FREEPORT – After a couple throws of the discus, Genoa-Kingston's Carly Fischer became frustrated.
She wasn't getting the correct grip or form that had carried her all season, so she turned to someone who knew her best.
"I just talked with my dad," Fischer said. "I knew I needed to calm down and focus, and he knew just how to do it."
With her father's encouragement, Fischer rebounded and threw a distance of 113 feet, which was good enough to advance to state and place first in the Class 2A Freeport Sectional. Fischer was the only athlete to advance from G-K.
"We had a lot of personal bests tonight," Cogs coach Barry Schmidt said. "That's what we want to see at this point in the year. Of course you want to get kids down to state, but when kids can do their best at this point in the year, that's all you can ask for."
Fischer edged Sycamore's Alyssa Feuerbach by six inches, and her first-place finish helped the Cogs to an eighth-place finish in the sectional with 23 points.
Kaneland (100) won the title and Sycamore (98) was the runner-up.
Lilia Edwards led Sycamore, qualifying in three events for next weekend's state meet at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
Edwards advanced in both jumps events. She won the triple jump (35-7) and took second in the long jump (16-6 1/2). More impressively, she took second in the 100 hurdles (16.06).
"I'm so ecstatic," Edwards said after the 100 hurdles. "I hit a couple of hurdles, but facing good competition was the key to keep me going."
Edwards ran the 100 hurdles only a handful of times during the season, focusing more on her jump events, but with her jumping background, she is a natural at clearing the heights in stride.
An injury forced her to miss several weeks of competition during the season and when she returned, Sycamore coach Joe McCormick noticed a bounce in her strides.
The time off from the constant pounding of the track did wonders for her legs.
"She just had an extra spring in her step that was really noticeable," McCormick said. "You can see it in the way she ran the hurdles and her jumps were outstanding."
Christina Dailey also qualified for Sycamore in the triple jump. Teammates Maggie Lalowski (3,200), Feuerbach, as well as the 400, 800 and 1,600 relays also qualified for the state meet.