GALESBURG -- When clutch time came, the Geneseo girls' track team found an extra gear.|
Needing to finish ahead of Moline in the final event at the Silver Streak Invitational to win the team title, the Maple Leafs secured a come-from-behind win with an exclamation point. Geneseo shaved seven seconds off its season-best 4x400-meter relay time, took first place in the race and repeated as the meet champion on Friday evening at Van Dyke Field.
The Maple Leafs, who scored 106 points to outlast runner-up Moline in the 12-team meet by 7.5 points, won the 4x400 by more than four seconds. Entering the event, they trailed by one-half point.
United Township (14 points) took 10th place and Alleman (6.3) was 12th.
"We knew the stakes. We knew that we wanted to win, obviously," said Geneseo senior Emily Ford, who teamed with Halle Olson, Samantha Mannon and Hannah Waller to run a 4:14.36 in the race. "We kept telling ourselves that we train hard and this is what we prepare for. We got in the zone and knew what we had to do."
What Geneseo did is display its depth in every event. Winning four events, the Maple Leafs were consistent on the track and in the field. Other than the 1600, 4x200, long jump and triple jump, they scored in every event with four runner-up performances.In five events, they had two scorers.
"We have a lot of variety," Ford said. "We have someone for every event. We may not have 'superstars' on the team, but we have people who are good and we're balanced."
Waller (47.07 seconds) won the 300 hurdles, Rayne Bodeen (12.87) rolled to the 100 title and Jamie DeFauw (5-feet) captured the high jump. Geneseo appeared to win the 4x200, but it was disqualified after exceeding an exchange zone.
Even without those 10 points, the Maple Leafs had enough to win.
"If we have a setback," Waller said, "we can make up for it."
Geneseo did, ending the meet with a flourish.
"We've been putting in a lot of hard work lately," Ford said. "It's great to start off like this."
Moline takes second: On a night when they had one win, the Maroons placed in 15 events to take second. Moline had two scorers in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and 1600.
"Everyone is doing well in something," Moline senior Taylor Jefford said. "It's helping everyone else to think positively and do well."
Jefford placed second in the 300 hurdles and long jump, third in the triple jump and fourth in the 100 hurdles. Brisa Almanza (3200), Rose Gamamou (high jump) and Keeley Glenn (shot put) all took seconds.
Ali Patch gave the Maroons' their lone victory by clearing 8-6 in the pole vault.
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