Who will be the All-Iowa girls track athlete of the year? These 10 candidates have emerged

Joe Randleman
Des Moines Register

The 2022 Iowa high school state track meet will be here in just over one week.

It takes place from Thursday, May 19 through Saturday, May 21, at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. There have been several phenomenal performances throughout the state thus far, including at the 112th Drake Relays in late April.

This is a look at the top candidates for the Des Moines Register's All-Iowa athlete of the year in girls track. The field includes performers from all four classes competing in sprinting, distance, throwing and jumping events.

MORE: How Sam Spore became an Iowa wheelchair star after adoption from Uganda

Here are the top 10 candidates heading into this week's state qualifying meets:

Holly Duax of SC West wins the girls 100m at the Drake Relays Friday, April 29, 2022.

Holly Duax

School: Sioux City West

Class: Senior

Duax, an Iowa signee, has turned in a dominant senior season so far for Sioux City West. She has the state's best time in the 100 and 200-meter dash events at 11.81 and 24.60 seconds. She's also second in the state for the best distance in the long jump at 19 feet, 1.5 inches. She won the 100 (12.42) and took second in the long jump (17-10.25) at the Drake Relays.

Ainsley Erzen

School: Carlisle

Class: Senior

Erzen looks to conclude her outstanding track career with a big state meet. An Arkansas signee, she won the girls 1,500 and 800 and took second in the 400 at the Drake Relays with respective times of  4:36.27, 2:09.39 and 56.18. She has the fastest 1,500 and 800 times in the state and ranks third in the 400.

Waukee Northwest senior Mackenzie Carney reacts after winning the 400-meter hurdles event during the Drake Relays on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Des Moines.

Mackenzie Carney

School: Waukee Northwest

Class: Senior

Carney is the hurdles queen of Iowa. She made history by becoming the first high school athlete to complete the triple crown in hurdle events at the Drake Relays by winning the 100 and 400 hurdles and shuttle hurdle relay. She has the fastest 100 and 400 hurdle times in Iowa at 14.13 and 1:02.87, and she's helped Waukee Northwest run the best shuttle hurdle time and 4x200 times at 1:01.86 and 1:42.18.

Audrey Biermann

School: Western Dubuque

Class: Senior

Biermann has the state's second-best open 200 and 400 times and she ranks fourth in the 100. Her best time in the 200 is 25.03. She's peaked at 55.55 so far in the 400 and 12.25 in the 100. Biermann has also anchored Western Dubuque to the best sprint medley time heading into the qualifying meets at 1:46.01.

West Des Moines Valley's Addison Dorenkamp competes in the girls 3000m run, during the Drake Relays, on Thursday, April 28, 2022, at Drake Stadium, in Des Moines.

Addison Dorenkamp

School: Valley

Class: Sophomore

Dorenkamp has broken onto the long-distance scene is a big way as a sophomore. She placed second to Erzen in the 1,500 and Ballard's Paityn Noe in the 3,000 at the Drake Relays after winning the Class 4A individual state cross country title in the fall. Her best time in the 1,500 is 4:38.91. Her top 3,000 effort is 9:56.91.

Katelyn Lappe

School: Bondurant-Farrar

Class: Senior

Lappe is the top girls thrower in Iowa. She has the state's best throw in the discus at 141-9, over 4 feet better than the second-best throw thus far of 137-6.5 by Oskaloosa's Faith DeRonde. Lappe also ranks second in the shot with a toss of 43-9, trailing only the 49-9 by Mount Pleasant's Jaden Brumbaugh.

Gabby Cortez

School: Cedar Rapids Prairie

Class: Senior

Cortez won the 400 at the Drake Relays, just edging out Erzen with a time of 56.15.  She has the fastest time in the state for the event heading into the week at 55.52. Cortez also ranks third in the 800 at 2:11.19 and fifth in the 200 at 25.36. She leads off a 4x800 team that has the state's best time at 4:20.32 and is also part of a sprint medley relay team that ranks second in 1:47.41.

Alayna Darter

School: Dubuque Hempstead

Class: Freshman

Darter is the top girls wheelchair athlete in the state. She has the state's best 100 and 400 wheelchair times at 25.97 and 1.33.88. She also ranks third in the 200 at 49.43.

Claire Farrell 

School: Norwalk

Class: Junior

Farrell is one of the top sprinters in the state. She ranks second in the 100 at 12.09, third in the 200 at 25.19 and fourth in the 400 at 56.34. At the Drake Relays, Farrell took second in the 100 with a 12.58 showing and was third in the 400 at 56.39.

ADM Adel's Hallie Henfling competes in the 4x100 meter relay during the 112th annual Drake Relays at Drake Stadium Saturday, April 30, 2022 in Des Moines.

Hallie Henfling

School: ADM

Class: Senior

Henfling is a senior leader and one of the top runners for two elite relay teams at ADM. She anchors a 4x100 team that has the fastest time in the entire state at 48.48. She's also part of a Tiger 4x200 team that ranks second in the state with a time of 1:43.62.