EAST MOLINE -- Exactly two weeks is the length Geneseo senior thrower A.J. Marmion had to stew over a sub-par performance in his last meet.|
"The frustration," Marmion said, "turned into motivation."
Determined to open his outdoor season with some positive momentum, Marmion needed two throws for the bad taste to go away. Marmion unleashed a discus throw of 162-feet-3 during the Kiwanis Invitational at the Soule Bowl, winning the A-Flight title by more than eight feet on Saturday afternoon.
"I wanted to get out there and get good distances and not get mad," Marmion said. "I wanted to throw what I needed to throw and do what I needed to do."
Throwing more than six feet below his seed distance in the shot put at last month's Illinois Prep Top Times indoor meet angered Marmion. With his first opportunity to throw a discus in a competitive event for the first time since last summer, the goal simply was getting "maybe in the 150s."
The second throw went 162-3, easily surpassing the Class 2A state qualifying standard.
"This is awesome," Marmion said. "A good starter."
Fixing some mechanical issues -- "I really kept my chin down," Marmion said -- helped him get the distance. Combine the improved discus execution with a second-place A-Flight throw of 50-7 in the shot put, the season could not have started better.
"It will get better," Marmion said, "but I was very happy with that."
Rocks win title: As usual, Rock Island rode its sprints as it won the 12-team title with 225.5 points, 13 more than runner-up United Township. Geneseo (126.5) finished eighth, Alleman (91) was ninth, Moline (86) captured 10th and Sherrard (50) placed 11th in the meet.
The highlight for the Rocks was their 4x200-meter relay earning the win in 1:30.02. The quartet of Brandon Richardson, Isaiah Ellis, Doug Wilson and Chris Ehimwenman are less than a second away from the Class 3A state-qualifying standard.
"Everybody had a great leg," Richardson said. "We were all running 22 (seconds), so we had great splits. We will be better."
Adding to the win is the four rebounding from a second-place finish in the 4x100. A bad second exchange had them finishing in 43.81, two-tenths of a second behind Galesburg.
"We were mad. We don't like losing in Rock Island. We took offense to it," Richardson said. "When we got to the 4-by-2, we were like, 'Come on, get your hands better and run hard.'"
Ehimwenman had the Rocks' lone A-Flight individual win, taking the triple jump by soaring 44 feet.
The Panthers' used a strong performance from Tyler Rasso, Pauly Boore, Nicholar Mends and Austin Webster in winning the 4x800 relay. They completed the race in 8:10.01, shaving 21 seconds off their time from last week's Shipley Invitational.
"Awesome," Webster said. "A team effort. All of us (dropped) our times."
Moline senior Marquez Ryan won the A-Flight high jump for the second consecutive outdoor meet, clearing 6-4. He nearly jumped 6-6, but clipped the bar on his final attempt.
"I finally figured out what was holding me back -- it was my breathing," Ryan said. "On my last jump, I slowed down, relaxed. I got so much higher. ... I feel I had some progress."
The lone broken A-Flight meet record came from Alleman senior Zach Hird. He won the 3200 in a time of 9:20.32, beating the two-year-old record by more than seven seconds. Hird (4:28.13) also won the 1600.
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