Last Thursday was a celebratory day for the county’s automatic qualifiers for the state track meet, but plenty more athletes had the same chance to celebrate over the weekend.
Thirty-four more athletes earned trips to Drake Stadium with at-large bids, increasing the number of area events to 68. All five of the county’s schools — Newton, Prairie City-Monroe, Collins-Maxwell-Baxter, Colfax-Mingo and Lynnville-Sully — earned at-large berths.
The state track meet will begin on Thursday and run through Saturday,
Newton ended up with 18 event qualifiers for the state finals (seven boys, 11 girls), 10 of which were elated to receive at-large bids to the state finals.
For the boys, Derrick Hurt, Deonne Harris and Dakota Hills had already secured spots in the state finals, but they found out which of their teammates would be joining them in Des Moines. Hill qualified for an at-large bid in the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.42 seconds. He will be joined by two of the Cards’ relay teams. The 4x400 team of Cody Maxwell, Hills, Jarom Williams and Andrew Clements sneaked in with a tome of 3:31.71, and the shuttle hurdle relay team of Maxwell, Harris, Brandon Fisher and Jacob Bennett qualified with a time of 1:02.66.
The girls will be sending 11 representatives to state, adding to the four automatic qualifiers from last Thursday. Freshman Grace Coen qualified with a time of 4:59.78 in the 1,500, adding to her event list as she had already qualified for the 800. Sydney Jenkins found out her season would continue. She got into the 200 (27.18) and the 400 (1:00.99). The 4x100 shuttle hurdle team of Anna Barr, Taylor Graff, Baily Zaruba and Victoria Walton qualified with a time of 1:10.85 as did the 4x400 team of Jenkins, Alexis DesPlanque, Fisher and Amber Karsten. The 4x800 team (Karsten, Hailey Coy, Jenkins and DesPlanque) made it as will with a qualifying time of 10:06.59.
Michaela Bleeker was an automatic qualifier in the shot, but she will be throwing the discus as well with a throw of 110 feet, 1 inch landing her a spot.
PCM’s girls had plenty to be excited about with seven automatic qualifiers last week, but they added to their workload over the weekend.
The Mustangs’ 4x200 team of Emily Hugen, Courtney Van Houweling, Ashley Van Gorp and Mackenzie Clarke earned passage, and junior Abbi Gilson will now throw in the shot put after automatically qualifying for the discus.
Van Houweling may have been the happiest with the news, as she was the only competitor to earn an at-large bid that hadn’t already qualified. Hugenand Clarke are also a part of the Mustangs’ 4x100 team, while Van Gorp is running with the 4x400.
PCM’s boys will send two athletes to compete in three events, all centered around hurdles. Seniors Hunter Reed and Ethan Kain will actually be competing against one another in the 110 hurdles, while Reed will also run in the 400 hurdles.
While initially shut out of state after the qualifying meet, the Raider girls got the good news of four events qualifying on an at-large basis.
Freshman Bridget Hurley and junior Abbie Haupert were the team’s two individual qualifiers, as Hurley earned passage to the 400 and Haupert will compete in the discus. While it will obviously be Hurley’s first appearance at state, Haupert placed 18th in the discus last year.
The Raiders’ 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams qualified for state as well. The 4x400 team is made up of Hurley, Haupert, Kayla Hennick and Anne Deutsch. The 4x800 team consists of Hennick, Deutsch, Ashley Girard and Shelby Berg.
As for the CMB boys, one more competitor will be joining the seven events that already qualified. Sophomore Clayton Weltha earned a spot in the discus, giving the Raiders two athletes in each throwing event.
The Tigerhawk girls were also left on the outside looking in after their meet on Thursday, but one relay team kept the program’s state track streak alive for the fourth consecutive year.
The 4x200 relay team of senior Jessica Kolo, sophomore Erin Earles and freshman Jessica Albright and McKinzie Tjaden earned the 21st spot out of 24 teams in the event. Senior Rachel Forschler and sophomore Bailey Pease will serve as alternates.
It will be the first time any of the four girls run at state, although Kolo and Earles did serve as alternates on the Tigerhawks’ distance medley team last season.
“I am so proud of these girls and all their hard work and dedication has paid off this season,” C-M coach Zach Tomas said. “It is great to see these two seniors finish their careers with a state birth.
The boys of Lynnville-Sully found out their magic number was 14, sending a slew of competitors to Des Moines for state. They picked up 10 at-large bids. Junior Bailee Samson qualified in the 100 at 11.34 and the 200 (23.07). Meliek Meyer got an at-large big in the 200 at 22.96. Junior Jacob Walker got into the 400 with a time of 51.81. Darin Hofer will join Nathan Russell in the high hurdles with a time of 16.21.
In the relay events, the Hawks qualified for the 4x200 with a team of Payton Haack, Meyer, Brandon Dunsbergen and Samson. The shuttle hurdle team qualified at 1:00.36. Haack also qualified in the long jump at 19-10.25. Cale Van Wyk will also compete in the long jump, and he qualified with jump of 19-8.5. Brady Van Wyk made the shot put with a throw of 45-8.
For the Hawk girls, Alexa Vander Leest got into the 3,000 with a time of 11:31.94. The 4x800 team of Kasiah Ehresman, Cori Rice, Madison Rasumsson and Tara Vos qualified with a time of 10:34.57. Vos qualified in the 800 with a time of 2:29.21 and the 1,500 at 5:20.17. Shelby Davis rounded out the qualifiers with a high jump of 4-10.