Spartans sitting pretty for 1A finals

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD • Colo-NESCO’s Lauryn Hill leaps over the high jump Friday during the Class 1A state track and field meet in Des Moines. Hill finished in a tie for third after clearing the bar at five 5 feet, 2 inches.

DES MOINES — If Friday was any indication of how today is going to go, the Grundy Center girls will be alright.

The Spartans’ 4×400-meter relay of Kyah Luhring, Brooke Flater, Landry Luhring and Hailey Wallis took fifth place to qualify for today’s finals in the Class 1A state track and field meet. Its qualifying time of 4:12.46 was good enough to push it through.

The same four girls, in the same order, took sixth in the 4×200 finals, running a 1:49.62. It was that consistency of a lineup that’s represent the Grundy Center girls’ team this week.

In all, the Spartans have six event qualifiers: Three relays and three individuals. Kyah makes up four of those events, Landry another four, Wallis four as well and Flater in the three relays.

“I’m just happy that we were able to make it again,” Landry said. “Especially in all of our events that we ran. And the fact I get to do it alongside my sister and these two great girls, it’s just been fun.”

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD • Grundy Center’s Hailey Wallis (5) races to the finish against Janesville’s Briana Baker-Bruce (4), Montezuma’s Riley Gatton (7) and Gehlen Catholic’s Brooke Harpenau (3) on Friday at the end of the Class 1A girls’ 4x200-meter relay. The Spartans placed sixth in 1 minute, 49.617 seconds.

The what makes this year’s group of qualifiers standout is the fact none are seniors. Landry is the ‘veteran’ of the group as the only junior. Wallis and Flater are both juniors and Kyah is pushing barriers as a freshman.

She was the top seed going into the long jump finals on Thursday, with a Class 1A best jump of 17 feet, 7 inches. She ended up third, but made no mistake in soaking up the electric state atmosphere in the process.

“It’s been really good. I was hoping for better weather though,” Kyah joked. “It’s been really fun though and I’ve still got races to run. I’m just having a good time.”

Wallis quadrupled in the 100 dash, an event she’s competing in the finals of this morning, as well as anchoring the three relays (4×200, 4×400, sprint medley). She said the more people to qualify, the better the experience.

“It’s always really cool to qualify as an individual event,” Wallis said. “But when you’re able to do it as a team, it makes it so much more special, knowing more people are a part of it.”

T-R PHOTO BY STEPHEN KOENIGSFELD

Wallis will run in the 100 finals at 12:45 p.m. today. She’ll be in the same stretch as Meskwaki Settlement’s Grace Tahahwah, who qualified in the eighth and final slot with a 12.83. Wallis ran a fourth-seeded time of 12.71.

The Grundy Center sprint medley also take flight at 9 a.m. today, with a fifth-seeded time of 1:52.73 in the finals. The Spartans’ 4×400 will cap off the night at 3:55 p.m. in the second-to-last event of the 2017 state meet.

Other 1A girls’ action

Colo-NESCO had a pair of field events qualify for the early morning 1A session. Lauryn Hill ended up in a tie for third place, clearing the bar at 5 feet 2 inches in the girls’ high jump. At the same time, Lauren Riese tossed the discus 97-9 for 23rd place in her event.

AGWSR’s Bethany Lippert took third alongside Hill in the high jump, also clearing the bar at 5-2. She’ll follow up a long weekend with a performance in the 1,500 later today.

Team Standings

GIRLS 1A — 1. Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto 20, 2. North Butler 18, 3. Sidney 17, 4. Danville 16.5, 5. East Mills 16, Logan-Magnolia 16, 7. Sigourney 15, 8. Pekin 14, 9. Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, AGWSR 12.5; 18. Grundy Center 9; 38. Colo-NESCO 4.5.