Kerkhoff Wins Three Titles To Lead Solon to Team Crown at WAMAC East Divisional

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

SOLON – Monday was originally scheduled as a heavy workout day for Erin Kerkhoff and her Solon track teammates.

When weather forecasts forced the postponement and rescheduling of the WAMAC Super Meet originally set for last week Monday became a meet day rather than a practice day for the Spartans.

Kerkhoff still managed to get plenty of work in on Monday sweeping the sprinting events while leading Solon to a team title at the WAMAC East Divisional meet at Spartan Stadium.

“We knew that we weren’t going to get another hard workout in before districts so tonight we wanted to push it a little,” Kerkhoff said. “Hopefully that will help us for districts on Thursday.”

Solon was considered one of the favorites to claim the title at the 16-team Super Meet last week.

Weather delayed that meet and the conference elected to go with Divisional meets as the makeup on Monday.

The schedule changed but Solon as a favorite did not and the Spartans showed why on Thursday.

Solon won four events and finished runner-up in nine others while rolling up 148.5 points to outdistance runner-up Mount Vernon by 37 points.

“Knowing that we had a pretty good shot to win it the other night you hate to give that away tonight,” Solon coach Brent Sands said. “We backed off a few people, we tried not to have anyone in more than three events and we hoped we could hang on and fortunately we are deep enough to be able to do that.”

Kerkhoff was one of the Spartans with a slightly lighter than normal workload on Monday.

A staple in four events all season Kerkhoff was one of many Spartans limited to three events on Monday with the state qualifying meet just three days away.

Kerkhoff made the most of her time on the track, winning titles in the 100, 200 and 400.

A 400-meter specialist that often runs two or three 400 meters at each meet Kerkhoff enjoyed her day filled with shorter races.  

“It was definitely not as stressful without all the 400s,” Kerkhoff said. “It was good and there was a lot of recovery time too so it was fun.”

It was almost an even lighter day for the junior standout.

Kerkhoff felt ill before the meet and Sands wasn’t sure she would compete at all.

She gave the 100 a try and edged teammate Taylor Ryan to win in a time of 12.95 and then blazed to a season-best time of 58.84 to claim a title in the 400.

“She barely got herself out here to run the 100 and we were this close to saying no you just aren’t running the 400 and she said she thought she could do it,” Sands said. “She wasn’t quite herself and she ran really well and that’s a pretty good sign.”

Kerkhoff chased down Corinne Gadient of Anamosa in the final 20 meters to win the 400.

She capped her day with a win in the 200 in 26.41, just off her best of the season.

“At the beginning of the meet I was feeling kind of sick so I was a little worried because I thought I was getting sick but I feel really good with the way I ran,” Kerkhoff said. “I’m happy with it.”

Sophomore Gabbi Bullard edged Cari Pickup of Maquoketa to win the 400 hurdles in a time of 1:07.87 for the other Solon individual title.

The Spartans got runner-up finishes from its 4x100, 4x200, shuttle hurdle and sprint medley relay teams and from Khaylor Fleck in the long jump, Emily Troyer in the shot put, Abby Smith in the high jump and Kiersten Conway in the 3,000.

“We really did what I was hoping to do,” Sands said. “We went a little heavier on the individuals and pulled off on the relays and those relays held their own so I thought that part of it was really good. I think overall it was a pretty good performance.”

Solon will host a Class 3A state qualifying meet on Thursday.

“I’m so excited,” Kerkhoff said. “It’s so nice to have the home field advantage and have the crowd cheering loud. It’s a big advantage.”

WAMAC East Divisional Meet

At Solon

Team scores – 1. Solon 148.5; 2. Mount Vernon 111.5; 3. Anamosa 111; 4. Western Dubuque 103; 5. Central DeWitt 95; 6. Dyersville Beckman 84; 7. West Delaware 49; 8. Maquoketa 24

Individual Results

(Top Three Finishers; Area Placewinners)

100 – 1. Erin Kerkhoff (SOL) 12.95; 2. Taylor Ryan (SOL) 13.06; 3. Morgan Funke (DB) 13.08

200 – 1. Erin Kerkhoff (SOL) 26.41; 2. Olivia Nebergall (ANA) 26.58; 3. Morgan Funke (DB) 27.09; 4. Taylor Ryan (SOL) 27.68

400 – 1. Erin Kerkhoff (SOL) 58.84; 2. Corinne Gadient (ANA) 59.08; 3. Cari Pickup (MAQ) 1:03.3

800 – 1. Corinne Gadient (ANA) 2:24.57; 2. Elly Burds (WDB) 2:30.63; 3. Caroline See (MV) 2:32.84

1,500 – 1. Emma Duncan (ANA) 5:19.77; 2. Aubrey Frey (MV) 5:20.37; 3. Maria Gudenkauf (WDB) 5:38.38

3,000 – 1. Emma Duncan (ANA) 11:43.06; 2. Kiersten Conway (SOL) 11:49.52; 3. Kyleen Irwin (CD) 12:12.18

100 hurdles – 1. Elayna Bahl (WD) 15.61; 2. Heather Boeckenstedt (DB) 15.95; 3. Annie Leopold (MV) 16.27; 7. Peyton Sands (SOL) 17.58; 8. Rachael Nelson (SOL) 17.71

400 hurdles – 1. Gabbi Bullard (SOL) 1:07.87; 2. Cari Pickup (MAQ) 1:07.88; 3. Annie Leopold (MV) 1:11.21; 6. Sophie Nicol (SOL) 1:14.32

Sprint medley relay – 1. Western Dubuque 1:52.62; 2. Solon 1:55.17; 3. Central DeWitt 1:55.94

Distance medley relay – 1. Mount Vernon 4:28.03; 2. Central DeWitt 4:31.98; 3. West Delaware 4:32.47; 6. Solon 4:44.51

Shuttle hurdle relay – 1. Mount Vernon 1:06.77; 2. Solon 1:07.59; 3. Dyersville Beckman 1:08.42

4x100 – 1. Dyersville Beckman 50.91; 2. Solon 51.53; 3. Western Dubuque 52.06

4x200 – 1. Western Dubuque 1:47.19; 2. Solon 1:47.58; 3. Central DeWitt 1:50.5.

4x400 – 1. Anamosa 4:10.38; 2. Mount Vernon 4:12.68; 3. Central DeWitt 4:16.47; 5. Solon 4:38.88

4x800 – 1. Anamosa 9:54.67; 2. Mount Vernon 10:00.29; 3. Western Dubuque 10:16.34; 5. Solon 11:12.86.

Long jump – 1. Heather Boeckenstedt (DB) 16-8 ¾; 2. Khaylor Fleck (SOL) 16-6 3/4; 3. Morgan Machovec (CD) 16-0 ½;

High jump – 1. Olivia Nebergall (ANA) 5-2; 2. Abby Smith (SOL) 5-2; 3. Cassie Hermsen (WD) 4-10; 5. Katelyn Coons (SOL) 4-4

Shot put – 1. Jade Hard (MV) 39-9 ½; 2. Emily Troyer (SOL) 38-7; 3. Mackenzie Ketchum (MV) 36-9 ½;

Discus – 1. Lily Meester (MV) 116-7; 2. Lilly Meyer (WD) 110-0; 3. Jenna Ladage (SOL) 104-7; 4. Elli Becicka (SOL) 104-1.