May 23, 2022

Area 1A schools compete at state qualifying meet

TABOR — Lenox, Southwest Valley and Diagonal were in running, jumping and throwing around the grounds of Fremont-Mills’ facilities with the hopes of qualifying for next week’s Iowa High School State Track and Field Championships.

Lawton-Bronson, a 1A high school near Sioux City, postponed their state qualifying meet, so athletes that didn’t place first won’t know until this weekend if they are making the trip to the Blue Oval.

Lenox came away with six first place finishes Thursday afternoon.

For the girls team, freshman Sadie Cox edged a Fremont-Mills runner by .09 in the 400 meter dash and the sprint medley team of Gabby Robles, Zoey Reed, Brooklynn Ecklin and Cox earned gold medals with a time of 1:55.85.

The Lenox boys broke two school records in hurdle based events.

Senior Johnathan Weaver’s 15.09 second time in the 110 meter hurdles a new Lenox standard that was standing at the high school since 1968.

“It means everything,” Weaver said. “It’s been my goal all year long, even last year, and I finally got it.”

Tiger freshman Gabe Funk’s 400 meter hurdle time of 57.97 not only punched his ticket, but broke the record that was set by Dawson Tullberg in 2017.

“I knew I had to get out strong,” Funk said. “All those guys had faster times than me, I just had to track them down.”

The “Bleached Boyz” of Lenox, denoted by their bleach blond hair comprised of Johnathan Weaver, Trenton Beck, Conner Fitzgerald and Gabe Funk will be in Des Moines with their shuttle hurdle relay time of 1:01.84.

Devin Whipple won with a discus throw of 134-04.

Talented Timberwolf

Southwest Valley sophomore Emma Cooper won the long jump with a leap of 16-05.25.

“I came into this meet and I was seeded third,” Cooper said. “My goal was to make the final eight. I scratched my second to last and I really want for it on my last one.”

Cooper has continually been breaking her own school record this spring, something that is very important to her.

“It means a lot to me,” Cooper said. “I just want to keep making it even better.”

The 1A girls long jump starts at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday.

“My goal is to go out and have fun,” Cooper said. “Just making state in general was a great accomplishment. I also want to go out and compete, so, better than what I’m seeded would be a good goal for me.”

Her head coach, Jason Hults, sees qualifying for state as a confidence booster for Cooper.

“It’s super exciting for her as a sophomore to get that,” Hults said. “To look to the next two years and have that confidence now that she can jump that. This is the fifth time this year that she’s moved the school record in the long jump.”

“She’s going to be the future of our program,” Hults added. “For those younger girls that are coming in, something for them to look at and aspire to.”