EXTREMELY grateful for the day the Lord blessed us with.

Leading the team to a hard fought 129-114 win over host Dixon were Gold Medalists: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump); Colton Pischke (Long Jump); Sam Thomas (Shot Put); Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault); and the 400 Meter Relay team consisting of: Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, and Colton Pischke. It should also be noted that the Dukes outscored the Leafs on the track 81-75 while our field eventers carried the team over “da top” of “da hill” by outscoring the Dukes 54-33. It should also be pointed out that we didn’t “load up” our line-up, using it more as a competitive practice. We greatly appreciate being included in the meet.

Leafs who contributed to the team score included the following men:

  • 1st Place: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke (Long Jump)
  • 1st Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Logan Weber, Colton Pischke (400 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Blake Duncan (1600 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Matthew Ganson (400 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Zach Humphrey (Discus)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Lambert (High Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Andrew Pischke (100 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Brandon Ramos (3200 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Sellers (200 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke, Ryver Griffin, Nathan Lambert, Logan Weber (800 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Matthew Ganson, Andrew Benhart, Jordan Seeley, Cayson Frerichs (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Cayson Frerichs, Kyle Sellers, Peter Rizzo, Noah Sebastian (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Kade Coons (High Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 3rd Place: Lucas Hofer (400 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Dalton Stamp (100 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Sam Thomas (Discus)
  • 3rd Place: Adam Wells (3200 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Kaden Rink, Peter Rizzo, Chandler Schwartz, Tate Neff) (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Benhart, Kaden Rink, Blake Duncan, Carson Cocquit (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Ben Cosgrave (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Cole Howard (Discus)
  • 4th Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 4th Place: Jack Morrell (Pole Vault)
  • 4th Place: Colton Pischke (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Drew Rapps (Long Jump)
  • 4th Place: Logan Weber (100 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Kade Coons (Triple Jump)
  • 5th Place: Dalton Stage (Discus)
  • 5th Place: Chandler Schwartz (800 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: Logan Weber (200 Meter Dash)

RESULTS

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Buses

LEAF ARMADA INVADES DIXON

Pictured are 3 of the 4 White Buses that we used to transport “da team”
in addition to Pink’s Bus Service’s Biggest “Big Yellow”

Due to the size of our team (92 men), we had to use three white buses in addition to “Big Yellow” to transport everyone to Dixon. Coach Tessie rode “Big Yellow” while the “three amigos” (Coaches Freddy, Moe, and Deets) drove white buses. All four vehicles where filled to capacity but, fortunately, no one had to “triple up” on “Big Yellow”. I must say, it was pretty impressive seeing our “Geneseo Contingency” walking in to Dixon’s stadium 🙂

LEAFS DOMINATE DIXON QUADRANGULAR (F/S)

On Tuesday, April 4th, the Leafs traveled to Dixon to participate in quadrangular that included teams from: Dixon, Geneseo, Rock Falls, and Stillman Valley. Two levels of competition were held (Varsity AND F/S.) This meet was added late and Dixon graciously allowed us to participate. In addition, they also altered the meet format when we suggested an “Old School” meet format that provided both Varsity and F/S Levels of competition. This format has disappeared over the last decade and forced the F/S athletes to compete head-to-head with the Varsity. That isn’t always a good thing and we hope that will change in future years.

There was a F/S Invitational the next day so quite a few of our opponents’ F/S squads were missing a few men. Hopefully, we can do this again next year and their full squads can participate if we catch a better date for each school.

Leading the Leafs was freshman Kyle Hofer who had a HUGE night that saw him capture first place in FOUR EVENTS as he captured “gold” in the triple jump, both hurdle races (110’s and the 300’s), and the 200 meter dash. If he was sleeping on the way home, we know why. Great Job, “Little Hof”! The Leafs grabbed 15 of the 18 possible first places so I won’t list them all here. Even though the fields were on the weak side due to the schedule conflict we simply LOVE this format and as mentioned above, hope to add at least one more of these meets next year.

The meet utilized the traditional quadrangular scoring format of 6-4-3-2-1 for the individual events while awarding 6-4-2 points in the relays. An unlimited entry format was also utilized. Leafs who scored team points are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Billy Blaser (Shot Put)
  • 1st Place: Kaleb Decker (3200 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (200 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump)
  • 1st Place: Alex McAvoy (Discus)
  • 1st Place: Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: William Venneberg (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 1st Place: Zach Wilson (High Jump)
  • 1st Place: Max Bealer, Jerry Green, Logan Hansen, Jordan Seeley (800 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Nathan Carroll, Billy Cosgrave, Kaleb Decker, Brad Smith (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Spencer Lindstrom, Colby Rapps, Juan Mejias-Dansbach, Carson Mariman (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Cade Backes (Long Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Billy Blaser (Discus)
  • 2nd Place: Carson Cocquit (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Neo Colter (3200 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Billy Cosgrave (High Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Noah Coughlan (Shot Put)
  • 2nd Place: Spencer Lindstrom (1600 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Kaden Rink (Triple Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Luke Sebastian (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Luke Sebastian (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Zach Wilson (Pole Vault)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Tisor, Zach Wilson, Billy Cosgrave, Cade Backes (400 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Carson Cocquit, Andrew Verplaetse, Augie Schmitt, Carson Mariman (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Augie Schmitt, Nathan Yoder, Zach Bauer, Brad Smith (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Eli Allen (Discus)
  • 3rd Place: Eli Allen (Shot Put)
  • 3rd Place: Max Bealer (Long Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Carroll (800 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Carroll (High Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Jerry Green (100 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Eric Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 3rd Place: Jaycob Norton, Mick Mooney, Ethan Welfer, Dawson DeCap (400 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: William Venneberg, Luke Sebastian, Juan Mejias-Dansbach, Colby Rapps (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Zach Bauer (1600 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Carroll (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Charlie Cathcart (Discus)
  • 4th Place: Rylan Coons (High Jump)
  • 4th Place: Billy Cosgrave (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Logan Hansen (100 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place: Justin Lyman (Shot Put)
  • 4th Place: Carson Mariman (Pole Vault)
  • 4th Place: Mick Mooney (110 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Tisor (Long Jump)
  • 5th Place: Justin Lyman (Discus)
  • 5th Place: Alex McAvoy (Shot Put)
  • 5th Place: Augie Schmitt (800 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: Brad Smith (1600 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: William Venneberg (Long Jump)
  • 5th Place: Ethan Welfer (Triple Jump)

RESULTS

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Animal Brandon

BRANDON IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Brandon Ramos who was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of March 27th – April 2nd.

SENIOR BRANDON RAMOS IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Senior Brandon Ramos was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of March 27 – April 2nd. During that time, the Leafs did not compete. They were scheduled to travel to Sterling to take on the “Golden Warriors” in a dual meet on Wednesday, March 29th. The weatherman had other plans as a cold, rainy day doomed the meet.

Brandon’s week started with him organizing a Sunday run that included Blake Duncan and yours truly. We ran the 11-mile hill loop and battled a strong south head wind for the first 4 miles, barely averaging under 8 minute mile pace. That all changed when we took the turn to head west. Let me sum it up that by the end of the run, Blake’s GPS watch told us that we had AVERAGED 7:08 for 11 miles. OUCH! Well done, Brandon and Blake.

Brandon’s next significant moment came on Wednesday (the date of the proposed meet.) The weather was crummy and after speaking with Coach Deets (we had the LATE 7 PM facility slot) we decided to cancel practice for the team. Brandon talked me into giving it a shot for the middle distance and distance runners, hoping for break in the weather. I’m not too hard to talk into going for a run. Brandon suggested a threshold run of repeat 400’s so we would be close to the school in case the weather took a turn for the worse. Brandon ended up running 4 miles (16 400 Meter Repeats) with a mere 100 meter jog in-between. I ran the same workout (well behind him) and his optimism was contagious. On a day I was considering canceling practice, we ended up having a TREMENDOUS workout.

Brandon’s improvement since last year is “jaw-dropping”. He decided to go “All In” over the summer (call it SENIOR PRIDE) and he has been on a roll ever since. Keep “paying the price that excellence demands”, Brandon. In the words of a former world class marathoner, “The Will to Win Means NOTHING Without the Will to Prepare”. Truer words have never been spoken and you have lived them. That’s why running means so much to you now. Keep “Dreaming BIG” and don’t forget to enjoy the ride. You are a very special young man and it has been a great pleasure to have run a great number of miles with you. I have had the privilege of watching your meteoric rise. I hope you continue this pursuit for the rest of your life. You have found a sport that you are really good at and can continue for as long as you wish to. Keep posting your goals somewhere in your bedroom and try to make them come to fruition.

Brandon is the proud son of Trina Millard and Robert Ramos. He is also the proud older brother of Aiden (currently in 4th grade); Emma (currently in kindergarten); and Delany (just turned ONE.) Brandon is a 4th Quarter SENIOR and life doesn’t get much sweeter than that. He has the powerful love of his family and pride of being a senior to help power him through the end of his high school experience. We wish you all the best, Brandon. You have earned everything you have achieved the old-fashioned way. That is called “HARD WORK”. That is a skill that will pay HUGE dividends for you the rest of your life. Now KEEP CRANKIN”

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Heavy Downpour

STERLING DUAL CANCELED DUE TO POOR WEATHER

WHEN: Wednesday, March 29th
WHERE: Sterling High School

The meet will NOT be rescheduled.

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Animal Nasty

“NASTY” IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Junior Nick “Nasty” Swartzendruber who was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of March 20th – March 26th.

JUNIOR NICK SWARTZENDRUBER IS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S
“ANIMAL OF da WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Junior Nick Swartzendruber was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of March 20 – March 26th. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Illinois Top Times Invitational on Saturday, March 25th. The meet is considered to be the “unofficial indoor state championship”. Not everyone was there but each event was filled with an extremely high level of quality. The meet was hosted on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington, Illinois. The event was held in the beautiful Shirk Center.

Nick “Nasty” (he is truly one of the nicest guys on the team but earned his nickname in football….the boy likes to HIT) has been in the running for the “Animal of the Week” each and every week since the season began. This week the “Animal” found him along with a construction hat. Coach Mackey asked if we would add the construction hat to the “Animal Award” to symbolize what the construction crew has had to overcome this winter. They have enjoyed an extremely mild winter but there have been several weeks of below zero wind chills. They never missed a day. They are like the mailman (woman)…..rain or snow….sleet or hail…..they ALWAYS DELIVER. Wearing a construction worker’s hat is a pretty awesome concept to add to the honor of being selected as our team’s “Animal of the Week”.

Nick’s track and field story truly takes flight when he decided NOT to go out for the sport as a Freshman. Only after his future step dad, Bob Thomas, had a “heart-to-heart” chat with him did he reluctantly join the team. Then, after he participated in the (no-longer existing) Geneseo Decathlon which culminated with every athlete running the 800 meters, did we (the coaching staff) see his potential to become a middle distance runner. It took another “heart-to-heart” conversation but he made his 800 meter debut at the Galesburg ABC Invitational and ran (if my memory servers me correctly) a sub 2:10. After that, the “secret was out”. Nick could have easily not given his best effort on that day but that is not who Nick is. He is quite simply, a ferocious competitor.

Nick’s Illinois Top Times day started with him running the opening leg of the 3200 Meter Relay. He found himself in a race in which most of the top teams front-end loaded it (put their fastest man first.) The end result was that he was near the rear of the field at the 400. He clocked in with a BLAZING 58 seconds (for him). He then moved up nicely and ROARED off the final curve only failing to catch the top two teams because he ran out of room. His split was the 5th fastest 800 Meter Run EVER for a Geneseo Junior (opening splits count for school records in distance of at least 400 meters.) The team ended up running a monster race clocking 8:09 and taking TWELVE seconds off of their season best time.

Nick also led off the 1600 Meter Relay which was racing in the “fast heat”. Nick had a solid start (there is still a lot of work to be done coming out of the blocks) and got out nicely. He then went after the leaders and rolled off of the final turn and sprinted past the leaders to hand-off the baton to Cayson with the Leafs leading. The team ran tremendously and placed an amazing 4th. Why amazing? Because our 3rd man, Senior Nathan Soria, strained his hamstring 100 meters into his leg and was limping noticeably. We tried to get him to stop but he kept going and ran 56.04cr. How? I have no clue. Reed Vanderheyden brought the team home in 3rd (we ended up 4th since heat one beat our time.) Luckily, the training staff felt that Nathan had only a mild strain and will return to us.

Nick, we are tremendously proud of you and salivating at what the future holds. Both the 800 Meter and 3200 Meter School Records are scared. Even the 1600 Meter Relay is a bit nervous. Keep working hard and dreaming big. We certainly know you aren’t intimidated by “da BIG stage” as evidenced by your “Green Machine” D.B. and Outside Linebacker STARTER status and two Varsity Letters in Football in addition to your track exploits. It’s pretty amazing that the boy who almost didn’t come out for track has already earned All-State Honors TWICE in the 3200 Meter Relay and ONCE in the 1600 Meter Relay (in case you’re not counting that’s THREE ALL-STATE MEDALS.) He still has two state meets ahead of him. Unreal. Anyway, keep “Dreaming Big” and don’t forget the enjoy the ride.

Nick is the proud son of Jodi Swartzendruber-Thomas and the late Jason Swartzendruber. He is also the proud Step-Son of “Leaf Legend” Robert “Bob” Thomas. Nick is also blessed with multiple siblings who include: Joe (current Junior in college); Logan (current Freshman in college); Sam (fellow State Meet Qualifier and a current Senior for the Leafs who earned All-State Honors in both Football and Wrestling already this school year); Jane (current Junior in high school and multi-sport star), and Mary (current Freshman and multi-sport star in her own right.) WHAT A FAMILY…..SIMPLY AMAZING!!!

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Illinois Top Times

LEAFS COMPETE AT THE ILLINOIS TOP TIMES INVITATIONAL

Pictured are Row 1: Reed Vanderheyden, Nathan Soria, Andrew Benhart, Cayson Frerichs;
Row 2: Nick Swartzendruber, Kyle Sellers, Colton Pischke; Row 3: Andrew Pischke, Lucas Hofer; Row 3: Nathan Lambert

LEAFS ‘MIX IT UP” WITH THE STATE’S BEST

On Saturday, March 25th, the Leafs traveled to the campus of Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington, Illinois to compete in the Illinois Top Times Indoor Invitational. Competition was held in the beautiful Shirk Center with entries being based on the State Rankings for the 2017 Indoor Season. Coaches then had to either declare each athlete as competing or non-competing. The fields were limited and they simply went down the list of declared athletes to fill each event. Not all of the State-Ranked Athletes competed but the field was certainly highly elite, to say the least.

Competition for the Leafs began with the 60 Meter High Hurdle Prelims. There were four heats with the 8 runners headed to the finals. Heat winners and then the next 4 fastest times advanced. Reed Vanderheyden was up first in heat 3. Reed ran a solid race sprinting to a time of 8.50 which had him sitting in 7th place with one heat to go. Colton Pischke raced in the fourth and final heat and had the best reaction to “da gun” that I’ve ever seen from him. Unfortunately, things went south from there. He ended up with the 14th fastest time in the 24-man field and gained some additional “Big Meet” experience as he raced to a finishing time of 8.73. Reed Vanderheyden “survived” the final heat as no one ran faster. The heat winner advances so he was the last man in (that is a lot better than being the first man out!)

Up next came the 3200 Meter Relay. The fields were “loaded” in every event and this was no exception. “Nasty” (Nick Swartzendruber) took the baton first and blazed a 1:58.94cr that saw him hand off with the Leafs in 3rd place. Nick’s time ties for 5th on the All-Time Junior Individual List (not bad considering it is still only MARCH.) Andrew “Benny” Benhart took “da stick” next and ran a solid race in “no man’s land” splitting a solid 2:05.94cr. Nathan Soria was up next and also ran in “no man’s land” for most of his race splitting a solid 2:05.04cr. Anchorman, Cayson Frerichs, saw some team movement as Metamora and Mohomet-Seymour joined the action up front with Cahokia while Thornridge fell back. Cayson cranked out a :57 first 400 (fastest on the team) and was sitting 4th until the final 100 when he saw Cahokia’s anchorman tying up. He dug even deeper and caught him helping the Leafs grab 3rd place with an outstanding leg of 2:01.34cr.

Up next was “Vanderhurdle” who was racing in the finals of the 60 Meter High Hurdles for the THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR! Reed was seeded 7th on time but out-performed the seed sheets, as usual, by running a season best time of 8.48 that saw him grab the 6th place medal. We are “licking our chops” knowing that both Colton and Reed are far better at the longer hurdle races. Bring on the 110 Meter High Hurdles and the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. Cross your fingers and maybe we can even dream of seeing “Big Pish” making a comeback before too long. While I’m at it, let’s add “Big Hof” to that list (although not in the hurdles, he prays!)

We scratched Reed from the 400 Meter Dash to save him for the 1600 Meter Relay as his shins are a bit tender from the indoor season. So the Leafs lined up for the day’s final event with Nick Swartzendruber leading off again. He continued his tremendous day by running an outstanding split of 51.94cr that saw him put the Leafs into the LEAD. Cayson Frerichs raced in the 2nd position and did a great job of hanging onto Cahokia’s 2nd man. Cayson raced to a solid split of 53.24cr and the Leafs were a close 2nd. Nathan Soria took “da stick” 3rd and roared after the leader. Unfortunately, he felt something “pop” in his left hamstring and almost had to drop out of the race as he pulled up significantly. Somehow, he got back after it but was noticeably limping on his 2nd lap. Somehow, he still ran a 56.04cr split. Reed Vanderheyden grabbed the baton last and ROARED after the field. He ran everyone down but Cahokia and Thornridge with his highly spirited 52.54cr. Erie-Prophetstown’s winning time of 3:30.59 in heat one just edged us by 5/100’s of a second.

Now, as we move forward into the outdoor season let’s pray for a speedy recovery for Nathan (Our Athletic Trainer thinks it’s a mild strain.) He will probably be out for at least two weeks (if not longer.) I am confident that other men will step up. We (da coaches) are very proud of the efforts put for by the team today and all indoor season. We are also VERY excited about the upcoming outdoor season. Keep working hard, Men. Remember, we PEAK FOR CHAMPIONSHIP MEET SEASON!!!!!

RESULTS

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Captains

2017 ELECTED TEAM CAPTAINS

Pictured are the 2017 Elected Team Captains. Pictured from left to right are: Nathan Soria,, Andrew Pischke, Sam Thomas, Andrew Benhart, and Ben Cosgrave

33 Team Members Received Votes

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Animal Reed

REED IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Reed Vanderheyden who was selected as the “Animal of the Week”
Award Winner for the week of March 13th – March 19th.

REED VANDERHEYDEN SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S “ANIMAL OF THE WEEK”

Junior Reed Vanderheyden was selected by the coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of March 13 – March 19th. During that time, the Leafs competed in a triangular on Tuesday, March 14th and in the NIB-12 Indoor Invitational on Saturday, March 18th.

Reed got his competitive week started on Tuesday, March 14th as the Leafs competed in a triangular with Moline and Sterling. Reed started his night by winning the 60 Meter High Hurdles in an excellent time of 8.65 FAT. He followed that up with a photo-finish in the 400 Meter Dash that saw him crossing “da line’ 1/100 of a second behind his teammate and fellow junior, Nick Swartzendruber. Reed finished his night off by leading off the Leaf’s 1600 Meter Relay that crossed the finish line over 6 seconds up on 2nd place Sterling. We used the meet as a quality “workout” and tried to keep it pretty low-key.

Reed’s week wasn’t over yet. He once again toed the line at the NIB-12 Indoor Invitational on Saturday, March 18th. Reed’s day started with the 60 Meter High Hurdles and saw him win a highly competitive race that saw the top 4 runners all finish within 9/100’s of a second of each other. Reed crossed the line FIRST with an excellent time of 8.57 FAT. He next led fellow junior, Nick Swartzendruber, across the finish line by 1/10 of a second as they ran to a 1-2 finish. Reed finished his day off by anchoring the Maple Leafs’ 1600 Meter Relay team with an excellent split time of 53.34cr and saw the Leafs win by over FIVE SECONDS.

Next up will be the Illinois Top Times Invitational where Reed will run the 60 Meter High Hurdles and anchor our 1600 Meter Relay. Reed is no stranger to “Big Meet” experience. His journey started in middle school where he was a key member of the 2012 STATE Cross-Country Team Champions. He then followed that up with multiple state medals in track and field including STATE TITLES in the 100 Meter High Hurdles in both his 7th and 8th grade years. He followed that up with unparalleled success at the high school level. Reed enjoyed a tremendously successful Freshman year that culminated with a new school record and 5th place finish (ALL-STATE HONORS) in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. He followed that up an even more impressive season that saw Reed help lead the Leafs to a 2ND PLACE TEAM FINISH (Highest in School History.) Reed’s contributions were numerous and were highlighted with a STATE RUNNER-UP finish and new school record in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles and a sub 50 second anchor on Geneseo’s 4th Place STATE MEET finish in the 1600 Meter Relay. Not too bad of a career for ANYONE. All of Geneseo is smiling at the fact that Reed is still only a JUNIOR!

Reed has helped to raise the bar in regard to what is possible for an athlete from “Little Geneseo”. We wish you all the best as our season moves forward. Your commitment to the sport is rare. That is a great compliment to your God-Given talent which is tremendously enhanced by your deep sense of Passion and Purpose. Keep leading via example and get ready to head outdoors. We are very proud of you and hope your personal goals can be attained. You have helped to put Geneseo on “da Map”. Now, as you move forward, don’t ever forget to have FUN each and every day. Like Coach Deets has said so many times…”The journey is just as important as the end result”. Treasure it all. You are a very special young man and deserve everything you achieve. Keep “Dreaming Big”. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

Reed is the PROUD son of Dana Vanderheyden and Gary Vanderheyden. He is also the PROUD baby brother of “Leaf Legend” Hannah who is now a sophomore in college and has plenty of STATE Medals herself. The “Vanderhurdles” have written and are continuing to rewrite Geneseo Track History. Stay Tuned In!!!! By the way….the new “do” ROCKS!!!

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Relay Runners showing new uniforrms

LEAFS BREAK OUT NEW UNIFORMS

Modeling the team’s brand new uniforms are: Nathan Soria, Reed Vanderheyden, Andrew Benhart, Nick Swartzendruber, and Cayson Frerichs. These men won both the 1600 Meter & 3200 Meter Relays in addition to scoring in other events (see below.)

LEAFS CLAIM NIB-12 INDOOR BRONZE

On Saturday, March 18th, the Leafs traveled to Sterling’s Westwood Sports Complex to participate in the Annual NIB-12 Conference Invitational. Participating in the meet were teams from: DeKalb, Geneseo, Kaneland, LaSalle-Peru, Morris, Ottawa, Rochelle, Sterling, Sycamore, and Yorkville.

The meet offers all of the NIB-12 members (actually 10 schools) the chance to get an early season peek at each other. Each team was limited to two athletes per individual events and one team in each relay. We decided to load up our relays and try to improve upon the Illinois Top Times Seeds while not over-taxing any team members with huge meet duties. The end result was we didn’t maximize our team point total. That will happen outdoors for the actual Conference Championship. We are still very much, a work in progress. We are still trying to fit all the correct pieces of our “puzzle” into the correct “spots”. This process will continue during the coming weeks.

Leading the team were the following individual who grabbed some NIB-12 Gold via their first place efforts: Reed Vanderheyden (60 Meter High Hurdles & 400 Meter Dash); Nick Swartzendruber, Cayson Frerichs, Nathan Soria, Reed Vanderheyden (1600 Meter Relay,) and Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Cayson Frerichs (3200 Meter Relay.) The competition was fierce in every event. The Leafs ended up 3rd behind strong teams from DeKalb and Yorkville. Right on our heels were Sterling, and Kaneland. The outdoor NIB-12 Conference promises to be another tremendous meet come the middle of May. Leafs who scored points in the meet via their top six finish are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Cayson Frerichs, Nathan Soria, Reed Vanderheyden (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Cayson Frerichs (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Colton Pischke (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 5th Place: Blake Duncan (3200 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put)
  • 5th Place: Colton Pischke, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (800 Meter Relay)
  • 6th Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run)

RESULTS

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Foam

POLE VAULTERS “TASTE” HEAVEN

Pictured are several members of Geneseo’s Pole Vault Crew “relaxing” in the “Ole Foam”

COACH EHLERT HITS “PAY DIRT”

Middle School Head Boys Track Coach and Tri-Athletic Director, Todd Ehlert, contacted Gill Athletics in regard to what the policy was in regard to the warranty on our pole vault pit. The foam on the top pad and two of the main sections was shot and there was a “deep hole” that the vaulters would disappear into. We were both SHOCKED when the answer was TEN YEARS. The end result was we received brand new foam sections for the top pad and two of the main sections. Unbelievable. The value of this is somewhere between 5 to 8 THOUSAND DOLLARS.

It was not an easy job to take the old foam out and carefully replace it with the brand new foam. It had to be done delicately so the foam would not be torn. The vaulters did a marvelous job. The old foam will be donated to Augustana College’s Vault Coach, Chad Thomas, who can make good use of it. He has been extremely helpful to us over the years so that is the perfect destination for the used foam.

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Duck Dynasty

GOT FUR?

“Da 100-Man Challenge” has been issued

100-MAN CHALLENGE

The 2017 Maple Leaf Boys Track Team currently has 93 members. That is the LARGEST TEAM that Geneseo has had THIS CENTURY!!! Coach Fredericks has long had the goal of seeing a team consisting of AT LEAST 100 Men. The Leafs have been close in the last couple of years, just falling short. A couple of years ago, the incentive of Coach Fredericks getting a tattoo was suggested by the team and quickly nixed by “da real boss” (MRS. FREDERICKS). During the past week, Coach Fredericks experienced an “epiphany” when the idea of allowing the team members who want to (and can) grow facial hair to do so (a no-no for any athlete Coach Fredericks has coached from Day One.) After conferring with Coach Matthew Deets, he decided to offer the 100-Man Challenge. If the team number reaches or exceeds 100 before the deadline of Friday, March 24th, team members will be allowed to grow facial hair. When the challenge was offered to the team, the locker room erupted with enthusiasm. Ultimately, that is the goal of our coaching staff. To motivate our team. Coach Fredericks has long been a believer in the power of “strength in numbers”. Any new team members must “stick it out” and join for the right reason. It is his sincere hope that we will find 7 or more new team members who will enjoy the experience of being a member of our team and make our team STRONGER. We have NO weak links. It should be interesting to see what the next week brings. DREAM BIG!!!!

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Animal Coach Deets

COACH DEETS IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Coach Matthew Deets who was selected as the “Animal of the Week”
Award Winner for the week of March 6th – March 12th.

MATTHEW DEETS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S “ANIMAL OF THE WEEK”

Coach Matthew Deets was selected by the TEAM as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of March 6 – March 12th. During that time, the Leafs did not compete but had a great week of practice.

This is Coach Deets’ 5th year with us. He teaches Chemistry and Physics (general and advanced placement) in addition to coaching Track and Field. We were lucky to find Coach Deets with the help of his former Head Track Coach, Paul Olson of Augustana College. Coach Olson has been the Head Track Coach at Augustana for 49 years (as of 2017) in addition to having been the Head Cross Country Coach for 51 years, as of last fall. He is also a teacher first, as evidenced by his PhD and heavy class load. I turned to Coach Olson when we desperately needed a science teacher who could coach track. He quickly answered our need with the name of Matthew Deets. I’ll never forget how he described the incredible work ethic that Matthew had demonstrated to him and told me he was a “lifer”. I asked him what he meant and he replied that Matthew Deets was a “Once in a Life Catch”. After working with Matthew Deets for the past five years I couldn’t agree more. It has been an honor and privilege to watch the teaching and coaching evolution of Matthew Deets. He has already become one of the best teachers and coaches in our school district and he has only been at this for FIVE YEARS. It’s hard to comprehend this and extremely exciting to know that he will continue to grow for the rest of his career. Matthew Deets is a LIFETIME LEARNER. As good as all of this is, he is even a better person. Keep “Dreaming Big”, Coach Deets and get ready to attack “da Pile” this coming May at “Dirty’s”.

Matthew is our “Super Coach”. I coach the distance and middle distance runners with Coach Moe. Coach Vaden coaches the throwers. That, currently leaves EVERYTHING ELSE under the direction of Matthew Deets. He keeps Coach Moe around on some days to help him and we have used Jay Wilson, Chad Thomas, and Arthur Atwell to help with the Pole Vault to some extent. That leaves a HUGE workload for Matthew Deets. We are currently a coach short and desperately trying to fill that slot. In the meantime, Matthew Deets just keeps bringing his “A-GAME”. That is what he brings each and every single day. It was pretty cool to see the team want HIM for this award. Awarding a Coach has never even been a thought. We had decided to not have an animal for the off week but the team’s voice has been heard. Thanks Coach Deets for being such an outstanding TEACHER AND COACH. Geneseo was very lucky you decided to come to “da Maple City”.

Matthew prepped at Polo High School in Polo, Illinois were he was a 4-year Varsity Track Award winner participating in the hurdles and triple jump and anywhere else they needed him. He also played football all 4 years (2 Varsity Letters) “da boy can HIT”. He also threw in one year of Wrestling. The he moved onto Augustana College where he was a 4-year Varsity Letter Winner and 2 time All-Conference Award Winner in BOTH the Indoor Heptathlon and outdoor Decathlon. He is still in great shape and routinely jumps into workouts with the team. Way to lead by example, Coach Deets.

Matthew is the proud husband to the musically accomplished (cello) Lauryn. Lauren is a fellow educator in the Pleasant Valley School District where she teaches music. Not to be outdone, Matthew is also an accomplished Barbershop Singer. Who Knew? A man of many secrets. Matthew and Lauryn are also the proud parents of Josephine (3 months old.) Matthew is the proud son of Kevin and Janne Deets. He is also the proud younger brother of Ryan Deets (current Polo Track Coach) and baby brother Kyle (current Augie Women’s Throws Coach.) All three brothers are PROUD AUGUSTANA COLLEGE GRADUATES and TRACK AND FIELD ALUMNS!!!

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Luke and Andrew

JUST “HANGING OUT”

Pictured are Senior Lucas Hofer and Andrew Pischke. Andrew made his season debut in both
the 60 Meter Dash and the 200 Meter Dash (LANE 5.) Each man is a returning All-Stater.
“Hof” is still on the “I.R.” for the time being but is making steady progress.

LEAFS TRIUMPHANT IN STERLING TRIANGULAR

On Tuesday, March 14th, the Leafs traveled to Sterling’s Westwood Sports Complex to compete in a triangular with the host Sterling Golden Warriors and the Moline Maroons. There were also three girls teams (Alleman, Moline, and Sterling.) The fact that the meet was COED was a good thing, even though it was a school night, as it allowed for critical recovery time in between events. The field events started at 4:30 p.m. while the running events began at 5:00 p.m.

Our coaching staff pieced together the entries not concerned with optimal scoring. We wanted to see a lot of Leafs run in relays. As a result, we ran three teams in the 3200 Meter Relay, five teams in the 800 Meter Relay, and SEVEN teams in the 1600 Meter Relay. Our team currently has NINETY-TWO Team Members (that is the largest team Geneseo has had this CENTURY!!!) An even better comment is that even though the 400 Meter Run is an extremely challenging distance to race, seven teams were entered to run the 1600 Meter Relay which involved 28 men. All seven teams raced. Our seniors are doing a tremendous job of leading and our team is certainly a work in progress as we attempt to put “this puzzle” together and optimize each athlete’s talents. The team’s willingness to try anything and everything goes a long way into explaining why this is such a special group. Only time and a lot of hard work will take us to our optimal level. Stay tuned in for further updates. Thus far both thumbs are up.

The team was led by the following 1st place finishers: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash); Sam Thomas (Shot Put); Reed Vanderheyden (60 Meter High Hurdles); Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault); Colton Pischke, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (800 Meter Relay); Reed Vanderheyden, Andrew Benhart, Kaden Rink, Cayson Frerichs (1600 Meter Relay-A Team); and Andrew Benhart, Kaden Rink, Peter Rizzo, Carson Cocquit) (3200 Meter Relay-A Team.) Scoring was (5-3-2-1 for Individual Events and 5-3-0 for Relay Events. Leafs who scored points in the meet either placed in the top 4 individually or participated in a relay team that placed in the top 2. Leafs scoring in the meet are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Sam Thomas (Shot Put)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 1st Place: Colton Pischke, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (800 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden, Andrew Benhart, Kaden Rink, Cayson Frerichs (1600 Meter Relay-A Team)
  • 1st Place: Andrew Benhart, Kaden Rink, Peter Rizzo, Carson Cocquit) (3200 Meter Relay-A Team)
  • 2nd Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Blake Duncan (1600 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Noah Sebastian (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Venderheyden (400 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 2nd Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Nathan Soria, Jordan Seeley, Colton Pischke (1600 Meter Relay-B Team)
  • 2nd Place: Cayson Frerichs, Kyle Sellers, Andrew Rizzo, Neo Colter (3200 Meter Relay-B Team)
  • 3rd Place: Cameron Darin (Pole Vault)
  • 3rd Place: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Soria (1600 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Ben Cosgrave (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Ben Cosgrave (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Zach Humphrey (Shot Put)
  • 4th Place: Andrew Pischke (200 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place: Colton Pischke (60 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place: Andrew Verplaetse (Pole Vault)

RESULTS

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Animal Kyle

KYLE IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Senior Kyle Sellers who was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner
for the week of February 27th – March 5th.

KYLE SELLERS SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S “ANIMAL OF THE WEEK”

Senior Kyle Sellers was selected by the Geneseo coaching staff as the “Animal of the Week” award winner for the week of February 27 – March 5th. During that time, the Leafs competed in both the Quad City Indoor Invitational on Tuesday, February 28th and Wednesday, March 1st and the Sterling Gold Medal Invitational on Saturday, March 4th.

Kyle’s week started on Wednesday, March 1st at Augustana College’s Pepsico Center. The Leafs were participating in the 22nd Annual Quad City Indoor Invitational. The field included 16 quality teams. Kyle started his night by leading off the 3200 Meter Relay. He ROARED through the first 400 meters in 59 seconds showing tremendous “Passion and Purpose”. Kyle tied up a bit but held on bravely for a split time of 2:09.54cr and helped the team claim one of only two First Places on the night as the team broke the tape with a winning time of 8:24.59. He then toed “da line” in the 1600 Meter Relay Exhibition which directly followed the “Varsity” race. Kyle got out nicely as the lead-off man and sprinted to a fine split of 55.34cr. Kyle was unable to attend our first meet (Knox College Indoor Invitational) due to a scholarship interview conflict that was unavoidable. Thus, this was his season debut. It was a very nice start to the season for Mr. Sellers.

Next up was the Sterling Gold Medal Invitational held at Sterling’s Westwood Sports Complex. We allowed Kyle the opportunity to choose his events and he selected to race in the open 800 Meter Run and in the 1600 Meter Relay. The 800 Meter Run was a very competitive field and Kyle did a good job of positioning himself as he rolled through the 400 Meter Split in 62 seconds and looked great. He kept moving up in the 2nd 400 and passed several runners to grab 5th place in a season best time of 2:09.04c. He then “laced’em up again” for the 1600 Meter Relay. This time he was on the Varsity and threw down a season-best tying time of 55.34c running the 3rd leg all by himself. Way to Roll, Kyle Sellers.

Kyle is no stranger to success at the Varsity Level. He has, in his high school career, earned FOUR Varsity Letters in Cross Country and has already wrapped up his 2nd in Track (he played Baseball his first two years with the Freshmen and Sophomore Teams.) He also has a season of Freshmen Basketball on his resume (I guess that’s why he kicks my butt every time we play some “ball”. Kyle is a very talented young man with a HUGE desire to excel. He has also been a strong leader via example for our team. Keep up the good job, Kyle. You deserve all the success you’ve earned and MORE. DREAM BIG!!!! Hopefully, you’ll be finding yourself in the STATE FINALS come late May.

Prior to high school Kyle starred at the Middle School Level in both XC and Track. He ran in the State Championship on the track team as a part of the 800 Meter Relay as a 7th grader. In addition, he just missed the Top 7 in XC as an 8th grader and then ran in the Top 7 all season long as an 8th grader. He helped lead the team to the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP as the team was tied after 5 men and they had to go to the 6th man. The fact that Kyle’s finish was better was the deciding factor. A total team victory. I will never forget the smiles on the boys faces as they were presented the CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY!

Kyle is the proud son of Jamie and Cory Sellers. He is also the proud older brother of Jack (09.) All the best during the rest of the season and beyond, Kyle. You are a classy young man and we are proud to be your coaches. You have been successful at everything you’ve gone “all in” on and I know that will continue for the rest of your life. There is something magical about being a senior. Use it well and go and capture your goals. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

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Reed and Colton

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Pictured are Geneseo Hurdlers Reed Vanderheyden and Colton Pischke.
Each man enjoyed a big day for the Leafs and tied (to the 1/100) in the 60 H.H.

LEAFS ROLL AT STERLING GOLD MEDAL INVITATIONAL

On Saturday, March 4th, the Leafs traveled to Sterling’s Westwood Sports Complex to participate in the Sterling Gold Medal Invitational. The field included teams from: Dixon, Geneseo, Indian Creek, Oregon, Rock Falls, and Sterling. We love the fact that the meet allows for unlimited entries so everyone who was healthy and available was offered the opportunity for competition at one of the best high school indoor tracks in the State of Illinois.

Due to various conflicts (primarily a band and choir conflict) the team was competing without THIRTY-FOUR team members. OUCH! Oh well, the men who were able to compete really competed at a high level. The meet was non-scored but I scored it anyway. Without the Leafs trying to maximize scoring mythical team scoring was 1.) Geneseo 170; 2.) Dixon 115; 3.) Sterling 70; 4.) Oregon 39; 5.) Rock Falls 33; 6.) Indian Creek 2.

The team grabbed SEVEN first place finishes to lead the way. The following Leafs attained GOLD MEDALS: Colton Pischke (60 Meter High Hurdles (tie); Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run); Reed Vanderheyden (60 Meter High Hurdles (tie), 200 Meter Dash, 400 Meter Dash); Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault), and the 1600 Meter Relay (Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Kyle Sellers, Nathan Soria.)

Team members who scored “mythical” team points via their top 6 place finish included the following men:

  • 1st Place Tie: Colton Pischke (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place Tie: Reed Vanderheyden (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (200 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Reed Vanderheyden (400 Meter Dash)
  • 1st Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Kyle Sellers, Nathan Soria (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Kyle Hofer (Triple Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 2nd Place Tie: Colton Pischke (60 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place; Nathan Soria (1600 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 2nd Place: Blake Duncan, Brandon Ramos, Neo Colter, Carson Cocquit (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Benhart (1600 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Carson Cocquit (400 Meter Dash)
  • 3rd Place: Ben Cosgrave (Long Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Dalton Stamp, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (800 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place Tie: Ben Cosgrave (60 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 4th Place: Zach Humphrey (Shot Put)
  • 4th Place: Nathan Lambert (Triple Jump)
  • 4th Place: Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Dalton Stamp (200 Meter Dash)
  • 4th Place: Andrew Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 5th Place: Billy Cosgrave (400 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Colton Pischke (200 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Kyle Sellers (800 Meter Run)
  • 5th Place Tie: Dalton Stamp (60 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Billy Cosgrave (High Jump)

RESULTS

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With the Baton

Q.C.A. GOLD MEDALISTS

Pictured are: Kyle Sellers, Andrew Benhart, Nick Swartzendruber, Nathan Soria, and
Reed Vanderheyden. These 5 men were a part of either (or both) the 1600 Meter Relay and
the 3200 Meter Relay. Each Relay EARNED GOLD via their FIRST PLACE FINISHES

LEAFS PLACE 3RD AT QUAD CITY INDOOR INVITE

On Tuesday and Wednesday, February 28th and March 1st, the Leafs traveled to the campus of Augustana College to participate in the 22nd Annual Quad City Indoor Track and Field Invitational. The field events were held in the Carver Center on Tuesday evening while the running events were held on Wednesday in the Pepsico Building. The field included teams from:
Alleman, Assumption, Bettendorf, Davenport Central, Davenport North, Davenport West, Geneseo, Mercer County, Moline, Muscatine, North Scott, Orion, Pleasant Valley, Rock Island, Rockridge, and United Township.

It is still VERY early in the season and we tried to be as careful as possible with our entries. Our number one goal is to field our optimal team when it matters the most which is what we call “Championship Meet Season”. We define that as starting with Geneseo’s John McCorminck Geneseo Track and Field Invitational. With that in mind, the boys came ready to compete with the best in the Q.C.A. The 16-team field guaranteed a quality field in every event. The meet format was sprint-orientated with minimal recovery time for distance runners (no doubling) and included no 800 meter run.

Daddy Coaches and Babies

FAN SUPPORT

Pictured are Josie Deets and Callen Moe who came out to support the team. They are being supported by their Daddies (Matthew Deets and Philip Moe.) This was Josie’s first track meet!!!

LEAFS ROLL AT GOLD MEDAL INVITATIONAL

On Saturday, March 4th the Leafs traveled to Sterling’s Westwood Sports Complex to participate in the annual Sterling Gold Medal Invitational. The meet offers unlimited entrees so all available team members could compete. We did have a band/choir conflict so we were missing quite a few men. Participating in the meet were teams from Dixon, Geneseo, Indian Creek, Oregon, Rock Falls, and Sterling.

The Leafs were able to claim two first place finishes in the tough field as both the 1600 and 3200 Meter Relays who each claimed GOLD. The 1600 Meter Relay Team consisted of: Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, and Reed Vanderheyden while the 3200 Meter Relay included: Kyle Sellers, Andrew Benhart, Nick Swartzendruber, and Nathan Soria. The Leafs also received Top 3 finishes from: Colton Pischke (55 Meter High Hurdles); Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault); Cole Howard (Shot Put); Reed Venderheyden (55 Meter High Hurdles); and Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault.)

Team members who scored points in the meet via their top 6 place finishes are listed below:

  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Nathan Soria, Reed Vanderheyden (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 1st Place: Kyle Sellers, Andrew Benhart, Nick Swartzendruber, Nathan Soria (3200 Meter Relay)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke (55 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 3rd Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 3rd Place: Reed Venderheyden (55 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 3rd Place: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 6th Place: Dalton Stamp, Logan Weber, Jordan Seeley, Ben Cosgrave (800 Meter Relay)

RESULTS

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Animal Jordan

JORDAN IS AN ANIMAL

Pictured is Freshman Jordan Seeley who was selected as this season’s first
“Animal of the Week” Award Winner

JORDAN SEELEY SELECTED AS THIS WEEK’S “ANIMAL OF THE WEEK”

Freshman Jordan Seeley was selected by the Geneseo coaching staff as the team’s first “Animal of the Week” award winner for the week of February 20 – February 26. During that time, the Leafs competed in the Knox College Indoor Invitational on Friday, February 24th.

It is unusual for a freshman to be selected as the first “Animal of the Week” award winner. Following the completion of the Knox College Indoor Invitational, the coaching staff put their heads together and after a lengthy discussion, MANY team members were considered and Jordan was unanimously selected. Factors that went into the decision were many and the fact that Jordan participated in the winter track summit was a plus. Add to that the fact that Jordan considers himself to be a 100 meter / 200 meter dash man and was willing to run both the 800 meter relay and 1600 meter relays even though the 400 meter distance is, in his eyes, a bit over his distance. After discussing the reasoning of why he was placed in both events he smiled and told us he’d do his best.

This was our first meet of the season and the coaching staff decided to try to balance out our relay entries instead of “loading” one team. Jordan’s 800 Meter Relay team raced to 6th place with a time of 1:43.63 with Jordan running the 3rd leg running an impressive split time of 24.78hr (the h represents a hand-held time and the r represents the fact that it was a relay split.) Jordan’s time ended up being the 2nd fastest 200 meter split on the ENTIRE TEAM. That was a pretty awesome way for him to begin his high school track and field career. He was pretty tired after the race but had a HUGE smile on his face after we shared the split times with the relay members.

After a lengthy recovery, Jordan toed “da line” again in the meet’s final event. That would be the 1600 Meter Relay. Once again, we tried to balance the teams and were truly uncertain which of our teams would lead the way. Jordan’s team ROARED to 2nd place in the meet with him running the anchor leg in an impressive 56.84cr (c =’d converted to FAT by rounding up the 1/10 and then adding .24; and the r =’s relay.) The reason we convert the relay splits for the 1600 meter relay and 3200 meter relays is for team rankings that are all done with FAT times or converted times for consistency. Jordan was pretty tired after his race but handled the challenge with tremendous poise. He raced with a tremendous amount of “passion and purpose”. He had the 3rd fastest split on his team and was the ONLY freshman in the event for the Leafs.

He not only accepted the challenge of participating in the 1600 Meter Relay, but he raced it with impressive tactics and pacing. He was uncertain how it would turn out and honestly voiced his doubts before the race with the coaching staff. Then he demonstrated the trust in our coaching staff that is critical if we are going to become the team we hope to become by accepting the challenge and giving it his best effort. He did this with such a “team first” attitude that he earned this season’s first “Animal of the Week” Award. Jordan’s potential is “SCARY GOOD”. What a great way to start the season. All the best in the coming weeks, months, and years, Jordan. We are extremely glad you made the decision to become a part of this team and become a “difference maker”. In addition, your leadership via example is omnipotent (ALL IMPORTANT.) Job Well Done!

Jordan is no stranger to athletics. He enjoyed an impressive middle school track experience by qualifying for the STATE FINALS in the 800 Meter Relay as both a 7th AND 8th Grader. He was also robbed of a trip in the 100 Meter Dash (yea…we’re biased but it’s true.) He followed that up with a STRONG freshman soccer season where he saw action at the freshmen, sophomore, junior varsity, and varsity levels. He led the freshman team in assists and scored a “boatload” of goals along the way.

Jordan is the proud son of Shane and Chris Seeley. He is also the “baby” brother to Joshua (27) and Justin (21.) The sky is the limit, Jordan. DREAM BIG and continue chase your potential. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

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Knox College Winners

DUNCAN AND SWARTZENDRUBER LEAD LEAFS

Pictured are Juniors Nick Swartzendruber and Blake Duncan
who were the Leaf’s Two Gold Medalists

LEAFS OPEN SEASON AT KNOX COLLEGE

On Friday, February 24th, the Leafs traveled to T. Fleming Field House on the campus of Knox College to participate in the traditional season opener. The field included teams from: Dunlap, Elmwood, Galesburg, Geneseo, and Peoria Notre Dame. The meet was non-scored and featured a format changed because of a reduction in teams which allowed for unlimited entries. The end result was everyone that was healthy and available was able to compete and the meet was finished by around 9:15 p.m.

Last season this meet was moved up two weeks due to a facility conflict with Knox College hosting their indoor conference meet. This conflict allowed us to join the fun at the Quad City Indoor Invitational hosted by Rock Island High School at Augustana College. We had so much fun last year that we decided to keep both meets on the schedule even though that ends up giving us three meets in nine days (Sterling Gold Medal Meet on Saturday, March 4th.) As a result, we were extremely careful with our entries and considered Friday’s meet as a “rust buster” to start the season off.

Leading the charge were Gold Medalists Blake Duncan and Nick Swartzendruber who won the 1600 Meter Run and 800 Meter Run respectfully. Each man is only a junior which put a smile on the coaching staff’s faces. Adding strong 2nd place finishes were: Colton Pischke (High Jump & 55 Meter High Hurdles); Nathan Soria (800 Meter Run); Reed Vanderheyden (400 Meter Dash); and the 1600 Meter Relay team of Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Carson Cocquit, Jordan Seeley. The following Leafs placed in the top 6 earning Varsity Points:

  • 1st Place: Blake Duncan (1600 Meter Run)
  • 1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place Tie: Colton Pischke (High Jump)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Pischke (55 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Soria (800 Meter Run)
  • 2nd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (400 Meter Dash)
  • 2nd Place: Nick Swartzendruber, Andrew Benhart, Carson Cocquit, Jordan Seeley (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Benhart (800 Meter Run)
  • 3rd Place: Ben Cosgrave (Triple Jump)
  • 3rd Place: Cole Howard (Shot Put)
  • 3rd Place: Reed Vanderheyden (55 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 3rd Place Tie: Jacob Verplaetse (Pole Vault)
  • 3rd Place: Dalton Stamp, Logan Weber, Max Bealer, Nathan Carroll (800 Meter Relay)
  • 3rd Place Tie: Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault)
  • 3rd Place: Nathan Soria, Nathan Carroll, Drew Rapps, Noah Sebastian (1600 Meter Relay)
  • 4th Place: Brandon Ramos (1600 Meter Run)
  • 4th Place: Dalton Stamp (55 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place Tie: Kade Coons (High Jump)
  • 5th Place Tie: Cameron Darin (Pole Vault)
  • 5th Place Tie: Nathan Lambert (High Jump)
  • 5th Place: Colton Pischke (400 Meter Dash)
  • 5th Place: Dalton Stamp (200 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Carson Cocquit (800 Meter Run)
  • 6th Place: Ben Cosgrave (55 Meter High Hurdles)
  • 6th Place: Kyle Hofer (400 Meter Dash)
  • 6th Place: Drew Rapps, Kade Coons, Jordan Seeley, Nathan Lambert (800 Meter Relay)

RESULTS

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Callen on Wheels

CALLEN MOE SAYS IT’S TIME TO ROLL

Pictured is Callen Moe who is 0 years of age.
He has been watching the team and feels it is time to enter competition.
His goal?! Have fun and aim for a personal best every time out!

LET’S GO LEAFS!

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We Want You

2017 SEASON BEGINS

-Full Team Practice will begin on Monday, February 6th.
We will meet in Coach Deets’ room (36)
Come Dressed to Practice (We will be going outside whenever it is possible.)
Anyone is welcome. No experience is required.

COME ON OUT AND JOIN THE FUN