Breaking Down the Girls State Qualifying Track and Field Meets

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

Class 4A Region 2

When: Thursday, 4 p.m.

Where: City High

Teams: City High, West High, Ottumwa, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Western Dubuque, Dubuque Senior, Dubuque Hempstead, Burlington

Who Qualifies: The top two finishers in each event earn automatic berths to the state meet along with the next 12 best performances from all six 4A meets

Team Title Chase: West High is a heavy favorite to win its third consecutive regional title with cross-town rival and host City High providing the top competition for the Women of Troy.  

Athlete to Watch: Bailey Nock swept the distance events at the MVC divisional meet last week and will look for a repeat performance on Thursday. Nock has the top qualifying time in the 800, 1,500 and 3,000 with teammate Deniz Ince second in all three.

Event to Watch: City High enters with the top time in the 4x200 at 1:47.04 but will need to be at its best to earn one of the two automatic qualifying spots. Cedar Rapids Prairie has clocked a 1:47.13 this season and Western Dubuque has run a 1:47.19.

Don’t Miss This: West High senior Kitra Bell and City High sophomore Caroline Schaeckenbach will square off in both hurdle events with the goal an auto qualifying spot in both. Schaeckenbach has the top time in the 400 hurdles at 1:05.59 while Bell is second at 1:08.37.

Western Dubuque senior Elayna Bahl owns the top time in the 100 hurdles at 15.18, Bell is second at 15.41 and Schaeckenbach is third at 15.56.

Breakdown: West High has the top mark in eight events and enters seeded first and second in four of those events.

Chandler Haight has the top performance in the shot, Alexie Little the top mark in the discus and the Women of Troy enter with the top time in the shuttle hurdle, 4x800 and distance medley.

City High is the top seed in the 4x200, 4x400 and is seeded second in both the shuttle hurdle and sprint medley.

Class 3A Region 4

When: Thursday, 4 p.m.

Where: Mount Pleasant

Teams: Liberty High, Davenport Assumption, Fairfield, Fort Madison, Keokuk, Mount Pleasant, Washington, West Burlington-Notre Dame

Who Qualifies: The top two finishers in each event earn automatic berths to the state meet along with the next eight best performances from all eight 3A meets

Team Title Chase: Defending state champion Davenport Assumption is the favorite with host Mount Pleasant its top challenger.

Athlete to Watch: Camille Mac is already the first cross country qualifier and medalist and first Drake Relays qualifier in Liberty High history. The freshman distance ace will attempt to become the Lightning’s first state track qualifier on Thursday and can do it with a distance sweep.

Mac enters with the top time in the 1,500 at 4:59.34 and owns the best time in the 3,000 at 10:40.5.

Event to Watch: Taylor Cannon joined Mac as a Drake Relays qualifier last month and enters with the top time in the 100 hurdles in 15.49. Cannon is also a member of the Liberty shuttle hurdle relay team that has the second-best time among district competitors at 1:10.4.

Don’t Miss This: Davenport Assumption junior Carly King won the 100 at the Drake Relays last month and has the top time in Class 3A in both the 100 (11.99) and 200 (24.7) and the second fastest 3A time in the 400 (58.17).  

Breakdown: Liberty High has some stiff competition in its first regional meet but has the opportunity to rack up a solid list of state qualifiers.

Mac enters with the top time in both the distance events, Cannon has the top time in the 100 hurdles and the Lightning are second in the shuttle hurdle relay and fourth in the distance medley.

Class 3A Region 7

When: Thursday, 4 p.m.

Where: Pella

Teams: Clear Creek Amana, Benton Community, Chariton, Grinnell, Knoxville, Oskaloosa, Pella, South Tama

Who Qualifies: The top two finishers in each event earn automatic berths to the state meet along with the next eight best performances from all eight 3A meets

Team Title Chase: Behind its trademark depth defending state champion Pella is the favorite although Benton Community and Knoxville will try to push the Lady Dutch.

Athlete to Watch: A Drake Relays qualifier, Clear Creek Amana sophomore Ainsley Schrock enters with the top mark in the discus among district competitors at 127-9 which ranks third in Class 3A.

Event to Watch: Expect Clear Creek Amana sophomore Karsyn Stratton to be in the thick of the long jump title chase as one of three competitors to surpass 16-11 during the season. Grinnell senior Sienna Durr has the top mark at 17-4, Pella senior Paighton Malek has jumped 17-1 and Stratton’s best jump is 16-11 ½.

Don’t Miss This: The Pella and Benton Community sprint relay teams will battle several times before the night is through. Benton has the second-best time in 3A this season in the 4x100 at 48.8 while Pella is third at 49.25. The two teams are second and third in the sprint medley as well but the margin is even thinner with Benton closing a 1:50.22 and Pella a 1:50.26.

Breakdown: Benton has the top mark in six events, including three relays but Pella appears to be the class of the field with seven top times coming in and boasting top-two marks in 15 events.

Clear Creek Amana has top-three times in the 4x100, shuttle hurdle and sprint medley and is fourth in the 4x400 and 4x200.

Class 3A Region 8

When: Thursday, 4 p.m.

Where: Solon

Teams: Solon, Anamosa, Central DeWitt, Maquoketa, Marion, Mount Vernon, Dubuque Wahlert, Cedar Rapids Xavier

Who Qualifies: The top two finishers in each event earn automatic berths to the state meet along with the next eight best performances from all eight 3A meets

Team Title Chase: Solon and Dubuque Wahlert will battle for a state title next week but first the two teams will duke it out for a regional title at Spartan Stadium.

Athlete to Watch: Solon junior Abby Smith has the second best high jump performance among regional competitors at 5-2 and is a key piece of the Spartan’s relay success. Smith is a member of the 4x400 relay team that ranks second in 3A and is part of the 4x200 squad that has the fifth best time in 3A.

Event to Watch: Erin Kerkhoff came from behind in the final 20 meters to edge Anamosa junior Corinne Gadient in the 400 in a seasons-best time of 58.84 at the WAMAC East meet on Monday.

The rematch comes on Thursday at the same place as the two battle for a district title.

Don’t Miss This: Another WAMAC divisional rematch comes in the 400 hurdles as Solon sophomore Gabbi Bullard and Maquoketa’s Carolyn Pickup go head-to-head for the second time in four days.

Bullard has clocked a 1:07.6 this season, tops among regional participants and edged pickup by .01 on Monday at the WAMAC East divisional meet.  

Breakdown: Dubuque Wahlert was third at the Class 3A meet a year ago and has the top-end talent and balance to make another title run next week.

The Golden Eagles have the top mark in nine events at Thursday’s regional meet and are seeded in the top two in 13 events.

Solon isn’t going to go down without a fight on its home track.

The Spartans have 10 top-two seeds and are a state title contender in their own right. Emily Troyer has the top mark in the shot put to go with top seeds from Kerkhoff in the 400, Bullard in the 400 hurdles and the 4x400 relay team.

Class 2A Region 1

When: Thursday, 4 p.m. 

Where: Dike-New Hartford

Teams: Regina, Aplington-Parkersburg, Dyersville Beckman, Waterloo Columbus, Dike-New Hartford, East Marshall, Jesup, Monticello, South Hardin, Union, West Marshall, Williamsburg

Who Qualifies: The top two finishers in each event earn automatic berths to the state meet along with the next eight best performances from all eight 2A meets

Team Title Chase: The team title should come down to the wire with Aplington-Parkersburg, Dyersville Beckman and Monticello all vying for the district crown.

Athlete to Watch: Regina sophomore Annie Gahan has the second fastest time in the 400 hurdles at 1:10.47 and is seeded third in the 400 at 1:03.05. Gahan is also the anchor on the Regina sprint medley team that has the second fastest time among regional teams at 1:54.95.

Event to Watch: Regina junior Jaedynn Evans figures to be her usual busy self on Thursday but will need to be at her best to earn an automatic qualifying spot in the high jump. Evans is one of four regional participants to clear 5-1 this season matching West Marshall senior Isabelle Gradwell at 5-2. Monticello freshman Gabrielle Guilford cleared 5-4 at the RVC meet and is the top seed.

Don’t Miss This: Aplington-Parkersburg sophomore Sophia Jungling is a top-two seed in the 400, 800, 1,500 and 3,000. Jungling has the top 1,500 time at 4:45.8 and is second entering regional competition in the 400 (1:02.67), 800 (2:27.39) and 3,000 (11:37.6).  

Breakdown: Regina will be led by Evans (100, high jump) and Gahan (400, 400 hurdles) wjho are both top-three seeds in two events.

The Regals sprint medley relay team has the second fastest time among regional teams while the Regals have the fifth best time in the 4x100 and shuttle hurdle relays.

Class 2A Region 6

When: Thursday, 4 p.m.

Where: Tipton

Teams: West Branch, Bellevue, Camanche, Cascade, Durant, Louisa-Muscatine, North Cedar, Northeast, Tipton, Wapello, West Liberty, Wilton

Who Qualifies: The top two finishers in each event earn automatic berths to the state meet along with the next eight best performances from all eight 2A meets

Team Title Chase: North Cedar and Cascade finished first and second at the River Valley Conference meet last week and are favorites to grab the top two spots in an RVC heavy field.

Athlete to Watch: West Branch sophomore Jaylen Votroubek owns the top regional time in the 400 hurdles at 1:08.79 and is a member of the Bears’ shuttle hurdle relay team that ranks second with a time of 1:01.48.

Event to Watch: The 4x200 relay features two of the fastest teams in Class 2A in Cascade (1:49.45) and North Cedar (1:49.75) while West Branch ranks third among district teams at 1:52.4 and with a strong showing would be a candidate for an additional qualifying spot if it doesn’t finish in the top two.

Don’t Miss This: West Branch has developed a strong tradition in the shuttle hurdle relay and will attempt to return to the state meet in the event once again. The Bears are seeded second in the shuttle hurdle with a time of 1:10.48. North Cedar has the top time at 1:08.77.  

Breakdown: North Cedar edged Cascade for the RVC title last week and enters as the favorite to claim the team title at a region made up of 10 RVC teams.

North Cedar is top seeded in 10 events including five relays.

West Branch is seeded third in the 4x200 and fourth in the 4x400 to go with its second seed in the shuttle hurdle relay.