The West High girls track team won 10 of the 19 events, including
all four field events, to make an impressive statement at Friday's Forwald Relays at City High.
In a meet that included last year's state champion, City High,
and two teams that tied for second and now aspire to the throne, West High and West Des Moines Valley, it was the Women of
Troy who dominated. West High piled up 182 points to win by 42 over City and 61 over third-place Valley.
"This meet means a lot to us," West coach Mike Parker said.
"I know it's City High's meet, but it's the Forwald Relays. There's a lot of tradition in this meet, and we've had a lot of
back-and-forth battles between ourselves and City."
West High's seniors took responsibility for getting the team
off to a good start. Janet Dobyns continued her tremendous senior season by winning the 3,000 meters in 10 minutes, 27.80
"I'm just trying to relax a little bit more," Dobyns said.
"I have extra motivation being a senior that I really just want to do it for the team. My individual goals are important to
me but it's about the team this year. I think it's an extra motivation to work toward being strong every meet and work toward
a state title."
Dobyns made her move away from teammate Sarah Wickman and Des
Moines Roosevelt's Hannah Roeder with three laps left. She built a 20-meter lead and never was challenged.
"There she goes," Wickman said after the race, simulating Dobyns'
run off. Wickman, the defending Drake Relays champ, was second. Pleasant Valley's Kelsey Bulat, who is ranked first this season,
did not run the event. West senior Alison Dirks won the high jump by clearing 5 feet, 5 inches. But she was close to clearing
5-7½, which would have given her the school record.
"I think I'm getting closer," she said. "I'm trying to treat
it just like it's any other height."
Dirks cleared 5-6 earlier this week in a meet in Ottumwa but
missed at the higher mark.
"I was pretty close on that one. Hopefully I'll get it this
year. It's my senior year," she said.
She may get another chance at the Drake Relays next weekend.
That thought was clearly in the minds of a number of competitors at a meet with this much firepower.
"It's really exciting," Dirks said. "The top three teams in
the state are out here. It's just a good run-through because I'm sure a lot of these people are going to be at the Drake Relays."
West High's Danica Haight smashed her own school record in
the shot put with a winning toss of 45-1½. Haight doubled in the discus with a winning throw of 123 feet.
"Coach (Bob) Carpenter and (Brad) Wymer work with those throw
girls," Parker said. "Obviously they are doing an incredible job with those girls."
West High's Kolie Eko won the long jump with a leap of 16-2½.
Wickman won a star-studded 1,500 meters over Valley's Jessica
Wiegert. Wiegert came in ranked fifth but edged Dobyns for second place.
Claire Hall anchored West to a victory in the distance medley.
Naomi Hillsman tied for first in the 400 meters and nearly got West a victory in the 4x400 with a fine anchor leg.
West High sophomore Lisa Mellecker doubled up with victories
in the 100 and 200 meters. Teammate Katie Johnson was second in both races.
"My best friend Katie Johnson ran with me, so that was a lot
of help to me," Mellecker said. "It's always nice to have someone there. Hopefully we can bring West High sprints to the dominance
that the distance is right now."
The Little Hawks' finish reversed a previous loss to Valley
and served as encouragement.
"Overall it was a very nice meet for us," City High coach Terry
Coleman said. "We came in with some goals to improve some things over the last time we saw Valley, and we did that. We had
all kinds of things that went well, and we saw the kids compete well when the weather got bad."
City High won the shuttle hurdle relay. City's team of Annie
Fraga, Veronica Rydze, Molly Sabers and Tara Whiting finished in 1:04.34, two full seconds better than the Little Hawks had
run this season.
City High also won the 4x200 with Signe Mueller, Patrice Jones,
Katie Krei and Kerry Kamber finishing in 1:46.92, the best time of the year.
"We came in and accomplished exactly what we wanted to, and
I think we're ready for Drake next week," Coleman said. "West is loaded, there's no question about that, so to come in and
finish ahead of Valley when they kind of took it to us last time was certainly a big goal for us."
Tipton's top-ranked 4x800 relay strutted its stuff in beating
the big schools with a time of 9:27.26. State champion Ashley Miller anchored the relay that finished 10 seconds ahead of
West Des Moines Valley, the defending 4A state champs. Miller ran a 2:13.9 anchor and took the lead with about 350 meters
"Competition really brings out the best in us," Miller said.
"It's kind of a preview of the Drake Relays, and it's a chance to see where we're at right now and see how we're competing
with the good teams. I think we hold our own."
Team scores -- 1. West High 182; 2. City High 140; 3. West
Des Moines Valley 121; 4. Tipton 57; 5. Pleasant Valley 35; 6. Newton 20; 7. Muscatine 18; 8. North Scott 16.
Winners, City, West place-winners:
Shot put -- 1. Danica Haight (W) 45-1½; 2. Sarah Anciaux (C)
41-8½; 3. Corrie Wagner (C) 40-11; 5. Taylor Freeman (W) 38-7½.
Discus -- 1. Danica Haight (W) 123-0; 3. Sarah Anciaux (C)
107-5; 4. Taylor Freeman (W) 105-3; 6. Corrie Wagner (C) 102-11.
High jump -- 1. Alison Dirks (W) 5-5; 2. Tara Whiting (C) 5-3;
4. Kolie Eko (W) 5-1.
Long jump -- 1. Eko (W) 16-2½; 4. (tie) Valerie Mozena (C)
and Elise Mozena (C) 15-6.
3,000 -- 1. Janet Dobyns (W) 10:27.80; 2. Sarah Wickman (W)
10:39.45; 3. Samantha Sidwell (C) 10:45.59.
4x800 -- 1. Tipton 9:27.26; 3. City High (Clair Anciaux, Emily
Funk, Maggie Leyendecker, Sarah Ziegenhorn) 9:50.45; 5. West (Julia Frudden, Christine Skopec, Elise Walz, Steph Mount) 9:58.33.
Shuttle hurdle relay -- 1. City High (Annie Fraga, Veronica
Rydze, Molly Sabers, Tara Whiting) 1:04.34; 3. West (Sarah Minor, Tiesha Crutcher, Jenna Holida, Lindsay Freeman) 1:06.26.
100 -- 1. Lisa Mellecker (W) 12.88; 2. Katie Johnson (W) 12.96;
3. Signe Mueller (C) 12.98; 6. Kerry Kamber (C) 13.33.
Distance medley relay -- 1. West High 4:16.97; 3. City High
(Megan Hichwa, McKenzie Skay, Krista Wiegert, Annie McKay) 4:27.55.
4x200 -- 1. City High (Signe Mueller, Patrice Jones, Katie
Krei, Kerry Kamber) 1:46.92; 6. West (Rachael Pack, Emily Paul, Brianna Garrett, Jenna Holida) 1:55.23.
400 -- 1. (tie) Naomi Hillsman (W) and Whitney Sharpe (WDMV)
1:00.09; 3. Caroline Mills (C) 1:00.72; 4. Kelsey Mims (C) 1:01.46; 6. Hadiza Sa-Aadu (W) 1:01.87.
100 hurdles -- 1. Lauren Lindaman (WDMV) 14.87; 2. Lindsey
Freeman (W) 14.98; 5. Veronica Rydze (C) 16.26.
800 -- 1. Ashley Miller (T) 2:16.18; 3. Maggie Leyendecker
(C) 2:22.10; 5. Claire Hall (W) 2:27.76; 6. Sarah Ziegenhorn (C) 2:28.30.
400 hurdles -- 1. Lauren Lindaman (WDMV) 1:06.73; 2. Molly
Sabers (C) 1:07,23; 5. Naomi Hillsman (W) 1:11.34; 6. Elise Walz (W) 1:11.84.
Sprint medley relay -- 1. Pleasant Valley 1:34.40; 2. City
(Sydni Koenig, Page Gerard, Patrice Jones, Kelsey Mims) 1:35.30; 3. West (Lindsay Freeman, Heather Brechtel, Katie Johnson,
Steph Mount) 1:35.80.
200 -- 1. Lisa Mellecker (W) 26.18; 2. Katie Johnson (W) 26.67;
3. Katie Krei (C) 26.72.
1,500 -- 1. Sarah Wickman (W) 4:50.40; 3. Janet Dobyns (W)
4:56.00; 4. Samantha Sidwell (C) 5:07.10.
4x100 -- 1. West Des Moines Valley 51.50; 2. City High (Sydni
Koenig, Signe Mueller, McKenzie Skay, Kerry Kamber) 51.90; 3. West (Qiong Qiu, Lindsay Freeman, Heather Brechtel, Katie Johnson)
4x400 -- 1. Tipton 4:04.60; 2. West High (HaDiza Sa-Aadu, Annie McAleer, Lisa Mellecker, Naomi Hillsman)
4:04.70; 3. City (Katie Krei, Maggie Leyendecker, Caroline Mills, Patrice Jones) 4:06.00.