By Ted Schultz
For the Herald
DES MOINES — Ryan Krogmann and Morgan Casey have made a habit of winning gold medals at the Iowa State Track and Field Championships, and the Northeast runners continued that trend Saturday.
Krogmann took first in the Class 2A boys 800-meter run in 1 minute, 54.62 seconds, while Casey was tops in the girls 1,500 with a time of 4:48.4 on a beautiful day at Drake Stadium
Krogmann entered the fast heat of his race knowing he'd have to beat a blazing 1:56.89 by the winner of the slow heat.
“I knew I could go 1:56, but I also wanted to push myself and see how fast I could go,” he said. “My main goal was to not get boxed in, so I went out strong so I didn't have to worry about that.”
He won the title by more than 2 seconds.
“My time is the fastest I've ever run in the open 800,” Krogmann said. “That feels pretty good.”
Brad Maxwell of Camanche was 10th in the event in 1:59.37.
Casey had a busy weekend by claiming three gold medals, the last in the 1,500.
“It feels good, but I'm very, very tired now,” she said with a laugh. “The 1,500 was my last race, so I wanted to leave it all out there.”
She led comfortably most of the way before Taylor Petersen of Gladbrook-Reinbeck made a late surge with about 150 meters to go.
“At that point of the race you're getting tired and it's hot, and then suddenly somebody comes up behind you and it wakes you up,” Casey said. “You suddenly say, ‘Hey, I'm not just out for a run, I'm racing … I better start going faster.’ ”
Krogmann added a runner-up finish in the 1,600 in 4:24.74, finishing behind Tipton’s Eric Thein (4:21.5).
“He ran a great race,” Krogmann said of Thein. “All I wanted to do was stay with him and see if I had a kick at the end. I did, but he had a good kick, too.”
Another area runner-up finish was accomplished by the Camanche girls 400 relay team. The quartet of McKinzie McDaniel, Ashtyn Dixon, Ashley Gonzalez and Courtney Harksen blazed around the track in 50.29. The winner was Hudson in 49.96.
“I definitely felt a lot better out of the blocks,” McDaniel said. “I knew we had to stay up with Hudson, and mine and Ashtyn's handoff was great. That's what we've been focusing on.”
Gonzalez added: “Everything went smoothly. I'm proud of how we did. We were all looking forward to this, but I was still nervous.”
Harksen said: “Solon really gave me a run for my money. They were coming up on us. I was focused on Hudson but knew I also had to hold off Solon. My heart was racing, but it was a great feeling.”
Dixon was completing a busy day, as earlier Saturday she had helped the Camanche girls tennis team win a Class 1A regional team match. On Thursday’s first day of the state track meet, Dixon and Tiana Bark, last year’s state runners-up, qualified for the state tennis meet in doubles.
“It's been a very, very busy three days,” she said, laughing. “But it's fun to be a part of two teams. I'm really happy with what we did in the four-by-100. The handoffs went great.”
Two of the Indians also placed in individual events, as Harksen took third in the 200 in 26.13 and McDaniel placed fifth in the 100 in 12.82. Two other area runners were also in the 100, as Northeast's Demi Diedrich was sixth in 12.88 and Bellevue's Molly Sieverding placed eighth in 13.04.
“I'm excited to get third,” Harksen said. “I was really warmed up, but then we had to go inside for 10 minutes and that took away from it a bit. But I got a good start and really kicked it in because there was a girl coming up behind me.”
McDaniel said: “I wished I could have done a bit better, but making the finals was great. “I don't think I got out of the blocks very well.”
Northeast's Casey added a third-place finish in the 800 with a time of 2:17.24.
“I had planned on tucking myself into second early, but the pace was slow so I had to either go around or cut my stride,” she said. “I figured I'd rather burn myself early than cut my stride. Near the end I knew I'd have a kick, but Casie (Christensen, the winner from North Polk) is a good 400 runner and I knew she'd have a good kick, too. I didn't have it for the win but still got my best time.”
Northeast's girls finished fourth in the 2A team standings with 39 points, while Camanche was sixth with 32. On the boys side, Northeast finished fifth with 34 points.
By Ted Schultz