By Jay Rickertsen

For the Herald

DES MOINES — Behind a first-place finish by junior Morgan Casey in the Class 2A 3,000-meter run, the Northeast girls track and field team sat in a tie for sixth place after one day Thursday at the Iowa high school track and field state championships at Drake Stadium.

Casey turned in a time of 10 minutes, 32.38 seconds, to take the gold, almost nine seconds in front of West Branch’s Kelsey Hart.

“I went out really hard to start,” Casey said of her first lap. “I knew it was going to be really hot and I wanted to get an early lead. I probably was pushing harder than I should have.”

Northeast coach Pat Healy could tell Casey was pushing it early, but he also knew his star performer had the upper hand coming into the race.

“She was pushing too hard at first,” Healy said. “I can’t complain, though.”

With the early lead, Casey cruised to the win after taking third at Drake Relays last month.

Though her time of 10:12.75 at Drake was considerably faster than her time Thursday, Casey was pleased with the win.

“I am just glad to get a state championship; I don’t care what my time is. As long as I’m in front,” Casey said. “I’m just having so much fun here. I’ve got a lot of support, and my family loves to come and watch me have fun running.”

Camanche’s Lorena Temple took 16th in the 3,000 in 11:40.18.

Area sprinters advance

Thursday saw four area sprinters qualify for the finals in their respective events.

Three area runners will compete in the Class 2A 100-meter dash Saturday, while one advanced in the 2A 200.

Camanche’s McKinzie McDaniel, Bellevue’s Molly Sieverding and Northeast’s Demi Diedrich will vie for points in the 100. McDaniel ran a time of 12.64, Sieverding ran a 12.82 and Diedrich turned in a 12.85.

In the 200, Camanche’s Courtney Harksen ran the fourth-fastest time in the preliminaries to move on. Harksen ran 25.70.

Maquoketa freshman takes 7th

Laura Osterhaus, a freshman from Maquoketa, cleared the height of 5 feet, 1 inch, to take seventh in the Class 3A high jump. The Cardinals’ Trisha Miller took ninth in the girls 3,000-meter run with a time of 11:03.87. She was the state runner-up in the event last spring.

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