High school track and field athletes got a few great nights to compete in the last week or so.
Hopefully they will get a few more as the cut-off to qualify for the Drake Relays is a week from today.
Heading into the final week, a handful of area athletes are inside the cutoff line to qualify.
One change to Drake Relays qualification this season is the 4x100 relay. In past years, the top 80 teams in the state — boys and girls — got to compete in the event on the blue oval. This year, the number was extended to 96.
Because of that, three area foursomes are sitting inside the mark.
PCM’s boys’ 4x100 team of Payton Strovers, Reed Worth, Brayton Van Dyke and Preston Van Wyk are sitting 68th at 45.36 seconds. I think with so many spots between them and 96, that foursome should get in.
On the girls’ side, things are much closer, but Newton and PCM are inside the top 96.
Newton’s foursome of Kate Callaghan, Abbie Barr, Brooklyn Cupples and Kynnedei Terpstra are sitting 86th in 53.67.
PCM is .11 seconds behind Newton, but the team of Margo Chipps, Regan Freland, Paytan Schut and Sierra Foster are currently 90th.
The only other relay team currently under the line is PCM’s shuttle hurdle relay. The top 16 times advance to Drake, and the Mustangs’ team of Chelsea Bird, Megan Cowman, Morgan Uhlenhopp and Chipps are sitting 14th in 1:09.68.
The other two area females who are sitting inside the cut-off line are Newton’s Rachel Rhoads and Colfax-Mingo’s Braedynn Rawlins.
The top 21 times in the 1,500 qualify, and Rhoads is 19th right now with a time of 4 minutes, 59.22 seconds.
For field events, the top 24 throws and jumps qualify. Rawlins is 20th in the shot put with one week to go with a throw of 38 feet, 8 1/2 inches.
Another thrower who is under the line is Baxter’s Will Clapper, who is 23rd in the shot put with a throw of 51-7 1/2. He’s sitting 40th in the discus, too. Lynnville-Sully’s Rylan James isn’t in the top 24 but he is 34th with a throw of 50-1 3/4.
Lynnville-Sully’s Tyson Vander Linden will have a chance later this spring to win four state titles in Class 1A. Right now, he’s under the line in two of those events.
In the 400 hurdles, Vander Linden’s third overall with a time of 54.56. The top 16 times qualify.
In the 100, he is 17th with a time of 11.14. The top 32 qualify in that event.
Another area athlete who is close in the 400 hurdles is PCM’s Nigel Sperfslage. He’s seven spots below the cut-off line at 23rd with a time of 56.97.
The only other area athlete who is close to the qualifying mark is Lynnville-Sully’s Gage Vander Leest. The top 32 times in the 110 high hurdles advance, and he’s 37th right now with a time of 15.49.
I will be in charge of covering our area athletes at the Drake Relays (April 25-27) this season. How much work I have to do will be up to the athletes.
Hopefully the weather cooperates the next week to get allow the athletes another chance to better their times, throws and jumps.
Contact Troy Hyde