Barton, Walter lead Leafs in Sterling

Amy Boldt

Rob Barton and Nathan Walter, who both went 2-for-2 this past week with two first-place finishes, lead the Geneseo High School boys’ track and field team as they continue to improve and get ready for the outdoor season.

Sterling Triangular

On March 17, the Leafs traveled to Sterling’s Westwood Complex for a triangular meet with Sterling and Moline. Geneseo came away with a second-place finish to Sterling.

Leading the Leafs were Billy Hamer, Chris Bisom, the 4x800-meter relay, Barton and Walter, all nabbing first-place finishes for the Leafs.

Hamer took the tape in the 400-m dash in 54.21 seconds, followed by Bisom in the 55-m hurdles in 8.68. The 4x800-m relay of Kenny?Collis, Josh?Lodge, Chad Ford and Thomas Sigwalt grabbed first with a time of 9:05.65, while Barton cleared 13-3 for first in the pole vault and Walter took first in the long jump at 19-0.

“Rob Barton is undefeated in the pole vault for the season and that is phenomenal. He has qualified for the unofficial state meet,” said head coach Don Fredericks. “Nathan Walter placed first in the long jump as a freshman and that is very rare.”

Bisom also came in second to Hamer in the 400-m dash with a time of 56.10, while Lodge placed second in the 1600-m run in 4:53.74.

In third place for the Leafs were Aaron Kotecki in the 55-m dash with a time of 6.59, followed by Collis, 800-m run in 2:12.32. The 4x200-m relay team took third in 1:41.70, while the 4x400-m relay team also placed third in 3:56.40.

Michael Ashpole placed third in the high jump with a leap of 5-10, while teammate Luke Lembke came in third in the long jump at 18-4 and Troy Diericks in the shot put with a toss of 39-9 1/2.

Those placing fourth in their respective events were Isaac Silver, 200-m dash, 25.59; John Mullin, 800-m run, 2:20.28; Levi?Schilling, 55-m hurdles, 9.73; Ian Mattan, pole vault, 9-6; and Ethan Lawson, shot put, 37-0.

Rounding out the effort for the Leafs in fifth place were Lembke, 55-m dash, 6.82; Colton Boyles, 200-m dash, 26.38; Ford, 1600-m run, 5:04.78; and Schilling, high jump, 5-4.

“I haven’t felt this good about a team in a long time,” said Fredericks. “We have new kids coming out and we are excited about that, plus we have a very young and enthusiast coaching staff who are all doing a great job.”

Sterling First Chance Invitational

Barton and Walter led the Geneseo track and field team at the?March 14 Sterling First Chance Invitational with first-place finishes in their respective events. Team scores were not kept.

“It is early season stuff and early season competitive efforts,” said Fredericks. “We lost a plethora of talent to graduation last year, but this year we have our biggest turnout in years and more kids keep coming out. It is a large group of first year track athletes and we are not sure what event is best so there is a lot of experimentation. But before the season is over we will put together a formidable team.”

Barton nabbed first in the pole vault, clearing the bar at 13-0, while Walter in the long jump leaped 19-4 3/4 for top honors.

The Leafs placed in the top 5 in seven other events.

Kotecki sprinted to a second-place finish in the 55-m dash in 6.85, while Curt Jensen also took second in the shot put with a throw of 48-4 1/2.

The 1600-m relay of Andrew Walters, Walter, Collis and Bisom came in third with a time of 3:53.21.

In fourth place were Jake Ballegeer in the high jump with a final height of 6-0 and in the triple jump with a mark of 38-6. The 3200-m relay of Collis, Ford, Tyler Fox and Lodge came in fourth in 8:57.05.

Bisom finished the 55-m high  hurdles in fifth place with a time of 9.10.

Additional Track Results

55-m dash- Walter, 10th, 6.99 and Lembke, 14th, 7.09.

55-m high hurdles- Schilling, 11th, 10.10 and Bryce Knepp, 12th, 10.20.

800-m relay- Collin Akers, Boyles,  Silver and Walters, seventh, 1:46.54.

800-m run- Collis, seventh, 2:15.75; Branden Smith, 14th, 2:22.31; and Kenny Chavez, 17th, 2:28.04.

400-m dash- Bisom, sixth, 57.55 and Mark Sliz, 10th, 58.50.

1600-m run- Lodge, eighth, 4:59.26; Ford, 5:02.21 and Sigwalt, 16th, 5:16.52.

200-m dash- Lembke, 13th, 25.69; Kotecki, 19th, 26.07; and Akers, 20th, 26.15.

Additional Field Results

High jump- Chuck Springer, 10th, 5-6.

Long jump- Lembke, ninth, 18-1 and John Deppe, 12th, 17-3 1/2.

Pole vault- Mattan, seventh, 9-0 and Boyles, eighth, 9-0.

Shot put- Diericks, 11th, 38-10 and Lawson, 15th, 37-7.

Triple jump- Jacob Koster, 12th, 33-9 3/4 and Joe Snyder, 13th, 33-5.

The Leafs will return to action at 9 a.m. March 28 in the Sterling Indoor Invite.

“At this point everyone has had a taste of what the sport is about now,” said Fredericks. “And we are trying kids in new events and we will continue with the experimentation process at practice. We are going to continue to work on our conditioning and technique. It is nice to have a break to fine tune things.”