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DES MOINES – Taylor Cannon and her teammates have been a part of plenty of school history during the inaugural season at Liberty High.
The Liberty High sophomore made a real run at a different kind of history at the Class 3A state meet on Saturday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
Cannon bested the Class 3A state meet record in the 100 hurdles but settled for a runner-up finish behind Benton Community junior Grace Martensen who won in a record time of 14.51.
The time of 14.58 for Cannon also broke the previous 3A meet record of 14.7 shared by Rachel Peth of Waverly-Shell Rock and Kelsi Phipps of Mount Pleasant and was the 13th fastest in state history.
“I don’t where that speed came from, I honestly don’t,” Cannon said. “I think it’s just years of training and training and training and it all paid off. That’s what I wanted all season so I’m really proud of myself.”
The runner-up finish in the 100 hurdles capped an impressive 24-hour span for Cannon that started with a career-best run in Friday’s prelims and included running a leg on the Liberty shuttle hurdle relay team that placed sixth.
Cannon entered with the fourth fastest time in Class 3A in the 100 hurdles this season but took .70 off her career-best while clocking the top preliminary time in 3A at 14.79.
The time was both a shock and a massive confidence boost for Cannon who hadn’t been under 15.49 in her career.
“Talking with my coach we were expecting me to run a low 15 this year and then yesterday out of nowhere I got a PR with a 14.79,” Cannon said. “We were really, really excited.”
The strong preliminary race was just the beginning for Cannon.
She anchored the Lightning shuttle hurdle relay team to a sixth-place finish in 1:07.87 in what proved to be a warmup for the best race of her career.
“It was an amazing warmup,” Cannon said. “I didn’t know how I was going to do in my 100 hurdles but I had shuttle before and I did really good, I ran one of my fastest splits, I think that helped me in the 100.”
Sophomores Elizabeth Davis and Jada Murphy and senior Breeyn Gryp joined Cannon on the sixth-place shuttle hurdle team.
The foursome entered with the ninth fastest time from district meets but improved its previous best time by nearly a second in prelims.
“I am super happy with how our shuttle ran especially because we have a couple of sophomores and only one senior,” Cannon said. “Being our first year I was glad we just made it to finals.”
Cannon saved her best for her final race.
She was even with Martensen for virtually the entire race.
Martensen had a slight edge over the final hurdle but Cannon pulled nearly even during the final 10 meters.
“My coach told me to take a deep breath before my race today and go into like I did yesterday and I will PR again which I did,” Cannon said. “So even though I didn’t get first I am really proud of myself.”
With her two top-six finishes on Saturday Cannon joins freshman Camille Mac as the first athlete in Liberty High history with multiple state medals. Mac became the first state medalist in Liberty High history with a fifth-place finish in the 3,000 on Thursday and earned her second medal of the weekend on Saturday with a sixth-place finish in the 1,500 in 4:53.57.
The runner-up finish fr Cannon is the best in program history.
“It feels really good to have that piece of history,” Cannon said. “I get to go on the big board so I am really happy. I am really excited about that.”
Team scores - 1. Pella 70; 2. Crestwood 64; 3. Dubuque Wahlert 64; 4. Benton Community 57; 5. Decorah 50; 6. Sioux City Heelan 37; 7. Davenport Assumption 33; 8. Solon 27; 9. Keokuk 25; 9. Iowa Falls 25; 9. North Polk 25; 9. Mount Vernon 25; 19. Clear Creek Amana 13
100 – 1. Ellie Masten (Benton Community) 12.45
200 – 1. Emily Vos (Pella) 24.68
800 – 1. Ellie Friesen (Crestwood) 2:13.63; 23. Camille Mac (Liberty High) 2:24.7
1,500 – 1. Ellie Friesen (Crestwood) 4:39.4; 6. Camille Mac (Liberty High) 4:53.57; 20. McKenzie Logan (Liberty High) 5:07.03
100 Hurdles – 1. Grace Martensen (Benton Community) 14.51; 2. Taylor Cannon (Liberty High) 14.58
Sprint Medley Relay – 1. Benton Community 1:47.31; 4. Solon (Cayley Annis, Molly Duckett, Taylor Ryan, Erin Kerkhoff) 1:49.24; 15. Clear Creek Amana (Riley Hennes, Andrea Roller, Karsyn Stratton, Cierra Lacina) 1:55.02
Shuttle Hurdle Relay – 1. Benton Community 1:04.84; 4. Solon (Gabbi Bullard, Rachael Nelson, Peyton Sands, Molly Duckett) 1:06.88; 6. Liberty High (Elizabeth Davis, Jada Murphy, Breeyn Gryp, Taylor Cannon) 1:07.87
4x100 – 1. Dubuque Wahlert 48.21
4x400 – 1. Decorah 3:57.66; 2. Solon (Cayley Annis, Taylor Ryan, Abby Smith, Erin Kerkhoff) 3:59.5