Iowa State Meet
When: Thursday through Saturday
Where: Drake Stadium, Des Moines
Boys — 1-A: Lisbon. 2-A: West Burlington/Notre Dame. 3-A: Pella. 4-A: Cedar Rapids Prairie.
Girls — 1-A: West Hancock. 2-A: Cascade. 3-A: Davenport Assumption. 4-A: Waukee.
Class 1-A first, followed by 4-A
9 a.m.: Girls shuttle hurdle relay prelims
9:40: Girls 3,000
10:10: Boys 3,200
10:40: Girls 200 prelims
10:55: Boys 200 prelims
11:20: Girls 3,200 relay
12:10 p.m.: Boys 3,200 relay
12:50: Girls 100 prelims
1:05: Boys 100 prelims
1:20: Girls 400
1:40: Boys 400
2: Boys shuttle hurdle relay prelims
Class 2-A first, followed by 3-A
2:40: Boys shuttle hurdle relay prelims
3:20: Girls 3,000
3:50: Boys 3,200
4:20: Girls 200 prelims
4:40: Boys 200 prelims
5:00: Girls 3,200 relay
5:50: Boys 3,200 relay
6:30: Girls 100 prelims
6:45: Boys 100 prelims
7: Girls 400
7:20: Boys 400
7:40: Girls shuttle hurdle relay prelims
Class 1-A first, followed by 4-A
9 a.m.: Girls distance medley relay
9:40: Boys 110 hurdles prelims
10: Girls 100 hurdles prelims
10:20: Boys 800 relay
10:50: Girls 800 relay
11:20: Boys 400 hurdles
11:40: Girls 400 hurdles
Noon: Boys distance medley relay
12:40 p.m.: Girls 400 relay prelims
1: Boys 400 relay prelims
1:20: Girls 1,600 relay prelims
2: Boys 1,600 relay prelims
Class 2-A first, followed by 3-A
2:40: Girls distance medley relay
3:20: Boys 110 hurdles prelims
3:40: Girls 100 hurdles prelims
4: Boys 800 relay
4:30: Girls 800 relay
5: Boys 400 hurdles
5:20: Girls 400 hurdles
5:40: Boys distance medley relay
6:20: Girls 400 relay prelims
6:40: Boys 400 relay prelims
7: Girls 1,600 relay prelims
7:40: Boys 1,600 relay prelims
All Classes Running Events
(1-A first, followed by 2-A, 3-A, 4-A)
9 a.m.: Girls sprint medley relay
9:50: Boys sprint medley relay
10:30: Girls 800
11:10: Boys 800
11:50: Girls shuttle hurdle relay
12:15 p.m.: Boys shuttle hurdle relay
12:40 p.m.: Wheelchair 100
12:45: Girls 100
12:55: Boys 100
1:05: Girls 100 hurdles
1:15: Boys 110 high hurdles
1:45: Wheelchair 200
1:55: Girls 200
2:05: Boys 200
2:15: Boys 1,600
2:45: Girls 1,500
3:15: Wheelchair 400
3:25: Girls 400 relay
3:40: Boys 400 relay
3:55: Girls 1,600 relay
4:20: Boys 1,600 relay
9 a.m.: 1-A girls shot put
9: 4-A girls discus
9: 1-A boys long jump
9: 4-A boys high jump
11:30: 1-A boys shot put
11:30: 4-A boys discus
11:30: 1-A girls long jump
11:30: 4-A girls high jump
2 p.m.: 2-A girls shot put
2: 3-A girls discus
2: 2-A boys long jump
2: 3-A boys high jump
4:30: 2-A boys shot put
4:30: 3-A boys discus
4:30: 2-A girls long jump
4:30: 3-A girls high jump
9 a.m.: 4-A girls shot put
9: 1-A girls discus
9: 4-A boys long jump
9: 1-A boys high jump
11:30: 4-A boys shot put
11:30: 1-A boys discus
11:30: 4-A girls long jump
11:30: 1-A girls high jump
2 p.m.: 3-A girls shot put
2: 2-A girls discus
2: 3-A boys long jump
2: 2-A boys high jump
4:30: 3-A boys shot put
4:30: 2-A boys discus
4:30: 3-A girls long jump
4:30: 2-A girls high jump
10 a.m.: Wheelchair shot put
Abraham Lincoln sophomore Darby Thomas will run 100, 200 and 400 — and try to defend long jump title
Whether from near or afar, many have taken notice of the track exploits of Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln sophomore Darby Thomas.
With the state meet approaching this weekend, the natural question is about her chances in four individual events: the 100, 200, 400 and long jump. The short answer is her competition is formidable.
There’s also the matter of the left ankle injury Thomas suffered Friday in a soccer match; she’s the Lynx’s scoring leader with 15 goals in 12 matches. The news is good. Track coach Don Schwartz said it was a mild sprain with little swelling, and she has good flexibility.
“She’s game on,’’ he said. “I’d say she’s pretty pumped and ready to run.’’
Here’s a breakdown of Thomas’ gold prospects in her four events:
In the 100, sophomore Kerris Roberts of Waterloo East already is a two-time Drake Relays champion. She finished second at state last year, and Sioux City West’s Khenadi Jones, also in this year’s field, was third.
Only seven Iowa girls have run under 12 seconds with fully automatic timing and three are in the 4-A field: Roberts (second, 11.77), Thomas (third, 11.83) and Jones (fifth, 11.95). This is the 40th year of automatic timing at state, and no Iowa girl has run sub-12 in a 100 final.
“I think she just feels privileged to be able to compete against those kids and this will be a great challenge for her,’’ Schwartz said.
In the 200, the top three finishers from last year’s 4-A state meet are back: Roberts, Jones and Southeast Polk’s Sydney Milani. But Thomas ran the fastest automatic time in Iowa history on May 11, a 24.33. Roberts has the 10th-fastest automatic time of 24.65.
In the 400, Thomas is a clear underdog. Linn-Mar junior Payton Wensel is the reigning Drake and 4-A state champion and has run 55.23 this year, the seventh-fastest automatic time in state history. Thomas is the third-fastest qualifier with a personal-best 56.96 last week.
Thomas will be in Lane 3 and Wensel in Lane 4, which gives the A.L. star the advantage of being able to see the favorite.
“This will be kind of uncharted territory,’’ Schwartz said. “She’s not had to compete against anybody in the 400 where she’s had to chase them down. But she loves to chase people. Wensel is going to be hard to beat, but you know anything is possible.’’
In the long jump, Thomas’ career-best of 19 feet, 1¼ inches this year leads the state and is 12th all-time. She is the reigning state and Drake champion, but Iowa City West senior Valerie Welch, the 2016 Drake winner, went 19-4 last year, fourth all-time.
Thomas’ most challenging day will be Thursday, when she runs a 200 prelim (10:50 a.m.), a 100 prelim (1 p.m.) and then the 400 final (1:30).
Schwartz said even as Thomas’ stature has risen around the state, she has been able to consistently improve.
“Every time you think that she’s really hit a great time she comes out and tops it,’’ he said. “You can kind of hate to expect that she’s going to outperform the last time, but I expect the unexpected.’’
The other 4-A source of concern in Council Bluffs has been the left hamstring of Lewis Central senior Kenneth McMahan. His season best of 49.29 in the 400 ranks fifth, and his split in the 1,600 relay on April 13 was timed in 47.8 as the Titans recorded a then-Iowa-best 3:21.51. That time is still fourth in 4-A, just more than a second behind leader Waukee.
McMahan sat out the Drake Relays in hopes of being ready for state.
“He’s good to go,’’ L.C. coach Matt Argotsinger said.
The Titan coach said it was tough for his team not to be able to put its best foot forward at Drake.
“In the grand scheme of things, what you do at state is going to be remembered longer,’’ he said.
The Titans also had the third-fastest sprint medley relay time (1:32.62) in the state-qualifying meet with DeAnthony Bridgeford, Logan Redeker, Max Duggan and McMahan.
For the L.C. girls, freshman Megan Witte’s season-best of 5-5 in the high jump is just an inch and a half behind leader Ellie Roquet of Johnston.
The Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson boys have high hopes in several events. Among those, Cameron Baker had the second-best discus throw (172-11) in the state-qualifying meet. Jeron Sampson had the third-best 400 hurdles time (54.10) and the Jackets had the fourth-best distance medley relay time (3:33.19) with Sampson, Cameron Lukavsky, Jake Axtell and Daniel Carey.
Treynor senior Brett Daley now the one to catch in Class 2-A state 400-meter hurdles
Last year, Treynor senior Brett Daley played the role of hunter in the Class 2-A state 400-meter hurdles.
This season he’s the hunted.
One year after upsetting Jacob Smith of West Burlington/Notre Dame, the reigning Drake Relays and 2-A state champion, Daley enters as the clear favorite in the event on Friday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. His season-best of 53.36 seconds is well ahead of Zach Schulte of Central Lee, who has the No. 2 season-best time among qualifiers at 55.02.
“We just talked about how nothing’s guaranteed, nothing’s granted,’’ Treynor coach Jeff Koenck said. “He still knows he’s got to go out there and perform at his highest level.’’
Daley, a Central Arkansas baseball recruit, will conclude his track career with four events on the “Blue Oval.’’ He’s also the highest returning finisher in the 400; he was third last year in a personal-best 50.01. His season-best of 50.45 in the state-qualifying meet is third among qualifiers.
Daley had the third-best long jump of this season in 2-A but elected to forego that event in order to run on two relays at state. He’ll anchor the sprint medley with Will Halverson, Chase Reed and Jakob Houser starting, and he’ll lead off the 1,600 relay before Dillon Faubel, Houser and Reed finish.
“Brett seems to be in the right frame of mind when it comes to the state track meet,’’ Koenck said.
In the 3,200 for Treynor, Trey Castle has the sixth-fastest 2-A time this season (9:59.77) and Jerry Jorgenson is 11th (10:03.20). Koenck expects big things from them.
“They seem to run really well together,’’ he said. “I know that once we get up there, Trey’s going to push it and see how far he can go and Jerry’s not going to be afraid to go with him.’’
Among other western Iowa boys hopefuls in Class 2-A:
Carroll Kuemper junior Miles Rupiper soared a personal-best 6 feet, 10 inches in the high jump at the state-qualifying meet, which ties for Iowa’s best mark this season. His season-best of 21-11 in the long jump ranks fourth.
AHSTW junior Gage Clay turned in the second-fastest time in the 100 (10.99) at the state-qualifying meet, and the fourth-fastest in the 200 (22.63). Last season he finished second in the state in the 200 and third in the 100.
Underwood senior Tyler Freese’s season-best of 14.90 in the 110 high hurdles ranks second. The Eagles also have the No. 6 time of the season in 2-A in the 3,200 relay.
Among 2-A girls teams from WI, Treynor appears to have the best chance of making an impact. Sophomore Noel James had the third-best state-qualifying meet time in the 400 of 59.58, and she anchors the sprint medley relay, which also had the No. 3 time last week at 1:51.49. She’s also scheduled to anchor the 1,600 relay, which qualified eighth. Treynor’s 400 relay advanced fifth.
In the high jump, OA-BCIG sophomore Sydney Durbin shares the top jump of the season in her class at 5-6. She won the state title as a freshman at 5-4.
Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto appears in hunt for Iowa Class 1-A state track and field championship
In the days leading up to the state track meet, Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto coach Scott Breyfogle said he had more nerves than his girls did.
“I don’t really think it’s something they’re intimidated by,” he said. “They don’t really feel like they have a target on their back. They just think of it as another meet that we’re preparing for.”
Breyfogle has been reluctant to crunch the numbers himself, but a year after placing fourth in Class 1-A, the Rams have a chance to be in the mix for a team title in Des Moines this week.
Going into the meet, MVAO owns the best times in three relays (sprint medley, distance medley and 1,600 relay) and one individual event (Jordyn Pester in the 400). Throw in a projected second-place finish in the 800 by Morgan Todd, and the team is on track to score 48 points.
Last year, West Hancock topped the field with 50.
“There’s no reason they can’t go out and win several events, and then hopefully, at the end of the day, take a team trophy home,” Breyfogle said. “I think that’s the ultimate goal.”
MVAO’s core is made up of juniors Pester and Johannah McKibben and seniors Karlee Wolf and Todd. It’s a bit different lineup from last year, with the most obvious difference being the key addition of Pester.
Pester, who transferred from Charter Oak-Ute, is not only the top seed in the 400, but she’s also on three top-ranked relays. Another change is the role of Todd, who has become one of 1-A’s best 800 runners and a reliable anchor for a distance medley team looking to defend its title.
Logan-Magnolia is another western Iowa girls team with potential to bring home some hardware. The Panthers are primed to place in several events, but their best chance of winning will come down to their second-ranked teams in the shuttle hurdle relay (Alexis Fender, Olivia Diggins, Kenzie Cunard and Kylan Straight) and distance medley relay (Straight, Diggins, Violet Lapke and Kylie Morrison).
East Mills’ Janette Schraft is looking forward to having another prolific weekend on the blue oval. The sophomore, who won the 3,000 and was second in both the 1,500 and the 800 last year, has the top time in both the 3,000 and the 800 this season, and has the second-fastest time in the 1,500.
On the boys’ side, Council Bluffs St. Albert qualified in six relays. The Falcons enter the week coming off winning their eighth straight district championship.
“It was definitely a big confidence booster,” St. Albert coach James Cairney said. “We had some disappointments in there, too, but the kids responded really well. We practiced Saturday and ran through a good workout there.
“These guys never back down from anything, so I have a lot of confidence in them.”
Though Cairney believes all of the relays have potential to place, he’s particularly interested to see how his sprint medley and 1,600 relay teams fare.
The former, which will feature Tyler Blaha, Elijah Finn, Blake Rallis and Andrew Hanafan, is ranked third. The latter, which will feature Kyle Barnes, Finn, Luke Gronstal and Hanafan, is ranked fourth.
Cairney said either one could come in under the radar and win a championship.
“Making it to state is the biggest part,” he said, “and then anything can happen up there.”
Fremont-Mills’ Sam Phillips, who took sixth place at the Drake Relays, is the favorite to win the discus. His personal record is a 1-A-leading 175-4 1/2.
Behind relays, many could be chasing Sergeant Bluff-Luton at Iowa Class 3-A state track meet
The Sergeant Bluff-Luton boys haven’t lost a meet all year, and they’re looking to continue that trend at state.
“The feeling is very positive,” coach Terry Pomerenke said. “I think we can win the whole thing. That’s any coach’s dream. That’s our goal as a team, and I think we have a great chance to do that.”
The Warriors lost a handful of contributors from last year’s third-place team to graduation and top sprinter Brady Wall to a hamstring injury, but they’re still expected to be a force in the Class 3-A team race.
Without Wall, SBL managed 13 qualifiers in 13 events.
“It is remarkable,” Pomerenke said. “Our depth is just amazing. That has made the difference in our team.
“Brady just adds to it. He’s the one who (normally) leads the way, but the rest of them are just right there to help him get points. But with him gone, they just step right up.”
Freshman Jorma Schwedler is one who has answered the call.
Schwedler is the leadoff runner on the team’s class-leading 1,600-meter relay and its fifth-ranked 800 relay, as well as the anchor of its second-ranked sprint medley team.
The Warriors qualified in every relay except the shuttle hurdle, and are seeded to finish no lower than seventh in any of them. Another key event is the open 400, in which Ty Boekelman and Britton Delperdang could both make the top five.
Glenwood coach Mark Starner is well aware of how tough it is to hang with the Warriors. The Rams have been chasing them all season, including last week at districts.
“It was a very loaded meet,” Starner said. “It was almost like a mini-state meet.
“(The Warriors) are loaded, and even without Brady Wall, they’re pretty doggone good.”
At the last state meet, Glenwood placed in three relays. This time, the Rams are medal threats in the shuttle hurdle, sprint medley, 1,600 and 800 relays.
Glenwood also has a pair of individuals with high expectations.
Nate Kennedy, who has gradually improved all season, will enter the 400 with the top seed. Mavrick Decker had a rough outing at districts, but if he returns to form in the 200, could medal.
“We’re just looking to improve upon our performances,” Starner said. “We kind of have that experience with those big meets already, with Sergeant Bluff-Luton at our district meet, obviously Drake and the Kansas Relays, so we’re looking forward to it.”
Among the 3-A girls vying for individual titles are Denison-Schleswig high jumper Sunday Faya (leads 3-A at 5-6) Creston shot putter Hannah Hood (top throw of 44-2), Harlan discus thrower Gillian Streit (second best throw of 131-11) and Sioux City Heelan sprinter Madison Jochum (ranked third in the 400).
The Heelan girls also have the second-ranked sprint medley team and the third-ranked 3,200 relay team.