Prep Track and Field

Drake Relays: Linn-Mar's sprint medley is No. 1 all-time in Iowa

Chana Northrup, Olivia Hubler, Jill Bennett and Payton Wensel run 1:44.07

Linn-Mar's Payton Wensel celebrates as she crosses the finish line of the girls' sprint medley relay at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on Friday. Linn-Mar won the event with an all-time Iowa best of 1:44.07. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Linn-Mar's Payton Wensel celebrates as she crosses the finish line of the girls' sprint medley relay at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on Friday. Linn-Mar won the event with an all-time Iowa best of 1:44.07. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — Get the baton to Payton Wensel with the lead, and you’d figure it would be “game over.”

Not necessarily. The way Southeast Polk’s Sydney Milani is running, nothing seems safe.

“She’s a great quarter-miler,” Wensel said of Milani. “I knew I had to stay on my horse.”

Wensel sealed the deal as Linn-Mar set an all-time Iowa best of 1:44.07 in winning the Drake Relays girls’ sprint medley relay Friday morning at Drake Stadium.

Chana Northrup, Olivia Hubler and Jill Bennett got the baton to Wensel in great shape, and the University of Iowa recruit closed with a 54.0-second anchor, holding off Southeast Polk (anchored by Milani in 53.1).

“Last year at state, I thought we had it, but (Waukee’s Lily Campbell) came and took it,” Wensel said. “It wasn’t going to happen again.”

Before Friday, the Drake record was 1:44.98 (Des Moines Roosevelt, 1985) and the all-time Iowa best was 1:44.89 (Pleasant Valley, 2015). Now, the Lions own them both.

“We had some iffy handoffs, but we got it done,” Bennett said. “I’m really proud of the team.”

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Milani got even with Wensel in the 800-meter run, passing her in the final curve to win in 2:11.35. Wensel finished in 2:12.01.

“I definitely went out too hard,” said Wensel, who went past the 200-meter mark in 29 seconds and the 400 in 1:03.6. “I definitely felt it the second lap, when the wind hit me.”

Tipton’s Jamie Kofron concluded a sweep in the girls’ throws, flinging the discus 143 feet.

“This was on my goal list since freshman year,” said Kofron, a junior. “I got closer and closer, but last year I took a step back. So this year it wasn’t necessarily to go out and win Drake, but I wanted to win everything that I could and I wanted to PR every single meet."

Kofron won the shot put Thursday.

“It is amazing, a testament to what you’re able to do if you get your mind right,” she said. “To set two PRs here is everything. That’s what I’m more proud of than winning.”

Grace Martensen (100-meter hurdles) and Ellie Masten (100-meter dash) gave Benton Community a pair of second-place finishes.

Martensen finished in 14.72 seconds, behind Waukee’s Sydney Winger (14.31).

“I can’t complain with this result. Last year I came in second and finished fifth,” Martensen said. “(Winger) has been running really well. She definitely deserved that one.”

Masten’s 12.20-second effort was second to Davenport Assumption’s Carly King (11.99). She ran the 100 a few minutes after competing in the 800-meter relay. It didn’t have an adverse effect.

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“It worked out pretty well,” she said. “I ran the 4-by-2, used the bathroom and they called us for the 100 finals.”

Iowa City West’s Kitra Bell and Katie Severt were second and third in the long jump, behind Darby Thomas of Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln, who sailed 18 feet, 8 1/2 inches. Bell and Severt went 17-11 1/2 and 17-11, respectively.

“I was more excited for Severt than for myself,” Bell said. “Five weeks ago, she started practicing with me. And today, she got third at the Drake Relays. I’m super proud of her.”

Bell didn’t qualify for Drake as a freshman. In the three years since, she finished 10th, fifth and second.

“I’ve gotten a lot of respect because of my long jumping. People know me for that,” she said. 

DRAKE RELAYS: FRIDAY’S GIRLS RESULTS

Discus — 1. Jamie Kofron (Tipton), 143-0; 2. Mackenzie Goeller (Wapsie Valley), 135-9; 3. Lea Grady (Davenport Central), 135-6; 4. Lauren Payne (Lewis Central), 130-8; 5. Lydia Knapp (Panorama), 126-7; 6. Megan Niewoehner (Sumner-Fredericksburg), 124-1; 7. Sharon Goodman (Crestwood), 123-0; 8. Cassidy Nerland (Webster City), 121-10.

Long jump — 1. Darby Thomas (Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln), 18-8 1/2; 2. Kitra Bell (Iowa City West), 17-11 1/2; 3, Katie Severt (Iowa City West), 17-11; 4. Hannah Anderson (Washington), 17-10 1/4; 5. Angel Baylark (Burlington), 17-10 1/4; 6. Erin McQuillen (Bettendorf, 17-7 1/4; 7. Alanna Muhammad (Waterloo East), 17-6; Harmony Creasy (Pleasant Valley), 17-4 3/4.

Sprint medley relay — 1. Linn-Mar (Northrup, Hubler, Bennett, Wensel), 1:44.07 (Drake record & all-time Iowa best); 2. Southeast Polk, 1:45.25; 3. Waukee, 1:46.51; 4. Burlington, 1:49.43; 5. Ankeny Centennial, 1:49.70; 6. Sioux City East, 1:49.72; 7. Benton Community, 1:50.22; 8. Danville, 1:50.58.

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100 hurdles — 1. Sydney Winger (Waukee), 14.31; 2. Grace Martensen (Benton Community), 14.72; 3. MiAsia Bergmann (Cedar Rapids Jefferson), 14.79; 4. Elayna Bahl (Western Dubuque), 15.18; 5. Autum Barthelman (Sigourney), 15.26; 6. Juru Okwaramoi (West Des Moines Dowling), 15.36; 7. Aricka Lambson (Carlisle), 15.49; 8. Esther Ubadigbo (Des Moines Roosevelt), 15.66. Note: Winger ran 14.19 in the prelims for Drake record.

800 relay — 1. Dubuque Wahlert (Wedewer, Sherman, Broderick, Hasken), 1:42.03; 2. Waukee, 1:43.96; 3. West Des Moines Dowling, 1:44.06; 4. Davenport Assumption, 1:44.44; 5. Pleasant Valley, 1:44.62; 6. Benton Community, 1:44.69; 7. Pella, 1:44.93; 8. Solon, 1:45.43.

800 — 1. Sydney Milani (Southeast Polk), 2:11.35; 2. Payton Wensel (Linn-Mar), 2:12.01; 3; Lily Campbell (Waukee), 2:14.42; 4. Janette Schraft (East Mills) 2:15.50; 5. Anna Hostetler (Mid-Prairie), 2:15.99; 6. Bailey Nock (Iowa City West), 2:16.98; 7. Kelsey Schweizer (West Des Moines Dowling), 2:17.73; 8. Megan Fleming (Des Moines Roosevelt), 2:17.33.

100 — 1. Carly King (Davenport Assumption), 11.99; 2. Ellie Masten (Benton Community), 12.20; 3. Darby Thomas (Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln), 12.24; 4. Keaton Kester (Adel ADM), 12.28; 5. Elma Vojic (Waukee), 12.30; 6. Jill Bennett (Linn-Mar), 12.55; 7. Amaria Kirby (Pleasant Valley), 12.56.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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