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2.5 points separate L-S girls from SICL champion; Hawks give ‘tremendous performance,’ break two school records in battle for conference title (Hometown Press article)

posted May 13, 2018, 8:39 PM by Webmaster lynnville-sully

Taking the oval at home on Tuesday, May 1, the L-S girls track and field team was looking to win a conference title. This was one of the few meets remaining before districts, and the Hawks ran really well in the field of 11, coming up just 2.5 points short in a loss to conference champion Montezuma.

“What a tremendous performance by our girls’ team tonight!” said a proud coach Darin Arkema. “They battled the whole night, gave it everything they could, and came up just 2.5 points short of a conference championship. There were a few things early in the night [that did] not go the way we had hoped, and it would have been easy to hang heads and not been as competitive. But that is not the character of our girls, of our team.”

The Hawks won two events on the night. Those were the 4x200 and 4x400. The 4x200 team, who put together their best time of the season at 1:53.33, was made up of freshman Korinne Jansen, junior Carson Fisk, and seniors Camryn Russell and Jataya Meyer.  The 4x400 team comprised of Fisk, sophomores Abby Gruver and Mallory Loftus, and freshman Caitlin Alberts ran a time of 4:19.49.

Megan Van Zante takes off with the baton after an exchange with Christine Nikkel in the 4x800, which they won at Montezuma.

“Our conference is very strong, so as a team we knew we had to come out and compete,” Fisk said. “We gave it our all in every race, and it was great to see such a big crowd there cheering on both girls and boys teams.”

The Hawks had three events – the shuttle hurdle, the 4x100, and the 100-m hurdles – earn second in the SICL. The shuttle hurdle relay was made up of Russell, Gruver, Loftus, and senior Mariah Vos. They ran a school record-breaking time of 1:09.59, moving them to second in the state. The 4x100 team finished in 53.59 seconds and included Russell, Jansen, Meyer, and sophomore Kaleah Ehresman. The final second-place finish was Loftus in the 100-m hurdles, who ran a time of 16.47, her fastest this year.

The Hawks also had five third-place finishes. Those events were the sprint medley, 3,000-m run, 4x800, 400-m hurdles, and the 1500-m run. In the 3,000-m, senior Mary Kate Shaver ran a time of 12:07.55, and freshman Megan Van Zante ran the 1500-m in 5:42.12. The sprint medley relay finished in 1:57.96, their best this season, with team members being Ehresman, Russell, Fisk, and Alberts. In the 400-m hurdles, Gruver ran a time of 1:08.81, breaking her own school record set at the state-qualifying meet last year. To wrap up the third-place finishes, the 4x800 team of senior Haley Breeden, sophomore Emily Van Gorp, freshman Meleisha Vos, and Van Zante ran a season-best time of 11:19.53.

There were plenty of other place winners on the night for the Hawks. Jansen received eighth place in the shot put with a throw of 30’3.5”.  Senior Christine Nikkel placed eighth in the 3000-m run with a time of 13:45.53. In the 100-m dash, the Hawks had Jansen come in fourth (13.66 seconds) and Ehresman finish fifth (13.80 seconds). The team of Mariah Vos, freshman Cally Gibbs, Meyer, and Fisk placed fourth in the distance medley relay with a time of 4:51.81.

Other place winners for the Hawks were Alberts and Gruver in the 400-m dash placing fourth and fifth respectively with times of 1:04.73 and 1:06.7. This was Alberts’ fastest 400 of the season. Breeden finished fifth in the 800-m run with a time of 2:46.91. In the 200-m dash, Loftus earned fifth with a time of 28.70. Mariah Vos placed fifth in the 400-m hurdles in 1:15.67. Then in the 1500-m run, her sister Meleisha ran a time of 5:57.16, good enough for sixth place.

With teammates cheering her on from inside the track, Abby Gruver anchors the 4x400 at the SICL meet last week. The L-S 4x400 had the fastest time in the conference that night.

Though L-S Coach Arkema wished they could have squeezed in three more points somewhere to get the conference title, he told his team he was “just as proud of them and their efforts in second place as I would have been if they won.”

“It was a lot of fun seeing them go toe to toe with all the talented individuals and teams in our conference,” Arkema added. “We will see them again, and no doubt our conference will produce a number of state place winners and probably state champions in a few weeks. I hope we take confidence and momentum from tonight and continue preparing and improving ourselves the rest of this week and next as the state-qualifying meet approaches.”


                To finish the week, the girls went to the Cardinal Relays in Newton for a coed meet on Friday, May 4. The meet was scheduled for Thursday, May 3, but due to weather was moved to Friday. The weather was great, the meet went smoothly, and the team finished third with 113.5 points behind PCM (170) and Newton (160).

“We knew there was going to be tough competition tonight with Newton and PCM,” Arkema said, “but the girls know this track has produced some of our team’s best performances in past seasons, so they were looking forward to running fast and getting good jumps and throws in. This meet also allows for a few extra relays and a third competitor in individual events, so we are able to give everyone lots of opportunities to compete.”

Two L-S individual events placed first at Newton — Alberts in the 400-m dash in 1:05.13 and Gruver in the 400-m hurdles in 1:09.10 after a three-person photo finish.

L-S won one relay event, the 4x100, with teammates Ehresman, Russell, Fisk, and Meyer, clocking a time of 53.17 seconds.

“We had smooth hand-offs and were .03 seconds off from beating our personal record for the year. It is super fun to be able to run with these girls and continue to get better. I am very excited to see what districts will bring us,” said Meyer.

Two Hawk relays came in second. The sprint medley runners of Ehresman, Meyer, Fisk, and Loftus finished in 1:58.20 for second place. Meyer joined with Jansen, Russell, and Fisk to also take second in the 4x200 in 1:53.38.

“We had a rough hand off, but we still ran close to our best time of the season,” Russell said. “It was exciting seeing that we will be able to shave off seconds as we get to the end of the season. Hopefully we can keep improving for state.”

In 100-m hurdles, Loftus and Russell took third and sixth respectively in 16.99 and 17.99 seconds.

The only Hawk to run the 3,000-m was Van Zante with a time of 13:21.94, which earned her third.

The 4x800 relay of Shaver, Van Gorp, senior Christine Nikkel, and junior Shaleah Van Wyk finished in a time of 11:35.56 and placed fourth.       In the 100-m dash, Huyser placed fourth in 14.04. The distance medley team of Brand, Gibbs, Breeden, and Van Gorp ran a time of 5:07.54 for fourth.

Running in the 400-m hurdles, with Gruver, Mariah Vos crossed the line with a time of 1:13.81 in fourth place.

Two girls ran their season bests to place in the 800-m dash. Van Zante placed fifth with a time of 2:46.37, and Breeden ran a 2:47.80, which earned her sixth.

In the 200-meter dash, Alberts ran the race in 29.42 for fifth, and Ehresman ran one-hundredth of a second slower for sixth.

In the field events, freshman Krystal Van Dyke long jumped 14’3.75’’, her best of the season, which tied for fifth. In shot put, Jansen threw 31’7’’ for sixth. In discus, sophomore Janelle Ro-zendaal earned fifth with her best throw this season of 89’02’’.

A few non-scored JV events were also held. The 4x100 runners of senior Madison Johnson, Rozendaal, freshman Jaden Brand, and Jansen placed first in their heat in 59.45 seconds. The JV sprint medley team of freshmen Riley Terlouw, Brand, Dylann Huyser, and Cally Gibbs finished in 2:08.79, earning them first in their heat. The L-S JV 4x100 team of Terlouw, Van Dyke, Gibbs, and Huyser placed second in their heat in 56.63.


In their final event before the state-qualifying meet, the L-S girls placed third at the Darrell Brand Relays in Montezuma on Monday, May 7. L-S finished with 113.75 points behind Montezuma (148) and Belle Plaine (134).

One highlight from the night was Jansen winning the shot put with a heave of 31’0.5”. The other first-place finish for L-S came in the 4x800. Breeden, Van Gorp, Nikkel, and Van Zante dominated in 11:22.18.

Distance events were a strong suit for the Hawks. Shaver and Van Zante went two-and-three in the 1500-m in 5:40.66 and 6:00.32. Another two-and-three finish came from Gruver and Mariah Vos in the 400-m hurdles in 1:10.22 and 1:13.56. Meleisha Vos was the second finisher in the 3,000 with at time of 13:02.80.

Other second-place finishes were earned by the sprint and distance medleys. Ehresman, Meyer, Fisk, and Gibbs ran the sprint medley in 2:02.16, and Huyser, Brand, sophomore Ashton Thompson, and Meleisha Vos crossed the finish line of the distance medley in 5:07.53.

Events that placed third are following: Riley Terlouw, 100-m dash, 14.17; 4x100 (Ehresman, Gibbs, Terlouw Huyser), 55.60; 4x200 (Jansen, Russell, Fisk, Meyer), 1:53.64; and shuttle hurdle (Gruver, Mariah Vos, Russell, junior Kaylee Maasdam), 1:13.39.

Breeden and Tice went four-and-five in the 400-m dash with times of 1:11.81 and 1:12.39. In the 800-m run, Van Wyk and Tice placed fifth and sixth respectively in 3:10.51 and 3:33.21. The 4x400 team members (Thompson, Nikkel, Van Gorp, Van Wyk) placed fourth in 5:00.60. Rozendaal threw the discus 87’6” for fifth place, and Huyser earned sixth in the 200-m dash in 30.07 seconds.

In a non-scored event, the 4x100, comprised of the same runners from the Cardinal Relays, again won their race, clocking a time of 1:00.12.

The meet at Montezuma was used as a final tune-up for the girls as their next event is the state-qualifying meet at BGM this Thursday, May 10.

“I was proud of our effort again tonight from the girls who competed, seeing some more season and personal bests, which hopefully gives just a little extra boost of confidence for the rest of the week,” Arkema said. “We certainly have some things to tweak during the next two days of practice, but our main focus needs to be taking care of ourselves, doing the things that are going to put us into position to be at our best Thursday.”