NP girls qualify for state in five events

Story and photos by Joe RandlemanStaff Writer
NP girls qualify for state in five events

GILBERT - The North Polk and Ballard girls’ track teams combined to qualify for state in nine events at the Class 3A state qualifying meet in Gilbert May 12.

The North Polk girls advanced to Des Moines in five events. The Comets placed fourth out of eight teams with 94.5 points, trailing Boone (146), Gilbert (127) and Webster City (104).

Maria Gorham had a huge day for North Polk. She qualified for state in all four events she participated in and that was without competing in the 400-meter dash - an event where she placed eighth at state in 2A last year.

“I’m surprised and I’m excited,” Gorham said. “I’m so proud of my team.”

Gorham made it individually in the high jump. She cleared five feet, two inches to win the qualifying meet title and rank fourth among all 3A qualifiers.

“I just had to keep focused and try to do my best,” Gorham said. “It feels good.

Gorham was also part of North Polk’s qualifying 4 X 800-meter, distance medley and sprint medley relay teams. North Polk won the 4 X 800 and placed second in both medley races.

In the 4 X 800 Sierra Lambert ran the first leg, Gorham took the second, Sophie Blanchard ran third and Amelia Lesher was the anchor leg. North Polk finished in 10 minutes, 0.35 seconds to beat Gilbert’s 10:02.70 for first and rank 10th among 3A qualifiers.

“This is the ultimate goal and we’ve all been working hard to reach it so it feels good that we did,” Lesher said. “Maria is such a strong runner and she really completes the team. I don’t think we could’ve done it without her.”

Lambert, Gorham and Lesher were joined by Rebecca Rimathe in making state in the distance medley. The Comets took second to Gilbert with a time of 4:30.15 and they rank 23rd among qualifying teams in 3A.

In the sprint medley Gorham had a tremendous kick at the end to nearly catch Nevada anchor runner Alli Fey and upset the favored Cub team in the event. The Comets ran a 1:53.95 and Nevada finished in 1:53.94.

“That was exciting,” Gorham said. “I knew I was going to go all out and leave everything on the track.”

North Polk is the seventh-ranked qualifying team in the 3A sprint medley.

The other qualifying event for North Polk was the 1,500. Lesher took third in 5:00.83 to earn the ninth-fastest qualifying time as an at-large qualifier.

Ballard senior Abby Kohut-Jackson will get the chance to close out her career in style after qualifying for state in the 3,000, 800 and 1,500. Kohut-Jackson has made state all four years in the 1,500 and 800, placing third in the 800 and fifth in the 1,500 in 3A last year.

“I’m definitely happy,” Kohut-Jackson said. “I’m just so grateful for all these opportunities. It’s just a great way to finish the year.”

In the 3,000 Kohut-Jackson ran a time of 11:07.93 to easily beat the runner-up time of 11:25.13 by Gilbert’s Annie Pollard. Kohut-Jackson ranks 13th among 3A qualifiers in the event.

The 800 saw Kohut-Jackson clock in at 2:24.80 to beat the 2:26.42 run by Pollard at Gilbert. She ranks 11th among 3A qualifiers in the event.

Kohut-Jackson’s strongest showing came in her final individual race. She ran a 4:55.36 in the 1,500 to beat the 4:57.18 run by Gilbert’s Carly Rahn for first at the qualifying meet and it also ranks an impressive fourth out of the 3A qualifiers in the event.

“There’s always something about the 1,500 for me,” Kohut-Jackson said. “It’s maybe my favorite. I can always pull an extra gear in that one if I need to.”

Sophomore Emma Ray qualified individually in the high jump for Ballard.

Ray ran on the distance medley at state last year as a freshman. She gets the chance to do it on her own this year after performing a season-best jump of 5-1 in the girls’ high jump to take second at the qualifying meet.

“I hadn’t gotten that all year, so when I cleared it emotions were rushing in me all over,” Ray said. “It’s really exciting. I’ve never been to state for the high jump before, so it will be a fun and new experience for me.”

Ballard ended up placing sixth in the team standings with 65 points.

The 2016 state coed track meet will take place this Thursday through Saturday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. The competition begins at 9 a.m. on Thursday and Friday for 3A, and all classes start at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Final girls’ team scores: 1. Boone 146 points, 2. Gilbert 127, 3. Webster City 104, 4. North Polk 94.5, 5. Humboldt 86, 6. Ballard 65, 7. Nevada 60.5, 8. Iowa Falls-Alden 46.

Individual results - Ballard and North Polk

Shot put - 9. Tayler Bushman (NP), 26-9.75; 13. Lillianna Stall (NP), 19-3.25.

Discus - 11. Bushman (NP), 6-84; 12. Stall (NP), 64-5.

Long jump - 5. Rebecca Rimathe (NP), 15-5.5; 10. Rachel Newell (B), 14-9; 11. Sydni Thrailkill (B), 14-2.25; 12. Carolyn Steffen (NP), 14-0.

High jump - 1. Maria Gorham (NP), 5-2; 2. Emma Ray (B), 5-1; 7. Meredith Phipps (NP), 4-6.

3,000-meter run - 1. Abby Kohut-Jackson (B), 11:07.93; 3. Emily Patterson (NP), 11:41.17; 8. Grace DeValois (NP), 13:20.04.

4 X 800-meter relay - 1. North Polk (Sierra Lambert, Maria Gorham, Sophie Blanchard, Amelia Lehser), 10:00.35; 7. Ballard (Ashley Meldrum, Teresa Hannasch, Olivia Dee, Reagan Doty), 12:13.04.

Shuttle hurdle relay - 3. North Polk (Karrigan Hartsook, Becca Ley, Bailey Drent, Julia Rothfus), 1:15.15.

100-meter dash - 9. Kiersten McKinney (B), :13.75; 13. Callie Haupert (NP), :14.76.

Distance medley relay - 2. North Polk (Rimathe, Lambert, Gorham, Lesher), 4:30.15; 5. Ballard (Sydney Smith, Kennedy Newell, Gabie Doud, Abby Catus), 5:00.32.

400-meter dash - 8. Kayla Williams (NP), 1:12.11; 9. Hannasch (B), 1:13.65.

4 X 200-meter relay - 5. Ballard (Smith, K. Newell, R. Newell, Ray), 1:53.47; 7. North Polk (Rimathe, Rothfus, Maggie Potter, Rosa Camacho), 1:59.91.

100-meter hurdles - 3. Ley (NP), :16.67; 5. Sarah Stolte (B), :17.19; 6. Hannah Jensen (B), :17.31; 13. Hartsook (NP), :19.48.

800-meter run - 1. Kohut-Jackson (B), 2:24.80; 6. Kennedy Wendel (NP), 2:40.31; 7. Patterson (NP), 2:40.46; 15. Doty (B), 2:59.59.

200-meter dash - 12. Steffen (NP), :31.00; 13. Jazmyne Bailey (NP), :31.13; 14. Sarah Dougherty (B), :32.24.

400-meter hurdles - 4. Rothfus (NP), 1:12.80; 7. Cassandra Cory (NP), 1:19.98.

Sprint medley relay - 2. North Polk (Ley, Lambert, Camacho, Gorham), 1:53.95; 8. Ballard (McKinney, Sydni Thrailkill, Jenna Moody, Hannasch), 2:06.60.

1,500-meter run - 1. Kohut-Jackson (B), 4:55.36; 3. Lesher (NP), 5:00.83; 5. Blanchard (NP), 5:20.68; 7. Ashley Meldrum (B), 5:33.31.

4 X 100-meter relay - 5. North Polk (Ley, Potter, Mahliah Ingersoll, Camacho), :53.79; 8. Ballard (Moody, K. Newell, R. Newell, Jensen), :57.15.

4 X 400-meter relay - 3. Ballard (Ray, Doud, Catus, Kohut-Jackson), 4:24.09; 4. North Polk (Rimathe, Lambert, Steffen, Wendel), 4:28.65.