The Geneseo girls’ track team won the team title at the Geneseo Invitational and competed at the Galesburg
The Geneseo girls’ track team won the team title at the Geneseo Invitational and competed at the Galesburg Triangular.
The host Lady Leafs battled through the rain to capture the invite title at Bob Reade Field.
Geneseo won the team trophy with 146 points in the six-team field well ahead of runner-up LaSalle-Peru 92.
The invite served as the Leafs’ senior night, and Geneseo’s senior athletes didn’t disappoint helping lead the team to the win in the six-team field.
Hanna Vanderheyden said her outcome at home meets hasn’t been favorable in the past.
However, this season the mentality has changed for the Leafs’ senior hurdler.
A change in focus seemed apparent during Vanderheyden’s performance in the 100-meter hurdles against Rock Island’s Jewel Jones.
The pair had faced each other just days before at the Rock Island Invitational with Jones edging Vanderheyden by a narrow margin.
Vanderheyden was ready for a second chance besting Jones to take first place with a time of 15.27.
“It sparked a fire in me when I heard the Rock Island girls were going to be here,” Vanderheyden said. “I was just thinking, ‘I have to beat her. I’m going to beat her.’ During the race, I could feel we were in sync the entire time. At the last second, I pushed as hard as I could.
“It was a really good feeling to know I had beaten someone who had just beaten me.”
The Leafs’ Anna Wise added a win in the 300-meter hurdles racing to a time of 49.41.
Wise has been enjoying the meets during the regular season, but never losing sight of her goal of returning to the state meet.
“I’m enjoying my time with all the girls,” Wise said, “But I’m really getting anxious for state, I want to see what we can do there.”
Geneseo’s senior-heavy relay team of Katie Puls, Wise, Vanderheyden and freshman Erika Furbeck combined to win the 4x100-meter relay (50.85).
Puls nabbed a second place finish in the 800-meter run (2:27.02), and Ashley Kempher was runner-up in the pole vault 8’.
Continuing her breakout freshman season, Furbeck won the long jump (16’3”) by two feet over the competition.
Having broken the school record set in 1980 in the long jump earlier this season, Furbeck got an opportunity to talk with the previous record holder, Jan Jacobs, about her accomplishment.
“She wanted me to set a goal to reach 18 feet this year,” Furbeck said. “She said she was proud that someone finally broke her record.”
Furbeck added a runner-up finish in the 100-meter dash 13.05.
Junior Rachel Schilling won the high jump (4’10”) holding off teammate Dani Clary (4’8”) who finished runner-up.
Geneseo’s Grace Madigan won the triple jump 33’4”, and Katie Beeson was fourth in the discus 81’5”.
The Leafs’ 4x200-meter relay team of Reece Bodeen, Clary, Madigan and Vanderheyden combined to finish second (1:56.8).
The Lady Leafs finished third in the three-team field but had plenty of outstanding performances at Galesburg.
Geneseo dominance in the hurdles was noticeable as the Leafs swept the top three spots in the 100-meter hurdles.
Vanderheyden won the event in 14.8, Bodeen was second 16.3 and Madison Munoz was third 16.8.
The Leafs continued to lead the pack in the 300-meter hurdles.
Geneseo’s Wise won the 300 event in 49.0, and RaeLynn Versluys clocked a time of 51.1.
Puls took first place in the 800-meter run (2:30.3), and Furbeck (16’11”) won the long jump by more than a foot.
Geneseo’s Clary won the high jump (5’) and Schilling was runner-up (4’10”).
The 4x100-relay team of Puls, Wise, Vanderheyden and Furbeck earned a win in 51.3.
The Leafs’ Puls, Versluys. Madigan and Wise finished runner-up in the 4x400-meter relay (4:14.8).
Madigan finished second place in the triple jump (33’7”), and Kempher reached a mark of 8’ in the pole vault for a runner-up finish.
The Leafs’ Beeson was third in the discus (85’1”), and Callie Miller was fourth (13.6) in the 100-meter dash.