Class 3-A: Glenwood's Janette Schraft shows she can stand the heat and win the hurdles

Glenwood’s Janette Schraft won the 400 hurdles despite running in the second heat. Her time bested the marks of the top eight qualifiers.

DES MOINES — Glenwood girls track coach Cory Faust often speaks to his athletes about controlling what they can control.

But when the third and final heat of the Class 3-A 400-meter hurdles started Friday, his star runner Janette Schraft had relinquished all control.

Schraft was relegated to the second heat due to her time at last week’s state qualifying meet. She won the second heat in 1:03.50, but had to watch as the top eight qualifiers hit the track. And when heat winner Emma Kelderman of Oskaloosa’s time flashed as 1:04.06, Schraft raised her arms in triumph. She had clinched her ninth state championship.

Schraft said it was agonizing to watch that final heat.

“I’ve never experienced anything like that before,” she said. “I just told myself that I was going to go out and run that race as aggressive as I possibly could, because that’s the only choice I had.

“If I fail at the end, then I fail at the end, but I had to control everything that I could control.”

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Through 10 of 19 events, Glenwood held a 31-26.5 advantage on second-place Dubuque Wahlert. Davenport Assumption and Pella were tied for third at 22. Pella won last year and Assumption took the five 3-A girls titles before that.

The Hawkeye Ten Conference added another 3-A event win later when the Atlantic boys repeated as the distance medley relay champions (3:31.13) with Zade Niklasen, Colin Mullenix, Tyler Moen and Chase Mullenix.

Sioux City Heelan picked up two championships: Sophomore Keyontre Clark claimed the boys long jump by one inch at 21 feet, 7 ¼ inches and its girls distance medley relay team of Hope Sokolowski, Hannah Hutchinson, Madison Jochum and Amber Aesoph won in 4:04.86.

Glenwood’s Schraft had to beat a strong 3-A field in the 400 hurdles. Five of the top eight finishers in last month’s Drake Relays were entered. But even though Schraft rarely practices the hurdles and wasn’t threatened in her heat, her time held up.

“The only way that I had the best chance of winning it was to go out there and just give it my absolute best,” she said.

Schraft bids for her 10th and 11th golds Saturday in the 800 and 1,500.

“I don’t think there’s going to be much coming tomorrow that could surprise me,” she said.

In the boys distance medley, three of Atlantic’s runners were the same as last year: Moen, a junior, and seniors Niklasen and Chase Mullenix. Sophomore Colin Mullenix, who ran the second 200-meter leg, was the newcomer.

“Not very many people can say they share a state title in the same relay with their little brother,” Chase Mullenix said. “I feel happy my senior year, going out with a title with my brother.”

Moen ran a 49.4-second 400 split. He led at the 100-meter cut.

“I got around to the curve and no one was cutting in front of me,” he said. “I knew it was just easy sailing from there. Get Chase the baton in first.”

The elder Mullenix ran a 1:55.7 split. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley finished in second, just more than a second behind the winners.

Through 10 of 19 events on the boys side, Mount Pleasant led with 31 points and was followed by Sergeant Bluff-Luton (28), Pella (27), Dubuque Wahlert (22) and Atlantic (21).

“This was the kind of spark our team needed to be a part of that team race,” Chase Mullenix said.

In the boys long jump, Clark, the younger brother of former Heelan and current North Dakota State running back Saybein Clark, had his best jump of 21-7¼ on his second attempt. Jamison Heinz of Humboldt (21-6¼) and Trenton Beck of Carlisle (21-5¼) nearly surpassed him, but Clark’s mark held for the gold.

In the girls distance medley, Aesoph was briefly challenged on the anchor by Carlisle freshman Ainsley Erzen, but Aesoph brought the Crusaders to victory by about two seconds.

Also individually in 3-A from western Iowa, Creston’s Kelsey Fields was third in the shot put (38-3) and Glenwood’s Sydney Biermann (37-3¾) placed sixth. Harlan’s Caleb Bieker ended fifth in the shot put (51-2 1⁄2).

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.

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