Geneseo’s A.J. Marmion, Kyle Reiling and Jordan Starkey punched tickets to the IHSA Boys’ Track and Field State Finals after they reached state qualifying marks at the May 18 Ottawa Sectional. The team placed ninth overall.
“It was very refreshing to see some different teams at the Ottawa Sectional,” said head coach Don Fredericks. “It was very competitive, but a nice change of scenery and we are real excited for the three who qualified for state.”
Starkey, a junior in his first trip to the state track meet, nabbed the highest finish for the Leafs in the 3200-meter run in second place with a time of 9 minutes and 47.82 seconds.
“Jordan had his hands full and a real challenge on hand,” said Fredericks. “The leader took off and was out of sight and Jordan was battling for second with an Alleman runner. Jordan had a tremendous last lap and ended up only 3 seconds behind the leader for second.”
Marmion, a sophomore in his first trip to state, captured third place in the discus with a qualifying mark of 156-02.
“A.J. has had a phenomenal season and had four throws over the state qualifying distance in the discus,”?said Fredericks. “We are really excited to have a sophomore qualify. To get there and gain that experience is priceless. He already is the sophomore record holder and is in pursuit of the school record.”
Kyle Reiling, a senior in his first trip to state, earned a spot at the state meet with a fifth-place finish in the 1600-m run as he crossed the finish line in 4:29.84.
“Oh my gosh, the 1600-m run field was loaded and was the only event that had five runners qualify in and Kyle got fifth,” said Fredericks. “Kyle ran a tough race. He was fighting through a bad patch and dropped from the pack, but kicked it in and closed in on the lead group on the last lap.”
Other finishes in the field events included Seth Wilson, 11th, high jump, 5-7; Jay Wilson and Alex Platz, seventh, pole vault, 11-9; Zach Taber, 13th, long jump, 18-8; Tyler Rusk, 15th, long jump, 18-5 1/2; Josh Beard, seventh, triple jump, 39-7 1/2; Jordan Mielke, 12th, triple jump, 37-4 1/2; Joe Huffman, fifth, discus, 143-11 and fourth, shot put, 49-8; and Marmion, fifth, shot put, 47-3.
“The stars did not line up in every thing, and we had some areas where we thought we would qualify and didn’t,” said Fredericks. “I am so happy for three who qualified, but it is a bittersweet feeling in the other events because you want to see everything go well. We had a few things that didn’t go our way, but I am very proud of the team’s effort.”
The 4x800-m relay of Mitchell Lamb, Griffin Welfer, Dugan Kuffel and Jacob Rahn placed third in 8:37.57, followed by the 4x100-m relay of Chase Cahalan, Landon Hoon, Rusk and Justin Seeley, seventh, 45.21.
David Chenoweth took eighth in the 3200-m run in 10:48.21, while Lamb came in seventh in the 800-m run at 2:12.33; Josh Beard, ninth in the 400-m dash in 55.08, and Jacob Miller, 14th in the 400-m dash at 56.24.
Seeley placed fourth in the 300-m hurdles with a time of 42.07, followed by Kuffel in eighth at 43.84.
The 4x200-m relay of Cahalan, Hoon, Luke Snyder and Rusk came in seventh in 1:35.87, while the 4x400-m relay of Ryan Pitra, Hoon, Rahn and Seeley took fifth in 3:35.05.
Marmion, Reiling and Starkey will compete at the IHSA State Finals this weekend May 25-26 in Charleston.