GRUNDY CENTER - The Collins-Maxwell girls earned their way to state in six events and the Spartan boys are sending one runner to the blue oval in Des Moines following the Class 1A state qualifying meet in Grundy Center Friday.
The Collins-Maxwell girls saw Alexis Houge qualify individually in both the 100 and 400-meter running events. The Spartans are also sending four relay teams to state.
“So many girls performed their best and had season and career-best performances,” Collins-Maxwell head girls’ track coach Jerry Meinerts said. “As a coach that is what you always want — your athletes to peak at the right time and show that all the hard work and all those little things we talk about during the season lead to success. Just to let them know that hard work will in the long run pay off.”
Houge won the 100 and 400-meter dash events and also anchored the Spartans to a win in the 4 X 100.
Houge ran the 100 in 13.14 seconds and the 400 in 1:02.07 to automatically qualify for state. She defeated the :13.32 run by Grundy Center’s Hailey Wallace in the 100 and easily trumped the 1:07.25 time by Valley Lutheran’s Sarah Miller to win the 400.
Houge was joined by Avery Fricke, Trinity Stover and Jane’e Jones in winning the 4 X 100 with a time of :52.04. The Spartan quartet whipped Hudson’s runner-up time of :53.08 for the victory.
Houge also helped the Spartan sprint medley team qualify on time. Fricke, Stover and Jones were the other three legs in this race, helping Collins-Maxwell run a 1:54.25 to take second to Grundy Center’s 1:53.43.
The Spartan 4 X 200 team also made state. Gracie Cheville replaced Houge to run with Fricke, Stover and Jones in the race and they finished in 1:52.56.
“Alexis is pretty fast and I think has a good shot to earn some state medals in the open 100 and 400, so I wanted to give her a chance at the state meet in those events,” Meinerts said. “That also meant running the 4 X 200 without her. But, going into that meet and looking at the times that Avery, Trinity, Gracie and Jane’e were running, I honestly thought with decent splits and solid handoffs that those four girls could qualify, and they did.”
Belle Plaine won the girls’ 4 X 200 at Grundy Center in 1:50.43.
The shuttle hurdle was the other event to qualify for the Collins-Maxwell girls. The team of Cheville, Fricke, Shasta Moody and Josie Wierson finished in 1:11.58 to place third at the qualifying meet.
BCLUW took first in the shuttle hurdle with a time of 1:07.57. Belle Plaine came in second with a 1:07.96 showing.
“The shuttle team ran their season-best time,” Meinerts said. “In fact, that was the fastest time they’ve run the past two years.”
Jones just missed qualifying in the 100. She placed third after crossing the finish line in :13.50, which was just one-tenth of a second behind the final qualifier based on time, and faster than one automatic qualifier.
As a team, the Spartan girls came in fifth out of 15 teams with 86 points. Hudson won with 147 points and BCLUW was second with 101.
“We could have easily shuffled some things around and scored enough points to probably finish in second place in the team standings,” Meinerts said. “But I didn’t think we could catch Hudson, so I purposely didn’t run some individual events to keep girls fresh for some other events that I thought we would have a chance to qualify for state. That gamble paid off in the end.”
The Collins-Maxwell boys scored 21 points to place 12th out of 15 teams. Grundy Center won the boys’ team title with 123 points and BCLUW took second with 107.
Brett Livesay advanced to state for the Spartan boys by running a :15.82 in the 110 high hurdles. Livesay placed fifth behind BCLUW’s Jack Garber (:14.70), North Tama’s Cael Even (:15.53), Colo-NESCO’s Devin Reed (:15.68) and Belle Plaine’s Ethan Gates (:15.73).
“I couldn’t be happier for Brett,” Collins-Maxwell head boys’ track coach Cole Billerbeck said. “His goal after districts last year was to make it to state this year. He put in the work in the offseason and this season to make that goal happen.”
The Spartan boys’ distance medley team came close to qualifying. Livesay was joined by Caleb Fullerton, A.J. Smith and Kyle Vanderwal in running a 3:49.37 to place fourth.
“Other than Brett in the hurdles, I figured that was our best chance to get something through,” Billerbeck said. “Unfortunately, they missed out by 0.12 seconds, but they took 9.5 seconds off their previous best time and all four of them were great leaders for us all season.”
Hudson won the boys’ distance medley in 3:43.26. Grundy Center was runner-up in 3:45.21 and BCLUW took third in 3:47.40.
Collins-Maxwell’s 4 X 400 team of Smith, Vanderwal, Livesay and Mitchell Bienfang also wasn’t too far off from making state after placing third in 3:44.69. Hudson won in 3:30.51 and Belle Plaine ran a 3:37.40 to take second.
Livesay placed fifth in the high jump with a jump of 5-6 and Kayden McKinney took eighth in the long jump with a 17-1 effort. Wes Kahler, Clayton Leslie and Doug Maxwell joined Bienfang in placing eighth in the sprint medley with a time of 1:47.93.
The state coed track meet takes place today through Saturday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. The competition in 1A begins at 2 p.m. today and Friday, and all classes start at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Final team scores
Girls: 1. Hudson 147 points, 2. BCLUW 101, 3. Belle Plaine 94, 4. Grundy Center 92, 5. Collins-Maxwell 86, 6. Baxter 46, 7. North Tama 36, 8. (tie) Iowa Valley and Valley Lutheran 23, 10. Colo-NESCO 22, 11. Meskwaki 19, 12. Gladbrook-Reinbeck 16, 13. Ankeny Christian 12, 14. GMG 6, 15. Grand View Christian 5.
Boys: 1. Grundy Center 123, 2. BCLUW 107, 3. Hudson 97, 4. Baxter 63, 5. Belle Plaine 56, 6. Iowa Valley 52, 7. North Tama 47, 8. Colo-NESCO 42, 9. GMG 38, 10. Grand View Christian 32, 11. Gladbrook-Reinbeck 28, 12. Collins-Maxwell 21, 13. Ankeny Christian 13. 14. Valley Lutheran 11, 15. Meskwaki 10.