With the Illinois High School Association rearranging its classes this year, the Rock Island girls track team wanted to see where it stacks up against its new Class 3A competition.
The Rocks handled it just fine, winning the Gene Shipley Invitational by 28 points over 3A’s Wheaton Warrenville South. Rock Island set a half-dozen records on a day that saw 15 records fall of a possible 46.
“We actually battled Wheaton Warrenville South the whole meet,” junior Troy Jackson said. “We weren’t coming into today. They were because of their distance, but everybody on our whole team stepped up and PR’d just so we could win. Our throwers, our field events team, our distance did well.
“This year we want to beat 3A teams so we know what to expect when we get to state.”
Wheaton finished tied for 15th at state last year.
The Rocks won 24 flights in all across the ABC event Saturday. Leading the Rocky charge was sophomore Mystique Thompson. She led off the Rocks’ record-setting 400-relay team while taking home wins in the 100-meter dash, the B flight of the 400 and the 200.
“We have a whole bunch of experienced girls,” Thompson said of her relay team’s success. “Jalea Jackson and Triniesha (Gray), they work really hard.”
When the 400 relay race was over, Rocks coach Michelle Lillis praised her squad on their exchanges.
“They’re important because they cut down on our time,” Thompson said. “We work really hard in practice to get our hands as smooth as they can be because it really cuts down on the time.”
Sterling finished in third place, bolstered Krista Loos’ win in the 100 hurdles and Lauren Zuidema’s second-place finish in the pole vault.
Host Moline was 3.5 points back of Sterling for fourth place, while United Township was sixth and Rock Island Alleman finished eighth.