FULTON, Ill. — Fulton/Fulton Unity jumped in front in the field events and flew across the finish line with a win in the second-to-last varsity race Tuesday to clinch a second consecutive title in its own Fulton Relays boys track and field meet.

“It’s good for us and good for the community that we can come back and win again,” Fulton junior Trey Simmons said. The last time Fulton won the title in back-to-back years was 1994-95. The Steamers have won the crown 17 times in the meet’s 69-year history.

“I’m really proud of the guys,” Fulton/Fulton Unity Coach Mike Ankrom said. “They ran with a lot of heart tonight.”

Simmons ran the anchor leg on the winning 800-meter relay unit that clinched the title. It completed a day in which the Steamers took the lead early with a strong performance in the field events.

“It feels good to keep it on and not just start strong,” Simmons said of the relay win. “But it’s nice knowing we can rely on the high jump, the throwers and the (triple) jump. It’s nice that we (runners) don’t have to pick up the slack.”

Fulton/Fulton Unity finished with 87 points, 27 more than runner-up Sterling Newman. Erie/Prophetstown edged Camanche 54-50 for third place in the 11-team meet.

Juniors Michael Dixon and Rodney Gossard helped vault the Steamers to the top early, scoring 10 points each with wins in the high jump (Dixon) and triple jump (Gossard). A 2-3 finish by Kyle McLuckie and Colby Dykstra in the shot put, and a third place from high jumper Kyle Matthews added 20 more points to the early total.

“The field events are a strength for Fulton,” Gossard said. “This is a perfect day for jumping.”

Gossard broke off a 41-foot, 7-inch leap in the preliminaries, and the lead held the rest of the way, although there were a few anxious moments at the end. Because he had to compete in a relay, Sterling Newman’s Nolan McGinn didn’t get to make his three final jumps until after everyone else was finished, and his final attempt forced Gossard to hold his breath.

“I was way nervous,” said Gossard, whose 41-7 effort was his best of the season. When the course officials stretched the tape, though, McGinn’s jump was only 41-1.5, leaving him behind Gossard and runner-up Caleb Flack of Galena (41-3).

Dixon was the only high jumper to clear 6-2.

“This is decent,” he said after equaling his personal record. “I wanted to make that (an attempt at 6-3) pretty bad. It can get a lot better, but I’m dual-sporting it.” A member of both the baseball and track teams limits the time he can spend on each sport.

Camanche came away with the most victories — four, all in relays — even though they were missing four runners, including standout Thomas Brantley, who sprained his ankle preparing for his first event.

“It turned out pretty well,” Camanche Coach Mark Metzger said. “We had to change a bunch of stuff Monday with three guys out (then again when the team lost Brantley).”

The Indians still came up a little short of meet qualifying standards for the Drake Relays. They have one more chance: Thursday at Monticello.

“We do need to improve the four-by-1(00) and shuttle hurdle times, but it’s our goal to get those three (the 1,600 relay is the other) to Drake,” Metzger said.

Their best shot is in the 1,600 relay. They ran away with the victory in the event Tuesday (3:29.09), finishing more than 9 seconds ahead of the runner-up Steamers.

“The last three times we’ve run the four-by-4(00) it’s been like that, with nobody around us,” Metzger said.

“I’m usually the only one who gets to run with people in the four-by-4,” said leadoff runner Jeremiah Jones, who had a role in three of the relay wins Tuesday. “The headline today, though, was Gonz (David Gonzalez, a fill-in for injured runners on the 1,660 and 1,600 sprint medley teams). He came up huge.”



Team standings

1. Fulton/Fulton Unity 87; 2. Sterling Newman 60; 3. Erie/Prophetstown 54; 4. Camanche 50; 5. Amboy 44; 6. Galena 38; 7. Riverdale 20; 8. (tie) Milledgeville, Sherrard 16; 10. Morrison 12; 11. West Carroll 6. Scorers: 10-8-6-4-2-1.

Individual results

(Winners, area scorers)

Shot put — 1. Colten Pohl (Am) 43-7.5; 2. Kyle McLuckie (FFU) 43-1.5; 3. Colby Dykstra (FFU) 42-2.75; 6. Jason Zhang (Cam) 40-10.

Discus — 1. Luke Becker (Am) 122-8; 4. Andrew Screnock (Morr) 116-10; 6. Brad Green (EP) 112-3.

High jump — 1. Michael Dixon (FFU) 6-2; 3. Kyle Matthews (FFU) 6-0; 4. (tie) Cody Weimer (EP), Dylan Dodson (Cam) 5-10; 6. Grant Ames (EP) 5-10.

Long jump — 1. Caleb Flack (Gal) 20-11.5; 5. Eric Kull (Morr) 19-10.

Boys triple jump — 1. Rodney Gossard (FFU) 41-7; 4. Weimer (EP) 38-10; 6. Dylan Binion 38-1.

1,600 sprint medley relay — 1. Camanche (Blake Bialas, Jesse Everhart, David Gonzalez, Jeremiah Jones) 3:47.32; 2. Fulton/Fulton Unity 3:48.88; 4. Erie/Prophetstown (EP) 3:50.19.

Distance medley relay — 1. Newman 9:50.00; 2. Erie/Prophetstown 10:19.34; 3. Morrison 10:27.09; 5. West Carroll 10:42.45; Fulton/Fulton Unity 10:42.50.

400 shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Camanche (Brady Beal, Blake Bialas, Jimmy Zhang, Everhart) 1:03.24; 4. Erie/Prophetstown 1:10.05; 5. West Carroll 1:11.72.

400 relay varsity — 1. Erie/Prophetstown (Owen Abell, Jackie Ferguson, Drew Misfeldt, Kody Wetzell) 44.21; Fulton/Fulton Unity 44.82; 4. Sherrard 45.76; 5. Camanche 45.83.

800 sprint medley relay — 1. Camanche (Beal, Bialas, Jones, Wilson Seeser) 1:37.38; 2. Erie/Prophetstown 1:37.50; 3. Fulton/Fulton Unity 1:40.60.

3,200 relay — 1. Newman 8:39.05; 2. Erie/Prophetstown 8:53.77; 3. Fulton/Fulton Unity 9:05.08; 5. Camanche 9:32.94; 6. West Carroll 9:47.51.

800 relay — 1. Fulton/Fulton Unity (Gossard, Jason Osborn, Shawn Hintz, Trey Simmons) 1:32.78; 5. Camanche 1:40.24; 6. West Carroll 1:40.81.

1,600 relay — 1. Camanche (Jones, Gonzalez, Beal, Seeser) 3:29.09; 2. Fulton/Fulton Unity 3:38.60; 5. Erie/Prophetstown 3:45.79.

Freshman/sophomore 1,600 relay (non-scored) — 1. Fulton/Fulton Unity 3:46.16; 2. Camanche 3:48.22; 3. Morrison 3:52.92; 6. Erie/Prophetstown 3:58.56.

Freshman/sophomore 400 relay (non-scored) — 1. Fulton/Fulton Unity 47.56; 2. Morrison 49.04; 3. Erie/Prophetstown 49.28; 6. Camanche 50.48.


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