A banner day at the state-qualifying meet in Fort Dodge on May 9 has the Waukee track teams poised for a huge weekend at Drake Stadium.
The Warrior girls, who won the Class 4A team title last year, picked up 25 qualifiers in 18 events, and figure to be the team to beat again this year when the state track meet kicks off at 9 a.m. Thursday.
"The 2012 trophy is in our trophy case — we aren’t defending it," said coach Jesse Hunt. "We achieved a great deal of success last year, but achieving greatness requires you to have a revolution of the mind, heart and body. We couldn’t just roll out the same plan and expect the exact results."
To that end, the Warriors doubled up in seven events: the 100-meter dash with Talia Buss and Gabi Gaines, the 800 with Erika Lewis and Kayla Sabotin, the 100 hurdles with Maddie Rouw and Mallory Smith, the 400 hurdles with Lewis and Emma Drees, the high jump with Rouw and Emily Kamm, the discus with Erin Bramble and Alyssa Cady, and the shot put with Bramble and Caroline Slaughter.
Rouw, the reigning high-jump champion, enters competition in a tie for the highest qualifying jump. She’s also seeded fourth in the 100 hurdles, while Smith is seventh. Bramble enters as the second seed in the discus and eighth seed in the shot.
"We feel like we have a shot to score points in all of our qualified events, yet we recognize that winning a state championship takes a collective effort but the entire team and not just a few athletes performing well," Hunt said.
All seven relay teams qualified. To no one’s suprise, the shuttle hurdle of team of Rouw, Kamm, Drees and Smith earned the top qualifying spot. The 4x800 (Taylor Officer, Keely Smith, Megan Shyrack, Erika Lewis) is seeded fifth, the 4x200 (Abby Krantz, Tori Giudici, Gabi Gaines, Buss) sixth and the 4x100(Krantz, Gaines, Giudici, Buss) and distance medley (Krantz, Giudici, Miranda Wilson, Sabotin) are both seventh.
Lewis is also a qualifier in the 1,500. Rachel Brush qualified in the 3,000 and Drees qualified eighth in the long jump.
The Waukee boys are also setting their sights high with 23 qualifiers in 17 events. Amonth the top qualifiers is Noah Larrison, who will compete in four. He is ranked second in the 400 hurdles with a time of 54.49, and third in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.57. He also ran a leg of Waukee’s third-seeded shuttle hurdle foursome, teaming up with Josh Brdicko, Riley Gray and Jared Brdicko to finish in 57.82, and he anchored the 4x400 team of Corbin Lowe, A.J. Allen and Ross Vogel to a finish in 3:26.36, good for sixth overall.
The 4x800 team of Irvin Stumberg, Jordan Roszhart, Connor Simmons and Austin Krohnke is seeded fourth; the 4x200 team of Nihad Ejubovic, Trevor Allen, A.J. Allen and Carter Neilsen fifth; and the 4x100 team of Lowe, A.J. Allen, Trevor Allen and Ejubovic seventh.
Brennan Borgestad and Ryan Tunink doubled up in the 3,200, as did Ejubovic and A.J. Allen in the 200 and Krohnke and Stumberg in the 800. Krohnke will also compete in the 1,600, Lowe in the 400, Pat Gray in the 400 hurdles, and Scott Stanley in the 110 hurdles.
Tyler Hunke qualified in both the high jump and long jump, Andrew Cutler in the long jump and Ross Reynolds in the discus.