Preps Etc.

Jeff Linder

I'm Jeff Linder. I'm a lifelong Eastern Iowan and grew up reading The Gazette. I attended Drake University, made stops in Iowa Falls, Fairfield and Burlington before joining the staff here in December 1995. I cover high school sports and the Iowa women's basketball team.





Linn-Mar’s Ryan Murphy earns a photo-finish 1,600-meter title

DES MOINES - This time next year, Ryan Murphy and Sam Schillinger will be track teammates at the University of Arkansas.

They already share a bond - contestants in one of the most gripping boys' 1,600-meter finishes in Drake Relays history. ... »

Emotions flow for Payton Wensel after 400 hurdles title

DES MOINES - It wasn't Payton Wensel's first win at Drake Stadium. It's unlikely to be her last.

It was certainly her most emotional.

A junior at Linn-Mar running the 400-meter hurdles for just the third time, Wensel choked up in the ... »

Drake Relays: Joah Banks wins 110 hurdles in record time

DES MOINES - Joah Banks felt the cold rain, too, and let it run off.

He heard the murmurs and grumps from his competitors, and he knew he had them beat.

"Everybody talked about how bad the weather was," said Banks, hurdling ace from Ceda ... »

Drake Relays: Linn-Mar rallies for sprint-medley title

DES MOINES - Payton Wensel got the baton in third place. The leader was someone she considered "the leading quarter-miler in the state."

It's not an optimal combination. But Wensel more than made the best of it.

The Linn-Mar middle-dista ... »

Drake Relays: Friday's coverage, list of winners

The Drake Relays continue Friday in Des Moines with a full day of prelims and finals in high school and college, plus the start of Rio Rematches in the evening.

Follow along here.


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Drake Relays: Tristan Wirfs tops a stacked shot-put field

DES MOINES - For the first time all season, Tristan Wirfs found himself trailing at crunch time in the shot put.

"I was a little nervous," he said. "I just knew I had to get something big out there."

How about a personal best? How about ... »

Drake Relays: Mid-Prairie’s Hostetler sisters run 1-2 in 3,000

DES MOINES - Anna Hostetler has emerged as the top girls' distance runner in the state.

Her chief challenger is her training partner.

Her sister.

Mid-Prairie's Hostetler siblings went 1-2 in the girls' 3,000-meter run at the Drak ... »

Drake Relays: Thursday's coverage, list of winners

The Drake Relays were fully underway Thursday as the decathlon and heptahlon come to a close, high school field events got started and the distance carnival took the track under the lights.

Complete coverage:

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Drake Relays: The golden age of boys' throwers is upon us

DES MOINES - It's a fair argument that the premier events in the high school portion of the Drake Relays will be contested inside the track, and outside the stadium.

Welcome to Iowa's golden era of boys' throwers.

"We've always had one o ... »

Liberty announces cross country, golf coaching hires

NORTH LIBERTY - Iowa City Liberty principal Scott Kibby announced four more varsity coaching hires Monday.

Tonya McDonough, who won state championships with Bennett-Durant and Marion, will be the girls' cross country coach, and Josh Hildebrand w ... »