Cedar Rapids Washington hurdler Amara Taylor claims redemptive MVC crown

MVC Valley girls' track and field: Washington senior focused in return from injury; Cedar Falls wins team title

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Amara Taylor jogged over to her track coach and delivered four words with a smile.

“Who would have thought?”

The Cedar Rapids Washington senior and two-time state qualifier in the 400 hurdles claimed her first conference title in her secondary event — the 100 hurdles — with a school-record time of 14.65 seconds at the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division girls’ track and field championships Thursday at Kingston Stadium.

“It just kind of happened,” Taylor said. “So I’m really, really excited and very grateful.”

The performance produced the second-best time in the event this season. Taylor, a three-time state qualifier in diving who will run at NAIA-level Grand View next year, also added a runner-up finish in the 400 hurdles (1:07.59) and ran second for the Warriors’ runner-up 400 relay squad of Mariah Ward, Vanessa Eniola and Jayla Johnson.

“She’s self-driven,” Washington Coach Frank Scherrman said. “She knew she came in this year with a little bit of redemption and a little chip on her shoulder, which every good coach and every good athlete needs.”

Redemption could be compounded at the state meet, where Taylor was forced to participate as an alternate last season after severe shin splints in both legs curtailed her season. Now fully healthy thanks to some arduous physical therapy, Taylor is set on finishing her prep career with an exclamation mark.

“This year I really, really wanted to get focused,” Taylor said. “I really just wanted to get at it and just put all of the hard work I’ve trained all year for and I just wanted to have a good senior year and end off my four years at Washington.”

Eniola (long jump) and Reagan Gorman (3,000) also added individual titles for Washington.

Cedar Falls won six events and claimed the conference crown with 126 points, while Dubuque Senior was second (99).

The sprint medley relay team of Raenice Hilderbrand, Jenna Ross, Madie Andorf and Kirstin Skriver opened the meet with a victorious time of 1:54.23 for Cedar Rapids Prairie, which finished third overall with 86 points.

The Hawks also collected runner-up performances from its distance medley and 1,600 relay teams, while Hilderbrand fell four hundredths of a second short of an individual title in the 100 with a season-best 12.63. Alicia Sill was second in the discus (122-02).

Host Cedar Rapids Kennedy finished fifth overall with 71 points, highlighted by individual titles from Katie Beer (high jump) and Cheyenne Mitchell (100). Beer also ran second for the Cougars’ triumphant shuttle hurdle relay foursome that included Jayden Lovell, Alexis Peterson and Natalie McAllister (1:08.27).

Mitchell added a runner-up finish in the 200, as did the Kennedy 800 relay team.

Luci Murphy won the discus with a throw of 122-02 and earned second in the shot put for Iowa City High, which placed sixth overall (68 points).

MVC VALLEY DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Kingston Stadium

Teams — 1. Cedar Falls 126; 2. Dubuque Senior 99; 3. C.R. Prairie 86; 4. Dubuque Hempstead 76; 5. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 71; 6. Iowa City High 68; 7. C.R. Washington 63.

Shot put — 1. Megan Gronau (DH), 39-06.50; 2. Luci Murphy (ICH), 39-02.50; 3. Katie Halterman (CF), 36-11.75

Discus — 1. Luci Murphy (ICH), 125-03; 2. Alicia Sill (CRP), 122-02; 3. Murphy Bleymeyer (DH), 114-09

High jump — 1. Katie Beer (CRK), 5-00.00; 2. Auriona Kimbrough (CF), J5-00.00; 3. Grace Gudenkauf (DS), J5-00.00

Long jump — 1. Vanessa Eniola (CRW), 17-01.75; 2. Grace Gudenkauf (DS), 16-09.00; 3. Sarah Schmitt (CRP), 16-08.00

Sprint medley relay — 1. C.R. Prairie (Raenice Hilderbrand, Jenna Ross, Madie Andorf, Kirstin Skriver), 1:54.23; 2. Dubuque Senior (Emma Lambe, Marissa Boleyn, Emma Sass, Hannah Cook), 1:54.64; 3. Cedar Falls (Leah Longnecker, Nicole Geerdes, Morgan Sterrett, Jada Golden-Smith), 1:55.21

3,000 — 1. Reagan Gorman (CRW), 10:49.08; 2. Mackenzie Gaherty (DS), 10:50.00; 3. Anna Hertz (CF), 11:01.23

3,200 relay — 1. Cedar Falls (Paige Kvale, Caroline Ross, Meg Schmitz, Mackenzie Michael), 9:51.81; 2. Dubuque Senior (Lauren Miller, Grace Ries, Katelin Miron, Mia Rampton), 10:02.50; 3. Iowa City High (Anna Lindower, Mary Arch, Kinsee Brands, Naomi Meurice), 10:04.67

Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. C.R. Kennedy (Jayden Lovell, Katie Beer, Alexis Peterson, Natalie McAllister), 1:08.27; 2. Cedar Falls (Lily Becker, Samantha Alexander, Anna Chestnut, Grace Burken), 1:09.74; 3. C.R. Prairie (Sophia Smith, Sarah Schmitt, Anna Millard, Nicole Miller), 1:12.00

100 — 1. Cheyenne Mitchell (CRK), 12.59; 2. Raenice Hilderbrand (CRP), 12.63; 3. Morgan Sterrett (CF), 12.82

Distance medley relay — 1. Cedar Falls (Auriona Kimbrough, Leah Longnecker, Sydney Davis, Cassidy Christopher), 4:23.10; 2. C.R. Prairie (Madie Andorf, Anika Pisarik, Emma Copeland, Carli Reittinger), 4:27.16; 3. Dubuque Hempstead (Laney Herman, Allison Wild, Emma Coates, Heidi Welu), 4:28.16

400 — 1. Mackenzie Michael (CF), 57.87; 2. Emma Sass (DS), 1:00.43; 3. Kirstin Skriver (CRP), 1:01.26

800 relay — 1. Dubuque Senior (Emma Lambe, Hannah Cook, Marissa Boleyn, Stevie Lambe), 1:47.11; 2. C.R. Kennedy (Sophie Feahn, Kaelyn Ryan, Jurnee Rose-Johnson, Cheyenne Mitchell), 1:48.66; 3. C.R. Prairie (Raenice Hilderbrand, Sarah Schmitt, Jenna Ross, Madie Andorf), 1:50.06

100 hurdles — 1. Amara Taylor (CRW), 14.65; 2. Grace Burken (CF), 15.28; 3. Natalie McAllister (CRK), 15.32

800 — 1. Mackenzie Miller (CF), 2:23.77; 2. Mary Arch (ICH), 2:28.03; 3. Lauren Miller (DS), 2:28.47

200 — 1. Stevie Lambe (DS), 25.93; 2. Cheyenne Mitchell (CRK), 25.97; 3. Kirsten Skriver (CRP), 26.37

400 hurdles — 1. Sydney Davis (CF), 1:04.77; 2. Amara Taylor (CRW), 1:07.59; 3. Merryl Green (ICH), 1:09.32

1,500 — 1. Hannah Brown (DH), 5:01.04; 2. Reagan Gorman (CRW), 5:02.50; 3. Emily Bywater (ICH), 5:02.76

400 relay — 1. Dubuque Senior (Emma Sass, Marissa Boleyn, Hannah Cook, Stevie Lambe), 50.34; 2. C.R. Washington (Mariah Ward, Amara Taylor, Vanessa Eniola, Jayla Johnson), 50.97; 3. C.R. Kennedy (Sophie Feahn, Natalie McAllister, Jurnee Rose-Johnson, Cheyenne Mitchell), 51.21

1,600 relay — 1. Cedar Falls (Auriona Kimbrough, Meg Schmitz, Paige Kvale, Sydney Davis), 4:05.46; 2. C.R. Prairie (Kirstin Skriver, Anika Pisarik, Jenna Ross, Carli Reittinger), 4:16.36; 3. Dubuque Hempstead (Emily Schmitt, Grace Ries, Emma Coates, Julia Meehan), 4:19.21

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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