DES MOINES, Iowa - The 2019 Drake Relays kicked off officially earlier this week, and the Clinton Herald is following local athletes competing at the prestigious Iowa track and field meet. 

SATURDAY

4x100's galore

The area had a plethora of 4x100-meter relay teams competing on Saturday, with 95 competitors allowed in. 

Central DeWitt boys, made up of Michael Pail, Kaiden Muhl, Mitch Michoski and Easton Necker, had handoff problems in their heat and were not able to finish the race. 

The Clinton team of David Johnson, Favin Williams, Joe Simpson and Ulysses Patterson finished the race in 46.38, off by almost a second from their season best. Just in front of them was the team of Blake Hardison, Carson Seeser, Cade Everson and Chase Grim from Camanche who clocked in at 46.11, missing their season best of 45.20. 

The Rebel group of Chad Williams, Braeden Hoyer, Dawson Stoll and Connor Petersen had the best local finish of the day, hitting 75th overall. They crossed the finish line at 45.70, just above their qualifying time of 45.13.

On the girls' side, the Rebels once again had the best finish from the area. They clocked in at 52.20, cutting time off their season best. That group was made up of Madison Tarr, Ellie Rickertsen, Alexis Ehlers and Neveah Hildebrandt. 

The Sabers finished the event in 52.60. Colleen Klostermann, Morgan Machovec, Carly Small and Ava Morris qualified with a time of 52.33.

Rickertsen awes again

Northeast freshman Ellie Rickertsen had already broken any pre-concieved expectations about her youth on Friday after running to a seventh place finish in the 100-meter hurdles, but she did it again on Saturday. 

Rickertsen finished 12th in the entire state in the 400-meter hurdles, just a bit off of her qualifying time she ran at Tipton on April 16. She crossed the finish line at 1:07.49, one of three freshman competing in the event. 

She joins two teammates who came home with top 20 finishes this weekend. Braeden Hoyer was the runner-up in the high jump, matching the best jump in the state. Claire Abbott improved on her overall seed in the shot put and finished 17th overall. 

Friday

Clinton claims 21st overall

DES MOINES, Iowa – After 800 meters, or two laps around the track on the campus of Drake University, the Clinton High School 4X400 relay team was directly in the middle of an eight-team heat Friday night.

But the River Kings lost ground on the home stretch, finishing the race in 3:29.40. The group, comprised of David Johnson, Sean Hammond, Matt Swamberger and Ulysses Patterson, entered the meet with a seed time of 3:29.10.

The performance yielded a 21st place finish among 24 total teams competing in the event.

The River Kings will run the 4X100 meet Saturday.

Rickertsen blasts PR, places

There wasn't necessarily an expectation for Northeast freshman Ellie Rickertsen to place in the 100-meter hurdles. She just squeezed in with a qualifying time of 15.56. 

That didn't stop this power athlete. She blew that PR out of the water in the qualifying race, running a 15.09 in the prelims on Friday morning to make the top eight. 

Rickertsen followed that up with another stellar performance, clocking in at 15.15 to take seventh overall. 

Rickertsen was the lone freshman in the finals, and the only athlete from a Class 1A/2A school to finish in the top eight. 

The freshman is ranked in the top ten with her qualifying time in the 400-meter hurdles, which she will run Saturday.

Abbott, Powell throw 

Clinton and Northeast juniors Kimberly Powell and Claire Abbott wrapped up their Drake Relays performances Friday morning in the shot put pit. 

Abbott finished with a launch of 35-11 for 17th place overall. She reached that mark on her final throw, getting progressively better with each attempt. 

Powell scratched on her first attempt, and threw her best of the day on the third with a 34-4. 

Thursday

Hoyer places 2nd

The Northeast senior high jumper cleared his season best at 6-09 Thursday afternoon in his fourth appearance at the Drake Relays, but couldn't match Grant Brouwer and ended the Drake Relays runner-up. 

Hoyer was the only athlete in the field to clear  6-01, 6-03, 6-05, and 6-07 on his very first attempt, making his senior trip to the Blue Oval look easy. After clearing 6-08, it was just Hoyer and Brouwer, of Sibley-Ocheyedan, left jumping. 

Brouwer took down 6-09 in two attempts, while Hoyer cleared it in three. Neither was able to fly over the bar at 6-10, leaving the title to Brouwer. 

The Drake Relays continue on Friday, with Ellie Rickertsen from Northeast running the 100-meter hurdle prelims at 8 a.m., Northeast's Claire Abbott and Clinton's Kimberly Powell throwing shot put at 9:30 p.m., and the Clinton 4x400 team running their prelims at 8:40 p.m. Friday night.