AGWSR’s Fisher fine with 2nd

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD • AGWSR distance runners Aubrie Fisher, right, and Bethany Lippert embrace after Saturday’s Class 1A 1,500-meter run at the state meet in Des Moines. Fisher, a sophomore, finished second in 4 minutes, 55.77 seconds, while the senior Lippert also medaled with an eighth-place finish in 4:59.93.

DES MOINES — As exhausting as the weekend was, nothing was going to smother the smile beaming from Aubrie Fisher.

Sure, it was preceded by series of grunts and groans and painful expressions as she crossed the finish line for the fourth time in the three-day Class 1A state track and field meet at Drake Stadium.

But this time was different. In a race that was seemingly over as quick as it started, Fisher took second in the 1,500-meter run, clocking a 4-minute, 55.71-second race (her season best) to become the state runner-up.

She was seeded first, but didn’t have the gas to hold onto the lead she gained after the 1,200-meter mark. East Mills’ Janette Schraft went on to triple-medal in distance events this weekend (800, 1,500 and 3,00), edging out Fisher for the state title.

“I tried to go with the other girls, and that worked out pretty well,” Fisher said. “I really wanted to be second at least if I couldn’t win it. In the 3,000, I got passed in the last 100 [meters] and ended up getting fourth. And I didn’t want that to happen again. I just kicked it into gear to get second.”

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD • Kyah Luhring, far right, prepares to hand the baton to Hailey Wallis, center, for the final exchange in the Class 1A sprint medley relay on Saturday at the state meet at Drake Stadium. The team of Landry Luhring, Brooke Flater, Kyah and Wallis placed sixth in 1 minute, 54.37 seconds.

Fisher’s time of 10:54.02 grabbed her four team points, an anchor leg in the 4×800 relay got the Cougars three more in a sixth-place finish and for practice of going for four state medals, Fisher ran a 2:626.38 for good measure.

The AGWSR sophomore has plenty of room to grow, she said, and certainly expects to be back and vying for state titles next year.

“Well I’d like to think so,” Fisher said. “This summer, I’m going to work really hard so I can improve in cross country and in track. Hopefully, yeah, maybe someday that’ll be me.”

Fisher was accompanied by her teammate, Bethany Lippert, for most of the year in just about every event she ran. Lipper was a state runner-up in the 3,000 a year ago and has since coached and chased Fisher every turn of the season.

The senior is headed to Iowa State to major in industrial engineering, and said her time as a distance runner in Ackley will coincide with her future endeavors more than some may think.

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD • Meskwaki Settlement senior Grace Tahahwah, right, finishes ahead of Danville’s Alyssa Pfadenhauer in the Class 1A 200-meter dash. Tahahwah placed third in the 200 and fifth in the 100.

“If there’s one thing distance running has taught me, it’s how to overcome challenges,” Lippert said. “I didn’t really know if I could medal, coming into this year’s 1,500. I just felt like I had to leave it all out there, and the last 200 I just started kicking and was able to pass some girls.”

Fisher started to break down a little bit when talking with Fisher after their race concluded. A whirlwind of emotions came over the senior all at once, and it didn’t all have to do with the end of her career.

“Something that makes it really awesome is that I’ve always, always wanted to break five minutes, and I did that today,” Lippert said. “Being a long distance runner, you put so much into your races, or at least I do. So much emotional preparation and it’s mentally hard. I’ve given it my all, all four years, so, obviously it’s sad, but it’s awesome to come to the conclusion of it and know you did your best.”

Lippert ran a 4:59.93, just sneaking under that five-minute mark. Lippert was also a quad-qualifier, as she was third in the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches), was part of the sixth-place 4×800 and was 11th in the 3,000 (11:18.40).

As a team, the Cougars scored 21.5 points and placed ninth.

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD

Spartans sail on

The sun doesn’t rise and set with Grundy Center track and field, but on Saturday, that was quite literally the case.

The same four girls — Kyah Luhring, Brooke Flater, Landry Luhring and Hailey Wallis — hopped out of their hotel rooms and onto the Blue Oval for the first event of the final day of the Class 1A state meet.

The quad ran the sprint medley relay at 9 a.m., the first event of the day, and placed sixth with a time of 1 minute, 54.36 seconds. Landry said it could’ve gone a little better. Luckily for the Spartans, they had another chance.

The 4×400 relay concluded the three-day event, running a personal best time of 4:11.21 and took fourth, hopping up one spot from their seeded position in the finals.

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD

“We can know we ended on something good, and we know to keep on pushing to get better each time,” Flater said. “It’s a good way to end to push more for the future.”

Both Kyah and Landry jumped in the long jump on Thursday, with Kyah taking third at 16-2 3/4 and Landry was 12th at 15-4.

Wallis ran in the 100 finals Saturday, clocking 13.12 for seventh.

The Spartans’ 4×200 medaled for sixth in 1:49.59 on Friday and also took ninth with a 3:40.21 as well. The Grundy Center girls scored 19 points in their relays and individual qualifiers, placing 11th as a team.

Tahahwah tackles 2 finals

Grace Tahahwah looked up at the clock, shrugged and clapped her hands before bending over her knees in exhaustion and relief.

As she trotted off the track, the PA announcer read off statistics about the Meskwaki Settlement senior that caused the crowd to give her one last ovation. The speaker ran off the facts she already knew: The first Meskwaki Settlement state qualifier in school history, and this year she made it back-to-back appearances.

For the first time all weekend, and maybe the only time, the crowd was just as loud, if not louder for a third-place finisher than it was for a state champion.

Tahahwah ran a 26.58-second race for third in the 200-meter dash, a race she was seeded first and expected to win the state title in. She wanted it, badly.

“A lot of people have congratulated me,” Tahahwah said. “But my legs are pretty sore right now, and I could’ve done better. But that’s just the way it is. It’s unexplainable, honestly. I worked really hard for this, and it’s an honor to come here and run for my school and run for my tribe.”

Tahahwah doubled in the finals Saturday, also running in the 100 and taking fifth in a time of 13.04.

Other 1A girls action

Kyla Wilkening of GMG took 16th in the 1,500, running a 5:09.71. Wilkening was one of two GMG qualifiers, as she took 14th in the 3,000 (11:22.07).

Sydney Sorem also qualified in the shot put, throwing 34-11 1/4 to place 19th.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s Lily Ehlers doubled at the state meet was well, running in the 3,000 and 800. Ehlers was 21st in the 800, running a 2:31.61, and was 16th in the 3,000 in 11:31.94.

Team Standings

1A — 1. Sigourney 48, 2. Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto 46, 3. Danville 45.5, 4. East Mills 36, 5. Pekin 34, 6. Logan-Magnolia 32, 7. Clayton Ridge 24, 8. Sioux Central 23, 9. AGWSR 21.5, 10. Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 20.5; 11. Grundy Center 19; 27. Meskwaki Settlement 10; 46. Colo-NESCO 4.5.