May 29, 2024

GIRLS TRACK: Wolverine punch several tickets to the state meet

Maddie Weston hands off the baton to Emma Lundy during a relay at the state qualifying meet held in Mount Ayr Thursday, May 9.

The Nodaway Valley girls track team’s season will extend for one more week. That’s after a state qualifying meet that saw the Wolverines advance seven events to this week’s state meet in Des Moines.

Qualifying events for the state meet were individuals Jorja Holliday in the shot put and discus, Maddie Weston in the 100-meter dash, Emma Lundy in the 200-meter dash and Annika Nelson in the 100-meter hurdles. The Wolverines are also sending three relay events, all whom won their respective events and earned the automatic bid out of the meet: the Wolverines’ sprint medley, 4X100, and 4X200-meter relays.

The state track meet schedule is Classes 1A and 4A in the afternoons this year on Thursday and Friday with the finals of all events Saturday.

The Wolverines were the runner-up team in the point race with 118 at Mount Ayr’s qualifying meet. They finished second to the Wayne Falcons who won the meet with a score of 133. Mount Ayr was third with 116 points and Martensdale-St. Marys fourth with 87 as four of the six Pride of Iowa Conference teams at the 14-team scoring event were near the top.

The Wolverines’ 4x100-meter relay team of Grace Britten, Weston, Lundy, and Annika Nelson won the event in a season-best time of 51.26 seconds. Along the way, they beat the quartet from Wayne who currently holds the top time in Class 1A in the event.

The Wolverines are peaking at the right time in the event, having run such a late-season season-best time. The other two teams in the state sandwiched between them and the Falcons are Lake Mills and Oakland Riverside, both who ran their season-best times three weeks ago at the Drake Relays.

The Wolverines’ 4x200-meter relay team of Annika Nelson, Britten, Weston and Lundy won the event in a season-best time of 1:48.48 to automatically qualify for state. Winners were the only ones at the state qualifying meets to automatically qualify. The 4x200 team goes to state with the second-best time in the event, six-hundredths of a second behind 1A leader Lisbon, who ran their fastest on April 23.

The Wolverines also won the sprint medley with the team of Allie Cornelison, Weston, Nelson and Lundy in a season-best time of 1:54.34. That time is tied for seventh going into the state meet with Gladbrook-Reinbeck.

The Wolverines also had top-5 relay finishes from their distance medley relay team with a third-place finish, their 4x800 relay team with a fourth-place finish, and their 4x400 relay team with a fifth-place finish.

Nodaway Valley head coach Brett Welsch said that you have to dance with what brought you to the meet.

“Our relays are the strength of our team this year,” he said. “We hadn’t run our best times yet coming into this meet, but the state qualifying meets usually bring out our best.

“We focused on handoffs going into the meet and that is where you can make some times up. We are excited about our state qualifiers. Our 4x100 team beat the top team in 1A and POI foe Wayne. We were motivated to do well. We have as good of a shot as anyone in the relays this week to challenge for a state title,” said Welsch.

Senior Jorja Holliday captured runner-up finishes in the shot put and discus with season-best throws. Holliday had best throws of 106 feet, 10 inches in the discus and 34 feet, 3 inches in the shot put. Those throws were part of the next best state performances to send her back to the state meet. Addison Glade was fifth in long jump and Britten fifth in shot put. Ashlyn Lund also had a top-10 finish in the discus, placing seventh.

“Jorja had a good meet, saving her best for the state qualifying meet. She will have an opportunity that many want, which is to end your senior year at the state meet,” said Welsch.

Annika Nelson had a strong race in the 100-meter hurdles. There, she placed third in a season-best time of 16.39. That time was good enough to get a spot at the state meet this week. Nelson was right with the leaders from Stanton in the race through the first five hurdles, and much of the race, but the Viqueens inched her out in the end.

Weston and Lundy were runners-up in the 100 and 200-meter dash events, and both qualified for state.

Weston nearly cracked into the upper 12s, placing second in 13.01. Lundy again turned in a time under 27 seconds with a runner-up finish in 26.97 in the 200.

Sophomore Izzy Eisbach had a strong meet, nearly qualifying in a pair of individual events. She has come on strong down the stretch and just missed a trip in the 800-meter run, which she took third in with a time of 2:34.73, and the 1,500, which she finished in 5:35.46, she was runner-up.

Jazz Christensen had a pair of top-5 finishes with a fourth-place finish in the 3,000 in 13:04.54 and a fifth-place finish in the 1,500 in 5:55.10. Joanna Larson was seventh in the 200 and Megan McCall 10th in the 800. Haisley Zoubek also had a pair of season-best times in the 100-meter dash and the 400-meter dash.

The Wolverines look forward to the state track and field meet. The team will have events scattered over the first two days with the goal of staying three days into Saturday.

In other area results, Orient-Macksburg’s Emma Boswell qualified out of a state qualifying meet at Earlham and will be at state competing in the Class 1A girls high jump.

“We will work on what we can control this week. A lot of starts and handoff work. You have to get a good start, get out well, and get your handoffs to give yourself a great opportunity,” said Welsch.