Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 23, 2018

Rollercoaster weekend at state track

New London distance medley steals the show; Cristoforo, Magnani and MP boys’ shuttle take second
May 21, 2018
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger An injured Jake Lowe leaps over a hurdle during the 110-meter hurdles.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News

 

DES MOINES — The 2018 state track and field meet was as up and down as one could imagaine. The weekend was complete with lifetime performances, devastating losses, a two-hour rain delay, a gritty performance from an injured runner and one state championship.

Team wise, the best result of the weekend went to the Mt. Pleasant boys. The Panthers scored 37 points to place seventh in Class 3A, just 11 points back of a top-three finish. The New London girls scored 25 points for fifth-place in Class 1A, 12 points away from the top-three. The Mt. Pleasant girls snuck into the top 20 with 16 points for a 16th-place finish.

Fifth-place was bitter-sweet for the Mt. Pleasant boys, who came into the weekend with 12 points already. The Panthers did pick up three top-three finishes over the weekend and placed five in the top five.

The shuttle hurdle team of Keegan Rich, Chase Lamm, Cole Burns and Jake Lowe came just four one-hundredths of a second away from bringing the title home but were bested by Carlisle. The Panthers finished with a time of 56.87 seconds.

“We’ve had such high hopes,” Lamm said after the race. “We didn’t execute at Drake and we came out here one last time, trying to go for the win...but we ran as hard as we could, so I can’t complain about that.”

Lowe, who has been dealing with a bad hamstring all year, said he felt a pop during his anchor leg. He went down after the race and was questionable for the 110-hurdles later on in the day. When the time came, however, he and Burns were both on the start line.

Burns dashed to third-place in the race, crossing the tape in 14.87 seconds. Lowe, who needed help to get back to the trainers after the shuttle-hurdle, limped down the line and leaped over each hurdle to pick up an eighth-place finish and another point for the Panthers.

“It crossed my mind that I wouldn’t be able to run, so I went and talked to the officials on what I had to do for it to be an attempt on the hurdles so I wouldn’t get disqualified,” Lowe said. “It was painful, but I got do do what I got to do.”

After the race, Burns reflected on the last three years with the core Panther hurdlers.

“I feel like yesterday our shuttle team was three sophomores and a freshman,” Burns said. “And now it’s just crazy to see that the journey is over...it was fun though.”

Rich gave Mt. Pleasant six more points with a third-place long jump of 22-03 on Friday. After the competition was over, he said he met his goal to leap to a personal record.

“I was just hoping to do my best,” Rich said. “I Pr’ed by two inches, so...I was hoping to go further, but it was a great day. It was an experience I’ll never forget.”

Cody Mertens brought the Panthers four more points with a fifth-place finish in the 1600-meter run, crossing in 4:29.15. It was his second top-five of the week. After the race, Mertens said the words of graduated teammate Logan Murray still echoed in his head in his first year running along.

“I definitely miss him, he’s one of my best friends,” Mertens said. “It was different running by myself this year because I usually have him telling me to relax and calm down.”

The Mt. Pleasant girls had all their points come from two athletes. Lexie Magnani was the first of those, taking second in the shot put with a throw of 39-11.75. She says she exceeded her goal coming in.

“Obviously I wanted to win, everybody wants to win,” Magnani said. “But realistically, I was wanting to get top-five because I was coming in (seeded) sixth.”

Maggie Cristoforo added eight points of her own with a second-place finish in the 400-hurdles, crossing the tape in 1:05.70. After the race, an excited Cristoforo tried to explain her recent success at the blue oval, where she always seems to out-run expectations.

“Honestly, it’s just the nerves I think,” Cristoforo said. “It’s a different kind of nervousness...everyone runs faster at the blue oval, so it’s an excited nervousness here. I’m ecstatic right now.”

The area’s lone state championship went to the New London distance medley team. Jenna Hummell, Camryn Blint, Savannah Sutherland and Carson McSorley dominated the race, winning by six-and-a-half seconds with a final time of 4:14.59.

“I had no idea this would happen, I was just trying my hardest to win,” said McSorley after anchoring the team home. “I’ve been chasing a state championship in the 400-hurdles for the last two years, so this feels amazing. I’ve always wanted to feel the feeling of a state championship, and it’s really awesome.”

McSorley, Sutherland and Blint are all seniors, making it all the more special for Hummell, their junior lead-off leg.

“As nerve-racking as it is, and you never know what can happen at the blue oval, I knew that as long as we ran our race like we should, and we can, we would be fine,” Hummell said. “I could not have asked for anything better, especially to close these guys out.”

McSorley scored six points with a third-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles. The 4X400 team of Blint, Sutherland, Peyton Jackson and McSorley finished fourth to earn five more points. Sutherland placed seventh in the high jump, and the sprint medley team of Hummell, Krieger, McSorley and Sutherland took seventh as well.

The only other scorer from the county was Winfield-Mt. Union’s Brandon Snowden, who placed eighth in the 200-meter dash. That gave one point to the W-MU boys.

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