Keep your multiple stopwatches ready for these girls,Kelsey Schweizer from Dowling Catholic, left, battles for first with Waukee's Lily Campbell 4x800 relay at the Drake Relays on Saturday, April 29, 2017, in Des Moines,Stopwatch record 1 and 2 in the 2A 1,500 and 3,000, with senior Anna finishing first. Anna also won the 800.
Snow will transition to speed this month when it comes to the high school girls' track season,late March storm dumped 17.5 inches of snow on Mason City and buried a good number of running surfaces,Be assured that once the tracks are cleared, Iowa athletes will be ready to run.There's a lot of top talent returning from last season, including state champions in sprints, hurdles, distances, throws and jumps,Athletes are aiming for the Drake Relays April 26-28 and the state meet May 17-19 at Drake Stadium.
Let's take a look at some of the state's best:Kerris Roberts of Waterloo East, second from left, wins the girls 100 meter dash at the Drake Relays Friday, April 28, 2017,Sprinters are ready for a showcase. Kerris Roberts of Waterloo East has already run all-time state meet bests in the 100- and 200-meter races. And she's just a junior,Roberts ran stopwatch show 11.69 seconds in the 100 and 24.09 in the 200 in state meet preliminaries last year. She won both events and anchored the winning 4x100 form show,She's not the only good sprinter. I'm looking forward to seeing how these athletes do at the Drake Relays:
Darby Thomas of Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln took third in the 100 and 200 in Class 4A. Southeast Polk's Sydney Milani took second in the 200 and is one of the state's best quarter-milers,Another star is Madrid's Rylan Santi, who won the 100 and 200 in 2A. Madrid has dropped to 1A this spring,Keep your ready for these girls,Kelsey Schweizer from Dowling Catholic, left, battles for first with Waukee's Lily Campbell 4x800 relay at the Drake Relays on Saturday, April 29, 2017, in Des Moines.
Distance runners will continue to draw attention. Iowa's been a factory for producing distance stars for years,Look at Olympian Shelby Houlihan and NCAA champion Karissa Schweizer as the latest sensations,Sisters Anna and Marie Hostetler of Mid-Prairie of Wellman are among the standouts,They finished Nos. record 1 and 2 in the 2A 1,500 and 3,000, with senior Anna finishing first. Anna also won the 800.
Marie, a sophomore, improved greatly during the fall cross-country season. She won a state title, finishing ahead of her sister. Anna battled a thyroid condition last fall that sapped her strength, but she appeared to recover toward the end of the season,Bailey Nock of Iowa City West won the 4A 1,500 and 3,000 meters as a junior.
Janette Schraft of East Mills of Malvern swept the 1A 800, 1,500 and 3,000 meters,One of my favorite numbers from returning athletes is this — the top nine finishers are back in the Class 4A 800.
Linn-Mar's Payton Wensel reacts after taking stopwatch record place in the 4A girls 800 meter sprint medley relay at the 2017 State Track and Field Championship at Drake Stadium in Des Moines on Saturday, May 20, 2017.
Payton Wensel's versatility is outstanding. The Linn-Mar of Marion senior won the 4A 400 meters and the 400 hurdles. Not many girls have the speed and stamina to win both.
She may be one of those girls who graduates with one or more all-time bests to her credit,At state, she ran running time that is less than second off Iowa's best 53.96,While we're discussing versatile athletes, I want to go back to Darby Thomas. She's got great potential in both sprints and the long jump,Thomas' chance to compete against other top runners, like Roberts, will only make her a better performer.
Waukee’s Kat Moody throws during the girls’ 4A shot put Friday, May 19, 2017, during the 2017 State High School Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa,Last year's team champs look good. The 2017 winners were Waukee in 4A, Davenport Assumption in 3A, Cascade in 2A and Sigourney in 1A,Waukee has simply become a great producer of young talent. There's depth and a program that has become one of Iowa's most consistent in the sport,Lily Campbell is among the state's best runners. And thrower Kat Moody is a powerhouse,Davenport Assumption graduated Joy Ripslinger, who won four individual state titles. There are some strong returning athletes who brought depth to the team last spring.
Cascade finds its strength in cooperation — few teams have such terrific relays. I think it won't hurt that the school is coming off a state basketball title, too,Sigourney sisters Summer and Autum Barthelman return. Summer won the 100 and 400 hurdles in 1A,Field events won't be bad, either. Most of the field event titles went to seniors last year.
Among the returning champs are Marin Ehler of North Fayette Valley (shot put), Maria Gorham of North Polk (high jump), Nicole Heeren of North Butler (discus), and Rylee Menster of Springville and Sienna Durr of Grinnell (long jump),Indoor facilities and meets have given some of those girls a head start on the season,When your track is under a pile of freshly fallen snow, that's a nice option to have.