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Glenwood girls 24th, boys 22nd at state

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

DES MOINES - Mavrick Decker became the first Glenwood freshman track athlete to run in four events in two decades and the Glenwood girls’ 4x100-meter relay team placed in the top five once again at the Iowa State Track and Field Meet in Des Moines.

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The Glenwood girls won three medals to place 24th as a team in the Class 3A rankings. Davenport Assumption was the girls team champion with 107 points. The boys also won three medals and finished in a tie for 22nd place. Solon was the boys champion with 50 points.

“Anytime you can bring medals home from the state meet, it’s a good thing,” said Glenwood boys coach Mark Starner.  “We were fortunate enough to do that in three relays.  We felt that we had a chance in a couple more events; and even possibly higher placement in some of the events we did medal in, but we’re still pleased with our results.”

The Ram boys set four season’s best times at state and in three of those events, brought home medals.    

“The key thought of the weekend was that sometimes the smallest details can make the biggest differences,” Starner said. “We talk about being solid in our exchanges in relays, using great running/hurdling form and having solid block starts. These little things can possibly be the difference of making the finals and getting a medal or just watching the finals on Saturday.  Several races came down to hundredths or thousandths of a second this weekend.”  

Cases in point: the Rams’ 4 x 200 finished .96 seconds out of first place but placed fifth instead; the shuttle hurdle relay tied in the finals for fourth place, but was edged out by Epworth Western Dubuque by .03 for a possible third place; the 4 x 100 relay edged out Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley for seventh in the prelims by .005 seconds but in all, the Rams were just .34 seconds out of first place.

“Had we ran our preliminary time in the finals, the time would have been good enough for fifth place in the finals,” Starner said.  

Dane Kruse finished ninth overall in the 110-meter high hurdles in the preliminaries, just .01 of a second out of qualifying for finals. In fact, Kruse’s preliminary time would have placed him fifth in the 110 finals on Saturday.

Decker, who qualified for state in the 100, 200 and ran the anchor on both the 4x100 and 4x200-meter relays, is believed to be the first Ram freshman since Chris Roenfeld in the late 1980s to run in four events at state.

“To bring home two medals as a freshman is pretty special. You don’t get many opportunities to do that,” Starner said.

Brady Wheeler was 22nd in the 400 and Nolan Eflin was 18th in the 400-meter hurdles.

“It has been truly an outstanding season,” Starner said of his team’s 2014 season that saw the Rams go undefeated in the regular season with nine team titles, their fourth straight Hawkeye 10 title and the District 3A-1 team championship.  

“This senior class has set a standard for all future Glenwood track and field teams to strive for,” Starner said. “Their legacy has been set and our coaching staff could not be more proud of all of their accomplishments.  While this season closes the chapter on the senior’s track and field career, we are very optimistic about the future of the Glenwood track and field program.  

“We will have to replace a great group of seniors, but we have a lot of athletes that made the trip to Des Moines this past weekend and hopefully they stay hungry to return next season with the purpose of getting back to the blue oval and take home more hardware.”

The Glenwood girls got medals from Jacy Embray in the shot put, Molly Dean in the high jump and from its 4x100-meter relay.

Embray, who was 13th in the shot a year ago at state, placed seventh with a top throw of 39 feet, 2.5 inches.

Dean tied for eighth in the high jump, topping five feet.

The Rams’ 4x100-meter relay team didn’t match last year’s second place finish but the lineup of Courtney Magnussen, Kecia Caudill, Sarah Salerno and Chelsea Webster placed fifth in 50.43.

“The weekend was filled with many fine performances,” said Glenwood girls coach Brad Rasmussen. “This was a great year for the Rams and a foundation on which to build on for next year. The girls really stepped up their efforts and a dedication to perform their best at practice and during the meets.”

Caudill and Magnussen placed 24th and 10th, respectively, in the 200 and the 200 meters.

Miranda Ruth, a qualifier in both the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdles, placed 18th and 20th, respectively while also running the opening leg on the Rams’ shuttle hurdle relay. The Rams’ team of Ruth, Ashley Konfrst, Dean and Olivia Scarborough placed 11th in 1:08.0.

In the discus, Linnaea Konfrst was 10th and teammate Bailey Starner 12th.

Sarah Salerno placed 10th in the long jump.