Annawan-Wethersfield's Michael Cook started and ended his junior running season with a flourish, finishing third in the Class 1A state cross country meet and earning a pair of sixth-place medals in the Class 1A state track meet.
Not a bad season, right?
"It was pretty successful," Cook said. "After track last season, I had high expectations."
Cook reached them.
Before the state meet -- where he placed sixth in both the 800- and 1600-meter races -- late last month, Cook had not lost any open event. He was the Lincoln Trail Conference and Class 1A sectional champion in each race.
All that added up to being named the 2014 Area Boys' Track and Field Athlete of the Year for The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus.
Do you like track or cross country more? "I like track a little more. It's a little shorter. I feel I have more speed than stamina."
You had a third- and fifth-place medal as a sophomore, but your times were better as a junior. Is that pretty interesting? "I think it shows how good 1A track really is. Prelim times were almost faster than 2A times. It speaks for how good 1A track can be.
With the success you had this season, how much momentum does that give you? "A lot. Going into the cross country season, I'm hoping I can improve. Hopefully, I can get higher medals in track.
What do you want to accomplish in the next 12 months? "I'm hoping I can improve my times in everything and place a little higher in cross country and track."
Today is Saturday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2014. There are 102 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Recruits can get $500 by enlisting now. Lt Jobe has a recruiting office on Illinois Street. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Superintendent Schnitger formally inaugurated the Rock Island and Davenport Railway Line of the Holmes system by putting on four cars to start. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Wires of the defunct Union Electric Co. are being removed by city electricians. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The Bishop Hill softball team won the championship in WHB"S Mississippi Valley tournament at Douglas Park. 1964 -- 50 years ago: A boom in apartment construction has hit Rock Island, with approximately 300 units either in or near the construction stage or due for an early rezoning decision. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Members of the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Commission are hoping to revive their push for a new $70 million four-lane bridge spanning the Mississippi River.