CHARLESTON, Ill. — Erika Furbeck and Imani Carothers picked up where they left off a year ago in Saturday's long jump finals at the Illinois state meet.
This time, Furbeck came out on top.
The Geneseo junior won the Class 2A state championship with a leap of 19 feet, 5 inches to edge Carothers, the defending champion in the long jump from Chicago Brooks.
At last year's state meet, Carothers defeated Furbeck, the runner-up, by about 5 inches. On Saturday, Furbeck beat Carothers by almost 2 inches to earn one of her three medals on the day and the only gold for the Q-C area contingent competing in finals.
"It's definitely redeeming knowing that I had solid competition there with Imani Carothers,” Furbeck said. “We push each other there and it's such rewarding for once for me to win. Just shows that hard work pays off in the end.
"She beat me last year and that's mainly the motivational factor for me to be here.”
Furbeck took fourth in the 100, finishing in a time of 12.17 seconds.
"That's how I came in and that's how I came out,” said Furbeck, who also finished eighth in the 800. “I will take it and just work, get some block starts in and working on stuff like that.”
Three other Q-C area competitors brought home silver medals in Class 1A, all sophomores -- Alleman's Kiah O'Neal in the high jump, Orion's Danielle Taets in the triple jump and Fulton's Chloe Lindeman in the shot put.
O’Neal was somewhat disappointed her second-place leap of 5-5 on Saturday after she had gone 5-9 at the sectionals a week earlier.
"It's a big improvement from last year so I am happy about that, but I still wish I could've at least jumped what I've already done,” she said. “It's getting better every year, so hopefully next year is better. It will definitely motivate me to get number one next year."
Rock Island finished 28th with nine team points, led by senior Demetria Johnson’s fourth-place finish in the 100 high hurdles with a school-record tying 14.60, the same time she ran Friday.
Teammate Cedreahna Kennedy took eighth in the same race.
“I feel amazing,” Johnson, a senior, said. “Words can't explain how happy I am I ran my race. I left it all on the track. I wouldn't change anything. I did good, ran my race, stayed consistent."
By tying the school record, she also gets to add her name to a prestigious list at Rock Island. “I still get to go on the wall,” she said. “I am excited.”
The Rocks also got a ninth-place medal from their 400 relay team of Carolyn Donaldson, Camryn Commodore, Dyashia Colvin, and Mykendra Craig. Kylie Wymer finished 12th in the shot put.
Moline sophomore Megan Pittington took ninth in the 400 to earn her first state medal.
“I exceeded my expectations,” she said. “It’s a huge deal (to get her first state medal). In the back of my mind, I was hoping to medal, but it wasn’t my biggest goal. So I am really happy.”
Taets set a personal best in the triple jump (37-00.75) while getting second.
"It wasn't what I wanted, but I am really happy about it,” she said. "I PR'd so that's all that really matters. It's awesome how far I've come and how far I could go because I have two more years left."
Taets also finished seventh in the 100 hurdles. She called her 15.5-second time OK.
“(Getting two medals) feels great,” she added.
Lindeman also got two medals, topped off by her second-place in the shot put with a toss of 43-01.50, nearly five feet behind the champion. She took sixth in the discus. Fellow Fulton sophomore Kearra Kohrt took sixth in the long jump.
"I'm feeling pretty good. I know I could've thrown better, but inside, there's a different feel, Lindeman said.
"I feel like I can throw farther and that I can get the state title in my junior and senior year. I know I will be working very hard in the offseason, going to many meets in the summer. I am still proud of what I've done.”
— Justin Rust of the Journal Gazette/Times-Courier contributed to this report