MOLINE -- Using two substitutes in the 4x200-meter relay during the Shipley Invitational at Browning Field on Saturday afternoon, Rock Island girls' track coach Michelle Lillis "was guessing they would be at 1:48" when they crossed the finish line.|
The quartet shaved more than two seconds off that prediction.
"Amazing," Rocky sophomore sprinter Hannah Willhite said. "They did well."
Tempered expectations in the race were replaced by excitement as regulars Willhite and Cynthia Myers-Miles combined with subs Camryn Comodore and Angel Parker to complete the race in 1:45.89, coming within three-tenths of a second of the Shipley record.
Considering senior speedsters Mystique Thompson and LaCresha Linton were not part of the relay, the performance becomes noteworthy.
"We're always confident in each other," Myers-Miles said. "There was no reason why we couldn't win it."
Thompson and Linton helped the 4x200 finish second in the Class 3A state meet a season ago, but Lillis placed those two in the 400 so they could build strength and endurance for end-of-season meets. Because the 4x200 and 400 are back-to-back events, the Rocks figured it would be wise in adding Comodore and Parker to the relay.
At first, there was some concern with two key pieces being absent.
"Then, I just had faith and trusted them," Myers-Miles said. "It all worked out."
Lillis conceded the 4x200 lineup is temporary, but the result was encouraging.
"We have pretty good depth in the sprints," Lillis said. "It bodes well for the future."
Rocky, which scored 282 points to finish second in the eight-team meet behind Wheaton Warrenville South, dominated the sprints. Thompson and Linton, respectively, won the A- and B-Flight 100, 200 and 400 races, with none of the finishes being close. Mariah Anderson (100), Parker (200) and Mariah Hoover (400) won their respective C-Flight events.
In the 100 hurdles, Agok Ayun (A Flight), T'Nauzhae Robinson (B) and Melanie Anderson (C) swept the titles.
The highlight, though, were the sprint relays.
Anderson, Linton, Myers-Miles and Thompson won the 4x100 in 48.78, missing the meet record by three-tenths of a second. The time also was more than three seconds ahead of the runner-up. Kirsten Tauke, Anderson, Hoover and Willhite combined to win the 4x400 in 4:08.99.
Willhite gave the Rocks the 4x400 win by outlasting a Wheaton Warrenville South runner in the last 100 meters.
"I couldn't let her win," said Willhite, who also won the triple jump. "I wanted to win this. There was no reason why we couldn't win it."
During every sprint race, Rocky displayed its explosiveness. Everyone contributed in that run.
"We all," Myers-Miles said, "ran great today."
Gamamou sets record: Moline sophomore Rose Gamamou broke the 10-year-old high jump record by clearing 5-feet, 6.5-inches. Gamamou, who set a personal best on the jump, broke the previous record set by Rocky's Katrina Roper by a half inch.
"I just ran fast and jumped high," Gamamou said. "I'm looking forward to jumping higher."
Moline (222.5 points) finished third, United Township (98.5) took sixth and Alleman (70) was seventh at the meet.
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