Glenwood has never won a girls state team track title, but the Rams appear to be on the short list of those capable of doing so this weekend.
“I think we’re primed to perform our best at state, which is obviously what you want to do,’’ coach Cory Faust.
Led by Iowa State recruit Janette Schraft, Glenwood headlines southwest Iowa’s girls hopes in Class 3-A. Sergeant Bluff-Luton out of the Missouri River Conference and Atlantic from the Hawkeye Ten will bring powerful boys contingents to Drake Stadium in Des Moines from Thursday to Saturday.
Schraft won seven state titles at East Mills before transferring to Glenwood for her senior year. She’s considered a title contender in the 400 hurdles, 800, 1,500 and 3,000. She won the Drake Relays 400 hurdles title last month.
“Performing well is contagious, so hopefully her success can rub off on everybody else,’’ Faust said.
The Rams have plenty of other scoring possibilities. Their shuttle hurdle relay of Audrey Arnold, Marissa Ausdemore, Sami Parr and Elle Scarborough set a school record of 1:06.25 in the state-qualifying meet, and is the top qualifying time in 3-A.
The versatile Scarborough, a sophomore, had a hip injury flare up at the Kansas Relays last month, but has returned to top form. She has the third-best season time in the 100 hurdles (15.48) and has also advanced in the discus.
Senior Sydney Biermann has the third-best shot put throw in 3-A this spring. Junior sprinter Jaeda Wilson has had a strong season and figures to lead some scoring relays.
Faust said a key to his squad’s team chances is moving up some of his middle-of-the-pack relays to score some points.
“I don’t know if ‘gamer’ is the right word to put on it, but I feel like we’ve got a lot of gritty girls that tend to perform better when the stakes get a little higher,’’ he said. “You like to have those people on your side.’’
Faust feels Dubuque Wahlert should be considered the favorite, with his squad joining Davenport Assumption and Sioux City Heelan among other top contenders. Although the last 10 3-A champions have scored at least 70, he believes his team needs to be in the 60s to have a chance to win the team title.
“I think that’s something we can do, but obviously you never really know until you get there,’’ he said.
Heelan will be threats for major points any time Madison Jochum or Amber Aesoph are on the track. Jochum qualified first in the 400 (58.29), Aesoph advanced first in the 800 (2:21.03) and they are both members of the Crusaders’ 1,600 relay, which qualified first at 4:01.83.
On the boys side, Sergeant Bluff-Luton is led by junior Jorma Schwedler, who had the qualifying times in the 100 (11.03), 200 (22.32) and 400 (48.94). The Warriors have balance and depth to complement him. Max Murphy had the top qualifying time in the 110 high hurdles (14.63), and Sergeant Bluff ranked second in the shuttle hurdle and sprint medley relays, third in the 3,200 relay, fourth in the 1,600 relay, fifth in the 800 relay and sixth in the distance medley relay.
Atlantic’s leaders are expected to be Iowa State recruit Chase Mullenix along with junior Tyler Moen and sophomore Craig Alan Becker.
Mullenix’s qualifying time in the 800 ranked third, and he’s expected to anchor the top-ranked 1,600 relay along with the distance medley and 3,200 relays. Becker leads qualifiers in the 1,600 (4:31.17), while Moen ranks second to Schwedler in the 200 (22.37) and 400 (49.68), based on qualifying times.
Don’t count out a St. Albert Falcon repeat at Iowa state track meet
The St. Albert boys won their third state team track title last spring, and seniors did most of the heavy lifting.
Of the 14 athletes who completed at Drake Stadium, 10 were seniors.
Many believed the Falcons would come back to the Class 1-A pack this year. But by late Saturday afternoon, they might just lead it again.
In James Cairney’s last meet as the head coach, St. Albert again is one of the small-school favorites for the boys portion of the meet Thursday through Saturday in Des Moines.
The 28-year-old Cairney has accepted a job at his alma mater, Harlan Community. He will be an elementary physical education teacher there and hopes to do some coaching. He’s looking forward to his final three days as the St. Albert track coach.
“These guys have been a lot of fun to work with,’’ he said. “They come to practice every day ready to compete and work hard.’’
A few of the driving forces this week are expected to be seniors Ethan Bernard and Luke Blaha, juniors Bennett Heisterkamp, Ryan Hughes and Aiden Antisdel, and sophomore Sam Rallis.
Bernard, a fourth-place finisher in the 110 high hurdles last year, qualified second in the event (15.09), and ran on three relays that have qualified first: the 800, 1,600 and sprint medley.
Blaha, forced into the distance events last season because of the Falcons’ array of sprinting talent, qualified eighth in the 200 and ran on two of the three top-qualifying relays last week.
Heisterkamp has lowered his 3,200 and 1,600 times in virtually every meet this season and qualified fourth in the longer event in 10:07.03. Hughes qualified third in the 800 (2:02.31) and runs on the top-qualifying 1,600 relay, while Antisdel qualified tied for fifth in the 100 and anchors the 800 relay that advanced first.
Finally, Rallis has the third-fastest season time in the 400 (50.73) and contributed to two of the three top-rated relays.
Cairney feels St. Albert likely will score between 45 to 65 points. If the Falcons score somewhere in the mid-50s, he believes they’ll be in title contention. He pegged BCLUW and Calamus-Wheatland as the other top contenders, but also noted how impressed he was with an improving Woodbine program at the state-qualifying meet. The Tigers advanced third in the 800 relay, fourth in the 1,600 relay and have the top discus qualifier in talented sophomore Layne Pryor (160-3), who is a member of both relays.
On the girls side from southwest Iowa, Logan-Magnolia and AHSTW have plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
Logan-Magnolia, the reigning 1-A state cross country champion, has run the best 1-A time in the 3,200 relay by more than 12 seconds. Taylor Sporrer has also qualified third in the 3,000 (10:54.39) and fifth in the 1,500 (5:12.22), while Olivia Diggins advanced third in the 100 hurdles (15.99).
For AHSTW, junior Ryann Portch has the season-best 1-A time in the 800 (2:22.35), and sophomore Holly Hoepner leads qualifiers in the 400 hurdles (1:06.38).
After tough meets, Treynor boys aim high at Iowa state track meet
Jeff Koenck decided to change things up this season.
Better his Treynor boys get a taste of big meets and tough competition during the season than have big eyes when they step on the Blue Oval starting Thursday for the state track and field meet at Drake Stadium.
“Last year we were trying to do a lot of things with sophomores and a few freshmen,” said Koenck, who watched his Cardinals finish 19th at state a year ago. “I tried something different this year and we ran a lot of meets in a pretty small amount of time. We had some down time between our conference meet and the district meet.
“We had good numbers out with 36, and I had a good core that could compete. We went to bigger meets in Waukee, Lewis Central, Glenwood and Iowa City. We wanted to see some tougher competition and really push ourselves.”
The strategy could have a big payoff. Treynor is in the mix for a Class 2-A team trophy – a top-three finish – to add to the two other top-10 showings under Koenck.
The Cardinals are led by senior Jerry Jorgenson, a distance runner who recently committed to Nebraska.
Jorgenson enters competition with top-five times out of the state qualifying meets in the 800 (2:01.45), 1,600 (4:26.40) and 3,200 (9:33.29) meters. He took third in the 3,200 at state a year ago, and qualified in the 3,200 and 1,600 at the Drake Relays for the first time, taking seventh and sixth, respectively.
“He just missed qualifying for Drake last year, so that really drove us in the training we did with him and what he ran in specific meets,” Koenck said. “For him to run like he did in not the best conditions against the best runners in the state has done wonders for him and sets the tone going into this weekend.”
Jorgenson is still chasing his goal of winning an individual state championship after also taking fifth in the mile a year ago and finishing as the runner-up at state cross country as a sophomore.
Treynor’s shuttle hurdle relay team qualified seventh and returns three of four runners from a quartet that is looking for some redemption after being disqualified at state a year ago.
“That has fueled this group, and we were running really well early on before dealing with some injuries with two of them,” Koenck said. “We have got them back and we like where we stand.”
The Cardinals will have other solid opportunities to score points this weekend. Sophomore Sid Schaaf tied for the seventh best qualifying time in the 400 at 51.47. Junior Jack Tiarks and sophomore Noah James both qualified in the high jump going 6-foot-4 and 6-3, respectively. Tiarks, who has cleared 6-7½ this season, took fifth in the event a year ago. Junior Brock Fox also had the eighth-best effort in the shot put (51-3) at the state qualifier.
The Cardinal girls bring a pair of relays in the 800 and distance medley that have high expectations. The 800 quartet of Rachel Kinsella, Noel James, Mia Shipley and Megan Carley has the second-best qualifying time in 1:47.76. The medley group of Maddie and Mia Shipley, Chloe Gregory and James ran 4:21.78 to qualify sixth.
Carley, a senior, is in the fast heat of the 200 after qualifying fourth. She is looking to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish.