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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Marmion nabs state gold in discus

  • AJ Marmion is a state champion.

    “I was definitely tired of second place,” said Marmion. “It was the best way to end my high school career for sure. I was happy when I got the throw in. I felt relief and the pressure was finally off.”
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  • AJ Marmion is a state champion.
    “I was definitely tired of second place,” said Marmion. “It was the best way to end my high school career for sure. I was happy when I got the throw in. I felt relief and the pressure was finally off.”
    The Geneseo senior launched a winning throw in the discus of 171-02 to become Geneseo track’s first state champion in 64 years. (Don Hillmer won the high jump in 1950.)
    “This is extremely thrilling,” said head coach Don Fredericks. “I am extremely proud of AJ and happy for him and his family.”
    “I feel happiness for sure, but almost feel like I didn’t fulfill my goals to the fullest,” said Marmion. “I wanted to break 180, and my third throw would have broken the school record, but I barely stepped out.”
    Marmion also becomes the first athlete in program history to earn All-State honors in the same event more than once. He was All-State in the discus in 2012.
    Marmion competed in the finals of the shot put where he took 11th with a throw of 49-10 1/2.
    “In the shot put, he fouled on the first two attempts and barely got the third one in,” said Fredericks. “Then he fouled in his first two attempts in the discus, but then uncorked one where he almost went out, which held up to win.
    “He had the weight of a mountain on his shoulders just from himself and once he got that throw in he had the biggest smile I have seen from him. It was pretty amazing and a lot of fun.”
    In the prelims, Marmion placed seventh in the shot put with a throw of 49-10 1/2 and first in the discus at 169-5 to qualify for the finals in both events.
    Fellow senior Nick Verbeck capped off his high school career with an All-State honor (his third of the year to become the first Geneseo athlete to earn All-State honors in three different sports) of his own in the shot put with a seventh-place finish on a toss of 52-0.
    “Nick is just an amazing young man,” said Fredericks. “He works so hard in practice and always has a positive attitude. At a lot of the early meets, I let the kids go home once they are done if they want, but Nick would always stay. He is a total team kid. It is very unusual to see the type of team spirit he has. I am so happy for him to achieve All-State honors in three different sports. I think he will be considered one of the great athletes to go through our high school.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Verbeck also placed 11th in the discus with a throw of 146-08 in the finals.
    In the prelims, Verbeck finished second in the shot put with a throw of 51-8 1/2 and first in the discus with a throw of 144-10 to qualify for the finals in both events.
    Geneseo’s throwing duo become the first tandem in school history to each earn All-State Honors.
    Sophomore Arthur Atwell was Geneseo’s third athlete to reach the finals where he placed 13th in the pole vault as he cleared 12-6. In the prelims, Atwell tied for first in his heat at 13-0 to qualify.
    “You are never satisfied, and Arthur was disappointed he only got 12-6 on Saturday,” said Fredericks. “But I reminded him he had only been vaulting for 14 months, and last year his best height was 10-0. It is unbelieveable that he qualified for state and made it to the finals.
    Sophomore Will Daniels took ninth in the prelims of the high jump with a final height of 6-0.
    “Will cleared at the opening height, and almost cleared 6-2 to advance,” said Fredericks. “He barely touched it and had two really good attempts. It was a great experience for him.”
    Junior David Chenoweth finished ninth in his heat of the 1600-meter run with a time of 4 minutes and 36.87 seconds.
    “It was really hot for David’s race, but I thought he got out nice, but definitely struggled for a couple laps,” said Fredericks. “He fought back and fought hard and kicked down several athletes. He has been to two state finals now, which sets him up really well for his senior year.”
    “What a season. It was a season of firsts,” said Fredericks. “For the first time ever, we were sectional champs, first time ever to have an All Stater in the same event and first time ever to have two throwers earn All-State. Kudos to coach Tom Ferguson for all the time he put in with those guys.
    “We lose some key people who are leaving big shoes to fill, but the future looks bright and we have a lot of great athletes coming our way.”
     
     

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