Ram boys, girls combine to win five medals at state track

DES MOINES - The Glenwood boys and girls track team combined to win 10 medals at the Iowa State Track and Field Meet in Des Moines .

Competing on the “Blue Oval” of Drake Stadium, the Ram boys got a pair of medals each from Bryant Keller and Andrew Smith in the distance races and from its distance medley relay. The Ram girls got medals from Grace Berglund and Danika Arnold and from its sprint medley and distance medley relays.

The Glenwood boys tallied 15 points and finished 19th in the Class 3A standings. Western Dubuque was the boys champion with 72 points.

Adel-DeSoto-Minburn won the girls Class 3A team title with 48 points. MOC-Floyd Valley was second with 43 points.

The Glenwood girls finished with 11 team points for 25th place.

Overall, Glenwood boys coach Mark Starner was pretty pleased with his team’s performance at the state meet.  

“Anytime you can come home with hardware, it’s always a good thing,” said Starner. “We ran season and personal best the majority of the time and broke school records in the process.   We can’t ask any more from our athletes other than to do their best.  Times were fast and it was tough to score points, as it should be.”  
In Thursday’s 3200-meters, the Rams’ Bryant Keller and Andrew Smith ran neck-in-neck and finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Keller ran a 9:22.76 and Smith a 9:24.23.

“The distance races were loaded with some of the state’s best runners,” Starner said. “This is a testament to Bryant and Andrew on their ability to take home some hardware with the talented runners in the field.  Each of them ran their personal bests and got our meet off to a great start.”

Keller finishes second all-time and Smith finishes third all-time in the event behind Ram distance running great, Johnny Fuller.

But Smith and Keller weren’t done.

Smith was eighth in a “loaded” 800-meter run with a time of 1:56.69, the fastest of his career.

“This race also was loaded and Andrew would spend the majority of the race in the top five,” Starner said, adding Smith has been dealing with some knee tenderness in recent days, which impacted his kick. “Andrew said that he tried to kick when his knee started to lock up, he gutted out the last 50-70 meters.”

Smith’s time of 1:56.69 was a personal-best and third all-time in Glenwood history but the injury forced him to pullout of the 1,600-meter run, ending his high school career.   

Keller went on to run the 1,600-meters without Smith and clocked a 4:20.45 for fifth place. The time was the second fastest in school history.

“This was another loaded field and a fun race to watch,” Starner said. “Bryant hung in the top three for the first three-fourths of the race, but at the 1200m mark, the lead pack took off and got separated from the leaders.”

Chase Razor, a freshman making his state debut in the long jump, didn’t record a height despite is personal-best 6-foot-3 leap at the state qualifying meet a week earlier.

“Chase is a competitor and will use this experience to work hard to get back to the Blue Oval,” Starner said. “What Chase has been able to accomplish this season as a freshman has been impressive.  We look forward to seeing what his future holds.”

Trey Darden  ran a 11.08 in the 100-meters to place 14th. Darden equaled his personal best time at state and Starner noted he has progressively dropped his time down the stretch of the season.  

“As in the distance events, the sprinting events were just as loaded and it took running faster than a 10.97 to qualify for the finals,” Starner said. “We are looking for big things from Trey next year as he will be one of the leaders in the sprint events.”
In the 400-meters, the Rams’ Cooper DeLashmutt  ran a 52.78 for 19th place.  DeLashmutt improved on his qualifying time and moved up four spots in his state seeding with his finish.   

“While it wasn’t his best time of the year, it was three-tenths off and  it was strategically one of his best races of the season,” Starner said.  “This was the first time Cooper has qualified for a State event individually and will continue to be a strength in next year’s quarter-milers group.”

The Rams’ distance medley relay team of Payton Longmeyer, Trey Darden, Victor Cruz and Smith placed fourth in 3:32.58. That particular quartet was a last minute change from the team that qualified for state that had consisted of Cruz, Longmeyer and Tristan Ludwig, Bryant Keller.

“We felt we had to go much faster than our qualifying time and due to our lineup at the SQM (state qualifying meet), we were unable to run the same relay,” Starner said.  

The Rams ended up second in the second heat behind a very good South Tama team.  

“We led the race for nearly 1500-meters and when it became a battle down the stretch with two of the top 800-meter runners in 3A,” Starner said.  “They went toe-to-toe the last 100 and South Tama would edge us out by one-tenth of a second.”   

The Rams still managed to set a new school record time, breaking the record of James Fuller, Sam Jameson, Derek Jones and Jared Cook in 2013 by just less than a second.

“We got off to a great start with Payton and Trey, our 200-meter guys getting us into the lead and Victor ran his best split of the year and led start to finish on his leg,” Starner said. “Andrew anchored all by himself for the 175 to 200-meters before he would be contested down the stretch.

Reagan Skarnulis, competing in the shot at his second straight state meet, tossed 50 feet, 5.25 inches to place 14th.

Reagan has been an outstanding thrower for us and has accomplished a lot over the past two seasons,” said Starner.  

The Rams set a new school record in the 4x100-meter relay at state. The quartet of Jackson Mulkins, Darden, Ludwig and Longmeyer ran a 42.99 to finish 10th.

“We ran our fastest time of the year when we needed to, but it just wasn’t fast enough, missing finals by .22 seconds,” Starner said. “We had the top two teams in the state running against us and we knew it would be fast and that if we could just stay close to them we’d have a chance to qualify for finals.  Very proud of these guys as they progressively got faster as the season went.”

The Glenwood girls grabbed five medals at state, led by its sprint medley relay’s fifth place finish.

Glenwood girls coach Jordan Bueltel called the state meet a “great overall weekend.”

“We had some outstanding performances and great effort all around,” Bueltel said. “The girls medaled in five even events, but even in those events that didn’t medal were super impressive.”

The Rams took 11 events to state and set a seasons best time in eight with two more on the borderline.

“Our goal all season was to be at our best at the end of the season,” Bueltel said. “Just great efforts all around from these girls .”

The Rams’ sprint medley relay team of Elaina Dougherty, Megan Hughes, Koontz and Schultz had one of its top times of the year, thanks to a strong close by Schultz.

“This was the first time we have actually ran this crew and had to make a quick change due to injury to add Elaina into the relay,” Bueltel said. “We weren’t exactly sure what we could do in this race but knew if they could win their heat, they had a good chance to medal.

The first three girls did a great job keeping us near the front and then Brooklyn ran probably her most impressive race of her career and really took over the lead in the last 100 meters to win our heat and ultimately finish fifth.”

Among its medal haul, the Glenwood girls grabbed three individual medals.

Grace Berglund led off the Rams’ state run with a sixth place finish in the 3,000-meters on Thursday morning. She added an eighth place finish in the 1,500-meters on Saturday to grab two medals at her first state meet.

“What an impressive weekend for Grace,” Bueltel said. “She’s had an amazing season and really capped it off with a great meet in Des Monies.”

Danika ran to an eighth place finish in the 400-meters with a time of 58.99. She added a 12th finish in the 200-meters with a new personal record time.

“Super impressive end to Danika’s high school career,” Bueltel said.

The Rams’ 4x200-meter relay team of Zoie Carda, Brooklyn Schultz, Alli Koontz and Arnold ran a 1:44.19 to place seventh.

“These girls have been crushing it all season and already have the school record, and they again lowered that time,” Bueltel said.

Koontz added a 22nd place finish in the 100-meters and Breckyn Petersen was ninth in the 400-meter hurdles.

The girls 4x400-meter relay team of Schultz, Megan Hughes, Lauren Hughes and Petersen placed ninth and the 4x800-meter relay group of Petersen, Berglund, Maya Schau and Lauren Hughes was 15th.


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