Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
DES MOINES — High school events at the Drake Relays concluded a week ago with a limit of 3,000 fans, providing a preview of what the state meet May 22-24 will resemble.
“Anybody that thinks that it will look drastically different, they wouldn’t be correct,” said Tom Keating, the executive director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association.
State is a coed meet May 20-22 at Drake Stadium, but sessions may be shorter. In the current schedule, the morning slate May 20-21 will consist of Class 2A and Class 3A boys and girls, with Class 1A and Class 4A in the afternoon with finals May 22, but that may change.
“If we make any changes, they will be tweaks, not an overhaul,” Keating said. “We understand the importance of recovery time for our athletes between events, and we will do what we can to protect the integrity of the event.”
The IHSAA and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union are awaiting word from Drake University on the number of fans, but it is possible every competing athlete will be allowed two tickets for family members.
Keating expects an attendance number from Drake in the coming days, and said the IHSAA and IGHSAU could send out a schedule, whether status quo or with revisions, within a week.
As the season heads into its championship phase (conference meets next week, state-qualifying meets the following week, then state), a few area names are regulars at the top of the state leaderboard in their respective classes. Drake qualifiers had the best times in the season. State qualifiers must perform at district meets May 13 to advance.
Fairfield has the third and fourth best times in Class 3A girls 100-meter hurdles with Kelsey Pacha (15.63) and Anna Dunlap (15.68) running those times at the Drake Relays. The shuttle hurdle team is fourth at 1 minute 8.39 seconds with its Drake time.
Mt. Pleasant has the best shot put distance with Jadan Brumbaugh winning Drake in the event. The Panthers shuttle is fifth at 1:09.33.
Mid-Prairie’s girls are chasing a third straight Class 2A title and have school record holder Mitzi Evans No. 1 in the 400 at 57.54 (set at Drake Thursday) and No. 2 in the 800 at 2:20.38. Danielle Hostetler is fifth in the 800 (2:25.05) and first in both the 1,500 (4:52.56) and 3,000 (10:15.96). Jayden Yoder is third in the 3000 at 10:56.54.
“I am very pleased with our performance at Drake,” girls coach Chris Tyler said. “We had many events PR and five of our seven finished in the top 10. Nothing to gripe about there.”
Mid-Prairie did run a slightly different quartet in the 4x100 out of caution. The short sprints plays havoc on hamstrings sometimes. The 4x100 time of 50.94 is third in 2A. The 4x800 relay time of 10:21.68 is fifth and both medley relays are looking good as state qualifiers with the distance time at 4:28.65 for third and the sprint in fourth at 1:53 even.
“Danielle had a great time in her first Drake experience,” Tyler said. “It's too bad it couldn't have been a more normal Drake experience, but we were just glad to have the opportunity.”
The Golden Hawk boys have Jamison Stutzman fourth in the 800 in 2A at 2:04.17. Cain Brown is tied for second in the high jump at 6 feet, 5 inches and went 6-3 at Drake for fourth.
“Cain was happy to earn medal in his first trip to Drake,” Mid-Prairie boys coach Dain Jeppson said. “He would have liked to jump higher, but he had a great experience. We were hoping he could be clean over the first couple heights so that was great to see him do just that.”
Elijah Morris collapsed from cramps at the 300 meter mark of his 400 race at Drake after running on Washington’s distance medley just prior.
Washington coach Steve Roth was an official at Drake all three days and had the same thought as Jeppson, who said “We think that this experience will help when we come back for State.” Roth added, “Now we got to get back there.”
In 3A, Morris is third in the 400 at 50.12 and the distance medley is fifth at 3:37.39.
“He learned a valuable lesson, we all did,” Washington coach Steve Roth said. “That was our main reason to go.”
New London’s Kade Benjamin is at 6-4 in the high jump, third in 1A. Teammate Carter Allen is second in the discus at 169-10 and fourth in the shot at 51-7½. Both qualified for Drake but only Allen competed.
Highland’s Sarah Burton’s long jump of 16-6¼ is fourth in Class 1A.
Most everyone in the sport must have thought what Jeppson said, “Just happy to see athletes back in Drake Stadium competing.”
The Gazette’s Jeff Linder contributed to this article.