Trojan girls qualify two events; awaiting verdict on seven others
MOUNT PLEASANT — Just about everything went according to plan for the Fairfield girls’ track and field team at Thursday’s state-qualifying meet in Mount Pleasant.
The Trojan girls earned automatic state meet bids in two events, but the squad is still awaiting the verdict on seven others. McKenzie McClure, Marisa Repp, Alexis Ring and Sydney Howard qualified in the 4x100, finishing second in 51.74 seconds, and senior Sidney Baumann qualified in the discus throw with a launch of 107-feet, 2-inches.
Fairfield head coach Ron Hunerdosse left the meet with an optimistic outlook, due in part to the loaded field in which his Trojans ran. He said he thought all seven “bubble” events had a good chance to send Trojans through to the state meet.
“The level of competition at the top of the events was really good,” said Hunerdosse. “I just thought they performed at a really high level, and I’m proud of my kids.”
The Trojans are still waiting to see if senior Sydney Howard will get a chance to defend titles in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Howard claimed third place in both races behind a pair of Davenport Assumption runners, but she still finished with state-quality times. Howard finished the 100 in 12.55, just three-hundredths of a second behind winner Rose Ripslinger, and the 200 in 26.63.
Hours later, Howard’s third-place finish in the 100 was still a surprise to her.
“They said I got third, but I thought I got second,” said Howard. “There’s nothing I could’ve done about it. Having them on my left to right, you don’t have a lot of time to think about anything.”
And it would be that kind of meet for Howard, who felt like it just wasn’t her day.
“Every time I got on this track, except for the 4x100, it was raining,” said Howard. “I was talking to Rose [Ripslinger] before the 100 and was like, ‘At least it’s not raining.’ We get set in our blocks and it starts raining!”
There were still positives to take away from the day, Howard said.
“Having some competition gives me a chance to actually be nervous. It’s good to have them there to help push me,” she said. “I have a preview to know what to expect at the state meet.”
Later, in the 4x200, Howard caught Washington in the anchor leg of the race to tie for third — an extremely rare occurrence with today’s use of fully automatic timing — in 1:49.45.
“You just don’t have dead heats with FAT timing. What it came down to was Sydney leaning at the line and the other girl didn’t. That was the difference,” said Hunerdosse, who added the race was “iffy” to qualify.
Like Howard, senior teammate Jessica Lamb should qualify in at least two events but will have to play the waiting game to find out. Lamb set a season best time of 2:23 in the open-800 to place third, and she also was on the third-place 4x800 with Taylor Ferrel, Hannah Sobaski and Sesali Martin. The foursome finished the race in 10:00 for a season best.
The sprint medley relay of Lamb, McClure, Bielinski and Erin Thompson finished fourth in 1:56.86 and also has a chance to qualify, said Hunerdosse.
“What a great night for Jessica Lamb,” Hunerdosse said. “I’m very comfortable with our time in the 4x800, and after that she turned around and runs her best 800 of the season. It’s just reward for a girl who has had her struggles this year.”
In the field, Baumann didn’t have her best — nor did most of the field on the wet evening — but the Trojan senior still managed second place to become a two-time state qualifier in the event.
“It’s a sign of a good athlete when she doesn’t do her best and still qualifies. I know she was disappointed in her performance, but she’ll rebound and come back strong next week,” Hunerdosse said.
Repp placed third in the high jump at 5-feet and could make the cutoff mark with the jump. Hunerdosse said it took her three attempts to pass 5-feet, but she almost cleared 5-feet-1 for the win.
In the team race, Fairfield finished fifth with 77.5 points. Davenport Assumption scored 164 to win the title, Mount Pleasant (156) was second and Clear-Creak Amana (116) finished third.
An official list of all state qualifiers will appear in Monday’s edition of The Ledger.
State Qualifier — Girls
@ Mount Pleasant
Discus — 2. Sidney Baumann (107’ 2”), 11. Madison Roberts (79’ 11”)
Shot Put — 10. Brooke Stever (27’ 10.75”)
High Jump — 3. Marisa Repp (5’ 0”)
Long Jump — 10. Olivia Wallerich (13’ 11.25”), 11. Alyssa Fitch (13’ 3”)
3,000-run — 9. Sage Richmond (12:50)
4x800-relay — 3. Fairfield (Ferrel, Lamb, Sobaski, Martin, 10:00.35)
Shuttle Hurdle-relay — Fairfield DQed
100-dash — 3. Sydney Howard (12.55), 8. McKenzie McClure (13.87)
1600 Medley-relay — 5. Fairfield (E. Kuehl, G. Kuehl, Fitch, Melcher, 4:50.50)
400-dash — 7. Sesali Martin (1:07.48), 13. Brittany Hoskins (1:09.91)
4x200-relay — T3. Fairfield (McClure, Repp, Bielinski, Howard, 1:49.45)
100-hurdles — 10. Grace Smith (18.73)
800-run — 3. Jessica Lamb (2:23.26), 6. Taylor Ferrel (2:34.81)
200-dash — 3. Sydney Howard (26.63), 9. Mackenzi Harwood (29.38)
400-hurdles — 6. Marisa Repp (1:16.26), 8. Danielle Garrison (1:17.16)
800 Medley-relay — 4. Fairfield (McClure, Thompson, Bielinski, Lamb, 1:56.86)
1500-run — 6. Hannah Sobaski (5:20.68), 11. Sesali Martin (5:42.68)
4x100-relay — 2. Fairfield (McClure, Repp, Ring, Howard, 51.74)
4x400-relay — 5. Fairfield (Ferrel, Melcher, Garrison, Fitch, 4:32.90)
Final Team Standings — Girls
1. Davenport Assumption 164, 2. Mount Pleasant 156, 3. Clear Creek-Amana 116, 4. Washington 105.5, 5. Fairfield 77.5, 6. Fort Madison 46, 7. Centerville 36, 8. Keokuk 25