CLINTON — Reaching the top in one's sport is always the goal, but it's also something most athletes and teams only dream of accomplishing each season.
Prince of Peace's Sydney Laufenberg, Clinton's Deshond Robinson, Camanche's Courtney Sowle,
Erie/Prophetstown's Paige Rus, an E/P relay unit and the Clinton River Queens girls tennis team happily became exceptions last spring when they won state titles. The championships highlighted the 2013 calendar year for area sports teams and individuals, although several others came close to winning it all.
The River Queens scored back-to-back 5-4 victories against defending state champion Ames and Urbandale to capture the state tennis crown in Cedar Rapids. A year earlier, Clinton lost to both of those teams as it placed fourth at state.
The top individual finishes came at the state track meets.
Laufenberg capped a successful freshman season by uncorking a throw of 120 feet, 4 inches on her first attempt in the Class 1A discus competition. That wound up beating the next-best throw by more than a foot. It came a day after she placed fourth in the shot put.
Robinson captured the Class 4A state crown in the 400 meters, winning in 48.71 seconds.
Sowle claimed her title in the Class 2A 400-meter hurdles in 1:03.71.
Rus earned the Illinois Class 1A state title in the triple jump (36 feet, 9.5 inches), and she and her
Erie/Prophetstown teammates just missed capturing the team title. Courtney Cobert, Peyton Rus, Heather Strike and Rachel Cobert captured the gold in the 4-by-100-meter relay, but the Panthers were edged 60-56 for the team title by Moweaqua Central A&M. A week later, the Erie/Prophetstown boys took third at state, led by a runner-up finish by Devin Johnson in the long jump.
Among other top team performances at the high school level: