Looking Ahead: State Track and Field

Grundy Center's Hailey Wallis (left) takes off after receiving the baton from teammate Kyah Luhring during the girls sprint medley at last Thursday's Class 1A state-qualifying meet in Hudson. (Jake Ryder/The Grundy Register)

The field for this week's Iowa State Track and Field Championship is set.

 

Local schools will compete in the Class 1A and 2A sections, with Grundy Center girls and boys track leading the area with competitors in 16 events in Des Moines starting Thursday.

 

Looking at five storylines that stand out as the first event prepares to line up in the blocks:

 

Livin' at-large

 

No local team saw more benefit from the at-large qualifier process at last Thursday's state-qualifying meets than the Grundy Center boys, as the Spartans added 11 at-large qualifiers to Will Grames' district title in the 200-meter dash.

 

Grundy Center ended up tying with Hudson for the district team title at the end of a competitive meet where, for example, the Spartan boys' sprint medley team was able to qualify for state in spite of finishing sixth at the district meet.

 

"I got here three years ago and made a checklist," Grundy Center boys coach Chris Conger said. "We wanted to win meets to start out and we won our share of meets this year. … We came up short on winning [a conference title], but this one feels pretty good. To end the season on a note like this, team-wise, is a great feeling."

 

In addition to Grames, the Grundy Center boys have individual state qualifiers in Caleb Kuiper in the open 400, Derek Ciddio in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs, Drew Rathe in the 400 hurdles and high jump, Sawyer Bowen in the high jump and Jordan Hook in the shot put. The Spartans will also compete in four relays–the 4x400, distance medley, shuttle hurdle and aforementioned sprint medley.

 

"The district was pretty loaded," Grames said. "For us to even tie for this district title, it's just a blessing."

 

 

For the full story, see this week's Grundy Register. Subscribe by calling (319) 824-6958 or clicking here.