The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


May 9, 2014

Hammond wins MAC shot put title

CLINTON — Coach June Wilden wanted her Clinton High School girls track and field team to gain confidence, so she entered the freshmen and sophomores — the bulk of the team — in the sophomore portion of the Mississippi Athletic Conference meet Thursday at Bill Holsclaw Track.

All but one sophomore, that is. And the one sophomore who entered varsity events came away leading the River Queens in scoring while garnering their lone first-place finish.

Erika Hammond, who missed by 1 inch qualifying for the state meet in the shot put last spring, won that event Thursday and added a fifth-place finish in the discus. Alayna Geronzin also scored in both events, and combined, the two throwers scored 20 of Clinton’s 23 points in the meet.

Pleasant Valley won the team title with 158 points, while Davenport Assumption was second with 131 and Bettendorf placed third with 110.

Hammond, who leads Class 4A throwers in the state with a season-best throw of 40 feet, 8 inches in the shot, couldn’t quite match that Thursday. But all three of her throws in the finals were better than 39, with each being enough to win the competition. Her best effort was 39-2.

“My goal this year was to consistently throw 36 feet,” Hammond said. “My goal now is to be in the top eight at state.

“I come in with a better mindset now, that I’m going to get first. Last year, my mind wasn’t set there.”

Along with improving her mental approach, Hammond also said she has improved physically this season.

“I’ve been working with a personal trainer, and that’s helped a lot,” she said. “I’ve mostly worked on lifting with my legs and on my arms.”

Hammond threw the discus 99-11, as he wound up one spot behind fourth-place finisher Geronzin. Geronzin, who took eighth in the shot put at 33-5, went 106-4 in the discus.

“I’m pretty happy with it,” Geronzin said. “I know I could push more and get a little farther.”

The two throwers — along with talented senior distance runner Kim Kaster, who was held out of the meet because of an injury — have become the strength of the team this year.

“I enjoy throwing with her,” Geronzin said. “It’s always friendly competition.”

The competition wasn’t all that for friendly for the rest of Clinton’s varsity. Outside of the throws, the Queens scored just three points on eighth-place finishes from senior Erin Wenzel in the 400 meters (1 minute, 1.65 seconds, which was a season best for her); the sprint medley relay unit (2:03.51) of Geronzin, Jessica Riojas, Mackenzie Cady and Wenzel; and the 400-meter relay foursome of Cady, Alyssa Butt, Riojas and Wenzel (59.27).

But many of Clinton’s events were affected by having the freshmen and sophomores compete at the lower level.

“By now we know they (the young athletes) can run with the varsity kids, but we’re looking for confidence,” Wilden said. “I thought we competed really hard, and we had a lot of lifetime bests.”

The River Queens placed fourth in the sophomore meet with 93 points, trailing only Davenport West (122), Pleasant Valley (121) and Davenport Assumption (99).

Raven Jones led the sophomore team with a first-place finish in the long jump (15-0), and she also ran the third leg on the winning sprint and distance medley units. Clarisma Irving and Carlie Taylor ran the first two legs in each event, while Alexis Namer anchored the distance medley (4:47.65) and Elle Tubbs anchored the sprint medley (2:01.18). Tubbs also came away with second place in the high jump (4-8) and fourth in the 400 (1:05.75), while Namer took third in the 400 low hurdles.


Team standings

1. Pleasant Valley 158; 2. Davenport Assumption 131; 3. Bettendorf 110; 4. Davenport Central 86; 5. North Scott 66; 6. Muscatine 54; 7. Davenport North 42; 8. Davenport West 35; 9. Burlington 28; 10. Clinton 23.

Individual results

(Top 2, other Clinton scorers)

3,000 meters — 1. Joy Ripslinger (DA) 10:31.44; 2. Brina Kraft (Mus) 11:02.43.

3,200 relay — 1. Assumption (Molly Gilchrist, Kennedy King, Mallory King, Sarah Adams) 9:41.68; 2. Pleasant Valley 10:01.31.

Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Pleasant Valley (Delli DeGeorge, Claire Park, Angela Rauwolf, Carly Donahue) 1:09.31; 2. Central 1:11.31.

100 — 1. Tamika Tucker (DN) 12.39; 2. Tasia Comer (Bett) 12.64.

Distance medley relay — 1. Bettendorf (Comer, Alli Wroblewski, Taylor Mitchell, Abby Sears) 4:22.04; 2. Pleasant Valley 4:26.15.

400 — 1. Kaley Ciluffo (PV) 56.87; 2. Addie Swanson (PV) 57.87; 8. Erin Wenzel (Clin) 1:01.65.

800 relay — 1. Pleasant Valley (Alyssa Simon, Claire Schwartz, Jordan Simon, Emily Paul) 1:47.01; 2. Assumption 1:48.43.

100 hurdles — 1. Julia Lampe (Bett) 15.74; 2. Autumn Golly (Bur) 16.51.

800 — 1. Ciluffo (PV) 2:18.44; 2. Larkin Chapman (Mus) 2:28.61.

200 — 1. Rose Ripslinger (DA) 25.17; 2. Tucker (DN) 25.79.

400 hurdles — 1. Carly Donahue (PV) 1:05.71; 2. Clare Carroll (DA) 1:07.55.

Sprint medley relay — 1. Pleasant Valley (Teleah Thomas, Jennifer Kruse, A. Simon, Swanson) 1:51.38; 2. Assumption 1:53.15; 8. Clinton (Alayna Geronzin, Jessica Riojas, Mackenzie Cady, Wenzel) 2:03.51.

1,500 — 1. Maddie Reynolds (PV) 5:06.48; 2. Beth Mallon (DA) 5:09.79.

400 relay — 1. Assumption (Emma Bassier, R. Ripslinger, Markel Mommsen, Maddie Irmen) 47.56 (meet record); 2. Central 49.40; 8. Clinton (Cady, Alyssa Butt, Riojas, Wenzel) 59.27.

1,600 relay — 1. Assumption (King, Irmen, Ripslinger, Ripslinger) 3:54.87; 2. Bettendorf 4:10.87.

Shot put — 1. Erika Hammond (Clin) 2. Tanasha Atwater (DC) 39-2; 2. 38-11.5; 8. Alayna Geronzin (Clin) 33-5.

Long jump — 1. Dajanique Jackson (DC) 17-2.25; 2. Chapman (Mus) 16-10.

Discus — 1. Katelynn Rheingans (NS) 116-6.5; 2. DoniRae Mayhew (Bett) 110-1; 4. Geronzin (Clin) 106-4; 5. Hammond (Clin) 99-11.

High jump — 1. DeGeorge (PV) 5-4; 2. Tucker (DN) 5-3.


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High School Sports