Geneseo Lady Leafs shine at state finals

Amy Carton
Kaci Storm clears the hurdles in the 100-meter hurdles.

Records were broken and history was made as Geneseo cemented its name in the books as contenders in the state of Illinois.

The Lady Leaf track and field team nabbed a ninth-place finish at the IHSA State Finals for the highest finish as a team in school history.

“I am very happy and I told the girls going into the state meet that I wanted them to do as well as they can personally and that the medals would take care of themselves and they did that,” said head coach Phil Paulson.

Geneseo’s girls didn’t stop there as the team brought home nine state medals, also a school record and broke four event school records.

Among the medalists was Amanda Egan who grabbed the highest finish out of the Geneseo contingent with runner-up honors in the discus with a throw of 125-2. She also captured a medal in the shot put in sixth place with a mark of 38-8 3/4.

“It went fabulously and it is a huge honor to take second,” said Egan. “A bunch of people would have killed to have my spot and I am glad to fill it for Geneseo and to show that Geneseo is here to stay. It was just a great weekend.

“It is great to work that hard and have that dream. I overcame my obstacles from last year and to be on that podium it was a great feeling.”

“Amanda was a nice surprise in the shot put because going into her final throw she was throwing in the 36s, but on her last throw she mustered one up and rose to the challenge,” said Paulson.

Kaci Storm made some history of her own with three medals, which is the most in Geneseo history in one meet. She is also the first Geneseo athlete to win a state medal in any hurdle race.

“It was a great experience and I loved every moment of it,” said Storm. “It is hard to believe still. After the first one, the pressure was off. Once I knew on Friday night that I could get three medals I was ecstatic.”

Storm placed fifth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.39 seconds and sixth in the 300-m hurdles at 45.83, a school record.

The 4x400-m relay of Katie Eastburn, Emily Ford, Halle Olson and Storm crossed the finish line in seventh for a medal in 4:06.64.  This is Geneseo’s first relay medal since 1986.

The girls broke a school record in the prelims set back in 1980 with a time of 4:02.1.

Ford snagged the team’s ninth medal of the weekend in the 800-m run with a ninth-place finish in 2:20.15.

Darrian Hartman finished 13th in the finals of the pole vault at 10-0. Her prelim height of 10-6 was a school record.

Jamie DeFauw took 13th in the finals of high jump at 4-11, while Paige Gatter came in 19th in the 3200-m run in 11:50.67.

Those competing in the prelims, but missing out on the finals included the 4x100-m relay of Eastburn, Jade Collins, Hannah?Waller and Storm who took third in their heat at 49.86; Eastburn in 400-m dash who took third in her heat at 58.90 for a school record and Maggie Schlindwein in the 1600-m run who took eighth in her heat at 5:30.29.

“I was so proud of everyone and it is a great bang to go out with,” said Egan. “To bring it back to the community and just the emotional greatness knowing what I have done my whole high school career has paid off. It is a great feeling.”

“It was amazing and everyone did a good job,” said Storm. “To get ninth at state is a huge accomplishment. Being a part of that team means we will always have a stamp on Geneseo girls track and that is a great feeling. It was a great experience and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

“I am very proud of them for their effort,” said Paulson. “They will remember not so much the medals, but how hard they worked and how much effort they gave. This is a great group of kids and they are deserving of the accolades.”

Amanda Egan competes in the finals of the shot put May 21. She took sixth.