Running against the best, Geneseo sprinter Erika Furbeck not only ran well, she ran past everyone. The senior standout swept the sprints at Friday's Rock Island Invitational.
Then, to complete her grand slam, she won the long jump competition to take home four A-flight championships to help the Maple Leafs to third place in the annual A-B-C meet at Almquist Field.
"This is my favorite meet outside of state because the competition is so great," said Furbeck, who won the 100-meter dash, the 200 and the 400. "It is so much fun to get to run against some people I don't normally get to see. I meet a lot of new people and build some great relationships."
While Furbeck had a smile on her face after winning her third event of the night — the 400 — she wished she had a little better night to run.
"If I had my wish, it would have been warmer and sunny," she said. "When the sun is out, everyone seems to have more fun, and you see a lot more smiles. It's fun when everyone is happy, but I guess I'm pretty happy.
"It wasn't a big deal that they moved the meet along a little to beat the rain because in A-B-C meets it gives you time to rest between events."
She won the long jump with a leap of 19-2.5, and the win in the 400 was a bit of a surprise because she hadn't run the event in a couple of years.
"I have jumped at least 19 every event so far, and I like that consistency," Furbeck said. "The coaches asked me what I wanted to do for my fourth event, and I said I'd like to run the 400. I haven't run it since I was a sophomore."
Ford drives Rocks: Rock Island has long been known for its dominance in the sprints, but it was a huge night on the track for distance runner Jade Ford on Friday.
Running the 3,200 for the first time in her life, she won the B-flight race in 12:04, which was 19 seconds faster than the A-flight winning time. Then, she won the 800 and finished second in a great race in the 1,600.
"Yeah, that's not an easy triple," Ford said. "That's the first time I've run the two miles. Coach (Tammy Vesey) just asked me to do it and said she wanted me to get us some points. I never thought I would win it.
"It was tough but now I think I want to keep working on it. I already set a goal of getting to 11-something. The toughest part is it was the first race and I had to get used to the longest race. I think I had a pretty good night."
She was on the shoulder of Rock Falls runner Bailee Fortney coming down the home stretch, but Ford couldn't get by her, and she faded in the final 50 meters.
"Yeah, I just buckled," she said. "I was trying my best to win three events, but it just fell a little short."
The Rocks also picked up an A-flight win in the 4x100 when Mykedra Craig came from behind on the anchor leg to give her team the win. Rock Island finished fourth with 170 points.
Sherrod-Butler grabs a win: Azlynn Sherrod Butler picked up United Township's lone A-flight win, taking the title in the 100-meter hurdles. UT finished sixth with 110 points. Moline had no A-flight wins and finished seventh with 95 points.
Harlem won the team title.