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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 16, 2018

State track meet packed with local athletes

Pekin qualifies 10 events, Fairfield and Cardinal get six each
By Justin Webster | May 16, 2018
Photo by: GTNS photo Mason Aschenbrenner of Cardinal wins the 110 high hurdles in 15.04 seconds to qualify for state while teammate Wyatt Gatton finished second in 16.38.

Eight Trojans and a bunch of kids from Cardinal and Pekin are headed to the state track meet in Des Moines Thursday to compete with the top 24 qualifiers in each event.

The Trojans are sending sophomore Landon Kooiker who qualified with the sixth best jump in the state at 6’02”.

“He’s been jumping really well at the end of the season,” said Head Coach Brian Dunlap. “He’ll need to jump sharp and not miss much. If he can get over 6’2 and not miss, we’ll go from there.”

Kooiker feels great being able to contribute to the Trojan program as a newcomer and says theres a little pressure coming from an athletic family, but he likes having something to live up to.

As for his leaping this weekend ...

“My coach Wally always says to take a deep breath and imagine the perfect jump,” said Kooiker.

“For me that’s getting your jump spot right and driving up with your legs and arms and just pushing your shoulders back as you go over the bar. Just get over the bar.”

At districts, Kooiker had his best jump of the season before he even hit the 6’2 one.

“I thought his 6’1 make at districts looked like a 6’4 jump,” said Dunlap.

“I’d say that jump did feel great and it makes me confident knowing I can do it,” added Kooiker who is looking to continue to improve against the top athletes in the state. “If I can get another good jump I’m looking to get 6’4 or 6’5 and possibly place.”

Coach Dunlap believes he’ll do just fine.

“He was competing against a good field and he stacked up just fine.”

Even though they always spell Tristin Waugh’s name wrong, he still qualified for the state meet in the discus throw with a toss of 143’6” which is 18th best of the district qualifiers.

Dunlap says that both Kooiker and Waugh are exceptional multi-sport athletes who had personel records to qualify, and he thinks they can both improve.

Even though these athletes are all gifted, their rewards do not come without work.

“Both of these events are huge technique events and while they are great athletes, they’ve put a lot of time and effort into honing their craft,” Dunlap explained.

 

Girls

Head Coach Jerrod Belzer will be taking six girls to Des Moines. Ashley Bloomquist who qualified in the 1500 and 3000 meter races, Aluna Olaniyi who will run in the 400 meter hurdles and as a member of the 4x100 meter shuttle hurdle race, and her three teammates, seniors Carin Corrick and Kristen Daugherty, junior Malory Jones and alternate sophomore Carly Ferrel.

Bloomquist is feeling confident in both races and says she’s looking forward to competing against and running with some of the fastest people in the state.

As far as a preference, the junior jogger can’t decide.

“I can’t answer that,” declares Bloomquist. “I’m a little more successful in the 3000, but I’ve run the 1500 my whole life, but the 3000 is pretty fun, too.”

She says the key to doing well is preparing properly.

“Making sure I am hydrated really well and am eating everything I should and just focusing on one race at a time.”

Bloomquist fills up on high carbs and protein on raceday.

“Usually a pretty hefty Turkey lunchmeat sandwhich,” says Bloomy. “Some yogurt maybe and beef sticks. I like beef sticks.” She added. “The night before I’ll have pasta of some sort, get the carbs in me and ready for that. “

Her coach thinks she’s ready.

“Ashley’s in great shape right now and she always runs her best at the end of the season,” said Belzer. “She’s chasing that 3000 meter school record so there is that extra incentive as well.”

Along with Aluna competing in the 400 hurdles, her shuttle hurdle relay team set a school record at districts while qualifying 21st in the state with a time of 1:10.10, less than five seconds behind the top qualifiers from Benton Community who ran a 1:05.52.

The shuttle hurdlers also have extra incentive because last year they were disqualified unjustly in their opinion.

“Technically, they say someone left early,” scoffs Olaniyi while adding, “We didn’t.”

Corrick is excited to join in the fun after watching several times from the stands but never having the chance to run on the track before this weekend.

The pair admitted they have been complaining about practice since freshman year but agrees it’s going to be bittersweet with the ending coming at state.

Other than running on their toes, Olaniyi concludes, “We’ll just do our best and see where that gets us.”

 

Cardinal

The Comets qualified six events.

100 meter dash

Colby Aschenbrenner

Qualified 10th in 11.39 just .25 seconds behind the top qualifier

 

200 meter dash

Mason Aschenbrenner qualified 2nd in 22.91

 

110 meter hurdles

Mason Aschenbrenner qualified with 2nd best time of 15.04; tied with Jake Garber of BCLUW

 

4x200 relay

Colby Aschenbrenner, Jarrett Greiner, Trey Albert, Gabe Reyes, Max Betancourt and Kayne Nguyen

Qualified 17th in 1:34.94

 

800 sprint medley

Colby Aschenbrenner, Mason Aschenbrenner, Jarrett Greiner, Gabe Reyes, Austin Porter and Ben Clark

Qualified 21st in 1:38.55

 

Long jump

Trey Albert qualified 16th with a jump of 19’9.50”

 

Pekin

The Panthers are a serious contender for the Class 2A title this weekend and have qualified 10 events.

 

400 meter dash

Isaiah Wittrock qualified 1st 49.48

 

800 meter run

Wittrock and Chandler Eckley

Qualified 1st in 1:58.08 and 2nd in 1:59.22, respectively

 

1600 meter run

Brady Millikin qualified 14th in 4:43.67

 

3200 meter run

Colten Glosser qualified 24th in 10:38.95

 

4x100

Levi Long, Dayne Eckley, Kennan Winn, Monico Requena, Sam Roth and Devin Fraise

Qualified 7th in 44.37

 

4x200

Levi Long, Dayne Eckley, Kennan Winn, Monico Requena, Sam Roth and Cameron Millikin

Qualified 5th in 1:31.79

 

4x400

Cameron Millikin, Sam Roth, Chandler Eckley, Isaiah Wittrock, Levi Long and Cole Earnest

Qualified 1st in 3:25.89

 

4x800

Chandler Eckley, Sam Roth, Cameron Millikin, Isaiah Wittrock, Brady Millikin and Colten Glosser

Qualified 1st in 8:03.35

 

Distance Medley

Dayne Eckley, Monico Requena, Sam Roth, Chandler Eckley, Isaiah Wittrock and Levi Long

Qualified 1st in 3:36.13

 

800 Sprint Medley

Dayne Eckley, Kennan Winn, Monico Requena, Levi Long, Sam Roth and Chandler Eckley

Qualified 18th in 1:37.26

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