By Ted Schultz
For the Herald
DES MOINES — Winning a medal at the Iowa State Track and Field Championships is a great accomplishment.
But breaking a school record, especially when that mark involves an older sibling, is even better.
Katie Isenhour anchored the Prince of Peace girls 1,600-meter relay team to a fourth-place finish in the 1A portion of the race on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Drake Stadium. Their clocking of 4 minutes, 5.88 seconds, broke the school record, according to the sophomore.
“My sister (Tori) was on the team that had the record,” said Isenhour, who was joined on the team by Brittany Horst, Sina Stepken and Kirsten Nienhaus. “I can't remember the year, but I remember their time and the people that were on the team with her.”
Isenhour used a huge kick over the last 150 meters of the race to bring the Irish up to fourth place.
“I started kicking when I heard my dad yelling over there,” she said while pointing to the north end of the track. “I just wanted to go out and get everybody I could.”
The 1,600 team's placing secured 11th place in the team standings for the Irish.
Two other Prince of Peace athletes also placed Saturday, as Drew Sikkema took sixth in the boys 800-meter run and Audrey Griffin was seventh in the girls 1,500.
Sikkema had a big kick at the end that helped him get sixth as he finished in 2:01.98.
“I wanted to save some and try to catch a few people at the end,” he explained. “In the last 150 meters or so, that's what I did. I did the same thing at districts and caught a kid to qualify for state.”
Sikkema wasn't even at the track Friday, as he was in the process of qualifying for the Class 1A state golf tournament with his teammates.
“That's pretty exciting, qualifying with my team for state golf,” he said. “Personally, getting away for a day and taking my mind off the pressure of state track worked pretty well. It was really nice to go play golf yesterday … the scheduling was perfect between the two.”
Sikkema was also projected as one of the favorites in the 1,600 but got knocked to the track at the start of the race and had another runner's spike cut his lip. Trainers tended to him and the race was re-started. Sikkema got the early lead but was unable to place in the event.
Griffin ran the 1,500 in 5:00.84.
“My goal was to get under 5 minutes, but I'm happy with seventh place because I medaled,” she said. “I tried to move faster in the early part of the race but got boxed in. So from there I just tried to pass people on the corners.”
Griffin finished the meet with two medals, also placing in the 3,000.
“It's a good building block,” she said of her performance. “Now I'll know more for next season.”
By Ted Schultz