MP athletes win six medals at Drake
DES MOINES — The Mt. Pleasant girls’ track and field team had three placewinners (top-six finish) at the Drake Relays this weekend — the most they’ve had in one year since 2006 — and the boys team also placed three times.
Leslie Taylor and Kelsi Phipps were placewinners in the long jump and 100-meter hurdles, respectively, on Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday, the pair teamed up with Sidney Taylor and Hannah Becker for the shuttle hurdle team’s fifth-place finish.
In the shuttle hurdle prelims, Waukee won the first heat by a wide margin. The W-MU team of Anna Crawford, Karlie Wade, Emily Mathews and Cassie Kingery was in that heat; they finished 16th overall with a time of 1:08.90.
Mt. Pleasant won the second heat by a wide margin with their time of 1:05.48.
When the third heat winner was almost two seconds slower than the Panthers, they felt pretty good about making the finals.
“We didn’t think three teams in the last heat could have faster times, but that is what happened,” Coach Dave Hutchcroft said. “We missed qualifying for finals by .09 seconds.”
All four finals teams were 4A schools: Waukee, West Des Moines Valley, CR Jefferson and West Des Moines Dowling.
“We were disappointed, but we need to remember that Drake is a bonus, and our season will be defined by what we do over the next three weeks,” Hutchcroft said.
The same was true for the 4x100-meter relay team, which finished in 60th with a time of 52.36 seconds — a bad handoff slowed them down, but they have some time to fix it.
For the boys, the shuttle hurdle team of Cole Phillips, Spencer White, Zach Mulford and Tommy Thorne placed 11th overall with a time of 59.45 seconds.
“The shuttle hurdle was a little faster than their season best, and would have been third in Class 3A,” Coach Scot Lamm said.
Thorne also competed in the 400-meter hurdles, in which he took seventh place with a time of 54.64 seconds.
“He took almost a full second off his time,” Lamm said. “It was better than his state-placewinning time from last year. He had an outstanding race, and also would have been third in Class 3A.”
The Panther boys also won three medals on the weekend, and all three were in throwing events. Justin Dunn was a placewinner in shot put and discus with a personal best in both events — including a throw in discus that broke his own school record — and Emmett Wester was a placewinner in shot put.
“Obviously, the throws went very well,” Lamm said. “Dunn would have been first in Class 3A in both events, and Emmett was second in shot put.
“If we can go back in three weeks (to the state meet) and place as high, that is 40-50 points, and that puts us in the hunt to win state,” he added. “We need to keep working hard and make some adjustments.”
The Mt. Pleasant track teams will compete tonight at Fairfield, and tomorrow they travel to Washington for the Southeast Conference meet.
The SEC meet was originally scheduled for Thursday, but it was moved up due to the forecasted rain.