DES MOINES – Ballard and North Polk girls’ track teams both placed in one event at the state coed track meet held last Thursday through Saturday at Drake Stadium.
Ballard freshman Abby Kohut-Jackson turned in a sixth-place showing in the Class 3A girls’ 1,500-meter run and North Polk also came in sixth in the 2A shuttle hurdle relay finals on Saturday.
After anchoring the Bomber distance medley relay team on Friday, and competing in the 800 Saturday morning, Kohut-Jackson saved her best for last.
Running on a hot and humid Saturday afternoon., Kohut-Jackson ran in the middle of the pack until the final 800 meters. Then she kicked it into gear, especially over the last 200 meters, and passed several runners on her way to the finish line.
Old cross country rival Madison Waymire of Dallas Center-Grimes was the final person Kohut-Jackson passed up before reaching the finish line. When Kohut-Jackson finished the race and looked up and saw her time on the scoreboard, it read four minutes, 57.57 seconds – a new school record.
"I was pretty nervous going into it because the 1,500 is the longest race that I run," Kohut-Jackson said. "So it was going to be that much harder, but I’m proud I pushed through it and I got the school record along the way."
The old Ballard record of 5:02.45 was set by current William Jewell women’s basketball player Jessie Wheeler in 2009.
"I was not really sure where I was going to be for time," Kohut-Jackson said. "I knew I was going to be pushed by a lot of runners, but going sub-five minutes as a freshman is pretty incredible to me."
Kohut-Jackson nearly placed in the 800 in her first race Saturday. Her season-best time of 2:23.42 placed 11th and was just .36 seconds out of eighth place.
In Friday’s 3A girls’ distance medley, Kohut-Jackson anchored Ballard to a 23rd-place time of 4:30.88. Ellie Godwin ran the first 200 meters, Sydney Fisher took the next 200 and Val Charter completed the 400 leg for Ballard in the race.
Freshman Rachel Watters turned in her second-best time of the season during the 3A girls’ 400 hurdles on Friday, Watters ran a 1:10.96 to place 23rd, with her only faster time on the season being the 1:10.20 she ran at Nevada last week to qualify for state.
In 2A girls’ competition, North Polk placed in the shuttle hurdle relay for the second year in a row.
With two new runners replacing experienced hurdlers Miranda Schouten and Erin Rampton off of last year’s team, the Comets couldn’t match their 2012 third-place and school-record time of 1:07.77. But their showing at state was still impressive as they ran a 1:09.30 in the prelims on Thursday to qualify for the finals, and topped it with a 1:09.02 on Saturday.
"It was kind of a surprise," Comet senior Alex Quick said. "No one thought we were going to do this well, but we all pulled our weight."
Quick ran the opening leg and fellow state veteran Sybbie Sears ran the anchor. Lilly Lomica and Melanie Leach were the two newcomers, running the second and third legs respectively.
"We got sixth after being seeded 14th, and my freshman year we got sixth in the 4 X 800 after being seeded 14th," Leach said. "It’s déjà vu."
Leach had to make the biggest adjustments to help North Polk reach state and then place. She had mainly run distance events in her high school career, and hadn’t run any hurdles since seventh grade.
"It’s something you have to pick up quickly," Leach said. "But the girls really encouraged me."
Sears also ran in the 100 hurdles prelims on Friday. She wasn’t quite able to reach the finals after placing 20th overall with a time of :16.95.
North Polk also competed in the girls’ 4 X 400 prelims Friday evening. Quick and Sears again ran the opening and anchor legs, with senior Brandi Rose taking the second 400 and Samantha Sinclair running the third leg.
The Comet team placed 15th in 4:15.18.
Collins-Maxwell-Baxter came in right after North Polk in the 2A girls’ 4 X 400 prelims.
The Raider team of Bridget Hurley, Kayla Hennick, Abbie Haupert and Anne Deutsch finished less than a second behind North Polk, placing 17th with a season-best time of 4:15.80. That time was four seconds faster than their previous best mark of the season, and nine seconds ahead of their state-qualifying time.
"We were really pleased with our performance down at state," CMB head coach Jerry Meinerts said.
The CMB girls also ran in the 4 X 800 on Thursday, and Hurley and Haupert each competed in an individual event over the weekend.
Hennick, Ashley Girard, Shelby Berg and Deutsch ran the four 800 legs in that order for CMB. The group of four seniors clocked in at 10:22.48 to place 21st.
On Thursday Hurley competed in her first-ever state event. The freshman ran the open 400 and finished 21st in 1:02.93.
Haupert threw in the discus for the second year in row. Her top throw of 104 feet even on Friday placed 19th in the prelims.
In team competition, Davenport Assumption won the 3A girls’ championship with 83 points, beating Solon’s runner-up score by 20 points. Western Christian Hull took the 2A crown with a score of 58, just edging Cascade’s score of 49.75.
Final girls’ team scores
Class 3A: 1. Davenport Assumption 83 points, 2. Solon 63, 3. Waverly-Shell Rock 50, 4. Dubuque Wahlert 49, 5. Mount Pleasant 44, 6. MOC-Floyd Valley 42, 7. Anamosa 41.5, 8. Spencer 36, 9. DCG 27, 10. Pella 25.5, 11 (tie) Union and Bishop Heelan 22, 13. ADM 20, 14. Carroll 18.5, 15. Harlan 17.5, 16. Fairfield 15, 17. Gilbert 14, 18. Glenwood 13, 19. (tie) Carlisle and Decorah 12, 21. (tie) Clear Creek-Amana and Oskaloosa 11, 23. West Delaware 10, 24. (tie) Greene County and Boone 8, 26. Humboldt 7, 27. (tie) Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Center Point Urbana, Washington, Spirit Lake Park, Grinnell, Maquoketa and Norwalk 6, 34. Benton Community 5, 35. (tie) Ballard and Creston 3, 37. (tie) South Tama and Algona, 39. (tie) Webster City and Denison-Schleswig 1.
Class 2A: 1. Western Christian Hull 58, 2. Cascade 49.75, 3. Des Moines Christian 48, 4. Treynor 47, 5. Hudson 40, 6. Clayton Ridge 35, 7. Davis County 34.75, 8. Eagle Grove 32, 9. West Branch 30, 10. Mount Vernon 26, 11. Garner-Hayfield/Ventura 23, 12. Northeast Goose Lake 19, 13. Monticello 17, 14. (tie) OA-BCIG and Beckman Catholic 16, 16. (tie) Aplington-Parkersburg and Roland-Story 15, 18. (tie) Mid-Prairie, South Hardin and Clarke 14, 21. KC-WC 13, 22. IKM 12, 23. (tie) St. Ansgar, Central Decatur and Denver 11, 26. Camanche 10.75, 27. Unity Christian 10, 28. (tie) Eddyville-Blakesburg and Sioux Central 8, 30. (tie) North Fayette and Tri-Center Neola 7, 32. (tie) Pella Christian, Bellevue, East Marshall and Bondurant-Farrar 6, 36. West Liberty 5.75, 37. (tie) West Marshall, Sioux Center and I-35 5, 40. (tie), Columbus Catholic, West Central, North Polk, East Sac County, Shenandoah and Durant 3, 46. (tie) Forest City and Clarion Goldfield 2, 48. (tie) Estherville Lincoln Central and Ridge View 1.
Class 3A – Ballard
400-meter hurdles – 19. Rachel Watters, 1:10.96
Distance medley relay – 23. Ballard (Ellie Godwin, Sydney Fisher, Val Charter, Abby Kohut-Jackson), 4:30.88
800-meter run – 11. Kohut-Jackson, 2:23.42
1,500-meter run – 6. Kohut-Jackson, 4:57.57.
Class 2A – CMB and North Polk
Discus – 19. Abbie Haupert (CMB), 104-0
4 X 800-meter relay – 21. CMB (Kayla Hennick, Ashley Girard, Shelby Berg, Anne Deutsch), 10:22:48
Shuttle hurdle relay – 6. North Polk (Alex Quick, Lilly Lomica, Melanie Leach, Sybbie Sears), 1:09.02
400-meter run – 21. Bridget Hurley (CMB), 1:02.93
100-meter hurdles – 20. Sybbie Sears (NP), :16.95
4 X 400-meter relay – 15. North Polk (Quick, Brandi Rose, Samantha Sinclair, Sears), 4:15.18; 17. CMB (Hurley, Hennick, Haupert, Deutsch), 4:15.80.