Posted Online: March 20, 2013, 9:02 pm
Metro boys' track preview capsules
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Photo: Clark Brooks / PhotoNews|
Rock Island's Derrick Willies competes during the 300-meter hurdles at the Class 3A state track meet last May in Charleston. Willies won the heat qualified for today's finals in that event and the 100-meter hurdles.
Coach: Kenny Lee (13th season)
2012: 3rd at Western Big 6; Class 2A sectional champions
Returning state qualifiers: Srs.: Ethan Adlfinger (distance), Will Graham (distance), Scott Schilb (throws), Adam Hoogerwerf (sprints); Jrs.: Matt Hubbell (sprints); Soph.: Kylee Dorsey (sprints)
Other notables: Sr.: Steven Ewald (sprints); Jrs.: Alec Diab (throws), Zach Hird (distance), Aiden Ford (throws); Soph.: Brady Hoskins (jumps)
Lee's view of the Pioneers: "This year's team is young but competitive. The distance crew and throwers will be solid, and the sprint guys will have to grow up fast."
Geneseo Maple Leafs
Coach: Don Fredericks (16th season)
2012: 7th at Northern Illinois Big 12
Returning state qualifiers: Sr.: Jordan Starkey (distance); Jr.: A.J. Marmion (throws)
Other notables: Srs.: Dugan Kuffel (hurdles), Alex Platz (pole vault), Jordan Reschke (sprints), Jay Wilson (pole vault); Jr.: Justin Seeley (hurdles); Soph.: Josh Beard (jumps)
Fredericks' view of the Maple Leafs: "Our numbers are up with good balance between the classes. Our goal is to keep improving as the season progresses. We have a strong senior class that will lead by example."
Coach: Tauwon Taylor (8th season)
2012: 6th at Big 6
Returning state qualifiers: None
Other notables: Srs.: Abe Driscal (jumps), Jacob Estell (sprints), Jared Larson (distance), Benito Martinez (distance), Jon Pollock (throws), Matt Roche (sprints), Matthew Tuttle-Timm (distance)
Taylor's view of the Maroons: "We have some talented kids who will score in some key events, but we lack depth. That's going to hurt us in a big meet.''
Rock Island Rocks
Coach: Ed Lillis (23rd season)
2012: Big 6 co-champions; 5th at Class 3A sectional
Returning state qualifiers: Srs.: Brian Richardson (sprints), Derrick Willies (hurdles/sprints); Jr.: Brandon Richardson (sprints)
Other notables: Srs.: Eric Ikundiro (distance), Charlie Sparkman (sprints), Aaron Arrington (jumps/sprints), Jrs.: Chris Ehimwenman (jumps/sports), DayQwon Jones (sprints/jumps), Travon Aldridge (jumps), Jamal Morrow (throws)
Lillis' view of the Rocks: "Our goal is always to progress weekly toward conference, sectional and state. It always takes a contribution from all four areas -- sprints, jumps, throws, distance -- for that to happen."
United Township Panthers
Coach: Evan Holschbach (1st season)
2012: Big 6 co-champions
Returning state qualifiers: Srs.: Ben Jackson (sprints), Todd Flamer (sprints); Jrs.: Tyler Rasso (distance), Austin Webster (distance)
Other notables: Srs.: Spencer Haynie (sprints), Drew Merideth (sprints/jumps), Levi Perry (throws), Cody Cutkomp (throws), Tireni Ajibola (jumps); Jrs.: Dalton Oakes (hurdles), Pauly Boore (mid-distance)
Holschbach's view of the Panthers: "Our strength will be our balance. With returning sprinters, jumpers and throwers headlining our speed and power events and two cross country all-state juniors leading a strong distance squad, we expect to be in the hunt in every event. Our sights are set on a sixth consecutive Big 6 title.''