Northwest Iowa certainly isn't excluded from the excitement as numerous athletes from the surrounding area have already turned in topnotch performances, with more to come today for those who have qualified for the finals.
The Storm Lake Tornadoes got off to a strong start, turning in a slew of top-ten finishes and finals qualifications. The SL girls' shuttle hurdle relay team of Nya Ngut, Myriah Noble, Cassie Meylor, and Slone Masters flew to a second place finish at 1:07.18, sending the team into the finals this afternoon.
Masters also qualified for the finals individually in the 100 hurdles, turning in the second fastest prelim time at 15.40. Katie Blum will join her in action , taking the fifth fastest time in the 200 meters at 26.00. Blum just missed out of qualifying for the 100 meter finals by .05 seconds, but she did set a new school record in the process with her time of 12.83.
Also reaching the finals was the 4x100 team of Masters, Meylor, Anna Wulfekuhler, and Blum, turning in a prelim time of 50.46, good enough for third fastest.
Also in action for the SL girls, Jackie Brunghardt (104'8") and Nya Deng (66'8") took 15th and 24th in the discus, respectively.
The Tornado boys were led by freshman Pel Deng, who claimed fourth in the high jump as he cleared 6'4". JB Tut added an individual 8th place finish as he cleared the 400 hurdles in 56.37.
Jeff Kofmehl was 12th in the shot for the Tornadoes as his best toss came in at 48' 3 1/4". Marion's Drew Clark set a new state meet record with his first place toss of 64' 7 3/4".
Also in action individually, Peter Winterton took 18th in the 100 (11.60), and 20th in the 200 (23.53), and Faheem Boutte placed 19th in the 400 at 52.94.
The Tornadoes 4x200 relay team of Courtney Goodchild, Nolan Cone, Winterton, and Matt Ung placed 10th.
In Class 1A action, the St. Mary's Panthers are wrapped up down in Des Moines with the conclusion of Thursday's activities. Junior Paul Yak turned in the top performance for St. Mary's, nabbing a 7th place finish in the 3200 at 10:00.53.
Joining Yak with a top-ten placing at state, Michael Ivey's leap of 19'11 3/4" was good enough for 9th in the long jump.
The Panther girls were also present at the state meet in the form of their distance medley team. Rina Sato, Cassie Todd, Emily Mohr, and Christine Becker combined to turn in a time of 4:39.10 and finish 23rd.
Seniors Jessy Bibler and Michael Huseman are representing Alta down in Des Moines. Bibler clocked in at 17.74 in the 100 meter hurdles to finish second, while Huseman blazed his way to an 11.17 in the 100 meter prelims, easily qualifying him for the finals today.
Newell-Fonda was active in just one event over the first two days as Brad Bohe, Alex daSilva, Cody Wells, and Patrick Ryherd took 19th in the distance medley at 3:46.84. Rachel Culp will represent the Mustangs this afternoon in the 800 and 1500 meter runs.
The most heavily-represented 1A team in the area, Schaller-Crestland, had sound performances from both their girls and boys squads.
Katie Murra led the way for S-C with her seventh place finish in the discus. Murra registered a toss of 115'5". First in 1A went to Thornburg's Jamie Vermillioni with a toss of 129'11".
Individually for the Wildcats, Molly Sippel added a 17th place finish in the 200 meters (26.94), and Roxanne Grundmeier took 20th in the long jump at 14'8 3/4". The S-C 4x100 relay team of Rachel Anderson, Grundmeier, Chelsea Clayton, and Sippel finished was 14th at 52.45, and the same four were 19th in the 4x200 at 1:52.34.
The Wildcat boys were led by their 4x800 team of Kyle Newell, Ray Wedeking, Kyle Dahm and Colby Stephens, who finished 9th at 8:28.98. Stephens and a 10th place finish individually, turning in a time of 51.84 in the 400.
Dillon Watters, Stephens, Newell, and Ray Wedeking added a 12th place finish in the distance medley at 8:28.98, and Christian Bondinello placed 13th overall in the shot put with his heave of 46'7 1/2".
Sioux Central had impressive showings all-around led by Trevor Tiefenthaler's second place finish in the 400 (49.35.) The senior also qualified for the finals in the 200 with a time of 22.55.
Nick Wittmaack added a 21st place finish in the 400 hurdles at 58.19, and the shuttle hurdle relay team of Ethan Lindquist, Joel Peterson, Tanner Perrigo, and Wittmaack finished 20th.
The Rebel girls were led by a third place finish from their distance medley team (Brooke Scharn, Brittny Rebhuhn, Chandler Johannsen, Rachel Hamilton), who clocked in at 4:16.38.
Their 4x800 team of Brandy Richards, Jennifer Rushton, Callie Buske, and Rachel Hamilton finished 11 at 1:10:57, and the shuttle hurdle relay team of Rachel Peterson, Grace Rehnstrom, Rebhuhn, and Scharn placed 11th at 1:10.57.
Also well represented, Galva-Holstein turned in strong performances Thursday and Friday, including a Class 1A state championship for John Harris as he finished the 400 in 49.87.
Harris was also 16th in the 200 (23.61), and seventh as part of the 4x200 relay (1:33.21), alongside Seth Johnson, Patrick McAreavy, and Collin Bubke.
The G-H shuttle hurdle relay team of Tyson Thoreson, Jared Schlinz, Kellen Jacobson and Bubke finished 12th at 1:02.95, and Thoreson also finished 24th individually in the 110 hurdles.
The Lady Pirates were paced by a pair of strong relay showings as Nicole Boyle, Breanna Mathes, Jayde Boyle, and Jessie Mathes finished fifth in the 4x800 (10:00.5), and Brea Slaybaugh, Brooke Wiese, Breanna Mathes, and Jessie Mathes took sixth in the distance medley.