It was a double disappointment last spring for Moline girls' track standouts Audrey Lamphier and Megan Pittington. Both vowed to not allow it to happen again.
Both saw their hopes of a trip to the IHSA State finals end in the sectional at Rock Island. Lamphier was stonewalled by a disqualification, and Pittington went 0-for-4 on the track.
On their home track at Browning Field, both got the job done at Friday's Class 3A Moline Sectional. Lamphier qualified in the 100-meter hurdles, the same event she was disqualified in last year, and Pittington qualified in the 100-meter dash and won the 400.
"It was really heartbreaking last year," Lamphier said, "and Megan and I really dedicated ourselves to get there to state this year. I just tried not to think about last year and when I got set in the blocks I took a deep breathe and smiled.
"I just felt like I could relax once I found out I qualified (by seven-tenths of a second), and I teared up because this meant so much for me and for Megan."
Pittington just barely beat the state-qualifying time in the 100. She led most of the way in the 400 to win and then finished eighth in the 200.
"The 100 was huge for me because I used the energy from Audrey's finish and made me relax because I was going back to state," Pittington said.
Rock Island qualified in two events. MarCeisha Jackson got the Rocks off to an early start, qualifying in the discus. She will be joined by the 800 relay team. The 400 relay team was .25 seconds from state qualifying and the 1600 team was .07 seconds shy of qualifying.
"My mindset was to just think technique, technique, technique," Jackson said. "I was the first (of seven, including Moline's Julie Glenn) to qualify, and I think that pushed everyone to throw better. As one of the few seniors on the team, I have had to do my job and be a leader, that's been fun."
United Township has one state qualifier, sophomore Jade Hunter in the high jump as a qualifier at 5-foot-3.
"I was a little nervous at the start, but my teammates kept telling me I could do it," Hunter said. "That is easier said than done, but once I got to state qualifying that was a load off my shoulders. Now, I just want to either PR or at least get to 5-6 again."