NEWTON — “Good things happen when you trust yourself,” Newton junior Sarah Kalkhoff said.
Good things happened for Kalkhoff in the discus ring Thursday at the 2014 Cardinal Invitational at H.A. Lynn Stadium. Kalkhoff increased the Newton girls’ discus school record by more than two feet, which she set a year ago. In doing so, she won the gold medal with a throw of 135 feet, 8 inches.
“It was a really good throw. I just put everything together today,” Kalkhoff said. “I told myself to trust my technique. I didn’t throw as well as I liked in the shot put, but I just had to shake that off and throw well in the discus.”
Kalkhoff’s previous school record was 133’1”. Kalkhoff was excited on several levels about the new mark.
“I had qualified for the Drake Relays earlier this week, but this distance puts me up higher in the rankings for Drake,” Kalkhoff said. “I’ve done a lot of weightlifting and success started in the weight room for me. I’ve had help from my dad, my coach and my teammates. We all support each other and it makes a difference.”
Kalkhoff’s teammate, senior Michaela Bleeker claimed the gold medal in the shot put with a toss of 39’7 1/2”. Bleeker, who is also headed to the Drake Relays, and Kalkhoff are second in Class 4A in their respective events.
Bleeker took sixth in the discus at 99’10”. Kalkhoff was sixth in the shot put at 33’10 1/2” with NHS teammate Madison Bagnall, another senior, taking fourth with a throw of 34’3 1/4”.
Newton sophomore Grace Coen earned the only gold medal on the track for the Cardinals. Coen, who is ranked ninth in Class 4A, had two other ranked runners in the 800-meter race field. Brianna Mueller of Adel-DeSoto-Minburn has the fifth-fastest time in Class 3A and Kate Bishop of Indianola is 11th in 4A.
Coen moved to the front of the pack midway through the first lap with Mueller and Bishop on her heels. Coen never gave up the lead, even in the final 200 meters when Mueller and Bishop made a run at her. Coen won in 2 minutes, 19.97 second followed by Mueller in 2:20.30 and Bishop in 2:20.41. Newton’s Hailey Coy was eighth in 2:33.98.
“I am very proud of how the girls competed tonight. We performed well on our home track against a strong field of competition,” said Rachel Tomas, NHS head coach. “Sarah had an outstanding night in the discus.”
The Cardinals finished fifth with 82.5 points. Pella won the team title with 136 points. Cedar Rapids Prairie scored 122 points and Oskaloosa had 109 1/2 points. Indianola placed fourth with 83 points. There were 12 teams in the meet.
Two Cardinal relay teams claimed second place in tight races on their home track. Sydney Jenkins, Alex Hutchinson, Leela Spencer and Amber Karsten combined for second in the 4x200-meter race in 1:49.71 just behind Pella in 1:48.62.
Later in the 4x100-meter relay, Kacy Cazett, Jenkins, Karsten and Spencer recorded a runner-up time of 52.70 seconds. The Cardinals squeezed in between race winner Boone, 52.42, and third-place finisher Marshalltown, 52.83.
Newton 4x400-meter relay team of Coen, Coy, Karsten and Jenkins placed third in 4:12.15. Coy took sixth in the 400-meter dash in 1:05.51 and Anna Barr finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles in 1:13.48.
Cazett, Spencer and Coen teamed up with Taylor Fisher for a sixth-place time of 1:58.25 in the 800-meter sprint medley.
The Cardinals finished just out of scoring places in several events. Barr tied for seventh in the high jump, clearing 4’6”. Bailey Zarbua was seventh in the 100-meter hurdles in 17.28 seconds. Zarbua combined with Barr, Taylor Graff and Fran Lucas for seventh in the 4x100 shuttle hurdle race in 1:13.26.
In the 4x800-meter relay race, Kaelee Knoll, Annie Hurt, Sarah Prendergast and Autumn Hunt ran eighth in 12:00.38.
Newton’s girls compete at Dowling Catholic Monday.