Photo by Jeff Yoder / Click here to view Drake Relays photo gallery
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – During the first three years of her prep career Erin Kerkhoff had checked off plenty of boxes on her list of 400-meter goals.
Kerkhoff piled up conference titles, state meet medals and Drake Relays appearances while running quarter miles over the past three seasons.
In her final trip to the Drake Relays Kerkhoff crossed one of her biggest 400-meter targets off the list.
Kerkhoff broke the Solon school record on her way to a seventh-place finish in a time of 57.95 in the first ever prep 400 meters at the Drake Relays on Friday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
“Since my freshman year I have thought about that record,” Kerkhoff said. “I got down into 58 seconds kind of late my freshman year but I was always kind of thinking in the back of my mind that I wanted that record and I finally got it.”
A three-time WAMAC conference champion and three-time state medalist in the 400 Kerkhoff was a member of the Solon 4x400 relay team that reached the Drake Relays finals each of the past two seasons.
Before her final prep season Kerkhoff got word her signature event would be added to the high school lineup at the Drake Relays for the first time.
“I always kind of wondered why they didn’t have it because it’s a great race,” Kerkhoff said. “I was really excited my last year that it was added.”
Kerkhoff made the most of her first and only opportunity to run her favorite race at the Drake Relays, breaking the 58-second mark for the first time in her career.
The 57.95 broke the previous school record of 58.12 and was more than .20 faster than the previous career-best of 58.19 for Kerkhoff posted early this month.
“Is that what I ran?” Kerkhoff said moments after the race. “Oh my gosh. I didn’t even know but I’m so happy with that time.”
Davenport Assumption senior Carly King won the inaugural Drake Relays 400 in a time of 56.55 while Carlisle freshman Ainsley Erzen finished runner-up with a 57.13 out of the first heat.
Only four runners came to Drake Relays with times under 58 seconds but eight ran sub-58 seconds times on Friday.
“I was looking forward to running with these girls because I knew I’d get pushed,” Kerkhoff said. “I knew I had to attack early and that really helped me.”
The 400 meter school record was a part of a busy Friday for Kerkhoff.
Kerkhoff ran the 400-meter leg on the Solon sprint medley relay team that placed fourth and anchored the Spartan 4x200 relay team to a 10th place finish.
Following her school-record run in the 400 Kerkhoff ran a leg on the Spartans 4x400 relay team that placed 10th.
“It was fun because the busier you are the less you think about the stress,” Kerkhoff said. “I liked having a lot to do instead of just sitting around.”
100 – 1. Kerris Roberts (Waterloo East) 11.82
400 – 1. Carly King (Davenport Assumption) 56.55; 7. Erin Kerkhoff (Solon) 57.95
800 – 1. Mackenzie Michael (Cedar Falls) 2:09.88; 2. Ashlyn Keeney (Liberty High) 2:09.99; 10. Emma Bock (Solon) 2:16.15.
100 hurdles – 1. Darby Thomas (Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln) 14.3; 2. Peyton Steva (West High) 14.33; 4. Taylor Cannon (Liberty High) 14.62; 6. Caroline Schaeckenbach (City High) 15.01
Sprint medley relay – 1. Davenport Assumption 1:46.9; 4. Solon (Khaylor Fleck, Cayley Annis, Taylor Ryan, Erin Kerkhoff) 1:49.5; 15. City High (Te’Nia Ansley, Emma Clark, Emma Cooper, Ayana Lindsey) 1:51.95; 17. Liberty High (Chaise Lange, Tayshauna McGee, Devon Dunson, Ashlyn Keeney) 1:52.17
4x200 – 1. Waukee 1:42.45; 9. Solon (Taylor Ryan, Makinley Levin, Abby Smith, Erin Kerkhoff) 1:45.03; 17. City High (Emma Cooper, Ayana Lindsey, Emma Clark, Mia DePrenger) 1:46.82; 23. West High (Peyton Steva, Celestina Nuro-Gyina, Mia Dillingham, Amy Liao) 1:49.7
4x800 – 1. Southeast Polk 9:10.38; 11. Liberty High (Cami Mac, Anna Reese, Ashlyn Keeney, McKenzie Logan) 9:46.56
Shot put – 1. Jamie Kofron (Tipton) 45-2 ¼; 5. Salima Omari (West High) 39-7 ¼; 25. Alexie Little (West High) 34-10 ½
High jump – 1. Miracle Ailes (Keokuk) 5-8
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