The Gene Shipley Invitational is considered a meet where teams get a chance to see where they are and what kind of depth they have, said Rock Island girls coach Tammy Vesey.
Still, it was clear by their post-meet cheer and their actions on the track and in the field that Saturday’s results at Browning Field meant something to her reigning Western Big Six champions of the last three years.
The Rocks won the girls invite fairly easily with a 45-point margin over second place Wheaton Warrenville South.
And Vesey liked that some of the girls who might normally run JV saw their points count in the A-B-C format.
“We had phenomenal performances from different girls,” said Vesey, citing Ariana Gabriel, who took first in the 100 C, Mykedra Craig, who had a personal record in the 100 B while also winning 200 B. “So great performances.
"It’s a good way to figure out where kids fit in."
The Rocks also had strong outings from Demetria Johnson, who won the A division 300 hurdles in 48.591 seconds, and Kylie Wymer, who won the shot put and the discus with a season-best toss of 116 feet, 11 inches.
The Rocks swept the pole vault, with Mollee Murphy first in A, Alexandria Asup winning B and Kylee Homan winning C.
Vesey said her team was motivated.
“We have a saying, ‘Are you a champion or a chump?’ Either we come out being champions or being chumps. So we wanted to win. But as long as they PR (set a personal record), I am happy with them.”
Moline sophomore Megan Pittington admitted she was quite happy when she saw what a nice day it was when she got up Saturday morning. Last year's Shipley Invite was impacted by high winds.
Pittington had plenty more reasons to be happy after winning the 100, 200 and 400 "A" races — a trifecta worthy of the returning state qualifier she is.
“I am pretty sure I PR'd in every event today, which is awesome for a first outdoor meet,” Pittington said. “It’s good motivation because I have gotten better since the beginning of the season and last year. I want to keep on getting better as the season goes on.”