Getting out of the starting blocks can be as hard for some runners as getting out of the bed on Monday morning to go to work. Just minutes after finishing fifth in the 100, West Liberty’s Ty Williams was runner-up in the 200 in 22.36 seconds.
“I’m not that good out of the blocks, so I have more time to make it up,” Williams said of his relative proficiency in the longer distance. “I’m pretty bad, but I’ve got to work with what I’ve got. I had somebody pushing me in the 200 (winner Trever Ryen) so that felt good.
“If I get out of the blocks halfway bad in the 200, I have a little time to make it up. But I usually start kicking at about 60 meters and I try to pick up some speed from there.”
Williams is trying to decide whether to continue with football and/or track in college. He’s been contacted by Northern Iowa and Iowa State even though he’s already signed at Iowa Central.
* SENIOR PERSPECTIVE: Mid-Prairie senior Ryan Hoffman finished fourth in the 2A 100 meters, edging West Liberty’s Williams by .001 seconds for that spot. Less than .20 seconds separated the top five finishers.
“I felt like I got out OK, not quite as good as I wanted but kept in it and finished strong,” Hoffman said. “I usually get out quicker, but I’m happy with it, definitely. I’m happy with the time. Fourth place is excellent. Just being here is awesome.”
It was Hoffman’s fourth season to reach the state meet.
“Always coming here is awesome all the time,” he said. “Being my last year going out strong is what I wanted to do.”
He’s learned a lot in those four years.
“Just being prepared and knowing I’m one of the strongest runners and that I can compete,” he said.
* MOVING ON UP: Clear Creek Amana’s shuttle hurdle team takes its cue from Mount Pleasant, the preeminent team in 3A. The Panthers stayed atop the class by breaking their own meet record with a 1:04.08 time. But the Clippers moved from fifth a year ago to third this season and ran a season-best 1:06.51 to boot.
“They are the ones that push us, and they’re the ones that motivate us to do better,” Celine Fender said. “All we can do is our regular warm-up….”
“And go as hard as we can. Leave everything on the field,” Natalie Brimeyer said, finishing the thought.
It appeared to be a clean race for the four, but Ashley Prusha said she hit two hurdles.
“I don’t think it slowed me down, but I’m kind of mad about it because you’re always faster when you’re clearing,” she said.
Mia Smith, Fender, Prusha and Brimeyer are all underclassmen and hope to make a run at the Panthers next time. CCA is developing a tradition in the hurdles, and it shows.
“We’re a really close-knit team, so anything we do together we try to do to the best of our abilities,” Fender said. “You have to be like a family. You have to get along closely with your teammates.”
“A lot of times we’re the last ones on the field,” Brimeyer said. “We practice how to compete.”
* FINISH STRONG: City senior Brook Price finished his brilliant career with a personal-best time of 4:19.06 in the 1,600 meters. That was good enough for fourth in an amazingly fast field. West’s Bailey Wetherell was sixth and teammate Isaac Jensen eighth.
Dowling’s Jason Thomas set an all-time Iowa best, erasing Josh Evans’ record from the Drake Relays, with his winning time of 4:10.14. Evans was second in 4:12.14.
Price said he aimed for about a 2:08 800-meter start and achieved that. The last 400 was predictably intense and Pleasant Valley’s Caleb Drake, who was third, kept looking over his shoulder, concerned about the oncoming Price in the final 100.
“I was trying to catch him, but he had a little bit more at the end,” Price said.
Beating the 4:20 mark has been a long time goal for Price.
“I had really tired legs and I’m really proud of my effort. I wanted to finish strong and I did,” he said.
* SPEEDY HAWKS: Mid-Prairie’s 4×100 ran its best time of the season to finish second Saturday, and it’s been a great season for the quartet of Lexi Duwa, Meghan Redlinger, Kattie Redlinger and Faithe Garza.
“We all work really hard,” Meghan said.
“We’re all such good teammates,” Kattie added.
“We do the things we need to do to get it right,” Duwa said. “Our bond is amazing.”
The Golden Hawks finished in 50.25 seconds but fell to Western Christian and its great all-around athletic star Brooke Wolterstorff at the end. Kattie Redlinger couldn’t help but cry at the end after the tremendous effort.
The handoffs were clean. Duwa got out well to start it off, and the Hawks appeared to have a lead coming to the final leg, but Wolterstorff, who has led the Wolfpack to two state basketball titles in a row, was too much. Garza knew who she was facing.
“I talked to her (before the race),” Garza said.
“We were hoping she’d be a little tired from the open 100,” Meghan said.
“But I guess not,” Kattie finished.
* END CHARGE: West junior Ashlynn Yokom finished fifth in the 1,500 in 4:45.32, a good 5 seconds better than she’s run this season, but it was the way she got to fifth that was interesting.
Yokom, who ran a personal best Thursday in the 3,000, was eighth after two laps and had fallen farther back with just 400 meters left. Somewhere she found the energy in the 80-plus degree heat to make a charge and she started to pass people and didn’t stop until the end when she seized fifth.
“I was thinking, ‘It’s my last chance, go get some points for my team,'” she said. “You’re either going to go or wish you would have.”
* AROUND THE TRACK: West Branch twins Lindsey and Courtney Bruns finished 3-5 in the 1,500 even though Courtney fell about 100 meters into the race. She was dead last but worked her way through the crowd to take fifth and help the Bears finish ninth in the state. The Bruns sisters accounted for 28 of West Branch’s 30 points. The other two came from the Bears’ 4×400 relay that finished seventh.
West’s remarkable McKennan Cronbaugh finished her career with three races. She was fifth in the 200 in 25.60, fourth in the 100 in 12.59 and anchored the sixth-place 4×100 relay in 49.26. The Women of Troy finished ninth with 33 points.
City’s sprint medley relay was eighth in 1:50.45, and its 4×400 was eighth in 4:05.43. … Lone Tree’s Madelyn Flemr was sixth in the 1A 100 in 13.24. The Lion boys 4×400 was eighth in 3:37.53. … The City High boys 4×100 was seventh in 43.42.