Area schools send plenty of automatic qualifiers to state
It was a busy day for track and field across Iowa with the qualifying meets for state track in all four classes.
Despite some spotty rain throughout the day and a few postponements, Jasper County schools Colfax-Mingo, Collins-Maxwell-Baxter, Prairie City-Monroe and Lynnville-Sully each advanced numerous individuals and teams to compete at Drake Stadium next week.
While these teams earned multiple automatic qualifiers, the possibility for more area competitors lies in at-large bids, which will be announced with the completion of the postponed meets.
Colfax-Mingo boys track coach Matt Barkalow wanted the team’s state track T-shirts to be full this season, and he got his wish Thursday night.
The Tigerhawks qualified for six events and finished fifth out of the 12-team field at Eddyville-Blakesburg. Overall, C-M earned medals in 12 events.
Senior Connor Hainer reached his season-long goal in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 1.75, which sent him to state and also earned him a school record. Hainer also qualified in the 200-meter dash with a first-place time of 22.51 seconds and 400 with a second-place time of 51.89.
Fellow senior Jaden Van Dyke also finished first and automatically qualified in the 800 with a time of 1:59.95, while senior Chad McLain finished second in the shot put with a throw of 48 feet event to punch his ticket to state. The 4x400 team of Hainer, Van Dyke, McLain and Byron Johnson rounded out the Tigerhawks’ automatic qualifiers with a second-place time of 3:32.32.
“The boys really put it out there tonight and had several outstanding efforts,” C-M coach Matt Barkalow said. “I am extremely proud of our young men.”
Although the Tigherhawk girls will have to wait for the postponed meet at Tipton to see if they will send anyone to Des Moines, coach Zach Tomas was still very pleased with how they performed Thursday.
The Tigerhawks’ strongest cases for qualifiers are the 4x200 relay team of Erin Earles, Jessica Kolo, Bailey Pease and Mari Gonzales, as well as freshman McKinzie Tjaden in the 200.
The 4x400 team placed third with a time of 4:34.59, while Tjaden was fourth at 27.82. Overall, the Tigerhawks earned medals in 11 events and placed eighth.
“We had a strong finish to the season tonight, with several girls earning season and career-best marks,” Tomas said. “We’re graduating a very good senior class that has been instrumental in building the program. They will be missed both as competitors and as leaders of our team.”
Thanks to six individual qualifiers, the Raider boys brought home the District 5 Championship from their meet at Ogden.
Junior Zach Samson and sophomore Bryce Kemp will both make the return trip to Drake Stadium after qualifying for Drake Relays in April. Kemp qualified for the long jump and 110 hurdles with first place efforts of 21-1.5 and 14.74, respectively.
Samson, who moved up to second overall in the state for the shot put, won the event with a season-best throw of 56-4.5 and placed second in the discus with another season-best throw of 160-4.
Joining Samson in the shot put will be sophomore teammate Patrick Girard, who launched a throw of 49-9 to place second in the meet.
The Raiders’ shuttle hurdle team of Austin Moorman, Joey Nissen, Jordan Coughenour and Kemp will also make the trip thanks to a second-place finish and a time of 1:02.38.
It was a surprising end to the season for the CMB girls, who finished fifth with 57 points and will have to wait on the possibility of at-large bids.
Overall, the Raiders had 17 top-eight finishers, with the highest finishers coming in fourth place. Those events included Abbie Haupert in the discus (112-10), Bridget Hurley in the 400 (1:03.28), Kayla Hennick in the 800 (2:35.38), Chasity Moody in the 3,000 (12:05.19) and the 4x800 team of Ashley Girard, Shelby Berg, Anne Deutsch and Hennick.
“Well, this is not the ending we wanted to the season,” CMB girls coach Jerry Meinerts said. “Hopefully some of these girls get the chance to compete at Drake next week. We did some really good things tonight and had several girls have their season best times, throws or jumps.”
After battling injuries and illness for most of the shortened season, plenty of PCM girls will make the trip to Drake Stadium after a third-place finish at the qualifying meet at Eddyville-Blakesburg. Qualifying results for the PCM boys were not available at press time, but they did finish eighth with 56 points.
Automatically qualifying were sophomore Rachel Peter in the 1,500 and 3,000, junior Lexi Kain in the 400 and 400 hurdles, Abbi Gilson in the discus and the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. The 4x100 team is made up of Emily Hugen, Kelsey Townsend, Mackenzie Clarke and Kain, while the 4x400 team features Alex Samson, Courtney Van Houweling, Ashley Van Gorp and Townsend.
“I’m extremely proud of how well our team performed tonight,” PCM girls coach Bridget Burns said. “Everyone did a nice job stepping up and getting the job done. Our ultimate goal is to get to that blue oval, and we are sending quite a few goals.”
That group could have some extra company, as the Mustang girls are also awaiting word on possible qualifiers in the 4x200, sprint medley, distance medley and 100.
The lady Hawks of Lynnville Sully had three automatic qualifiers from their district meet at BGM on Thursday.
Tara Vos was the first Hawk to qualify for state with her win in the 800-meter run. She finished with a time of 2:29.21. The second Haek to qualify was Alexa Vander Leest in the 3,000 with a time of 11:31.94. The final automatice qualifier for the Hawk girls was their 4x800 team of Kasiah Ehresman, Cori Rice, Madison Rasmusson and Vos. It had a time of 10:34.57.
“I’m so proud of the efforts put forth tonight by each one of the 13 girls on our team this season,” L-S coach Darin Arkema said. “They’ve just been getting better and better all season, and as a whole team finished things off with an excellent third place finish at the state qualifying meet. What a great honor and exciting time for them to have the opportunity to finish the season at the state meet. We will have to wait until all the results are in to see if anything else qualifies for state. Hopefully we have some more events that make it.”
The boys had four qualifiers as junior Meliek Meyer flashed his speed yet again in the 100, winning handily. He will be looking to improve on his performance at Drake a few weeks ago.
Nathan Russell qualified for the 110 high hurdles. Two relay teams will be headed to state for the Hawks.
The 4x100 team consisting of Meyer, Caden Doll, Jacob Walker and Bailee Samson as well as the the 4x400 team of Russell, Walker, Cale Van Wyk and Payton Haack will both be looking to represent Lynnville-Sully proudly at state.
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