The postponed district track meets in Iowa all got underway in nearly perfect weather conditions on Friday. The track meets extended the season for a slew of local athletes who qualified for the Iowa High School State Track and Field Meet in Des Moines next week.
The list is incomplete with at-large bids not yet announced. The Clinton Herald will have updates this weekend on our website and social media.
The state meet takes place at Drake Stadium next Wednesday, May 16 through Saturday, May 18. There will be state pages with all the local qualifiers printed in the paper next week.
DUBUQUE SENIOR, 4A
DUBUQUE - The Clinton River Kings & Queens know that they have to book hotels in Des Moines for next week, but aren't certain just how many quite yet.
They walked away with at least two state qualifiers after Thursday's Class 4A district meet in Dubuque and have a number of events waiting to hear if they made the cutoff.
Drake Relays qualifier Kimberly Powell started things off for the River Queens. She threw 37-05-25, good for a second place finish and an automatic trip to Drake Stadium. This will be Powell's first state appearance. She was the only certain qualifier of the night.
Also in the field events, Grace Tubbs finished third, leaving her playing the waiting game. Tubbs cleared 4-10 and couldn't quite get 5-00.
Other than that, the River Queens saw a lot of personal bests. The Sprint Medley relay ran a 1:57.43, six seconds than they've ran all year. Their 4x200 also ran their best, finishing seventh overall.
Head coach Tony Steen said before the meet that he was hoping to see more PRs this meet, especially with the nice weather.
"I think it's our training, the process we do with them throughout the season," Steed said. "We take each meet as a stepping stone or a piece of the puzzle to get to the end and where we want to be."
Tahlicia Bailey finished seventh in the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.93. Francesca ran 1:12.45 in the 400-meter hurdles for a fifth place finish.
The Queens saw time drops in just about every event, a good sign with such a young team.
"We don't graduate a whole lot this year and we have some girls staying with us that I think can do some stuff next year," Steen said. "It could be an interesting year next year, but it's all in the girls' hands."
The boys had one definite qualifier as well. Ulysses Patterson was the runner-up in the 400-meter dash, running a personal best of 51.30. Right behind him was teammate David Johnson, who came in at 51.39. Although the third place finish doesn't get him in automatically, the chances of Johnson also heading to Des Moines are very high.
Even though they weren't running against Mississippi Athletic Conference schools this year for the district meet, the boys were definitely running against some of the best teams in the state. A few of the events had three or four competitors running some of the top times in the entire state.
"We were pretty happy because these MVC schools are very fast," coach Kellen Schneeberger said. "There's better competition which should push us to perform our best. The second tier of being in the next 12, we have a chance in a few events."
The boys had other events in the same boat. Their 4x400 ended up running a season best 3:28.27. Even though that finished fourth overall, the River Kings are ranked in the top 20 in that event, one that also qualified for the Drake Relays.
Joe Simpson got an eighth place finish in the shot put. Ulysses Patterson finished seventh in the long jump and eighth in the 200-meter dash. Parker Sirna finished eighth in the 1,600-meter run. The Shuttle Hurdle Relay also finished fifth, running a season best.
The Kings also saw time drops in nearly every event.
"The kids were disappointed with the meet being postponed because we like to think of ourselves as mentally tough," Schneeberger said. "We thought those conditions, we could have performed well in. They refocused really well and were just excited. We have a core group of seniors that have led us by example."
The River Kings and Queens will find out tomorrow what events made the cut off. The next twelve top finishes will get their chance to compete in Des Moines. Watch the Clinton Herald website for updates on more qualifying events as we hear the official lists on Saturday.
TIPTON – The Camanche boys' track and field team has consistently performed throughout the season but have been overshadowed by River Valley Conference foes Bellevue and Northeast.
Consider Friday afternoon in Tipton, the site of a Class 2A district, a coming-out party for the Indians.
The Camanche boys crunched times and crushed projections up and down the lineup to eventually hoist the district championship banner at the end of a six-hour meet at Tipton City Park.
"I always knew it was possible if we kept working hard," CHS coach Jerry Ford said. "It is absolutely amazing."
The Indians qualified a whopping nine events for the state event, which begins Thursday in Des Moines. The team has the potential to add a few at-large bids to its lineup, too, but those results will not be revealed until the weekend.
Camanche first turned heads in the 800 sprint medley, where the quartet of Eric Campie, Jordan Lawrence, Chase Grim and Blake Hardison earned a first-place result with a time of 1:35.62, which, as it currently stands, is the best in the state.
"We had never run those four guys in that event and I knew we were capable of more than it said on paper," Ford said. "The handoffs were great, splits were great and everyone gelled at the right time."
Campie shined in only his second meet since returning from a stress fracture on his foot sustained in March. In addition to his contribution in the medley, the senior swept the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes.
"After the sprint medley, I was super tired and doubting my cardio," Campie said. "But I felt really good."
Other Camanche qualifying events include the 100 (Lawrence), 800 (Dylan Darsidan), 400 hurdles (Hardison), 4x100 relay (Cade Everson, Carson Seeser, Lawrence, Grim), 4x200 (Kyle DeWeerdt, Seeser, Hardison, Grim) and distance medley (Grim, Seeser, Hardison, Darsidan).
But Camanche wasn't the lone local school to take home top honors.
Northeast held off the competition en route to a first-place team finish in the girls' division, sparked by several contributors, including underclassmen Ellie Rickertsen and Neveah Hildebrandt.
Rickertsen, a freshman, continued her red-hot season with wins in both the 100 and 400 hurdles.
"It really has been a great experience as a freshman," Rickertsen said. "I have really loved competing against my own times but getting in these big meets has been great."
Hildebrandt qualified for state with a second-place finish in the 100 and helped pick up team points by finishing third in the 200, an event the sophomore could advance to state via an at-large bid.
Hildebrandt and Rickertsen are both members of the winning 4x100 relay, which also includes Madison Tarr and Alexis Ehlers.
Mya Messerich added a win in the 800.
The Northeast boys will also have a handful of qualifiers with a potential for more on the horizon after all results are submitted across the state line.
As expected, Braeden Hoyer took top honors in the high jump by clearing 6-05.
The Rebels also won the 4x400 relay (Joe Hasken, Hoyer, Chad Williams, Conner Petersen) and qualified the 4x800 relay (Nathan Lange, Brandon House, Caleb Gruhn, Andrew Hilgendorf), 800 sprint medley (Williams, Dawson Stoll, Petersen, Hasken) and distance medley (Williams, Hoyer, Rickertsen, Hasken).
"I don't have any complaints," Northeast coach Mike Mattis said. "It was a good day, we ran PRs in the sprint medley and the 4x400 so I'm happy."
Check the Clinton Herald website for the official list of state qualifiers over the weekend.
CENTRAL CITY, 1A
CENTRAL CITY - Easton Valley and Prince of Peace competed for their chance to head to the Blue Oval on Friday in Central City. A couple of first time qualifiers are headed to the Blue Oval next week for certain.
Prince of Peace senior Hansi Hudson finally got his first state berth, winning the 3,200-meter run with a personal best. Hudson missed state last year and in cross country and will be making his first appearance in Des Moines.
Easton Valley's Abby Green, a senior, won the discus to punch her ticket to Des Moines on Friday night.
The Clinton Herald did not have access to the full results, and will have them updated when the full list of qualifiers comes out on Saturday.
**Not a complete list**