CORNING – The Pride of Iowa title was on the line last Monday night and the Nodaway Valley girls knew it.
With Mount Ayr in search of its fourth consecutive title, the Wolverine and Raiderette girls dueled it out in the field and on the track for year long Pride of Iowa bragging rights.
Fortunately for NV, the spell of three straight victories for the Raiderettes was broken.
“We were just looking for a lineup that could get us the most points, the most bang for our buck, you know,” said NV head coach Brett Welsch. “Overall, we had a good night running.”
The Wolverines were a perennial top finisher, getting first place finishes in the 200 meter dash, 400 meter dash, 100 meter hurdles, 4x100 and sprint medley.
The dynamic 4x100 team of Jena Yonker, Lexi Shike, Reagan Weinheimer and Maddax Devault cruised to another meet victory. The Drake Relay qualifiers finished with a 51.71 and are poised to make a run at a state title, but need to polish up a little more says Welsch.
“Keep working on our handoff, that’s how we’re going to keep dropping time,” said Welsch.
The group ran well individually, picking up wins that helped push NV ahead. Yonker’s time in the 100 (13.34), DeVault’s time in the 200 (27.45) and Weinmheimer’s time in the 400 (1:00.86) all helped show the Wolverines’ prowess in the sprints.
Right there with the NV girls was Mount Ayr, finishing 17 points off the lead in team standings.
One of the biggest competitors against NV’s sprinters, the Raiderettes’ Adalyn Reynolds swiped event wins and higher placings from Nodaway Valley in the 100 meter dash and 400 meter dash.
Reynolds’ time of 13.17 edged out Yonker’s of 13.34 in the 100 and Reynolds’ time of 1:03.93 in the 400 was complimented by her teammate Payten Lambert’s time of 1:04.56.
“Addy (Reynolds) has been doing a super job,” said Raiderettes head coach Deb Larsen. “We put a little pressure on her. ... She was able to win the 100 and did a really nice job challenging.”
A tough field
A historically tough conference to go against, the Pride of Iowa was unforgiving to schools outside of the top three.
Southwest Valley, playing host, finished fifth with 65 points in a day that had high hopes of personal records for head coach Jason Hults.
For Lenox, its seventh place finish (58) also came by way of field success with Kayla Yzaguirre falling two and a half inches behind Aldrich in the shot put.
East Union’s day on the track totaled 39 points, a ninth place finish, but head coach Rich Bryson expected to see a tough conference from top to bottom.
“We knew this is a tough meet. I’ve told the girls that this is one of the tougher meets we’ll run including districts,” said Bryson. “The quality that you have of the times and the depth with the runners here. ... You have a lot of it in all 19 events so we knew it’d be tough.”
The tough competition did not pass by East Union entirely, with Allivea Skarda placing sixth with a 29.10 finish in the 200.
Gabrielle Valiencia also scored points for EU with a sixth place finish in the 1,500 and 3,000, posting a 6:05.43 and a 13:17.64 time, respectively.