Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Shortly after his team locked up a third consecutive Mississippi Valley Conference divisional title West High coach Mike Parker began to breakdown the performances that led to the win.
It was a long list for the veteran West High coach.
There was a strong showing in the throws, a big boost from freshman Kiara Malloy-Salgado in the 400 hurdles and three individual runner-up finishes from senior Kitra Bell.
While seemingly everyone in West High gold had a hand in the most recent in a long string of MVC success no one did more on Friday than the distance duo of Bailey Nock and Deniz Ince.
Nock and Ince finished first and second in the 800, 1,500 and 3,000 and each ran an 800 meter anchor leg on a runner-up relay team as West High won its 17th conference crown in the past 21 seasons.
“At the end of the day Bailey Nock and Deniz Ince put this team on their shoulders,” Parker said. “It’s hard for any athlete to do four events but to do the four longest events I am so proud of them.”
Nock completed a sweep of the distance events for the second year in a row on her way to being named Mississippi Division athlete of the year.
In each event Ince was right on her heels.
Ince finished less than two seconds behind Nock in all three events as West High outdistanced runner-up Linn-Mar by 17 points.
“We kept saying that we just had to go 1-2,” Nock said. “We knew we weren’t going to pr today, and that’s fine we just had to go 1-2. Today if we pr and we get 3rd we are not going to be happy.”
The Women of Troy swept the top two spots in each of the throwing events and finished first and second in five events on Friday while rolling up 163 points.
Chandler Haight won the shot put with a mark of 43-3 ½ and was second behind teammate Alexie Little (123-4) in the discus as West High finished first in front of Linn-Mar for the third consecutive season.
“We told our throwers going in we can’t get first and thirds that won’t cut it,” Parker said. “They said o.k. and came back over and said job well done. That’s tough to do.”
Bell finished runner-up in the 100 hurdles, 400 hurdles and long jump and anchored West High’s winning shuttle hurdle relay team but this day was all about the West High distance duo.
Last season Nock completed the distance trifecta at the divisional meet.
She matched her performance from a year ago and then some, adding another 800 meters as the anchor on the runner-up 4x800 relay team.
“Last year she won the 800, the 1,500 and the 3,000 and she did it again this year and we added a back-to-back event and she went 2:25 in her split in that back-to-back event,” Parker said. “She is deserving of the athlete of the year.
Ince was just a second off the pace of Nock in the 3,000 and then took West High from fifth to second with a strong 800-meter anchor leg in the distance medley.
She followed that performance up by placed .01 behind Nock in the 800 and outracing Linn-Mar’s Lilly Geelan over the final 150 meters to place second in the 1,500 in 4:59.28.
“I knew I had to out kick her and give it everything I had,” Ince said. “I had a tough day today running those four events but for the team you just have to do what you have to do.”
Ince and Nock both ran the maximum distance allowed at a high school meet, competing in the three longest events with a short amount of recovery time.
Both said they would do it all over again for another team title.
“It was great today, the whole team just came together and fought for each other,” Ince said. “It was something bigger than just our individual performances today.”
A year ago West High finished 70 points clear of runner-up Linn-Mar but needed every last point on Friday to hold off the Lions and standout Payton Wensel.
Wensel won the 400, anchored the Lions sprint medley team to a win and set a MVC record in the 400 hurdles.
It wasn’t enough to knock West High from the top spot.
“It’s super exciting,” Ince said. “We’ve been conference champs how many years now and it’s super exciting. I am so happy.”
West High trailed Linn-Mar by 27 points after 10 events but used first and second place finishes in the 800, 1,500 and both throwing events to close that gap quickly.
“We really felt like we had to go 1-2 in the throws just to assure ourselves of a win,” Haight said. “If we didn’t do that we would have felt like we let the team down.”
The turning point came in the 400 hurdles.As expected Wensel cruised to a win in a MVC record time of 1:01.56 but West High still outscored the Lions as Bell placed second in 1:09.58 and Malloy-Salgado was thi
rd in her first ever attempt at the event.
“That was the event that really separated us, I would say that we were shooting part throughout a lot of the meet,” Parker said. “As we looked at what other teams we thought that might be an opening but an opening like I thought maybe she could get fourth or fifth and for her to pull through like that wow that was monumental.”
Nock and Ince locked down the title with their third 1-2 finish in the 1,500 as Ince held off Geelan by .06 for second place.
“Deniz has been impressing all of us this entire season and it has come no surprise when you watch her in workouts,” Nock said. “People outside of the team are probably like ‘where did she come from’ but people on our team have seen her improve so much and she does so well in practice it comes over to meets.”
Team scores – 1. West High 163; 2. Linn-Mar 146; 3. Dubuque Wahlert 144; 4. Waterloo West 53; 5. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 47; 6. Cedar Rapids Xavier 19; 7. Waterloo East 14
(Top Three Finishers; Area Placewinners)
100 – 1. Jill Bennett (LM) 12.66; 2. Libby Wedewer (DW) 12.73; 3. MiAsia Bergmann (CRJ) 12.92
200 – 1. Libby Wedewer (DW) 25.91; 2. Jill Bennett (LM) 26.03; 3. Anna Sherman (DW) 26.13; 6. Isyss Shaw (ICW) 27.49
400 – 1. Payton Wensel (LM) 58.33; 2. Dimia Burrell (LM) 1:02.23; 3. Zoey Thune (WW) 1:02.45
800 – 1. Bailey Nock (ICW) 2:24.66; 2. Deniz Ince (ICW) 2:24.67; 3. Ellie Osterberger (DW) 2:31.56
1,500 – 1. Bailey Nock (ICW) 4:57.86; 2. Deniz Ince (ICW) 4:59.28; 3. Lilly Geelan (LM) 4:59.34
3,000 – 1. Bailey Nock (ICW) 10:49.47; 2. Deniz Ince (ICW) 10:50.51; 3. Micah Poellet (LM) 10:51.26
100 hurdles – 1. MiAsia Bergmann (CRJ) 15.14; 2. Kitra Bell (ICW) 15.67; 3. Chana Northrup (LM) 15.93; 5. Peyton Steva (ICW) 16.92
400 hurdles – 1. Payton Wensel (LM) 1:01.56; 2. Kitra Bell 1:09.58; 3. Kiara Malloy-Salgado (ICW) 1:09.68
Sprint medley relay – 1. Linn-Mar 1:48.1; 2. Dubuque Wahlert 1:52.53; 3. Waterloo West 1:54.68; 4. West High (Katie Severt, Peyton Steva, Isyss Shaw, Kiara Malloy-Salgado) 1:55.62
Distance medley relay – 1. Dubuque Wahlert 4:19.22; 2. West High (Matayia Tellis, Usyss Shaw, Amy Liao, Deniz Ince) 4:20.87; 3. Waterloo West 4:28.38
Shuttle hurdle relay – 1. West High (Amy Liao, Peyton Steva, Matayia Tellis, Kitra Bell) 1:07.32; 2. Linn-Mar 1:07.63; 3. Cedar Rapids Xavier 1:09.87
4x100 – 1. Dubuque Wahlert 49.76; 2. Linn-Mar 50.04; 3. Waterloo West 50.09; 5. West High (Peyton Steva, Matayia Tellis, Isyss Shaw, Katie Severt) 52.14.
4x200 – 1. Dubuque Wahlert 1:45.15; 2. Waterloo West 1:48.2; 3. Linn-Mar 1:48.82; 5. West High (Favour Alarape, Leah Elliott, Mia Dillingham, Matayia Tellis) 1:56.36
4x400 – 1. Dubuque Wahlert 4:11.23; 2. Waterloo West 4:12.24; 3. Linn-Mar 4:17.65; 5. West High (Amy Liao, Katie Hoefer, Erica Buettner, Kiara Malloy-Salgado) 4:22.49
4x800 – 1. Dubuque Wahlert 9:50.28; 2. West High (Erica Buettner, Claire Ronnebaum, Katie Hoefer, Bailey Nock) 10:05.34; 3. Linn-Mar 10:08.42
Long jump – 1. Aliyah Carter (DW) 17-3 ½; 2. Kitra Bell (ICW) 17-3 ¼; 3. Dimia Burrell (LM) 17-0 ½; 4. Katie Severt (ICW) 17-0.
High jump – 1. Skyler Pressler (LM) 5-3; 2. Aliyah Carter (DW) 5-2; 3. Meghan Prohaska (CRJ) 5-0
Shot put – 1. Chandler Haight (ICW) 43-3 ½; 2. Salima Omari (ICW) 36-8 ½; 3. Mari Shavers (WW) 34-6.
Discus – 1. Alexie Little (ICW) 123-4; 2. Chandler Haight (ICW) 116-3; 3. Morgan Montgomery (DW) 104-10 ½.