Glenwood girls, 1st place. State Track, Saturday, Drake Stadium, Des Moines, Iowa, 19-5-18

The Glenwood girls relied on two freshman to win the Class 3-A championship.

DES MOINES — With Glenwood’s first girls team track championship hanging in the balance entering the final event, it would be great to report that it relied on a pair of battle-tested seniors to bring it home.

Instead, for the final two legs of the 1,600-meter relay, the Rams turned to a pair of freshman, Abby Hughes and Coryl Matheny, after junior Jaeda Wilson and senior Abi Schultz capably opened things.

Glenwood held a 2½-point lead on Dubuque Wahlert entering the final event, and at the second of three baton exchanges Wahlert was third and Glenwood seventh. The Rams then dropped to eighth during the third leg.

But Hughes powered through the final 100 meters, and when she made the final pass to Matheny, Glenwood had pulled even with Wahlert in fourth.

“That was clutch,’’ Glenwood coach Cory Faust said. “I can’t imagine being a freshman and running the four by four for a state championship.’’

The Golden Eagles finished fourth (4:02.86), and Matheny expended every ounce of energy in the final 50 meters. She finished sixth (4:03.60), wedged between Atlantic (4:03.41) and Sergeant Bluff-Luton (4:03.84).

After some anxious moments, the quartet peered up at their fans, who were cheering wildly. An onlooker confirmed the math: Glenwood 65, Dubuque Wahlert 64.5. The Rams had won their first girls state team title.

“Coming down to this race, we knew it was just all about guts,’’ Matheny said. “Who had it, and who had the most heart. Every point matters, no matter if it’s a half a point or anything. And obviously it paid off.’’

Glenwood senior Janette Schraft led the championship charge by becoming just the eighth Iowa girl to win four individual titles in a state meet. The Iowa State recruit added the 800 (2:12.28) and 1,500 (4:41.53) on Saturday to the 400 hurdles and 3,000 she had won previously, bringing her career event titles total to 11.

“I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to go out there and give it my all,’’ Schraft said. “To be able to find success is something I’m very grateful for.’’

Due to ongoing renovations at its facility, Glenwood had no track on which to compete this season. And with floodwaters ravaging the area this spring, there was no running water in the school for three weeks.

“I haven’t heard the kids complain once about not having a track or the water,’’ Faust said. “Really resilient kids. Obviously to do something like this you’ve got to have a lot of good habits and character, and I’m just proud to be their coach.’’

The Rams also notched their first relay title in school history, with junior Audrey Arnold, sophomore Marissa Ausdemore, junior Sami Parr and sophomore Elle Scarborough setting a school record in 1:05.51.

Scarborough tried hurdles in the seventh grade, and then didn’t attempt them again until this season. She missed time with an injury, and the team was forced to practice them in the gymnasium.

“I still can’t believe it,’’ she said. “I’m still processing it through my head.’’

Scarborough also finished eighth in the 100 hurdles at 16.03. At the time she wasn’t pleased, but later she would realize that every point was needed to claim the gold trophy.

Western Iowa added a second team titlist in 3-A as Sergeant Bluff-Luton dominated by an 86-52 count over runner-up Dubuque Wahlert for its first state team title in any girls or boys sport.

The Warriors won seven of 19 events. Coach Monte Larsen said for perspective, the school had won only five event titles in the history of the school for this year.

Sergeant Bluff was third, fourth and third in the team standings in the previous three years.

“We weren’t messing around this year,’’ he said. “What’s great about this group is they work their butts off when it’s track season. But they’re all in multiple sports throughout the year, and they’re lifting weights all year round and they really make our job easy as coaches.’’

The Warriors did it all despite not having senior Britton Delperdang, who was injured. He ran 49.54 last year at state to finish fifth in the open 400.

Junior Jorma Schwedler took the starring role. He became a quadruple gold winner by adding three more victories on Saturday. He rallied the sprint medley relay team to victory with a sizzling 47.2 anchor, then added the 100 (11.20) and 200 (22.16) to the 400 title he won Thursday.

“When he sets his mind to something, he goes after it,’’ Larsen said.

Max Murphy won the 110 high hurdles (14.70), and he helped the Warriors to a win in the shuttle hurdle relay (59.63) by one-hundredth of a second over Carlisle.

Chase Mullenix helped Atlantic repeat in the 1,600 relay, joining Tyler Moen, Colin Mullenix and Zade Niklasen (3:21.11). The Trojans finished third in 3-A with 48 points.

“It’s the first time in Atlantic history that we’ve had back-to-back trophies as a team,’’ Chase Mullenix said. “It means a lot, because we’ve put in a lot of work.’’

Sign up for daily headlines from NEPrepZone

Get a daily roundup of game recaps, player features and more in your inbox.

Girls who have won four individual events in an Iowa state track meet:

Cathy Carroll, Collins, 1970 (60, 100, 220, LJ)

AG Bradford, Davenport North, 2008 (400, 100H, 400H, HJ)

Sara Stoakes, North Tama, 2009 (400, 800, 1,500, 400H)

Alex Gochenour, Logan-Magnolia, 2010-2011 (100, 200, 100H, 400H both years)

Rebekah Topham, Griswold, 2014 (800, 1,500, 3,000, 400H)

Joy Ripslinger, Davenport Assumption, 2017 (400, 800, 1,500, 3,000)

Sydney Milani, Southeast Polk, 2018 (100, 200, 400, 800)

Janette Schraft, Glenwood, 2019 (800, 1,500, 3,000, 400H)

Kevin is The World-Herald's lead western Iowa sportswriter, covering about 60 high schools. He's also in charge of the sports department at The Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.