Geneseo's Huffman heads to state

Amy Carton
Joe Huffman tosses a qualifying throw in the shot put May 20 at the Rock?Island Sectional.

Despite battling through a shoulder injury, Geneseo junior Joe Huffman persevered and earned two spots at the IHSA State Finals in the shot put and discus.

“Joe was seeded to go to state in the shot put, but after he hurt his shoulder and missed eight days of training it was a big question mark,” said head coach Don Fredericks. “It was a great job by Joe.”

Huffman, the lone qualifier for the Geneseo boys’ track and field team, placed second in the shot put with a throw of 52-9 1/2 and third in the discus at 151-0 to advance at the May 20 Rock Island Sectional.

“Our sectional is the most difficult 2A sectional in the state and I am very happy to have our school represented in the state finals with Joe,” said Fredericks.

Other top 5 place finishers who just missed a trip to state included Jordan Starkey in the 3200-meter run in fourth place with a time of 10 minutes and 51 seconds and Kyle Reiling in the 1600-m run in third place with a time of 4:33.02.

Additional individual sectional results include Mitchell Lawson, 12th, 3200-m run, 10:50.05; Josh Lawson, 11th, 800-m run, 2:11.11; John Mullin, 15th, 800-m run, 2:14.72; Billy Hamer, sixth, 400-m dash, 51.79; Sawyer Claus, 19th, 400-m dash, 56.02 and 12th, triple jump, 38-6 1/2; Dugan Kuffel, ninth, 300-m hurdles, 42.59; Jordan Mielke, 15th, 300-m hurdles; Tyler Rusk, 12th, long jump, 19-7; A. J. Marmion, 14th, shot put, 40-11 1/4 and sixth, discus, 142-04; Chuck Springer, 10th, high jump, 5-5; Seth Wilson, 10th, high jump, 5-5; Alex Platz, ninth, pole vault, 10-9; and Jay Wilson, 10th, pole vault, 10-3.

“We had a couple of near misses with Kyle Reiling who went crazy in the 1600-m run to get a 10 second personal best,”?said Fredericks. “Jordan Starkey ran a heck of a race and Billy Hamer gave a strong effort in a loaded 400 field.

“A. J. Marmion placed sixth in the discus which is phenomenal for a freshman and broke Joe Huffman’s freshman record, which was neat.”

In the relay events, the 4x800-m relay of Griffin?Welfer, Mitchell Lamb, Jacob Miller and Jacob Rahn, eighth, 8:52.00; the 4x100-m relay of Kuffel, Luke Snyder, Chase Cahalan and Jack Scherer, 11th, 46.53; the 4x200-m relay of Snyder, Justin?Seeley, Ryan?Webster and Cahalan, 11th, 1:38.49; and the 4x400-m relay of Mark Sliz, Branden Smith, Thomas Sigwalt and Hamer, ninth, 3:35.89.

“We didn’t have everything go perfect, but pretty close,”?said Fredericks. “We had a great night and I am proud of our team. I am very happy with the efforts the kids put forth.”

Huffman will compete at the state finals this weekend May 27-28 in Charleston.

“Joe can expect to see the best of the best,” said Fredericks. “The goal is for him to make the finals in the shot put and then earn a top 9 spot for All-State. In the discus, it is a longer road, but the goal is to advance out of the prelims and bring back a state medal.”