Depth Helps Solon Roll To Team Title at Denny Gruber Relays


Photo by Jeff Yoder / Click to view photo gallery

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

SOLON – Track fans got the treat of watching one of the top individual talents in the state on Tuesday as Davenport Assumption senior standout Carly King put on a show at Spartan Stadium in Solon.

Fans also got a glimpse of perhaps the best top to bottom team in Class 3A as host Solon put on a show of its own.

Solon boasts top-end talent as well as impressive depth and put both on display on Tuesday winning six events and finishing runner-up in six others while rolling to the team title at the Denny Gruber Relays.

“We have girls that can run multiple events and do well and we have such a large number of girls that can do anything. We can throw anyone together and we will win a relay,” Solon senior Taylor Ryan said. “It’s really exciting because it’s about the whole team.”

Up and down the lineup Solon seems to have it all and the Spartans showed off its arsenal Tuesday rolling up 163 points to finish 65 points in front of runner-up Assumption.

“A lot of times if you load up a relay you have to back up an open or not run and we just have a lot of kids in that 100, 200, 400 range where we can put together great relays and still throw people in the opens or vice versa,” Solon coach Brent Sands said. “That has really allowed us to do some things.”

Solon got individual titles from freshmen Emma Bock and Makinley Levin and junior Gabbi Bullard and added titles in the 4x400, sprint medley and distance medley relays but it was the Spartans’ trademark depth that made the difference.

The Spartans had a top-four finish in every event, had two placewinners in half of the 12 individual events and were first or second in five of seven relays.

“The depth of talent on our team is amazing,” Bock said. “We can go into any meet and even when some relays are stacked there are still other girls that do amazing in all the events.”

Bock won the 800 in a meet-record time of 2:19.79 and ran a leg on the Spartans winning 4x400 relay team that set a meet record.

The 2:19.79 for Bock in the 800 is a career-best and ranks fourth in Class 3A this season.

“She is a beast,” Sands said of Bock. “She just goes and works and doesn’t ever stop so we are excited about where she might be able to get to before it’s all over.”

Levin won the long jump with a career-best mark of 17-4 ½ that ranks third in 3A this season, added a runner-up finish in the 200 in 26.71 and rank on the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams that each finished second to Assumption squads anchored by King.

“She has really got a lot left, she isn’t landing that well so we have to continue to work on that but she is really getting out there with what we think is a lot left and that is encouraging,” Sands said of Levin in the long jump. “She is running really well in the 100s and 200s too.”

Bullard added a title in the 400 hurdles in 1:06.98 and the foursome of Khaylor Fleck, Erin Kerkhoff, Cayley Annis and Ryan set a meet record while winning the sprint medley relay in 1:49.51.

Kerkhoff was runner-up to King in the 100 in addition to her regular relay workload on Tuesday that included a leg on the 4x200 and 4x400 team.

“The depth is crazy this year and I think we are a lot closer this year,” Kerkhoff said. “I think the atmosphere on our team is incredible.”

The other title for the Spartans came in the distance medley relay where Jeannie Jedlicka, Rachael Nelson, Annis and freshman Kaia Holtkamp won in a time of 4:30.82.

Abby Smith was runner-up in the high jump and Kiersten Conway was runner-up in the 3,000.

“When we went to Linn-Mar (on Saturday) we were trying to score and got after it a little bit and we were going to back off a little bit tonight but its our home meet and everyone wants to win their home meet so we didn’t back off too much,” Sands said.

The final home appearance for the Solon seniors got a fitting end as Kerkhoff and Smith ran the final two legs of the 4x400.

Ryan led off the winning relay before Smith and Kerkhoff finished the win in a meet-record time of 4:01.79.

“It was really emotional,” Kerkhoff said. “I was pretty nervous because I knew it was my last time here and it was pretty hard to swallow that but it was so good to end it like that so I am really happy.”

Denny Gruber Relays

Team scores – 1. Solon 163; 2. Davenport Assumption 98; 3. Mount Vernon 81; 4. Regina 56; 5. Dyersville Beckman 54.5; 6. Vinton-Shellsburg 52.5; 7. North Cedar 45; 8. Marion 38

Individual results (Event winners; area placewinners)

100 – 1. Carly King (DA) 12.61; 2. Erin Kerkhoff (SOL) 12.79; 4. Jaedynn Evans (ICR) 13.36; 5. Madeline Adam (ICR) 13.81

200 – 1. Ella Wischmeyer (MV) 26.69; 2. Makinley Levin (SOL) 26.71

400 – 1. Laney Fitzpatrick (DA) 1:00.85; 3. Khaylor Fleck (SOL) 1:05.32; 5. Lillian Simpson (ICR) 1:08.67

800 – 1. Emma Bock (SOL) 2:19.79; 5. Kiersten Conway (SOL) 2:37.77; 6. Annalee Bartels (ICR) 2:39.67

1,500 – 1. Grace Horst (V-S) 5:19.19; 3. Annika Kruse (SOL) 5:38.58; 4. Saige Hauer (SOL) 5:41.87; 6. Maeve Dunne (ICR) 5:51.31

3,000 – 1. Taylor Quick (DA) 11:17.5; 2. Kiersten Conway (SOL) 11:21.51; 6. Jenna Bachus (SOL) 13:55.3

100 hurdles – 1. Heather Boeckenstedt (DB) 15.76; 3. Rachael Nelson (SOL) 17.14; 4. Abby Clark (ICR) 17.47; 5. Shawna Lindemann (SOL) 17.56

400 hurdles – 1. Gabbi Bullard (SOL) 1:06.98; 2. Annie Gahan (ICR) 1:07.7; 6. Molly Vittetoe (ICR) 1:16.83

4x100 – 1. Davenport Assumption 49.89; 2. Solon (Peyton Sands, Khaylor Fleck, Cayley Annis, Makinley Levin) 51.14; 3. Regina (Madeline Adam, Hope Simpson, Annie Gahan, Jaedynn Evans) 51.51

4x200 – 1. Davenport Assumption 1:43.24; 2. Solon (Taylor Ryan, Abby Smith, Makinley Levin, Erin Kerkhoff) 1:44.07

4x400 – 1. Solon (Taylor Ryan, Emma Bock, Abby Smith, Erin Kerkhoff) 4:01.79; 6. Regina (Abby Clark, Lillian Simpson, Natalie Franklin, Hope Simpson) 4:29.12

4x800 – 1. Davenport Assumption 9:50.84; 4. Solon (Meghan O’Neill, Saige Hauer, Aira Foster, Calista Haasl) 10:40.77; 5. Regina (Annalee Bartels, Mary Catherine Graff, Josie Pursley, Kate Milder) 10:52.32

Shuttle hurdle relay – 1. Dyersville Beckman 1:06.81; 3. Solon (Peyton Sands, Jada Buffington, Rachael Nelson, Gabbi Bullard) 1:08.11

Sprint medley relay – 1. Solon (Khaylor Fleck, Cayley Annis, Erin Kerkhoff, Taylor Ryan) 1:49.51; 2. Regina (Madeline Adam, Hope Simpson, Jaedynn Evans, Annie Gahan) 1:53.61

Distance medley relay – 1. Solon (Jeannie Jedlicka, Rachael Nelson, Cayley Annis, Kaia Holtkamp) 4:30.82; 6. Regina (Abby Clark, Emma Sueppel, Natalie Franklin, Maeve Dunne) 4:57.58

Discus – 1. Lily Meester (MV) 121-7; 3. Elli Becicka (SOL) 110-0; 4. Ava Conrad (SOL) 106-4

Shot put – 1. Lauren Upmeyer (V-S) 37-1 ¼; 4. Raysa Garbes (SOL) 35-5

Long jump – 1. Makinley Levin (SOL) 17-4 ½; 4. Khaylor Fleck (SOL) 16-6

High jump – 1. Jaedynn Evans (ICR) 5-0; 2. Abby Smith (SOL) 5-0

Did you enjoy this subscription free article? Help keep Your Prep Sports free by becoming a member.