As of late Friday afternoon, Geneseo boys track coach Don Fredericks believed the Class 2A state title was up for grabs. And one of the teams that could be reaching for the state title are his Maple Leafs.
In short, Geneseo did a little better than expected, heavy favorite Cahokia had bad day and a Freeport team led by the versatile Deion McShane was another that has emerged as a possible state champion.
Geneseo qualified for the finals in seven of the nine events it was entered in Friday. And the two it did not — pole vault and triple jump — it was not expected to advance.
“We had a great day,” Fredericks said. “The No. 1 goal is to try to get guys through to tomorrow. And we did that everywhere we hoped to plus Nick Swartzendruber qualified in the 400, and that’s an extra plus for us.”
Other Leafs who qualified included its 3,200 and 1,600 relays, Reed Vanderheyden in the 100 high and 300 low hurdles, Andrew Pischke in the 100 high hurdles and Sam Thomas in the shot put.
The 100 high hurdles also was also a big plus for Geneseo.
“To get one of them through, was tremendous,” Fredericks said. “To get both of them through, wow. That’s another thing I would say was a pleasant surprise.”
Also giving the Leafs — who took second in the state a year ago — hope for a possible state title, is that Cahokia, whom Fredericks said was the prohibitive favorite, “had a lot of things go wrong today.
“Right now it’s pretty much up for grabs,"Fredericks said. "We haven’t had a chance to really study everything and see who’s in it right now.”
One local team which is not in it is Alleman, as only sophomore Seth Sottos made it to the finals (200). Nathan Graves did not qualify in the triple or high jump or the discus and Corneille Logo also fell short in the triple jump.
Spencer Smith will compete in the 3,200 final today.
Erie, on the other hand, qualified three including sophomore Kyle Kruhtoff in the pole vault and its 3,200 and 1600 relay teams while senior Kody Wetzell did not qualify in the 400.
According to Fredericks, Freeport could be the favorite right now.
“Who knows what’s going to happen right now,” he said. “It’s exciting to even think about.”
United Township will have three athletes participate in Saturday’s Class 3A finals, leading the Quad-City metro contingent at the IHSA Class 3A state track meet.
Dalton Martin was already participating in the 3,200 Saturday, the only day its run. But the Panthers' Jean-Luc Soglohun did make the triple jump with a leap of 46 feet, 1.75 inches and Xavier Wickersham also reached the finals in the discus with a toss of 151-6. The Panthers’ Logan Francis missed by one inch of making the high jump finals, clearing 6-3. Moline’s Jon Moore no-heighted.
Rock Island is the only other local team to qualify anyone. Courtney Lindsey qualified in the 200 with a time of 22.39 seconds but did not qualify in the 100. Casey Comodore jumped 21-04.50 in the long jump but needed to go 22-03.