Furbeck's leap one of the best in the nation

It was a historic jump, and this is just the beginning for Erika Furbeck.

In just her second jump of the season, Furbeck dazzled with a long jump distance of 20’1.5” which tied her for the second-best current long jump mark in the nation.

With only a few run-throughs and pop-ups in training, Geneseo’s Furbeck had not taken any full jumps in practice prior to the Galesburg “Cuffy” Early Bird Indoor on Feb. 23.

“I don’t know that any of us really expected it,” Geneseo Coach Kyle Morey said. “But, Erika is good at doing things that are not expected.”

A defending Illinois state champion in the long jump, Furbeck won the state title with a mark of 19’5” which fell just short of the state meet record set by Chicago Brooks’ Imani Carothers (19’5.75”) in 2016.

Strength training with the school’s Summit program and some workouts and training with different college programs over the summer have raised the bar beyond anyone’s expectations.

Coming into this season, Furbeck had a goal of hitting the 20’ mark.

However, opening the season with this kind of distance changes everything.

“I reminded Erika that we are going to have to set some new goals,” Morey said.

The only mark better than Furbeck’s this year was Lanae-Tava Thomas from Rush-Henrietta who set a New York state long jump record of 21’4”. The United States women’s Olympic qualifying mark is 21’4”.

At the Galesburg Invite, Geneseo’s freshmen class put together a strong start to the season.

The Lady Leafs’ Evie Wilson, Emily Ryerson and Alexys Johnson each cleared 8’ to grab a share of first place in the pole vault, and Hannah Rakestraw finished sixth clearing 7’.

In the high jump, Geneseo’s Abby Reakes leaped to third place clearing 5’, and Wilson finished fourth clearing 4’8”.

The Lady Leafs’ Ester Brown finished third in the 400-meter dash in 1:07.76, and Alison Bowers finished sixth in the 55 dash in 7.88.

“This is an exciting year because (the freshmen) were runners-up in the IESA last year,” Morey said. “They had a lot of success at the middle school level with (Todd) Ehlert and his assistants. I think coming in we knew they were going to bring some talent.”

The Lady Leafs’ 4x400-relay team of Julia Poel, Brown, Diana Scherer and Rebekah Beard came in third in 4:32.04.

Geneseo’s 4x200-relay team of Bowers, Emma Terronez, Sydne Sexton and Sarah Korthals finished fourth in 2:01.45.

In the 4x800 relay, Geneseo’s Anna Girten, Lauren Belvel, Claire Hall and Poel finished fourth in 11:17.71.

A senior, Beard finished with a mark of 31’5.5” in the triple jump to finish sixth.

In the shot put, Brenna McGuire landed sixth with a throw of 28’11”, and Anslee Plasschaert finished eighth with a throw of 26’2”.

McGuire finished seventh in the long jump with a distance of 14’10.5”, and Diana Scherer came in eighth with a 2:50.43 in the 800.

Bowers landed 10th in the 200 in 29.55, and Girten finished 13th in the 1600 run with a time of 6:17.85.