Maple Leafs' track season started with the program's two most decorated athletes showing they are ready to dominate this season.
Maple Leafs’ track season started with the program’s two most decorated athletes showing they are ready to dominate this season.
Reed Vanderheyden and Nick Swartzendruber each raced to individual victories, getting off to a fast start on their senior seasons at the Galesburg “Cuffy” Early Bird Indoor on Feb. 23.
“Thirteen All-State honors is a pretty good start to any team,” Geneseo Coach Don Fredericks said. “They have been there, they have done it, they aren’t afraid of any challenge. I can’t imagine better leaders for a team.”
GHS’ Vanderheyden (8.06) won the 55-meter hurdles title with Geneseo’s Colton Pischke (8.13) chasing him to the finish line.
Vanderheyden and Andrew Pischke led Geneseo’s one-two punch in the hurdles last season.
However, Colton is poised to keep the Maple Leafs at the top after dominating in the hurdle events at ABC invites behind Andrew and Vanderheyden last season.
Currently, Tinley Park’s Solomon Wilson-Smith (7.93) has the fastest time in Class 2A with Vanderheyden second (8.06) and Colton third (8.13).
“How many teams are lucky enough to have a guy like him waiting in the wings?” Fredericks said.
Geneseo had three others in the top 10 in the hurdles with Kyle Hofer finishing fifth (9.45), Luke Sebastian sixth (9.47) and Mick Mooney finishing 10th (11.07).
A seventh-place state finisher in the 400 last season, Swartzendruber raced to the title in the 800 finals in 2:03.16, and GHS’ Peter Rizzo finished 10th in 2:16.74.
The Geneseo 4x200-relay team of Vanderheyden, Colton Pischke, Jordan Seeley and Kyle Hofer ran down first place in 1:38.16.
The Maple Leafs’ 4x400-relay team of Vanderheyden, Colton Pischke, Drew Rapps and Swartzendruber finished runner-up in 3:42.94.
Fredericks said he was proud of the effort of Nathan Lambert who finished second in the high jump clearing 6’.
A state qualifier last season, Ryver Griffin came in fourth in the triple jump reaching a distance of 39’4.25”.
A senior, the Maple Leafs’ Lambert continued his solid start to the season with a fifth-place triple jump distance of 38’2.75”.
A distance runner, Blake Duncan ran down third in the 1600 with a 4:45.72.
In the pole vault, the Leafs’ Seeley finished sixth clearing 18’4.75”, and Hofer came in seventh clearing 18’375”.
A freshman, Mason Jones finished eighth in the pole vault clearing 17’10.75”, and he landed 12th in the 55 dash in 7.11.
Geneseo’s Billy Cosgrave finished 11th in the 400 in 58.56, and Alex McAvoy finished 13th in the shot put with a throw of 39’4”.
The Leafs’ Carson Oney finished 14th in the 200 with a time of 26.42.
Fredericks said that with three invites dotting the first week of indoor track season, the Maple Leafs are being careful and getting a feel for what everyone can do.
“Each season like putting a puzzle together,” Fredericks said. “You have to try different pieces in different ways to see if they work or not.”