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“da 2018 TEAM”
“NASTY” WINS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Pictured is Maple Leaf Senior Nick Swartzendruber winning the STATE 2A TITLE in the 400 Meter Dash
“DYNAMIC DUO” LEAD LEAFS TO 5th IN STATE FINALS
On Saturday, May 26th, the Leafs participated in the final day of the I.H.S.A. STATE Track and Field Championships. The team was challenged with unseasonably warm weather with a daytime high 97˚ accompanied with an extremely high dew point level in the 70’s. Simply put, it was HOT!!! The Leafs entered the day with 5 “Chips” still in the game. Not a single publication even mentioned Geneseo as a potential Top 10 Team. Not so fast, my friend. Never underestimate Geneseo’s “Dynamic Duo” of Seniors Nick Swartzendruber and Reed Vanderheyden, along with a little help from Juniors Colton Pischke and Kaden Rink.
First up for the Leafs was the 110 Meter High Hurdles where Maple Leaf Senior Reed Vanderheyden upset the “Form Chart” by qualifying for the Final. Reed got out nicely, but then hammered the 1st hurdle which threw off his timing. He hit all 10 hurdles, but somehow, managed to stay on his feet, crossing the finish line in 9th place putting the Leafs on the scoreboard with one point.
Next up was Nick Swartzendruber in the 800 Meter Run Final. Nick got out nicely and rolled through the 400 looking great in 57 seconds. He “got boxed in” on the backstretch and wasn’t able to move until the final 150 Meters. He sprinted home in 4th place in 1:54.66 taking down the 35 Year Old School Record of Tim Renihan of 1:55.53 set in the State Finals back in 1983. Nick has been chasing that mark for a long time and what a wonderful place to accomplish it at!!! Add 6 more points to the Maple Leafs’ Team Score.
Next up was Nick Swartzendruber coming back in the 400 Meter Dash Final. This was an extremely difficult assignment (Nick CHOSE it) due to the fact that the 800 Meter Run and the 400 Meter Dash are separated by only ONE event (the 800 Meter Relay.) Nick got out nicely and was in great shape as he entered the final 100 Meters as he and the defending State Champion VanHarvey Vance from Rich Central separated themselves from the rest of the field as they were “Flat Out” racing for the finish line and the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. Nick slowly pulled away in the final 10 meters to win by .31 seconds in a time of 48.49 seconds. He simply destroyed his own school record, set yesterday in the prelim, of 49.11 seconds. Add 10 more points to the Maple Leafs’ Team Total.
Next up was Reed Vanderheyden in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. Both of the top two finishers from last year were unfortunately unable to qualify for the final due to hamstring injuries, leaving the race wide open. Reed took advantage of that and was literally on a mission from the moment the gun “cracked”. He ran an inspiring race in which he was accidentally hit in the chest 3 times during the race. He fought on anyway and “Toe to Toe” with Steven Migut from Tolono Unity during the final 75 meters. They left the rest of the field as they frantically sprinted towards the finish line. Reed dove and came up .08 seconds short of winning the whole thing. It was one of the gutsiest races I have ever witnessed. Add 8 more points to the Maple Leafs’ total. When the team scores were announced, the Leafs found themselves in 3rd Place.
Last up for the Leafs was the 1600 Meter Relay team. Most of the athletes for each team were “bouncing back” after having already competed. Simply put, there were some tired men on the track. Add to that, the extreme heat had taken its toll on everyone. Reed Vanderheyden got things rolling with a split of 52.64cr, giving it everything he had left. Kaden Rink was up next and ran a highly spirited race that saw him “split” 52.34cr. The Leafs then threw Colton Pischke into the action and he “threw down” a 53.44cr to put the Leafs in 6th Place. The top six teams were “out of striking distance” for the Leafs’ anchorman Nick Swartzendruber who ended his high school career with an outstanding split of 48.94cr to easily hold onto 6th place and close the gap on the leaders. After a race review, Morgan Park was disqualified moving the Leafs up one spot to 5th. Add 5 more points to the Leafs’ Team Total.
When the points were all counted, the Leafs had placed 5th overall totaling 30 points. Aurora (Marmion Academy) won the State Title with 44 points. Second place went to Mahomet-Seymour with 40 points. The 3rd place trophy went home with Normal University who totaled 36 points. Rich Central just missed a team trophy with 34 points. .
The Maple Leaf’s “Dynamic Duo” of Seniors Nick Swartzendruber and Reed Vanderheyden closed the book on their amazing high school careers in fine fashion as they each earned “All-State Honors” in 3 events each to raise their School Record Total to 9 All-State Medals EACH!!! To put “things” into perspective. In the history of Geneseo Boys Track and Field, the team had placed in the Top 15 ONE time in school history before this year’s senior class entered high school. In 1893 Forrest Lowes placed 3rd as a team all by himself. That is 3 years before the first Olympic Games. It is also well before automobiles. During the last four years, Geneseo has placed 11th, 2nd, 4th, and 5th AS A TEAM! Simply AMAZING MEN!!! JOB WELL DONE!!!
Team members who scored points for the team via their Top 9 place finish (earning All-State Honors) are listed below:
Pictured are 9 of the 10 Maple Leafs moments after the Class 2A Prelims were concluded.
LEAFS QUALIFY IN 5 EVENTS FOR SATURDAY’S FINALS
On Friday, May 25th, eight Leafs competed in 7 events in the 2A Preliminary Round of the I.H.S.A. State Track & Field Championships held on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. We were lucky that the 3A followed the 2A competition as the daytime high reached 96˚. The state meet includes the “best of the best” and individuals and relay teams all have the same goal. Get to Saturday. That goal is certainly easier said than achieved.
The team set up a team camp inside Lantz Fieldhouse. A special shout out goes to Gary Vanderheyden for wheeling in a ginormous cooler stocked with a ton of iced water and sports drinks. He also had other “goodies” for the guys to “graze on”. The fieldhouse was extremely warm but at least it was out of the intense sun.
All of the Geneseo’s qualifiers were on “the track” (no field event qualifiers.) The 3200 Meter Relay Team got things started at 9:00 a.m. competing in heat one of three heats. The top 12 teams would qualify for Saturday’s Final. The team just missed their season best and barely missed qualifying for Saturday’s Final by only 3 places They ended up 15th overall. Not bad for 4 men who were making their debuts in the I.H.S.A. State Meet. Job well done! Sophomore Spencer Lindstrom got the Leafs out nicely with a 2:03.74cr. Junior Kaden Rink grabbed the baton next and threw down the team’s fastest split time with a solid 2:03.44cr. Up next was Sophomore Neo Colter who ran with a lot of guys (when doesn’t he) splitting 2:10.64cr. Senior Blake Duncan brought team home in 5th place with a split time of 2:03.94cr.
Up next was Senior Reed Vanderheyden in the 110 Meter High Hurdles that started at 10:33 a.m. Reed wasn’t “seeded” to make the final. NEVER count this young man out. Reed ran in the 2nd of 3 heats and man was he ready to roll. Reed exploded from the starting blocks and ran a monster season best time of 14.77, placing 3rd in his heat, to secure his spot in Saturday’s Final. Reed’s race was very inspirational and certainly helped get his teammates FIRED-UP!!!
Up next was Senior Nick Swartzendruber in the 800 Meter Run which started at 10:33 a.m. Nick ran in heat one and had us a bit nervous as he (and the leaders) rolled through the 400 in 60 seconds. Our worries ended there when he and Hayden Wimberly from Salem threw-down a 56 second 2nd lap as each man ran in the 1:56’s. Nick’s official time of 1:56.86 was his 2nd fastest time ever and easily qualified for Saturday’s Final. It was also excellent strategy, saving as much energy as he could for the 400 Meter Dash.
Speaking of which was up next at 11:03 a.m. The 800/400 double is very rare. Adding the 1600 Meter Relay is almost across the line for me. We allowed Nick to decide but I’ll admit that I was worried that it would prove to be too difficult at this HIGH level of competition. Nick responded by cruising to first place in the 2nd heat in a new school record time of 49.11. The heat winners and the next fastest 6 runners made it to the finals. Well done, “Nasty”
Back on the track was Reed “Vanderhurdle” Vanderheyden. The 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles began at 11:15 a.m. Reed took care of business early by sprinting to first place in heat one. He stopped the clock at 39.13 and won by over 3/4 of a second. He was also able to save some fuel for the upcoming 1600 Meter Relay.
Senior Blake Duncan “Toed da Line” in the 1600 Meter Run next for the Leafs. Heat one took off at 11:31 a.m. with Blake running in heat two of two. He ran a solid race, despite the oppressive hot conditions. Blake ran his 4th fastest time of his career despite the heat. Blake placed 9th in his heat and ended up 16th in the 24 man field. He came back later in the evening along with Neo and Rafe to compete in the 1K steeplechase in the Friday Night Under the Light’s Races. Spencer also competed in the 1600 Meter Run.
Last up for the Leafs was the 1600 Meter Relay that took off just after noon. It was extremely warm to say the least. The easily qualified for Saturday’s final with a team time of 3:25.31 to place 2nd in the 3rd and final heat. Reed Vanderheyden got the Leafs out nicely with an opening split of 52.44cr. Junior Kaden Rink was up next and ran an impressive split of 52.14cr. Fellow Junior Colton Pischke took the baton 3rd and rolled to a split of 52.94cr. Nick “Nasty” Swartzendruber finished things up with a ROAR by splitting 48.64cr. Job Well Done Men!!!
Pictured are the Leafs who traveled to Eastern Illinois University to participate in the I.H.S.A. State Meet
On Thursday, May 24th, ten Geneseo Athletes departed Geneseo High School along with four coaches headed to Eastern Illinois University to compete in the I.H.S.A Track and Field State Championship. The preliminary round for 2A will be held on Friday, May 25th, with the Finals to be contested on Saturday, May 26th. The following athletes qualified in the following events:
COME ON OUT AND BACK “da LEAFS”
COLTON IS AN ANIMAL
Pictured is Junior Colton Pischke who was selected as this week’s
JUNIOR COLTON PISCHKE SELECTED AS
THE “ANIMAL OF THE WEEK”
Junior Colton Pischke was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Sunday, May 13th through Saturday, May 19th. The award was created by Coach Deets and honors a team member, selected by the coaching staff, who has trained and competed at an extremely high level. Many team members were considered and ability level plays only a small role in the decision. All team members are eligible and the award is given on a weekly basis. During the week the team participated in the LaSalle-Peru I.H.S.A. Sectional Meet held on Wednesday, May 16th.
Colton has been a critical “piece of the puzzle” to our Track & Field Program ever since he entered Geneseo High School. Colton has helped the Leafs achieve an extremely high level of depth in the hurdles. He has also made huge contributions in both the 400 and 1600 Meter Relays. Simply stated, Colton is an extremely hard worker who leads via example on a daily basis. He is literally a “Coaches Dream”. He is a highly talented young man who possesses the omnipotent comprehension of both passion and purpose.
Colton entered the meet with high hopes. He was entered in 4 events and hoped to qualify for the I.H.S.A. STATE MEET in ALL FOUR. “THINGS” would need to go extremely well to accomplish that goal but it was his goal. Colton’s meet duty began in the 400 Meter Relay were he led off the team. Colton carried “da stick” for 11.90 seconds and helped the Leafs place 7th in their 2nd fastest time of the season missing their best by a mere .02 seconds. Great Job, Men. The race was smoking fast as the top six teams all ran under 44 seconds. The state meet standard for the 400 Meter Relay is 43.48.
Next up was the 110 Meter High Hurdles. Colton’s odds improved a bit with the unfortunate injury to the defending 2A 110 Meter High Hurdles STATE CHAMPION, Bret Dannis of Peru (St. Bede.) Brett has battled a hamstring injury all season long and it was sad to see him go out this way. Anyway, back to Colton. The field was still solid and Colton ended up placing 4th in a time of 15.59, missing the State Qualifying Standard of 15.24 by only a quarter of a second. He took it like a man and prepared for his next event.
Next up was the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. Once again, Colton put forth a tremendous effort and placed 4th in the solid field. His time of 40.92 missed the State Qualifying Standard of 40.68 by .24 seconds. Once again, the disappointed young man held his head high, “dusted himself off” and prepared for his final event. He demonstrated tremendous leadership skills in keeping a positive attitude going. Believe me, teammates noticed.
Colton’s final event was the 1600 Meter Relay. He ran the 3rd leg in a solid time of 53.04cr helping the team grab 2nd place and an automatic qualifying spot. The team’s time of 3:25.45 was well under the State Standard of 3:27.92. There were many visible smiles inside the Maple Leaf team but none was any larger than that of the face of Colton Pischke’s. Talent is a God-Given Gift. Everyone has it. Some more than others. When a person chooses to commit to develop that talent to the highest level the success that is experienced is that much sweeter. Colton understands this because he is “ALL IN”.
All the best next week in the State Meet, Colton. You are an incredible athlete and an even better person. The legacy that you and your siblings are leaving behind is both inspiring and amazing. Colton is no stranger to success having earned multiple All-State I.E.S.A. Medals in Middle School including the State Championship in the 110 Meter High Hurdles his 8th grade year. He is also a critical member of the “Green Machine” football team both as a corner back on defense and a running back on offense, earning Varsity letters in each of the last two seasons.
Colton is the proud son of Melissa and Mark Pischke. He is also the proud younger brother of Maple Leaf Legend, Andrew Piscke (just finished his Freshman year at the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse) and the proud older brother of Addison who is currently in 7th grader. The 7th grade girls track team WON the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP last weekend and Addison was a critical contributor. Melissa is also our Booster Club President. Their contributions to the Geneseo Track & Field Program has been profound. God Bless each of you.
LEAFS CAPTURE LASALE-PERU SECTIONAL
Pictured are most of team moments after being crowned the LaSalle-Peru
“DYNAMIC DUO” LEAD LEAFS TO
On Wednesday, May 16th, the Leafs traveled to LaSalle-Peru’s Sports Complex to participate in the I.H.S.A. Sectional Meet. The field included teams from: Coal City, Fairbury (Prairie Central), Geneseo, Herscher, Joliet (Catholic Academy), Kankakee, Kewanee, LaSale-Peru, Morris, New Lenox (Providence Catholic), Peru (St. Bede), Pontiac, Princeton, Rock Island (Alleman), Sherrard, and Streator.
This was the first Sectional Meet that the Leafs have ever competed in that was held on a Wednesday night. Graduation ceremonies scheduled for both Thursday and Friday forced L-P to move the meet to Wednesday. Adaptability is the key to survival and with all the the adaptations our team has navigated with “Project Leaf” this was a “Piece of Cake”. To make it even better the weatherman decided to give us near perfect weather conditions with minimal winds and a daytime high of 83˚ with moderate humidity.
The Leafs ended up winning the meet totaling 87 points to outdistance future (fellow) Western Big Six Conference member, the Rock Island (Alleman) Pioneers, by 15 points. They were once again led by the “Dynamic Duo” Seniors Nick Swartzendruber & Reed Vanderheyden who each won two events and helped the 1600 Meter Relay Team to a qualifying 2nd place finish. Nick and Reed have enjoyed amazing careers at G.H.S. and it is fitting that their seasons will continue into the I.H.S.A. STATE MEET. They have already achieved 6 & 7 All-State Meet Medals in their high school careers. All the best of luck to them and their teammates.
Leading the team were the following State Meet Qualifiers: Blake Duncan (2nd place in the 1600 Meter Run); Nick Swartzendruber (1st place in both the 400 Meter Dash and the 800 Meter Run); and Reed Vanderheyden (1st place in both the 110 Meter High Hurdles & the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles.) Nick’s 400 Meter time of 49.21 is a new SCHOOL RECORD! This time, by the way, broke his own school record which he set earlier this season. Also joining in the fun were Reed Vanderheyden, Kaden Rink, Colton Pischke, and Nick Swartzendruber who placed 2nd in the 1600 Meter Relay and Spencer Lindstrom, Neo Colter, Blake Duncan, Kaden Rink who placed first in the 3200 Meter Relay. This relay team will be represented in the STATE MEET. The Leafs qualified team members in seven different events. The State Meet will be held over the weekend of Friday, May 25th and Saturday, May 26th on the Campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. Congratulations, Men! It should also be noted that the team would not have won the meet without the efforts of the entire team which included four critical 4th places finishes (4 points each) along with a 5th and 6th place finish also.
The following team members scored points for the team via their Top 6 Place Finish:
ERIC IS AN ANIMAL
Pictured is Sophomore Eric Verplaetse who was selected as this week’s
SOPHOMORE ERIC VERPLAETSE SELECTED AS
Sophomore Eric Verplaetse was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Sunday, May 6th through Saturday, May 12th. The award was created by Coach Deets and honors a team member, selected by the coaching staff, who has trained and competed at an extremely high level. Many team members were considered and ability level plays only a small role in the decision. All team members are eligible and the award is given on a weekly basis. During the week the team participated in the Moline F.S. Invitational on Monday, May 9th and on Friday, May 11th, in NIB-12 Conference Meet hosted by Yorkville.
Eric’s competition for the week began at the Moline F.S. Invitational, held on Monday, May 7th. He came into the meet on a roll having had an incredible week of practice under his belt and “riding” a “bigger stick”. AKA….he moved up a pole vault pole. Things didn’t go perfect for Eric on this night but he did place a respectable 6th clearing 8′ 06″, which was only 6″ (one height) below his lifetime best of 9′ 00″ that he attained at the U.T. J.V. Invitational the previous Tuesday. He followed that up with more solid improvements during the week and had Geneseo Pole Vault Coach Thomas Ryerson grinning from “ear to ear” heading into the NIB-12 Finals.
Onto that meet. The NIB-12 Finals were held on Friday, May 11th at Yorkville High School. The team was challenged with both a two hour bus trip and inclement weather conditions that saw the meet temperature hover around the 50˚ mark with a strong East wind blowing between 18-20 miles per hour. That was a nasty cross-wind by the way. The Maple Leaf Vaulters didn’t let that “get into their heads” and they proceeded to have a “Monster Night”. The Pole Vault was the only individual event that the Maple Leafs had ALL FOUR MEN place in the top 6 to earn All-Conference Honors. Eric’s lifetime best in competition was 9′ 00″ headed into the meet. He DESTROYED his personal best by jumping 11′ 00″ (yeah, that’s a TWO FOOT PERSONAL BEST.) I don’t think I’ve EVER seen anyone improve that much this late in the season. OH, BABY!!! And he is only a Sophomore (for a couple of weeks more at least.) His improvement is simply “Jaw-Dropping” and helped inspire the F.S. team to a SOLID 3rd place team showing even though a plethora of F.S. placers were “Up” on Varsity. I am sure the same was true for most of the teams but the fact remains that if we had kept all of the F.S. Team Members “Down” they would have won the meet. We were “All In” for the Varsity competition and have no regrets about that.
So what’s next, Eric? Hopefully, an off-season filled with a lot of Tuesday night vaulting with Coach Ryerson and Coach Wilson once June rolls around. Your improvement curve is staggering. The “Flying Verplaetse” brothers are alive and kicking with Andrew, Eric, and Will still in the program. Jacob is also still vaulting at the University of Iowa for their development club team after pulling a similar “Jaw-Dropper” last season when he qualified for the State Meet at the Rochelle Sectional Meet.
Eric is no stranger to athletics having participated in Middle School Track & Field, played soccer as a Freshman (Midfielder and Forward) and, of course, participated in track and field his Freshman year clearing 8′ 06″. Keep working hard and dreaming BIG! Try to attend the Tuesday night vaulting during the summer and fall and get ready to book another I.H.S.A. Verplaetse reservation for the STATE MEET. We are VERY proud of you, Eric. You have been working patiently for a long time and it is awesome to see all that hard work paying off. Eric is also a dedicated member of the G.H.S. Marching Band (he plays a MEAN Trumpet!)
Eric is the proud son of Jane and Dean Verplaetse. He is also the proud 2nd youngest of the 7 Verplaetse children. They include: Wyatt (28), Lauren (25), Luke (22), Jacob (just finished up his Freshman year at the University of Iowa), Andrew (current junior at G.H.S.) and Will (current 8th grader.) That’s right….there will be 3 “Flying Verplaetse” on the team next spring! How cool is that! God Bless you and your wonderful family, Eric.
TEAM SUPPORT FOR JOSH
Pictured are the team members who were still in attendance at the end of the meet. They are wearing a wristband in support of Rochester’s All-Stater, Josh Cable, who was seriously injured during a fire at his home. We have met Josh several times and he is a tremendous young man! We hope he heals completely and quickly.
LEAFS PLACE 5th IN NIB-12
On Friday, May 11th, the Leafs traveled to Yorkville to participate in the NIB-12 Track and Field Conference Championships. The Leafs entered the meet as the 3-time defending champions but knew they would have their hands full with the plethora of talent that exists in the NIB-12. The field included teams from: DeKalb, Geneseo, Kaneland, LaSalle–Peru, Morris, Ottawa, Rochelle, Sterling, Sycamore, and Yorkville. The weatherman gave us challenging conditions with a meet temperature that hovered around 50˚ but felt a lot colder due to the strong east winds that blew all meet long between 18-20 m.p.h.
Leading the team was Senior Nick Swartzendruber who won GOLD in both the 800 Meter Run and in the 400 Meter Dash. Those were to be the only two events the Leafs were able to capture in the highly competitive NIB-12. Also, leading the effort were: Colton Pischke, Kaden Rink, Peter Rizzo, and Nick Swartzendruber who placed a close 2nd in the 1600 Meter Relay. Colton Pischke and Reed Venderheyden also grabbed bronze (3rd) in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles, and the 110 Meter High Hurdles, respectfully. Reed “tweaked” his knee and it was an easy decision to pull him from his remaining two events. If “things” had gone better we would have ended up 2nd or 3rd but there was no catching the Maple Park Kaneland Knights in this meet. Now on to the I.H.S.A. Sectional Meet. Let’s see how many men the Leafs can qualify for a trip to the “Harvard of the Midwest”, Eastern Illinois University, who hosts the STATE FINALS. ALL THE BEST, MEN!!!
Leafs who contributed to the team score via their top 6 place finish are listed below:
LEAF VAULTERS ‘FLYIN’ HIGH”
Pictured are Eric Verpaetse, Cameron Darin, Coach Thomas Ryerson, Nate Clark-Holke, and Bruce Moore.
LEAFS PLACE 3rd IN NIB-12 F/S
On Friday, May 11th, the Leafs took a two hour bus trip to Yorkville to participate in the Annual NIB-12 Track and Field Championships. The field included teams from: DeKalb, Geneseo, Kaneland, LaSalle-Peru, Morris, Ottawa, Rochelle, Sterling, Sycamore, and Yorkville. The weatherman challenged us with a temperature that hovered around 50˚ with a cold east wind that blew all meet long between 18 and 20 mph.
The coaching staff went “All In” for the Varsity Meet by entering any freshman or sophomore that had any chance of scoring points in the Varsity Meet “UP” (in the Varsity Meet.) When the team scores were announced at the end of the cold and windy nigh,t we were pleasantly surprised to hear the out F.S. Team had placed a close 3rd despite the “All In” move. Simply put, the Leafs had one heck of a meet and would have easily won had they kept all of the freshmen and sophomore “down”. There is no doubt that other teams did the same thing but that doesn’t overshadow the tremendous meet the F.S. Team Enjoyed.
Leading the way were the following team members who placed in the top 3: Neo Colter (3rd in the 1600 Meter Run); Rylan Coons (3rd in the High Jump); Lucas Hofer (1st in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles & 2nd in the 110 Meter High Hurdles); and Dominic DeBoef, Sebastian Einfeldt, Ethan Holke, and Rafe Morrison who placed 2nd in the 1600 Meter Relay. It is safe to say that the future of Geneseo Track and Field is in GOOD HANDS!!! GREAT JOB, MEN!!!
Leafs who placed in the meet via their top 6 place finish are listed below:
MOLINE “GOLD MEDALISTS”
Row 1: Lucas Nicke, Nate Clark-Holke, William Plumley;
LEAFS CAPTURE MOLINE F.S. INVITE
On Monday, May 7th, the Leafs traveled to Moline’s Browning Field to participate in the 6-Team Moline F.S . Invitational. The field included teams from: Alleman, Erie/Prophetstown, Geneseo, Moline, Rock Island, and United Township. The meet format allowed for each team to enter 3 individuals per event and one relay.
The teams were treated to a delightful day with a light breeze and a daytime high of 82˚. The light wind disappeared as the meet moved into the later stages. A lot of Personal Bests were attained.
Leading the team to the overall title were the following individuals who “claimed Gold”: Nate Clark-Holke (Pole Vault), Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run), Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles), Kyle Hofer (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles), Jordan Seeley (200 Meter Dash), and Lucas Nicke, Colby Rapps, William Plumley, Spencer Lindstrom (3200 Meter Relay)
Team members who scored points for the team via their top 6 place finish are listed below:
“VANDERHURDLE” IS AN ANIMAL
Pictured is Senior Reed Vanderheyden who was selected as this week’s
SENIOR REED VANDERHEYDEN SELECTED AS
Senior Reed Vanderheyden was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Sunday, April 29th through Saturday, May 5th. The award was created by Coach Deets and honors a team member, selected by the coaching staff, who has trained and competed at an extremely high level. Many team members were considered and ability level plays only a small role in the decision. All team members are eligible and the award is given on a weekly basis. During the week the team participated in the United Township J.V. Invitational on Tuesday, May 1st and on Friday, May 4th, in Geneseo’s own John McCormick ABC Invitational.
Reeds’s competition for the week took place on Friday, May 4th, in Geneseo’s own John McCormick ABC Invitational. The meet is named after long Geneseo Hall of Fame Coach John McCormick. Reed participated in his four events and scored some huge points for the Maple Leafs to help the team grab “da bronze” trophy, in the highly competitive 2018 McCormick ABC Invite. The meet has grown by “leaps and bounds” and achieved the elevated status of “elite”. It is a pretty safe bet in stating that every single event will be represented in the I.H.S.A. STATE FINALS in just a few short weeks. That was not always the case. Placing 3rd as a team was a tremendous achievement. Well done Men!
“Captain Vanderheyden” got his night rolling by running the 2nd leg as a member of the Maple Leaf’s 400 Meter Relay Team. Reed ran the 2nd leg in 10.43r and helped the team record their fastest time of the season. That time would have won a lot of the previous meets. They “blistered the track” in a time of 44.10 and placed an impressive 4th overall. That’s 8 more points for the Maple Leafs.
Next up was the 110 Meter High Hurdles. Arguably, the premier event of the meet. Hurdles, in the State of Illinois have “exploded” and a plethora of talent has emerged. Reed “took his mark” as the number three seed. He “held it together” after “smacking” a few hurdles, and watching Christensen (Forreston-Polo) and Harrison (Dixon) both cross the finish line under fifteen flat. In fact, A.J. Christensen barely missed the meet record of 14.44 by a mere .02 of a second. What a race. Reed’s 3rd place finish provided the team with another critical 7 team points.
Up next was the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. Reed came in as the number one seed but both Christensen and Harrison were serious threats. The bottom line is trying to get the best competition we can for our team and provide them with “State Caliber” Competition. That is not an easy challenge but the hurdles, once again, lived up to it’s “Advertising” as all three men BROKE 39 SECONDS!!! That is insanely fast. Reed held the lead until late when Christensen flew past, breaking the meet record in the process, stopping the clock at 37.62. That is a IHSA Class A leader by TWO SECONDS. Reed just missed his own school record with a season best time of 38.16. WHAT A RACE!!! Maybe the best ever held on Geneseo soil.
Last up was the 1600 Meter Relay. The Leafs were seeded 4th off of their season best time of 3:30. That would change. Reed led off the team with a season best split of 49.94cr. His teammates (Kaden Rink, Colton Pischke, and Nick Swartzendruber) each ran bravely and saw the Leafs take a HUGE SIX SECONDS off of their season best time. It was AWESOME to watch. The teams time was good for 3rd in the “Star Studded Field” with a time of 3:24.02. That is the 9th fastest time in SCHOOL HISTORY with the top 8 all coming later in the season. To make that perfectly clear, no Geneseo team has ever run faster this early in the season. What a way to end the night.
Reed is a very special talent. He has experienced unparalleled success having already earned 7 All-State Awards, making him the most decorated athlete in program history (with his senior season to go.) The fact that his fellow “Dynamic Duo” Nick Swartzendruber has 6 himself makes this a magical time in Geneseo Track and Field History. There are TWO “Once in Career” caliber athletes on the team at the SAME TIME. How cool is that. The fact that they are good friends makes it even better. All the best in the coming weeks as we move into “Championship Meet Season”. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Ultimately, that’s the best part. You are a tremendous athlete and an even better person. I feel certain that you will never lose that 2nd part no matter how fast you will run down the road. Reed plans to take his skills way down south to Mississippi State University and compete in Track and Field. We are VERY PROUD of you.
Besides his success on “da oval” Reed is also an accomplished soccer player earning 3 varsity letters playing for “da Leafs” on “da Pitch” in “da Fall”. Reed is the proud son of Dana Mader and Gary Vanderheyden. He is also the proud “Baby Bro” of fellow “Vanderhurdler” and multiple All-Stater Hannah. Also, a special thank you goes out to “Pa Pa Bear”. Gary was instrumental in helping us get our F.A.T. system up and running. Simply put, the man is a amazing.
MAPLE LEAF “DYNAMIC DUO” LEAD LEAFS AGAIN
Pictured are Maple Leaf Senior Captains Reed Vanderheyden & Nick Swartzendruber.
LEAFS GRAB BRONZE AT
The Leafs placed 3rd as a team behind state-ranked Metamora (248) and Dixon (226.50.) The Leafs totaled 208 points to hold off a highly-inspired Forreston-Polo (190.50.) Coach Matthew Deets hails from Polo and the reason their team attended the meet is due to his older brother, Ryan, who coached there for several years before moving over to Dixon this year. Yea, “da Deets Bro’s” are outstanding coaches. Younger brother, Kyle, coaches the throws at Augustana College. They are all phenomenal coaches and even better men!
There were “All-Staters” sprinkled throughout the meet with a few events being “loaded”. Leading that list were both the Class A hurdle races where the Leaf’s Senior, Vanderheyden, battled to a 2nd place finish in the 110 Meter High Hurdles, and 2nd place finish in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. Fellow “Dynamic Duo” also threw down two tremendous individual efforts winning both the 800 Meter Run and 400 Meter Dash. They both helped out in the 400 Meter Relay and 1600 Meter Relay where the teams blew away their season best times. I could type all night. There were tremendous Maple Leaf efforts everywhere I looked. It was also impressive to see the team “step up” and help Geneseo run a high quality meet that “flowed nicely” due to a lot of hard work by the entire team.
Leading the team were the following “Gold Medalists”: Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run-C), Jack Morrell (Pole Vault-C), Kaden Rink (800 Meter Run-B), Andrew Rizzo (300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles), Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash-A), and Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run-A.)
Leafs who scored points for the team in the meet via their top 6 place finish are listed below:
LEAFS HELP CHRISTEN U.T.’s NEW TRACK
Pictured are Geneseo Seniors: Nathan Lambert, Cameron Darin, and Jack Morrell.
LEAFS WIN U.T.H.S. J.V. INVITE
On Tuesday, May 1st, the Leafs traveled to East Moline’s Soul Bowl to participate in the Annual United Township J.V. Invitational. The field included teams from: Alleman, Galesburg, Geneseo, Moline, Rock Island, & United Township. Due to the incredibly bad spring weather that we have all had to deal with, this was the first high school meet that U.T. has hosted EVER at their brand new facility. The weatherman tried to make up for it with a daytime high of 85˚. There was a strong 15-20 mph south wind blowing for most of the meet making the homestretch a challenge. The wind did die a bit as the meet progressed but it was still blowing.
We certainly didn’t try to load up to score points. We simply wanted to provide opportunities for team members to compete. We left our “Big Dogs” home to workout with Coach Deets and Coach Roome before they drove over. The team enjoyed a great night nailing a plethora of Personal Bests. When the “dust had settled”, the Leafs had scored 173 points to win the team title. Leading the charge were the following Gold Medalists: Eli Allen (Discus), Ricardo Chavez-Sanchez (3200 Meter Run), Nate Clark-Holke (Pole Vault), William Plumley (1600 Meter Run), Peter Rizzo (400 Meter Dash), Christian Booth, Peter Rizzo, Luke Nicke, Rafe Morrison (3200 Meter Relay.)
Other notable achievements included the participation of Gavin McGuire who is rebounding from pneumonia. He is one tough dude. He was still attending practice and school before he was diagnosed. Some students stay home with a runny nose! Also included was the career debut of juniors Nathan Carroll and Andrew Rizzo in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. Andrew ran so fast that he is now racing in the C Division of the McCormick Invite on Friday! Neither man had ever even practiced the event before today but begged Coach Deets to try it. Why Not!!! Lastly, but certainly not least was the effort of Senior Distance Man, Adam Wells, who battled bravely to win his heat by a nose! Great Stuff, Men!!! Those are but a few of the brave efforts the Leafs “threw down”.
Team members who scored points in the meet via their top 6 place finishes are listed below:
“SPENCE” IS AN ANIMAL
Pictured is Sophomore Spencer Lindstrom who was selected as this week’s
SOPHOMORE SPENCER LINDSTROM SELECTED AS
Sophomore Spencer Lindstrom was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Sunday, April 22nd through Saturday, April 28th. The award was created by Coach Deets and honors a team member, selected by the coaching staff, who has trained and competed at an extremely high level. Many team members were considered and ability level plays only a small role in the decision. All team members are eligible and the award is given on a weekly basis. During the week the team participated in the Geneseo F.S. Invitational on Tuesday, April 24th and on Friday, April 27th, in the Pekin Invitational.
Spencer’s competition began on Tuesday, April 24th, as he and Sophomore Teammate, Neo Colter, each “doubled” by running the 800 Meter Run and the 1600 Meter Run. That is a challenging double but the boys were up to it as we attempted to maximize potential team points as the Leafs were “All In” to try and win their home meet. Spencer ran a season best in the 800 Meter Run placing a strong 2nd as he ran 2:11.00. He followed that up with another strong race as he dropped a 4:56.54 to grab 4th place in the highly competitive sophomore 1600 Meter Run. Spencer scored a huge 12 team points all by himself. Well done, Spence.
His competition for the week concluded at the Pekin Invitational where he was asked to run both the 3200 Meter Relay and the 1600 Meter Run. Spencer ran the 3rd leg of the 3200 Meter Relay in a lifetime best split of 2:05.94cr. That dropped over 5 seconds off his season best. Spencer ran a great race and looked “silky smooth” in doing so. Coach Moe mentioned that Spencer’s smooth stride reminds him of the great Evan Jager from Illinois (World Champion in the 3000 Meter Steeplechase.) Spencer helped the team place 2nd to a tremendous Normal West squad and grab a vital 8 team points as the team hoped to make it FOUR Pekin Dragon Invitational Championships in a Row. The team was off and rolling. Spencer then doubled back in the 1600 Meter Run where he placed 8th overall in 4:50.10 just missing his personal best, set the week before at the Rock Island ABC Invitational in 4:49.84. Considering the 20 mph WNW winds that he had to battle in Pekin, I feel certain that this was a far greater performance based on his effort. What a night.
Spencer is still quite young to the sport. This is his 3rd season as a distance runner. He played golf freshmen year and then came out for track. He ended up running with the distance guys and by the end of the season had taken his Personal Bests all the way down to 2:12/4:58/11:36. He followed that up by joining our cross country team the next fall where he enjoyed a strong season, despite a few injuries. He has become a critical member of our team who truly understands what it means to apply the powerful combination of “Passion and Purpose” to all chosen endeavors. Keep up the great work, Spence. It is both an honor and privilege to be one of your coaches. All the best in the coming weeks. DREAM BIG and try and make a “Date with State”. Then you can follow that up with a “date” with “da wife” ( LeighAnn) and her cute puppy.
Spencer is a highly motivated individual who has clawed his way through hard work and dedication in every endeavor he has ever attempted. He has already earned his 3rd Varsity Letter in Athletics (not too bad for a sophomore) and has reached the lofty rank of Life Scout in Boys Scouts as he continues to pursue his “Eagle”. As I mentioned, this is no “ordinary” young man. Keep the fire burning, Spence. Keep paying the price that excellence demands and keep DREAMING BIG! It is an honor to be one of your coaches. All the best in the coming weeks. Please avoid Rock Climbing for a while.
Spencer is the proud son of Jody and Thad Lindstrom. He is also the proud “Baby Bro” to older sister, Devan. It’s hard to believe that you are almost a junior….where does time go??? Get ready to help your elected captains lead the team both next fall and beyond. You don’t need a “Captain’s Start” to be an impactful leader. This team is headed for greatness and you are a key part of that. You have the “It Factor”. Now lace ’em up and get ready to destroy your Personal Bests. Included in that journey is a trip to the State Finals THIS Spring. God’s speed!!!
LEAFS MINE PEKIN GOLD
Pictured are the team members who stayed for the whole meet. Included is the team trophy
LEAFS CLAIM 4TH STRAIGHT PEKIN DRAGON INVITE
On Friday, April 27th, the Leafs traveled to Pekin’s Memorial Stadium to participate in the 30th Annual Dragon Invitational. The field included teams from: East Peoria, Geneseo, Limestone, Macomb, Peoria Manual, Morton, Normal West, Springfield Lanphier, Peoria Notre Dame, Pekin, Peoria Richwoods, and Washington. The weatherman gave us a daytime high of 65˚ with 10-15 mph west mph winds. Around 4:30 p.m., a cold front rolled through and dropped the temperature a good 10-15 degrees and kicked up the winds to 20-25 mph with gusts stronger than that. Athletes were forced to battle a significant wind on the north curve and down the homestretch. It was certainly not a night to run fast. Unfortunately, all of the jumping events had to compete against a head wind also.
Leading the team to the Leafs 4th Straight Pekin Dragon Invitational Title were the teams “Dynamic Duo” of Nick Swartzendruber and Reed Vanderheyden. Nick anchored the 400 Meter Relay to a season best time of 44.50, won the 800 Meter Run in a solo 1:58.98, came back only 19 minutes later to win a highly contested 400 Meter Dash in 50.10, and then anchored the Leafs 1st Place 1600 Meter Relay which also ran a season best time (3:30.49.) Reed had a great meet as well as he ROARED to victory in both the 110 Meter High Hurdles (15.64) and in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles (39.75.) Reed contributed strong legs in both the 400 Meter Relay (2nd Leg) and in the 1600 Meter Relay (1st Leg) with both relays running season best times. Reed and Nick were joined on the “Gold Medal” winning 1600 Meter Relay by junior Kaden Rink (2nd leg) and Colton Pischke (3rd Leg.) Also, in the non-scored 400 Meter Weightmen’s Relay, the Leafs claimed “da Big Cookie” with a winning time of 51.44c. The team consisted of: Joe Stohl, Eli Allen, Tucker Ziegenhorn, and Alex McAvoy.
Everyone was disappointed that most of the performances were not better. I would argue that we had a PLETHORA of season best EFFORTS. The only thing that limited the performances was the STRONG W.N.W. that never left. It may have died a bit by the end of the meet but it was still quite challenging. Fear not, Leafs. A calm night and great performances is coming and you will be ready to SMASH your Personal Bests.
Leafs who scored team points via their top 6 place finish are listed below:
LEAFS WIN GENESEO F.S. INVITATIONAL
Pictured are most of the F/S team members ….OUR FUTURE!!!
BALANCED ATTACK LEADS LEAFS TO WIN
On Tuesday, April 24th, the Leafs hosted their annual F/S Invitational. The meet format mandated that each athlete compete against athletes in the same grade. Relays were an exception for this as teams could enter any combination of freshmen or sophomores. We feel strongly that it important to give the younger members of each team a chance to go “toe-to-toe” with athletes in the same grade level. It is a win/win with every team benefiting.
The weatherman provided us with beautiful weather with a daytime high of 75˚. There was a brisk north wind blowing between 10 to 15 miles per hour. The temperature dropped a but as the meet progressed but it was still quite pleasant when the meet concluded around 8:00 p.m. The field included teams from: Alleman, Bettendorf, Galesburg, Geneseo, Kewanee, LaSalle-Peru, Moline, Princeton, Rock Falls, Rock Island, Sterling, and United Township.
These young men are the future of Maple Leaf Track and Field and oh boy, does that future ever look good! Leading the team were the following first place finishers: Nate Clark-Holke (Pole Vault-09), Kyle Hofer (110 Meter High Hurdles-10 & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles-10), Rafe Morrison (800 Meter Run-09), William Plumley (3200 Meter Run-09), Tucker Ziegenhorn (Discus-10), and Lucas Hofer, Jerry Green, Jordan Seeley, Mason Jones (400 Meter Relay.)
The Leafs were led by the following men who scored points for the team via their top 6 place finish:
THE “GREEN MACHINE” IS AN ANIMAL
Pictured is Sophomore Jerry Green who was selected as this week’s
SOPHOMORE JERRY GREEN SELECTED AS
Sophomore Jerry Green was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Sunday, April 15th through Saturday, April 21st. The award was created by Coach Deets and honors a team member, selected by the coaching staff, who has trained and competed at an extremely high level. Many team members were considered and ability level plays only a small role in the decision. All team members are eligible and the award is given on a weekly basis. During the week the team participated in the Moline J.V. Invitational on Tuesday, April 17th and on Friday, April 20th, in the Rock Island ABC Invitational.
Jerry’s competition for the week began in the 400 Meter Relay where he anchored the team to a Gold Medal Finish as they ran 46.33. Jerry split an impressive 11.97 (how long he carried the baton) and helped the relay team to claim the win. Next up was the 100 Meter Dash. This event went south for him as his blocks appeared to slip and a restart was not called (a second starter’s pistol to stop the race.) Jerry gave it his best effort (he always does) running a time of 12.41 that saw him place 18th overall in the sprint-heavy field. Jerry continued his evening by anchoring the 800 Meter Relay to 2nd place with an inspiring 23.96 split that saw the team’s clock stop at 1:38.45. Jerry concluded his evening by anchoring the 1600 Meter Relay A-Team to another first place finish. The weather was cold and the wind was howling by the time this event was contested. Jerry ran another inspiring race as he spit a time of 58.14cr. I feel pretty confident that he slept well and certainly brought a huge smile to the face of his “wife” Emily “EM ROB” Roberts. Jerry’s efforts helped lead his team to the team title. Well done, Jerry!!!
Next up was an opportunity to race in the highly competitive Rock Island ABC Invitational. Ranked as one of the Top Invitationals State-Wide! Unlike all of the other A.B.C. Invitationals that the Leafs participate in, the “Rocky” A.B.C. Invite only runs A Relays. Thus, it is much tougher to crack the line-up. Jerry has earned “his stripes” both in competition and in practice. He raced twice on the night. First up was 800 Meter F/S Medley Relay. The event consists of the team members running 100 meters, 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters. Jerry drew the “long straw” as he anchored the team with a tremendous 400 Meter Split of 55.84cr to help the team place 7th, barely missing a top six finishing medal. Great Stuff. Jerry also ran a leg on the Maple Leaf 800 Meter Relay. He ran the 3rd leg in 24.25h split to help the team place 10th overall.
Jerry has a tremendous work ethic and an even bigger smile. The bottom line is this young man knows what it takes to become a “Champion” and is more than willing to “Pay the Price”. Jerry oozes “Passion and Purpose” in everything he does. He is one of the leaders of our F/S Team and oh, what a future they have. Keep up the hard work, Jerry! It makes all of your success even sweeter. You already know that there are no short cuts to success. Only an unwavering commitment will get the job done and you have already learned that lesson. This world has far too many followers and not enough leaders. YOU ARE A LEADER!!! Keep ‘Dreaming BIG”. All the best in the remaining weeks of this season and beyond.
Jerry is no stranger to the “Big Stage”. He has already earned his 2nd straight Varsity Letter in Track and Field. He also claimed a Varsity Letter for the Geneseo Football Team where our “Green Machine” helped “da Green Machine” both at Defensive End and at Fullback! That’s right, he plays both Offense and Defense! To top it off he was also a key member of the Maple Leaf Sophomore Basketball Team where he plays Center. Jerry is a true 3-Sport Athlete.
Jerry is the proud son of Katy and Jason Green. He is also the proud older brother of Elijiah (current 7th grader) and Noah (current 3rd grader.) It is an honor to be one of your coaches. You are a tremendous athlete and an even better person. Stay true to your “calling”. All the best.
DISTANCE NIGHT IN PALATINE
Pictured are Maple Leaf Senior Nick Swartzendruber and Junior Josie Brown
On Saturday, April 21st, Senior Nick Swartzendruber and Junior Josie Brown traveled to Palatine, Illinois (Northwest Chicago Suburb) to participate in the 3rd annual “Distance Night in Palatine”. The meet is the “brainchild” of former Maple Leaf Head XC and Track and Field Coach Jeff Quick’s oldest son, Chris, who is the Head XC coach at Palatine High School. During his tenure, his teams have earned numerous state trophies including a State Championship in 2011. Chris and Girls Coach Joseph Parks decided to host an elite distance event in the Midwest during the Track Season. Up until the implementation of this meet, athletes were forced to travel to California to compete in-season at elite meets.
This was our first trip to the meet and it was well worth the trip. There were hundreds of athletes from around the Midwest in attendance and all of the events were loaded with current and future All-Staters. In fact, State Champions can be added to that statement. It was an honor to be a part of such a prestigious event and we hope to continue that tradition in the future.
Josie got things started with the B-Section of the the Girls 800 Meter Run which took off at 7:40 p.m.. The temperature was 46˚ with a 5 mph wind. The conditions were PERFECT. She ran a tough race going out in 69 seconds and finishing with an excellent time of 2:26.03, placing 34th overall in the star-studded field.
Nick toed the line at 9:07 p.m. Last year’s race went out in 54 seconds with the last runner rolling by the 400 in 56 seconds. Knowing Nick’s strength is in his kick, we advised him to “sit and kick”. Shockingly, the race turned tactical early and the leaders passed the 400 in a pedestrian 59 seconds. Everyone was closely bunched and Nick was a click under 60 seconds. He did a great job of not panicking. He moved hard on the backstretch and ended up going “negative”. His final time was 1:57.75 placed 7th in the Elite field and ended up 9th overall.
Both Josie and Nick were hoping for more but the bottom line is they both gained valuable “Big Meet” experience which is priceless. Bring on Championship Meet Season!!!!
ROCK ISLAND GOLD
Pictured is Senior Reed Vanderheyden winning the 110 Meter High Hurdles
LEAFS 7TH AT ROCKY ABC INVITE
On Friday, April 20th, the Leafs traveled to Rock Island Public Stadium to participate in the 34th Annual Rock Island Boys ABC Track and Field Invitational. The weatherman gave us a beautiful day with a daytime high of 58˚ with light winds. It did cool down a bit as the meet progressed but considering the brutal spring weather that we have had thus far, it felt like we were in Hawaii. The tremendous field included teams from: Alleman, Bartlett, Geneseo, Homewood-Flossmoor, Machesney Park Harlem, Moline, Naperville Central, Peoria High, Plainfield East, Rock Island, Thornton Fractional North, and United Township.
The team was led by Senior Reed Vanderheyden who claimed two “Gold Medals” in the highly competitive “A” Division by winning both the 110 Meter High Hurdles, and the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles and Junior Colton Pischke who captured the same events in the B Division. The 400 Meter Weightmen’s relay team of Joe Stohl, Eli Allen, Tucker Ziegenhorn, and Alex McAvoy also claimed 1st place. It was a non-scored event but a thrilling one, none the less. The team ended up in 7th place, one point behind 6th place Rock Island. That was with Nick Swartzendruber only running the 400 Meter Relay and the 400, saving a bit for Saturday’s Distance Night in Palatine. Also, fellow “Dynamic Duo”, Reed Vanderheyden, had been out of school three days due to illness. He ran great in the 400 Meter Relay, and both hurdles. We felt it would be wise to hold him out of the 1600 Meter Relay. We were proud of everyone’s efforts and feel confident as we move closer to Championship Meet Season were we hope to be at our best.
Leafs who scored points for the team via their top 6 place finish are listed below:
Pictured are the Maple Leafs who won their events at the Moline JV Inv.
LEAFS WIN MOLINE J.V. INVITE
On Tuesday, April 17, the Leafs traveled to Moline’s Browning Field to participate in the Moline Junior Varsity Invite. The field included teams from: Alleman, Galesburg, Geneseo, Moline, Rock Island, and United Township. The weatherman teased us with a daytime high of 51˚ with a 10-15 mph north wind. The temperature nose-dived as the meet progressed and by the end it was in the 30’s. Just another typical “spring day” in 2018. The real spring has to be planning to come for good sometime soon. The news report yesterday stated that thus far, this has been the 2nd coldest April since they started keeping records. The coldest was 1888.
On to the good stuff. The team had a great meet full of inspiring performances and ended up winning the meet scoring 141 points. United Township was 2nd with 109 points.. Leading the way were “Gold Medalists”: Nate Clark-Holke (Pole Vault); Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run); Spencer Lindstrom (3200 Meter Run); Peter Rizzo (800 Meter Run); Kyle Hofer, Jordan Seeley, Mason Jones, Jerry Green (400 Meter Relay); and Kade Coons, Sebastian Einfeldt, Neo Colter, Jerry Green (1600 Meter Relay.)
Team members who scored points in the meet via their top 6 place finish are listed below:
“NASTY” IS AN ANIMAL
Pictured is Senior Nick Swartzendruer who was selected as this week’s
SENIOR NICK SWARTZENDRUBER SELECTED AS
Senior Nick Swartzendruber was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Sunday, April 8th through Saturday, April 14th. The award was created by Coach Deets and honors a team member, selected by the coaching staff, who has trained and competed at an extremely high level. Many team members were considered and ability level plays only a small role in the decision. All team members are eligible and the award is given on a weekly basis. During the week the team participated in a dual meet with Galesburg on Tuesday, April 10th and on Friday, April 13th, in the Galesburg ABC Invitational.
Nick got his week started on Tuesday, April 10th as the Leafs hosted the Galesburg Silver Streaks. The meet was run using two divisions (Varsity and F.S.) Nick started his meet duty by anchoring the Maple Leaf 400 Meter Relay to victory with a strong performance. His “split” was 11.03. That means that he carried the baton for that amount of time. He followed that up with the 800 Meter Run. There was only one other Varsity runner in the race. After being told that fellow Maple Leaf, Kaden Rink, had gone out in 58 seconds during his come-from-behind win in the 3200 Meter Relay, Nick dropped the whole crowds’ jaws when he rolled through the 400 in 56 seconds on his way to a steller 1:58.06 in the 800 Meter Run. He won the race by 25 seconds and it was both a season best and a state class performance. Nick concluded his meet by roaring to a lead-off leg of 50.34cr in the Maple Leafs 1600 Meter Relay
Next up was the Galesburg ABC Invitational held on Friday, April 13th. Nick started his meet duty by anchoring the 400 Meter Relay to a season best time of 44.87. His “split” was 11.21 The team placed 4th in the field. Up next was the 400 Meter Dash where “Nasty” went out hard and just kept going. We didn’t find out his time for quite a while as the meet was suspended due to a lightning and rain delay. His official time was 49.28 seconds. A new SCHOOL RECORD. He bested the previous school record of Mike Vandevelde of 49.30 set in the 1991 IHSA State Meet. Nick then anchored the Maple Leaf 1600 Meter Relay to a first place finish with a great split o 49.84cr in the rain and wind. To put it lightly, he had quite a night!!!
Nick is half of the “Dynamic Duo”. He and Reed “Vanderhurdle” Vanderheyden have already collected 13 State Medals between them (with this year’s state meet to go.) They are the most decorated athletes in School History. It is the dream to have an athlete the caliber of Nick or Reed once in a career. To have both of them on the SAME team is almost beyond belief. We will certainly enjoy and cherish the remaining weeks of their high school careers.
Nick plans to attend Illinois State University where he will participate in Track and Field. Keep working hard and dreaming BiG! Every race is a learning opportunity. Keep putting “money in the bank” both in practice and in race situations. Build up a large “account” and then get ready to make a HUGE” withdrawal” when Championship Meet Season rolls around. Also, don’t forget to “enjoy the ride”.
Nick is no stranger to the “Big Stage”. He has stared for the Maple Leafs as a key member of the Green Machine Football team both as a linebacker (where he earned his nickname of “Nasty” for his vicious hits”) and as a 2-Back on offense. Nick is the proud son Jody Swartzendurber-Thomas and the late Jason Swartzendruber. He is a the proud Step-Son of former Maple Leaf Star and current Geneseo Teacher and Coach Bob Thomas. Nick is blessed with multiple siblings who include: Joe (Current Senior at the University of Iowa), Logan (current Sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Platville, Sam (current Freshman at Indiana State University), Jane (current Senior at GHS), and Mary (current Sophomore at GHS.) All the best in the coming weeks. Thank you for helping to make the past four years the most successful in GHS Track History. Let’s go out with a BANG!!!
“NASTY” TAKES DOWN
Pictured is senior Nick Swartzendruber who broke the GHS School Record in the 400 Meter Dash
LEAFS GRAB 2ND AT GALESBURG ABC INVITE
On Friday, April 13th, the Leafs traveled to Galesburg’s VanDyke Stadium to participate in the 9th annual Streak ABC Invitational. The field included teams from: Bartonville-Limestone, Canton, Galesburg, Geneseo, Monmouth-Roseville, Morton, Peoria High, and United Township. The weatherman gave us a “mixed bag” with some rain, some wind, and some lightning. The good thing is all of this occurred with the temperature in the 60”s for most of the meet.
The Leafs and the U.T.H.S. Panthers matched performances all night long with both teams soaring over the 300 point team total. When the “dust” had settled (and the 5 remaining teams waited out a one hour lightning delay) U.T. had won the meet 336.50 to 320.50. Not far behind were the team hosting Galesburg Silver Streaks with 278 points. Galesburg and Coach Hillier and his staff always put on a first class meet and Friday night was exactly that. All this on Friday the 13th!!!
Leading the team effort were the “Dynamic Duo” of Seniors Nick Swartzendruber and Reed Vanderheyden. Nick broke the 27 year old school record of Mike Vandevelde (set in 1991) with a solo 49.28 in the 400 Meter Dash. His time is the 2nd fastest in the 2A State Rankings (according to Athletic.Net.) Not to be outdone, Reed blasted a time of 38.85 winning the 300 Intermediate Hurdles (State Leading) 38.85. That is for ALL 3 classes. They weren’t done there. Reed also won the 110 Meter High Hurdles and 200 Meter Dash (all in the A Division) while Nick anchored the 3200 Meter Relay to victory (with a 1:58 split) and then anchored our first place 1600 Meter Relay (sub 50) all in the A Division also. They were joined by the following individuals who claimed gold in the meet: Spencer Lindstrom (C Division 1600 Meter Run); Jack Morrell (C Division Pole Vault); Colton Pischke (B Division 110 Meter High Hurdles); Colton Pischke (B Division 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); William Plumley (B Diviison 3200 Meter Run); Colby Rapps (C Division 3200 Meter Run); Luke Sebastian (B Division 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles); Joe Stohl, Eli Allen, Alex McAvoy, Tucker Ziegenhorn (400 Meter Weightmen’s Relay); Kade Coons, Billy Cosgrave, Dominic DeBoef, Nathan Lambert (B Division 800 Meter Relay); Nathan Carroll, Peter Rizzo, Kaden Rink, Nick Swartzendruber (A Division 1600 Meter Relay); Kade Coons, Ethan Holke, Billy Cosgrave, Jerry Green (B Division 1600 Meter Relay); Blake Duncan, Spencer Lindstrom, Kaden Rink, Nick Swartzendruber (A Division 3200 Meter Relay); and Andrew Rizzo, Christian Booth, Luke Sebastian, Peter Rizzo (B Division 3200 Meter Relay.)
Team members who scored points for the Leafs via their top 6 place finish are listed below:
TEAM DINNER 1
Pictured are Jeslen Rink, Kari Rink, Sarah Stohl, and Jill Darin
HOW DO YOU FEED OVER 80 TEAM MEMBERS?
On Thursday, April 12th, the team was treated to a delicious meal provided by the Track Booster Club. Mrs. Kari Rink, her daughter Jeslen, Mrs. Sarah Stohl, and Mrs. Jill Darin were the hosts. There wasn’t much left after “da boys” rolled through the line. I am typing this Sunday night and the fuel that they provided the team worked. The team performed at an extremely high level on Friday, April 13th. I am certain that there is a correlation. Thank you for all the hard work that went into preparing and serving the delicious food. The fellowship was also special. We can hardly wait for the next one. TY!!!
“SENIOR PRIDE RIDES INSIDE”
Pictured are 12 of the Leafs’ 18 Seniors.
LEAFS WIN GALESBURG DUAL
On Tuesday, April 10th, the Leafs played host to the Galesburg Silver Streaks. Traditionally, both team have participated in the Rock Island J.V. Invitational on this date. We thought that have a two level (Varsity and F/S) dual meet would be a great option for both teams this early in the season. The meet lasted half the time and allowed us to contest our 2nd boys meet at our brand new facility. Entries were unlimited so every team member that was available for both teams was offered the opportunity to compete. We used the meet as a high quality workout and didn’t worry about the team score. Galesburg did the same thing.
It may seam hard to believe but this was the last time that several of Geneseo’s will ever compete on Geneseo soil as a Maple Leaf. We do have two remaining home meets but we are limited in regard to entries. One of these meets is our annual F/S Invitational (no juniors or seniors) and the other is our annual John McCormick ABC Invitational on Friday, May 4th this year.
The weatherman gave us a great day considering what we’ve had to deal with thus far as we have endured a BRUTALLY cold and wet spring to date. The daytime high was 46˚ and there was a significant southwest wind of 10-15 mile per hour that dropped as the meet progressed. We had NO rain. Overall, we’ll take it and smile.
Leading the team were the following individuals and teams that claimed “Gold” via their first place finish: Blake Duncan (1600 Meter Run), Nathan Lambert (High Jump), Kaden Rink (400 Meter Dash), Jordan Seeley (100 Meter Dash), Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run), Reed Vanderheyden (110 Meter High Hurdles & 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles), Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault), Colton Pischke, Reed Vanderheyden, Mason Jones, Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Relay), Nathan Carroll, Will McKelvain, Max Bealer, Nathan Lambert (800 Meter Relay), and Nick Swartzendruber, Kaden Rink, Mason Jones, Nathan Carroll (1600 Meter Relay.)
Team members who scored points in the meet are listed below:
Pictured are: Tanner Burgett, Nate Clark-Holke, and Eric Verplaetse
LEAFS WIN F/S DUAL AGAINST GALESBURG
On Tuesday, April 10th, the Leafs played host to Galesburg. The meet was run as a Varsity – F/S meet, with two levels of competition. This is the 3rd time we have used this format in a dual or triangular meet this season. It offers a win/win situation for each team, allowing athletes who would not have placed in a “combined” meet to score some team points. We have taken a step “back in time” following the way meets used to be run. Not everything that is done in today’s world is necessarily for the better. I believe this is one of these situations.
The team swept 8 of the 14 individual events going 1-2-3. I tried to grab all of those men for a picture but between the challenging weather, varying practice schedules, and athlete attendance the opportunity never presented itself. The events were: the 100 Meter Dash: (Jerry Green, William Venneberg, Gavin McGuire); 200 Meter Dash: (Jerry Green, Brenden Hipkins, Sebastian Einfeldt); 110 Meter Hurdles: (Kyle Hofer, Mick Mooney..only two runner ran); High Jump: (Jaycob Norton, Rylan Coons, Ethan Welfer); Pole Vault: (Nate Clark-Holke, Tanner Burgett, Eric Verplaetse); Long Jump: (Cade Backes, Dominic DeBoef, William Venneberg); Triple Jump: (Brenden Hipkins, Ethan Welfer, Logan Hansen); and the Discus: (Eli Allen, Rob Stohl, Matt Kozemski.)
Leading the team were the following individuals who scored points in the meet:
“MAC” IS AN ANIMAL
Pictured is Junior Alex McAvoy who was selected as this week’s
JUNIOR ALEX MCAVOY SELECTED AS
Junior Alex McAvoy was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Sunday, April 1st through Saturday, April 7th. The award was created by Coach Deets and honors a team member, selected by the coaching staff, who has trained and competed at an extremely high level. Many team members were considered and ability level plays only a small role in the decision. All team members are eligible and the award is given on a weekly basis. During the week the team was scheduled to participate in a Quadrangular Meet in Rock Falls on Tuesday, April 3rd and on Saturday, April 7th in the UTHS ABC Invitational. Due to a nasty week of weather that made it seem more like January than February, both scheduled meets were canceled. The UTHS ABC Meet was scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 7th and it was only 21˚ with a wind chill well below that. Both Rock Falls and UTHS made the correct call.
Alex’s week consisted of practicing when the weather allowed it and space was available. We are lucky to have our indoor “Facility” but have to share it with the five other spring sports. Thus, availability is limited. We, of course, realize how lucky we are to have any indoor options at all. Most schools our size (800-ish) have NOTHING! To make this season more challenging, the lack of grass (it’s still dirt) in our high school throwing areas have forced us to move to the Middle School Throwing areas. They have one Shot Put circle and one Discus cage. The end result is sharing this highly coveted area with a large middle school boys throwing squad, a large middle school girls throwing squad, and a large high school girls throwing squad has made this a challenging season for all of the Geneseo throwers and coaches. Ultimately, this is a great problem. It has been caused by the construction of a new football stadium, football field, 8-lane track, two east-west long jump and triple jump pits, high jump apron, an east-west pole vault runway, and two new discus cages. When the grass comes in we will have one of the top high school facilities in northwestern Illinois.
Back to our “Animal”. Why did I share all of the above information? To help explain why we are a bit behind schedule in regard to performances. The weather has to break soon. However, as I type this (Sunday, 4-15-2018) we are expecting 1-2 inches of snow. The normal high is SIXTY-ONE DEGREES!!! I have been swamped so that is why it has taken a while to get this article finished. On Tuesday, April 10th, Alex threw a season best 125′ 00″ in the Discus to go with a best of 42′ 07″ in the Shot Put. Alex has been our top discus thrower all season. This is no surprise considering how he ended his sophomore season by blasting at FOURTEEN FOOT Personal Best at the NIB-12 to place 2nd in the Discus in the freshmen/sophomore division with a monster throw of 136′ 00″. Alex has big goals for this season and beyond and has shared with me that he hopes to compete at the collegiate level as a thrower. Keep up the hard work, Alex. It will pay off. Also, keep up the great job of helping elected Throws Captain, Joe Stohl, lead the throws squad each and every day. We have a HUGE group and Coach Anthony Roome greatly appreciates the help both you and “Stolly” supply on a daily basis. Keep dreaming BIG!!! What really matters in this sport is how we perform when “Championship Meet Season” rolls around. You have already demonstrated that you are a “Big Meet” performer.
Alex is no stranger to success. This will be his 3rd straight VARSITY LETTER in track (3 for 3.) He has also earned two Varsity letters in Football as a star for the Green Machine on the gridiron playing “both ways” as a fullback and a defensive end. He also is a member of the Maple Leaf Bowling Team and has a lifetime best of 180. He plans to destroy that next winter by CRUSHING the 200 point barrier. Alex is the proud son of Holly and Jeff McAvoy. He is also the proud older brother of 8th grader Nathan. All the best in the coming weeks, Alex. It is an honor to be one of your coaches. You possess the omnipotent combination of both Passion and Purpose. As great of an athlete as you are, you are an even better person. Your smile and laugh are infectious and you literally “light up a room” when you enter it. God Bless!!!
U.T.H.S. INVITATIONAL CANCELED
I wanted to notify you all directly that we are cancelling the Kiwanis Invite this year due to forecasted temperatures. The hourly forecast doesn’t have the temperature rising above the freezing mark until after 12:00, and only reaching a high of 39. Temps will be in the low to mid 20s while field events will be competing. While I am hesitant to trust the weather man with 48 hours of possible change, my hope is that by making the decision today, you can better utilize the next two days of training.
To those we won’t see for the rest of the season, best of luck. Hopefully we will have better conditions next year.
ROCK FALLS QUADRANGULAR OFF
Due to predicted bad weather, the team will NOT participate in Tuesday’s meet IF it is held.
NEO IS AN ANIMAL
Pictured is Sophomore Neo Colter who was selected as this week’s
SOPHOMORE NEO COLTER SELECTED AS
Sophomore Neo Colter was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Sunday, March 25th through Saturday, March 31st. The award was created by Coach Deets and honors a team member, selected by the coaching staff, who has trained and competed at an extremely high level. Many team members were considered and ability level plays only a small role in the decision. All team members are eligible and the award is given on a weekly basis. During the week the team participated in a Triangular with LaSalle-Peru and Sterling on Tuesday, March 29th. The meet offered athletes two levels of competition with Varsity and F.S. levels offered. Athletes were allowed to move “up and down” but not in the same event.
Neo’s meet began with the Varsity 3200 Meter Run. He ran a strong race and placed a strong 3rd behind teammate Blake Duncan and L-P’s Logan Johnson who are both very strong runners. Neo’s time of 11:05 was run with a strong 15-20 mph north wind. Not a great night to run the 3200 but Neo never said a negative word. That’s not his style. In fact, his positive attitude and tremendous work ethic are key reasons as to why he has already been selected by his cross country teammates as a 2018 Captain even though he will only we a junior. Neo ran an aggressive race, hanging for as long as he could. He rolled by the 1600 in a respectfully 5:17. Great effort, Neo.
He was next in action in the F.S. 1600 Meter Run which was run in conjunction with the Varsity race to speed up the meet on a cool evening. Neo ran with tremendous confidence. He hit the 800 in 2:28 (sub 5 minute pace) and then ran away with the race winning in a time of 5:03. His form never broke down and he looked strong the whole way. Neo’s competitive night had come to an end.
Not so fast my friends. A member of the 1600 Meter Relay was unable to run. I was busy trying to help keep the meet running smoothly so before I even knew there was a problem, Coach Philip Moe had gotten a “Thumbs Up” from Neo to jump into the 3rd leg. As usual, he gave it a great effort and helped the team run to a first place finish as he “Threw Down” a sub 60 (59.64cr) right after his 1600. Great Stuff, Neo. Neo is a total team man and has complete faith in his coaches in regards to meet events or in training. That type of loyalty and trust are rare! Neo possess the critical combination of both Passion and Purpose. He has been training and racing great. Watch out when the good weather finally arrives. Keep dreaming BIG, Neo. It has been an honor to be one of your coaches and I have enjoyed (almost) all of our runs together 🙂 That’s not true…I have enjoyed ALL OF THEM. Even the ones that left me crawling in trying to hang with “da Big Dogs”. It’s ALL Good. I hope we will cross trails on the roads many more times in the coming years. It is my sincere hope that you will continue your distance running career for the rest of your life. It is a wonderful way to reduce stress, keep your heart healthy, etc….AND YOU’RE VERY GOOD AT IT.
Neo is the proud son on Tracy and Scott Colter He is also the proud older brother of Xanthia who is currently a freshman. Neo is also the proud “father” to a large assortment of fish that he is raising in his home. He is also an avid fisherman and automobile fan. Yes, he is a young man of many talents. God Bless You and your Family!
F.A.T. IN BUSINESS
Pictured are Coach Brad Storm, Coach Garrett Albers, Gary Vanderheyden, and Jan Moore from Sterling
LEAFS WIN TRIANGULAR
On Thursday, March 29th, the Leafs played host to the LaSalle=Peru Caveliers and the Sterling Golden Warriors. Both the Leafs and Golden Warriors were on Spring Break. L-P will enjoy theirs next week. The big news of the meet (for me at least) was that our crew (with a little help from L-P’s new head coach Nick McLaughlin (who ironically received FinishLynx F.A.T. training on Wednesday) were able to fight through a challenging learning curve that has lasted 3 years to get it fired up and rolling by the time the 110 Meter High Hurdles rolled around. A special thanks goes out to Gary Vanderheyden who has invested countless hours into this task as well as Sterling’s Jan Moore who drove all the way over to help us. Hopefully, we will have continued success in this area.
On to the meet! The meet was originally planned as a dual between the Leafs and Sterling. Coach McLaughlin from LaSalle-Peru requested his team to participate. To make that happen, we needed a thumbs up from both Sterling Head Coach, Dave Campbell and Geneseo Athletic Director, Joe Nichols. They both said, “yes” and the dual turned into a triangular. Competitor numbers were way down due to family vacation conflicts for both the Leafs and the Golden Warriors. The weatherman gave us a windy 47˚. The wind was straight out of the North. It was a bit chilly but, we thought, good enough to host the meet. Our girls were headed to Ottawa but the plug was pulled on that meet by the host Ottawa Pirates.
The team placed in all eighteen events, winning ten of them. Leading the way were multiple winners: Colton Pischke (110 Meter High Hurdles, 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles, 400 Meter Relay); Nathan Lambert (High Jump, 800 Meter Relay), Nick Swartzendruber (200 Meter Dash, 400 Meter Dash, 400 Meter Relay) .
The following team members earned points for the Leafs via their top 4 individual place or being a member of a top 2 placing relay. They are listed below.
F.S. SQUAD ROLLS
Pictured are team members who scored points in the LaSalle-Peru & Sterling Triangular
BALANCED ATTACK LEADS LEAFS TO WIN
On Thursday, March 29th, the Leafs played host to LaSalle-Peru and Sterling. The meet was run “old style” offering both Varsity and F.S. levels of competition. This format was the norm early in my career but has gradually faded away. That is unfortunate. Our younger team members need opportunities for success. In all of the J.V. Invitationals we attend there is only one level of competition. Thus Freshmen are head to head with Seniors. The only exception to this is our Geneseo F.S. Invitational held late in April. More on that later.
As mentioned in the Varsity article we were on spring break (as was Sterling) and thus missing a lot of teammates. LaSalle-Peru’s spring break is the week after Easter. The end result was that a lot of team members where put in a position to be a “difference maker”. The team scored in 15 of the 18 events. We had no entry in the 3200 Meter Relay or the 110 Meter High Hurdles or the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. The team also won 11 events. It was a great night for the Leafs.
Leading the team were the following “Gold Medalists”: Nate Clark Holke (Pole Vault); Neo Colter (1600 Meter Run); Rylan Coons (High Jump); Brenden Hipkins (Triple Jump); Ethan Holke (400 Meter Dash); Mason Jones (Long Jump); Rafe Morrison (800 Meter Run); William Plumley (3200 Meter Run); Logan Hansen, Sebastian Einfeldt, Brenden Hipkins, Kyle Hofer (400 Meter Relay); Mason Jones, Logan Hansen, Brenden Hipins Jordan Seeley (800 Meter Relay); and Sebastian Einfeldt, William Venneberg, Neo Colter, Rafe Morrison (1600 Meter Relay.)
Team members who scored points for the team are listed below:
COACH MOREY IS AN “ANIMAL”
Pictured is Coach Kyle Morey (Head Girls Track & Field Coach) surrounded by some of “da Girls”
GIRLS’ COACH MOREY SELECTED AS
Geneseo Girls Head Track Coach, Kyle Morey, was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Sunday, March 18th through Saturday, March 24th. The award was created by Coach Deets and honors a team member, selected by the coaching staff, who has trained and competed at an extremely high level. Many team members were considered and ability level plays only a small role in the decision. All team members are eligible and the award is given on a weekly basis. During the week the team participated in the Illinois Top Times Invitational on Saturday, March 24th.
Coach Kyle Morey set a new school record in becoming the first non-boys track member to be selected as the Teams “Animal of the Week” Award Winner. How could this have happened, you might ask. Well, Coach Morey organized and ran a fundraiser that asked the girls and boys team members to sell “Casey Cards” for $20.00 each. Each team member was given 15 cards (worth $300.00 dollars.) The team was given 10 days to accomplish the goal of selling as many as they could. During that time span the team participated in the Sterling Triangular on Tuesday, March 14th and in the NIB-12 Indoor Invitational on Saturday, March 17th. The cards were due on Tuesday, March 20th. An added benefit to each athlete was the fact that they could earn money themselves. Luke Sebastian led the team selling ONE HUNDRED CARDS earning a “jaw-dropping” $340.00 dollars.
Coach Morey also added a friendly competition between the girls and boys teams with the winner earning a Pizza Party. It was based not on the total amount of dollars earned but on the average per athlete. The boys team numbers are in the 80’s while the girls team numbers are in the 50’s. The girls team won but I have to add that I think the whole program WON. When the “dust had settled” over $11,000 had been raised. That is a HUGE amount of money that is desperately needed in the current era of declining state funds. I pointed out to the team that this was an accomplishment for our program and suggested awarding Coach Morey “da Animal” Award for this week. The team erupted in support of the idea (Coach Morey is LOVED BY ALL.) I didn’t need to try and “Sell” the idea one iota. Way to go, Coach Morey. The program is in GREAT hands and we sincerely wish both you and your team all the best this season and beyond. “Charleston Fever…..Catch It”.
Coach Moey is no stranger to success having been a star athlete at Cambridge High School in both Football and Track and Field. He earned Honorable Mention All-State Honors in Football where he played running back and Middle Linebacker on the POWERFUL Cambridge teams that included a State Runner-Up finish his Junior Year. He was also a speedster on “da oval” where he specialized in the 100 and 200 Meter Dashes as well as running on the 400 Meter and 800 Meter Relay Teams. Coach Morey has been a part of the Lady Leaf Track Program since 2013 and has coached literally almost EVERYTHING! Throws, Sprints, Hurdles, Jumps, and now Distance. He is in his 2nd year of serving as the Head Coach. Kyle is happily married to Ashley. They are rapidly approaching their 2nd Wedding Anniversary. They are the proud parents of Ziggy (da Woofer) and Lefty (da Cat named in honor of Phil Michelson.)
Pictured are the boys who made the trip to Illinois Wesleyan University. Pictured are front row: Blake Duncan & Raymond Venneberg. Back Row: Reed Vanderheyden, Kaden Rink, Colton Pischke, and Nick Swartzendruber.
LEAFS ENJOY A STRONG DAY AT
On Saturday, March 24th, the team competed in the Illinois Top Times Invitational. The meet is the “Unofficial” Indoor State Championship. Not all of the top schools attend the meet but it is certainly an elite field. This year, a late winter snow storm that dropped between 10 to 12 inches of HEAVY SNOW hit late Friday night and ROARED all day Saturday. The result of this storm was the team leaving Friday at 6:30 p.m. to drive down ahead of the storm. Mr. Nichols was kind enough to classify this meet under “IHSA STATE SERIES COMPETITION” and the school payed for our Hotel accommodations. It was a good move. On the way home Coach Matthew Deets looked at the satellite picture and saw BAD WEATHER if we headed up Interstate 39 to Interstate 80. In fact, some of our parents headed that way, after the meet had concluded, and ended up sitting in stop-and-go traffic for hours due to multiple accidents. We took Interstate 74 which ended up being a better option but still counted NINETEEN vehicles off the road and some upside down Semi Trucks. NASTY. Several prayers were said and obviously answered.
LATE SEASON BLIZZARD
Pictured is a shot of the late season blizzard that hit the Midwest
LEAFS ENJOY STRONG DAY AT TOP TIMES INV.
Getting things started were our 60 Meter Hurdlers Colton Pischke and Reed Vanderheyden. The hurdle field was one of the strongest ever assembled at the Top Times Inv. Reed qualified for the finals for the 4th straight year by sprinting to a time of 8.46. That extended the “Vanderhurdles” family streak to EIGHT STRAIGHT YEARS (Hannah also qualified 4 straight years.) That is AMAZING. Colton was just a bit off early in the race but closed nicely to end up 15th overall with a time of 8.68. He gained more valuable “Big Meet” experience. Reed ended up 8th overall. His finals race saw him mistime the gun and he was “left in the blocks”. Oh well, better now than when it really counts. Bring on OUTDOORS!!!
Next up was Nick “Nasty” Swartzendruber. This was another “loaded” field. Nick got out nicely (after a few elbows given and received in the first 100 meters) and rolled through the 400 in 58 seconds perfectly positioned. He then exploded with approximately 200 meters to go and instantly opened up a lead of over 20 meters and it looked like it was over. Unfortunately, Nick tied up with 50 meters to go and was kicked down by the race favorite Nick Oakley from Charleston. I know hid dad and spoke with after the race. He is a really classy and admitted that he thought Nick had stolen the race. He wished him well and looks forward to racing him again. Nick’s time was an impressive 1:58.40.
Last up was the 1600 Meter Relay. Reed Vanderheyden ran a strong opening leg holding off several challenges to hand the baton off to Kaden Rink. Reed’s split was an FAT converted 53.74cr. Kaden ran a great tactical race himself. He has struggled with flailing arms, late in the race. Everyone’s form has issues when fatigue sets in and correcting biomechanical deficiencies. He has worked hard to correct this issue and it showed. Kaden’s split was an FAT converted 54.04cr. The Leafs were looking GREAT. Next up was Colton Pischke who also showed a lot of guts and ran an extremely intelligent race. He split an FAT converted 54.44cr. Last up was Nick Swartzendruber who blasted another sub 50 second FAT converted split as he ran 49.94cr. The team’s final time was 3:31.46 which was 2nd to a strong Burlington Central team and enough to barely hold off the unusually fast first section. Way to Roll Men! BRING ON OUTDOORS.
“da 2018 MAPLE LEAF TRACK & FIELD CAPTAINS”
Pictured are the newly elected team captains. From left to right: Blake Duncan, Reed Vanderheyden,
2018 CAPTAINS ANNOUNCED
On Tuesday, March 20th, the team elected team captains. The goal was to elect one captain for the following event groups plus an “at large” captain. The groupings were the Throws, Sprint/Hurdles/Jumps/Distance. The top 5 votes went to three of the event groupings. We decided to honor the team vote and keep those five and add a 6th for the event group that wasn’t represented in the top 5 overall vote winners. We realize that this is far from a perfect method. Needless to say is the fact that some tremendous leaders were not elected. We talked about that before the election and asked ALL our upperclassmen to lead anyway. You don’t need to have be awarded a “Captain’s Star” to be an impactful leader. No matter what method we used to select this year’s captains someone was going to be left out. That is a GREAT problem for this year’s team to have. We have that many leaders. The six men that were elected are all of the highest quality. We feel confident that they will live up to this tremendous honor. It is extra special that they are all seniors. The winners are Blake Duncan (Middle Distance/Distance), Ryver Griffin (Jumps), Drew Rapps (Sprint/Hurdles), Joe Stohl (Throws), Nick Swartzendruber (Middle Distance/Distance), and Reed Vanderheyden (Sprint/Hurdles.) Congratulations Men!!! All the best in the coming weeks and months.
Pictured is Junior Kaden Rink who was selected as this week’s
JUNIOR KADEN RINK SELECTED AS
Junior Kaden Rink was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Sunday, March 11th through Saturday, March 17th. The award was created by Coach Deets and honors a team member, selected by the coaching staff, who has trained and competed at an extremely high level. Many team members were considered and ability level plays only a small role in the decision. All team members are eligible and the award is given on a weekly basis. During the week the team participated in a Triangular with Moline and Sterling on Tuesday, March 13th and in the NIB-12 Conference Invitational on Saturday, March 17th.
In the Moline & Sterling Triangular Meet on Tuesday, Kaden anchored the 3200 Meter Relay to victory. His split was a team fastest 2:09.94cr. He went out hard (sixty flat) and ran alone. It was a solid effort. He then cam back in in the 1600 Meter Relay running the 2nd leg on the “A” team. Kaden ran the 2nd fastest split on the team putting down a solid 55.14cr.
Next up was the NIB-12 Indoor Conference Invitational on Saturday. We decided to run Kaden “fresh” in the 800 Meter Run hoping he could “bag” some big points for the team. He came through with an impressive 2:05.31 that was good enough for 4th place in the highly competitive NIB-12. He followed that up with duty on the 1600 Meter Relay. Kaden ran the 2nd leg in 55.14cr to help the team nail down “da Gold” Medal. Not too bad on St. Partick’s Day to be bringing home “da Gold”. By the way, both of those times were SEASON BESTS!!! Way to roll, Kaden!
Kaden has successfully battled through some motivational challenges. Call it maturation. Call it being an upperclassman. Call it whatever you want. The bottom line is the 2018 version of Kaden Rink is that of a intensely driven team man who is getting the job done at the highest level in both practice and in competition. Yea, Kaden…we’ve noticed and are EXTREMELY proud of you. All athletes face such a challenge at some point in their athletic careers and you have “passed da test” wtih an A+. All the best in the coming weeks and months of this season and beyond. Keep DREAMING BIG! Passion and Purpose are an omnipotent combination. Set your sights on racing in Charleston when the STATE MEET rolls around. An ALL-STATE Medal or two would also look GREAT hanging around your neck. God has given you a great gift and it is now up to you to honor Him by using its fullest potential. We feel very confident that is exactly what you will do! It’s time to FLY!!
Kaden is no stranger to success after earning several All-State Honors at the Middle School Level. In addition, he ran XC one year (hopefully two after next fall), play one year of Football (wideout and cornerback), golfed one season (38 for nine), as well as playing Basketball for three years (starting this winter as the shooting guard.) Yea, he is one heck of an all-around athlete. As good of an athlete as he is he, is an even better person. It is an honor to be one of your coaches.
Kaden is the proud son of Kari and Ben Rink. He is also the “Big Bro” to Tannen (9th grade) and Jeslen (5th grade.) Keep up the hard work. “Carpe diem”!!
MAPLE LEAFS NIB-12 SCORERS
Pictured are the team members who scored in the NIB-12 via their Top 6 Place.
LEAFS 4TH AT
Overall, the team placed 4th behind traditional NIB-12 Powerhouses Kaneland, DeKalb, and Yorkville. Sterling didn’t have all of their guys back yet also. They are a defending IHSA Sectional Championship Team and will have a lot to say in regards to who walks away the the Outdoor NIB-12 Gold. As a team, the Leafs placed 4th and had a lot of GREAT things happen. Team members who scored in the meet via their Top 6 Place Finish are listed below:
1st Place: Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run)
Pictured are: Anthony Roome, Chris Bisby, and Thomas Ryerson
LEAFS HIT A “HOME RUN” WITH NEW COACHES
Joining the Boys Coaching Staff this season are: Anthony Roome, Chris Bisby, and Thomas Ryerson. I have been planning on putting a picture and story about them up on our website all season long and am finally getting that done. Better late than never. All three are tremendous coaches and even better human beings.
Coach Anthony Roome is our new throws coach. He is a former Maple Leaf himself, having starred in football for four years as well as paying some basketball, and baseball. He also spent two years with our track team as a thrower. From there he moved on to Augustana College where he played 4 years of football as well as was a thrower for Coach Olsen’s Vikings. He will become a Pa Pa for the first time this summer. He is considering the names Frederick or Fredrica.
Coach Chris Bisby is a “Lambo” recruit and a wonderful addition to our staff. She is the proud daughter of Alleman and Leaf Legend Bob Carroll. Chris was quite an athlete herself back in the day. This Western Illinois University product also coached both of her sons to lofty heights in the high jump at Rockridge High School. They jumped 6′ 03″ and 6′ 07″ for her respectfully. Her youngest son jumped 6′ 10″ the day after his 6′ 07″ jump in practice. THAT IS HIGH!!!
Completing the staff is Thomas Ryerson. Coach Ryerson is a Rock Island native having competed for the Rocks. He then continued his vaulting career jumping for the Elite Indiana Invaders. He has also spent significant time in Rock Island as a police officer before settling into his current position as an “I.T.” for John Deere. He has bonded extremely well with the vaulters. They are the last group to leave almost every night.
A special thank you goes out to all three of our new coaching additions. Each of you possesses the powerful combination of both Passion and Purpose. Geneseo and our team are LUCKY to have you. God Bless each of you!!!
MAPLE LEAF GOLD MEDALISTS
Pictured are the team members who placed first in the Sterling & Moline Triangular. From left to right: Raymond
LEAFS WIN STERLING TRIANGULAR
On Tuesday, March 13th, the Leafs traveled to Sterling’s Westwood Sports Complex to participate in the “Sterling Triangular”. The meet included boys teams from: Geneseo, Moline, and Sterlnig. Also competing were girls teams from: Moline, Sterling, and Rock Island Alleman. The meet allowed for unlimited entries. Scoring was 5-3-2-1 for individual events and 5-3-0 for relays.
The boys side of the meet included three strong teams. Sterling is hoping to win the NIB-12 this year and is the a defending IHSA Sectional Champion. Moline is VASTLY improved. They are hoping to contend for the Western Big-6 and earlier in the season win the QCA Indoor Invitational. The Leafs also have high hopes and are the defending NIB-12 Champions and are coming off a 4th place team finish in the IHSA State Finals last May.
Leading the team were the following “Gold Medalists”: Ryver Griffin (Triple Jump), Nathan Lambert (High Jump), Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run), Reed Vanderheyden (60 Meter High Hurdles, 200 Meter Dash, 400 Meter Dash, ), Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault), and the Relay Teams of Colton Pischke, Kaden Rink, Drew Rapps, Nick Swartzendruber (1600 Meter Relay), and Blake Duncan, Neo Colter, Spencer Lindstrom, Kaden Rink (3200 Meter Relay.) Team members who scored points in the meet are listed below
RAYMOND IS AN ANIMAL
Pictured is Senior Raymond Venneberg who was selected as this week’s
SENIOR RAYMOND VENNEBERG SELECTED AS
Senior Raymond Venneberg was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Sunday, March 4th through Saturday, March 11th. The award was created by Coach Deets and honors a team member, selected by the coaching staff, who has trained and competed at an extremely high level. Many team members were considered and ability level plays only a small role in the decision. All team members are eligible and the award is given on a weekly basis.
Raymond’s competitive week consisted entirely of the Sterling Gold Medal Invitational. Raymond won the Pole Vault in a season best jump of 12′ 00″ He and Pole Vault Coach Thomas Ryerson had the bar moved to the 2A State Qualifying Height of 13′ 00″. Raymond took 3 attempts at it and then put his poles away and was already planning for the next practice session and competitions. Before his night was over he also anchored a “Pole Vaulters” 800 Meter Relay splitting 26ish. Job well done!!!
Raymond’s work ethic and commitment to excellence are RARE! He has a STRONG sense of both Passion and Purpose. Raymond has a LOT of the same traits that former Leaf State Pole Vault 2A Champion, Arthur Atwell, possessed (and still does possess as a Sophomore at Augustana College.) We have watched Raymond flirting with 13 feet and HIGHER on several occasions at practice. Raymond has come a LONG way in a short period of time. He started vaulting his sophomore year and had a season best of 9′ 00″. He upped that to 12′ 01″ at the I.H.S.A. Sectional Meet last spring. He has invested Herculean amounts of off-season dedication in preparation for his senior season. He vaulted once a week all summer long (except for district shut-down time) and then during our weekly “Open Gyms” during the fall and winter. He has also become a tremendous team leader, constantly helping his teammates as they strive to “raise da bar”. All the best in the coming weeks and months as you chase your potential. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.
Raymond has also excelled in Football (3 years), Wrestling (2 years), Cross Country (1 year) as well as Track and Field (3 years) after sharing a BTW quarter with Coach Fredericks who suggested he try Track and Field and give the Pole Vault a try. Who would have guessed that after trying the Pole Vault in April for the first time he would have a season goal of qualifying for the I.H.S.A. STATE FINALS and trying to bring back an ALL-STATE MEDAL back home to G-Town. Raymond has received coaching from Thomas Ryerson, Matthew Deets, Daniel Rakestraw, Chad Thomas, and Wes Jackson. He thanks them all and hopes to make them proud. Raymond is a true coaches dream. He excels in the classroom, ranking high among the class of 2018 and plans to someday become a Physicist. He also likes to FLY HIGH into the air. Keep DREAMING BIG!!!
Raymond is the proud son of Monica and Michael Venneberg. He is also the proud “Baby Bro” of Cynthia and proud “Big Bro” of William (current 10th grader), Nathan (current 7th grader), and Joseph (current 5th grader.) Thank you for helping to make this season so exciting. Your enthusiasm is contagious! Your future is going to be spectacular! Now go and make it happen. All the best.
MAPLE LEAF ALUM DANIELS D-3 NATIONAL CHAMPION
WILL DANIELS WIN D-3 HEPTATHLON
To say that Geneseo native Will Daniels had a BIG weekend would be putting it lightly. The sophomore at Central College in Pella, Iowa won the Divison Three NATIONAL Championship in the Heptathlon over the weekend of March 9th & 10th. The meet was held in Birmingham, Alabama. Will won a fiercely contested competition with his senior teammate Ryan Kruse grabbing 3rd place. What a meet for the Central College “Dutch”. Will also placed 7th in the Open High Jump, clearing 6′ 09″ following the grueling 7-event Heptathlon.
Four events were contested on Friday. The 60 Meter Dash, the Long Jump, the Shot Put, and the High Jump. Will then came back on Saturday to compete in 60 Meter High Hurdles (42″….not 39″), the Pole Vault, and then the 1000 Meter Run. I will list his performances at the end of this story and how he placed in each event. Each performance earns points that are added up to determine the winner. Every 1/10 of a second in the the running events and 1/4″ in the field events MATTER! GREAT JOB, WILL!
Some of our team members may not know who Will is and what he accomplished at GHS. He was the starting QB on the football team and starting point guard on the basketball team. He enjoy an incredible high school track and field career capped off at the State Meet his Senior Year. There he placed 2nd in the 2A Long Jump and 3rd in the High Jump to help Lead the Leafs to a School Record 2nd Place Team Finish. He helped the Leafs not only “open the door” to success at the State Level, THEY KICKED IT DOWN AND RAN RIGHT OVER IT! Will has a tremendous work ethic and is simply amazing how much he has improved in only two years. As great of an athlete that Will is, he is even a better person. Impeccable morals and a powerful Christian Leader. Keep up the good work, Will. Can you say, “OLYMPIC TRIALS”???
WAY TO GO, WILL!!!
BLAKE IS AN ANIMAL
Pictured is Senior Blake Duncan who was selected as this weeks
SENIOR BLAKE DUNCAN SELECTED AS
Senior Blake Duncan was selected as the “Animal of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Sunday, February 25th through Saturday, March 3rd. The award was created by Coach Deets and honors a team member, selected by the coaching staff, who has trained and competed at an extremely high level. Many team members were considered and ability level plays only a small role in the decision. All team members are eligible and the award is given on a weekly basis.
During the week the Leafs competed in both the Quad City Indoor Invitational (Tuesday and Wednesday, February 27th & 28th) and the Sterling Gold Medal Invitational (Saturday, March 3rd.) Blake was coming off an illness and we chose to play it safe and not race him in the QCA, choosing for him to run a controlled “threshold” workout that saw him average 85 seconds for sixteen 400 meter repeats with a 100 meter jog in-between. He threw in a two mile warm-up and cool-down to total 9 miles for the day.
Next up for Blake was the Sterling Gold Medal Invitational. Blake competed in the 1600 Meter run where he ran a gutsy race placing a strong 3rd behind behind Jacob Gebardt (2A State runner-up in XC) and Dawson Smith (1A XC All-Stater.) Blake seriously scared his lifetime best via his 4:42 finish time. He raced with great poise and confidence. The coaching staff waited to inform him that we needed him for the team’s 1600 Meter “A” Team shortly to follow. His response was “Whatever you need me to do Coach” as he smiled and headed off for a short cool down. Blake then ran the 2nd leg of the 2nd place 1600 Meter Relay with an inspirational and lifetime best split of 56.64cr. He followed that up by leading the middle distance and distance runner on their two mile cool down.
Blake is a fearless competitor and a tremendous team leader. You can expect to see him racing everything from the 400 meters (1600 Meter Relay) all the way to the 3200 Meter run. His event “range” is rare. Also, whenever a teammate needs a pat on the back or a gentle kick in the butt, he is there to administer it with true concern. The best way for anyone to lead is via example and Blake does that on a daily basis. Blake has some pretty BIG GOALS for the season and is paying the dues that success DEMANDS!!! There are no short cuts to success. All the best in the coming weeks as you chase your potential. It has been a true honor to serve as one of your coaches. It has been mostly enjoyable running hundreds of workouts with you (a few…..OUCH.) Keep DREAMING BIG and remember that this is only a launching pad for your intercollegiate and post-college competition. CHARLESTON FEVER…..CATCH IT!!!
Blake is the proud son of Shawna and Chad Duncan. He is also the proud “Big Bro” to Alex (Alexandria) who is currently a 3rd grader. You have already discovered the omnipotent correlation between intelligent hard work and high quality results. This lesson, of course, applies to all aspects of life and will serve you well. These skills will come in handy as you pursue your Collegiate Engineering Degree and Future Career. Keep leading this team. Your loyalty to commitment to your team is both inspiring and critical to the success of the 2018 Maple Leafs. Don’t forget to “enjoy the journey”.
Pictured are Seniors Raymond Venneberg and Nick Swartzendruber.
LEAFS COMPETE AT
On Saturday, March 3rd, 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. The meet allowed for unlimited entries so everyone who was available could compete. There was a Band/Choir conflict so we were missing several teammates from that. Also, since this was our 3rd meet in 8 days so we were very careful how we placed our athletes. Especially our “Big Dogs” who competed in the QCA Indoor Invite during the middle of the week. We certainly didn’t “load up” for this meet but were very pleased and proud of the efforts that the team put forth.
Leading the team were Gold Medalists Seniors Nick Swartzendruber (400 Meter Dash) and Raymond Venneberg (Pole Vault.) Aiding in the team effort were the following team members who placed in the top three: Billy Blazer (2nd in the Shot Put), Blake Duncan (3rd in the 1600 Meter Run), Colton Pischke (3rd in the 60 Meter Dash), Kaden Rink (2nd in the 800 Meter Run), Jordan Seeley (3rd in the Long Jump), Reed Vanderheyden (3rd in the 60 Meter High Hurdles), the 2nd Place 800 Meter Relay Team (Mason Jones, Logan Hansen, Nathan Carroll, Jordan Seeley), and the 2nd Place 1600 Meter Relay (Kaden Rink Blake Duncan, Reed Vanderheyden, Nick Swartzendruber.) The meet was non-scored but we awarded team points for any team member who placed in the top 6. Those team members are listed below:
VAULTERS LEAD TEAM AT QCA INDOOR INV.
LEAFS CAPTURE BRONZE AT QCA INDOOR INV.
On Tuesday, February 27th (Field Events). and Wednesday, February 28th (Track Events), the Leafs traveled to Augustana College to participate in the annual Quad City Indoor Invitational. The field events were contested in the Carver Center while the running events were held in the Pepsico Building.
Competing in the meet were teams from: Geneseo, Mercer County, Moline, Muscatine, North Scott, Orion, Pleasant Valley, Rock Island, Rockridge, and Untied Township. The fact that we open our season with 3 meets in 8 days is far from ideal. The Knox College meet and the Sterling Gold Medal meet offer unlimited entries so EVERYONE on the team is allowed to compete. The QCA Inv. in limited to two entries per individual event and only one relay. We were as careful as possible to try and not overwork any of our team members. The meets that really matter are in MAY!!!
Leading the way were the Maple Leaf Field Event Crew who scored 32 of the teams 52 points. Eighteen of those points were provided by Senior Pole Vaulters Cameron Darin and Raymond Venneberg who placed 1st and 2nd grabbing a HUGE 18 points for the team in one event. Also scoring top 3 finishes for the Leafs were Ryver Griffin (1st in the Triple Jump); the 3200 Meter Relay Team of Peter Rizzo, Kaden Rink, Rafe Morrison, & Nick Swartzendruber (2nd in the 3200 Meter Relay); Reed Vanderheyden, Colton Pischke, Jordan Seeley, & Kyle Hofer (3rd place in the 800 Meter Relay); and Colton Pischke, Kyle Hofer, Kaden Rink, & Nick Swartzendruber (3rd in the 1600 Meter Relay.) Leafs who scored points in the meet via their top 6 place finish are listed below:
“LAMBO” IS AN ANIMAL
SENIOR NATHAN LAMBERT SELECTED AS
Senior Nathan Lambert was selected as this season’s first “Animal of the Week” Award Winner. The award was created by Coach Deets and honors a team member, selected by the coaching staff, who has trained and competed at an extremely high level. Many team members were considered and ability level plays only a small role in the decision. All team members are eligible and the award will be given on a weekly basis.
Nathan’s week included our season opener. Galesburg hosted the “Cuffy” Early Bird Opener at Know College on Friday, February 23rd. Nathan opened his season with a career best of 6′ 00″ in the High Jump to place 2nd overall. That was a TWO INCH personal best and accomplished wearing training flats (no spikes allowed on the High Jump approach at Knox College.) He followed that up with a strong anchor leg on our “C” 800 Meter Relay Team that placed 6th overall. Nathan’s split was 25.41 (hand timed.) That is pretty impressive for someone who is 6′ 06″ tall and trying to sprint around the tight corners of an indoor 200 meter track. Nathan finished his night off with an season opener in the Triple Jump as he grabbed 5th place overall with a jump of 38′ 02 3/4″. Simply put, he had quite a night.
This is Nathan’s 3rd year of track and field so he is still relatively new to the sport. He is also a “late bloomer” with a TON of potential awaiting delivery. Look for him in the jumps and long sprints. This is his 3rd year on the team while also competing two years in cross country. College plans??? OH, YES!!!
Nathan is the proud son of Charlene and Robert Lambert. He is also the proud “baby bro” of Ashley and Emily. All the best in the coming weeks and months of the season. You are a very special young man and it is an honor to be one of your coaches. Keep Leading!!!
SENIORS READY TO LEAD
LEAFS KICK OFF SEASON AT KNOX COLLEGE
On Friday, February 23rd, the Leafs traveled to Knox College’s Fleming Fieldhouse to participate in the Annual Knox College “Cuffy” Early Bird Invitational. The field included teams from Abingdon-Avon, Dunlap, Elmwood, Galesburg, Geneseo, Peoria Notre Dame, and Metamora. The meet include both boys and girls teams so it took a while. The good thing is it is warm indoors and our teams were able to support each other.
The meet format was “tweeked” from last year to allow for unlimited entries (last year teams were limited to 5 individuals in all sprinting events. Teams were limited to three relay teams per event. The end result was that every teammate that was available was allowed the opportunity to compete. It was nice to get the competitive season rolling.
Leading the way were Gold Medal performances by Reed Vanderheyden (55 Meter High Hurdles), Nick Swartzendruber (800 Meter Run), and the 800 Meter Relay Team of Reed Vanderheyden, Colton Pischke, Jordan Seeley, and Kyle Hofer.
No points for the team (the meet was non-scored) but we still award Varsity points for a Top 6 finish as per normal Invitational scoring) are listed below