BY DAVE PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Warmer weather helped Rockford track and field athletes finally let loose to their full potential when 19 Rockets in 21 different events qualified for the Section 5A finals.
The sub-section meet was conducted at Annandale last week. The section finals were run at St. John’s University Wednesday, May 28 after this issue went to press.
Muscles contract in cold weather, so when temps reached the 80’s, Rocket runners began to soar. A great example was senior Jordan Weeding who captured first place in four girls events. She won both hurdle events, plus the high jump and was on the winning 4×1 relay.
Brock Deering, who runs track when the baseball team is not in action, won the high jump and helped the 4×2 relay take first and 4×1 relay finish second. Jordan O’Reilly was first in the 300 hurdles and was part of the 4×1 and 4×2 relays. The 4×1 also had Alex Byers and Kenneth Gilb.
Emily Eberspacher qualified for the finals in both the long and triple jumps. Abby Botten won the 1600 and took second in the 800. Logan Henrich, an eighth grader, captured first in the 100 and was on the winning 4×100 relay. Mariah Givens placed first in the 200 and was on the 4×1 relay that also included Cally Nielsen
“We had 27 personal records set in the meet, including every pole vaulter,” said coach Chad Robran. “Erik Olson was first for the boys with Nick Klonne second. The Vaulters just needed warm weather to show their stuff. They have been working hard all year with new coach Paul Herda and it paid off in the sun at sub-sections.”
As a team, both the boys and girls reached the 100-point mark for the first time in years. Last year the girls scored 60 points and the boys 80. The girls placed third and boys fourth out of eight sub-section team.
Rockford showed off its new track facility last Thursday at the Last Chance Invitational that included eight teams. It was the last chance to run before the season is over or for the ones moving on to sectionals to use as a tune up of skills. Rockford didn’t run their full team in the meet where the girls placed third and boys fourth.
Deering won the high jump and was on the winning 4×1 relay. O’Reilly won the 300 hurdles and was on the 4×1. Byers was third in the 200 and on the 4×1. Gilb was on the 4×1 and took fifth in the 100. Klonne was second in the 800. Olson took second in the pole vault with Klonne third. Schumacher was first in the long jump.
For the Rocket girls at the last chance meet, the 4×100 relay captured first with Givens, Nielsen, Weeding and Henrich. Weeding won the high jump, Givens took second in the 200, Emma Hawley was second in the long jump and Eliza Shedlov placed third in the pole vault.