Glenwood has never won a girls state team track title, but the Rams appear to be on the short list of those capable of doing so this weekend.
“I think we’re primed to perform our best at state, which is obviously what you want to do,’’ coach Cory Faust.
Led by Iowa State recruit Janette Schraft, Glenwood headlines southwest Iowa’s girls hopes in Class 3-A. Sergeant Bluff-Luton out of the Missouri River Conference and Atlantic from the Hawkeye Ten will bring powerful boys contingents to Drake Stadium in Des Moines from Thursday to Saturday.
Schraft won seven state titles at East Mills before transferring to Glenwood for her senior year. She’s considered a title contender in the 400 hurdles, 800, 1,500 and 3,000. She won the Drake Relays 400 hurdles title last month.
“Performing well is contagious, so hopefully her success can rub off on everybody else,’’ Faust said.
The Rams have plenty of other scoring possibilities. Their shuttle hurdle relay of Audrey Arnold, Marissa Ausdemore, Sami Parr and Elle Scarborough set a school record of 1:06.25 in the state-qualifying meet, and is the top qualifying time in 3-A.
The versatile Scarborough, a sophomore, had a hip injury flare up at the Kansas Relays last month, but has returned to top form. She has the third-best season time in the 100 hurdles (15.48) and has also advanced in the discus.
Senior Sydney Biermann has the third-best shot put throw in 3-A this spring. Junior sprinter Jaeda Wilson has had a strong season and figures to lead some scoring relays.
Faust said a key to his squad’s team chances is moving up some of his middle-of-the-pack relays to score some points.
“I don’t know if ‘gamer’ is the right word to put on it, but I feel like we’ve got a lot of gritty girls that tend to perform better when the stakes get a little higher,’’ he said. “You like to have those people on your side.’’
Faust feels Dubuque Wahlert should be considered the favorite, with his squad joining Davenport Assumption and Sioux City Heelan among other top contenders. Although the last 10 3-A champions have scored at least 70, he believes his team needs to be in the 60s to have a chance to win the team title.
“I think that’s something we can do, but obviously you never really know until you get there,’’ he said.
Heelan will be threats for major points any time Madison Jochum or Amber Aesoph are on the track. Jochum qualified first in the 400 (58.29), Aesoph advanced first in the 800 (2:21.03) and they are both members of the Crusaders’ 1,600 relay, which qualified first at 4:01.83.
On the boys side, Sergeant Bluff-Luton is led by junior Jorma Schwedler, who had the qualifying times in the 100 (11.03), 200 (22.32) and 400 (48.94). The Warriors have balance and depth to complement him. Max Murphy had the top qualifying time in the 110 high hurdles (14.63), and Sergeant Bluff ranked second in the shuttle hurdle and sprint medley relays, third in the 3,200 relay, fourth in the 1,600 relay, fifth in the 800 relay and sixth in the distance medley relay.
Atlantic’s leaders are expected to be Iowa State recruit Chase Mullenix along with junior Tyler Moen and sophomore Craig Alan Becker.
Mullenix’s qualifying time in the 800 ranked third, and he’s expected to anchor the top-ranked 1,600 relay along with the distance medley and 3,200 relays. Becker leads qualifiers in the 1,600 (4:31.17), while Moen ranks second to Schwedler in the 200 (22.37) and 400 (49.68), based on qualifying times.