A strong anchor, then a fast finish for Katie Nimrod

State track, 3A girls: Decorah junior closes out distance medley, then wins 400 hurdles

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DES MOINES — When Katie Nimrod gets to the home stretch, she likes her chances.

“I’ve always felt the last 100 is my strongest 100,” said the junior from Decorah High School.

Locked in a tight race in the Class 3A girls’ 400-meter hurdles, Nimrod outkicked the competition to claim the event — her second win of the day — in 1 minute, 3.48 seconds at the state track and field meet Friday afternoon at Drake Stadium.

Earlier in the day, Nimrod anchored the Vikings to victory in the distance medley relay. She became just the third Decorah girl in school history to win multiple state titles in a single state meet.

She joins Katie Van Fossen (1986 and 1987) and Amanda Taylor (2015).

Decorah climbed all the way to second place in the 3A girls’ race. Four-time defending champion Davenport Assumption leads it with 37 points, then it’s Decorah (31), Pella (30) and Dubuque Wahlert (24).

The final nine events are scheduled for Saturday.

Kayla Quandahl, Sarah Mikkelson and Brooke Berns ran the first three legs of Decorah’s distance medley, which ran 4:09.67 and won by a little more than 2 seconds.

“I watched the heat before us, and one of the teams false-started,” Quandahl said. “It made me nervous. But I knew if I started strong, I could finish strong.”

Berns gave the Vikings the lead, and Nimrod built on it.

“I was in good position when I got the baton,” Nimrod said. “I went out strong and never looked back.”

Nimrod also is a cross country runner, and her distance ability gives her stamina to close in the 400 hurdles.

“The 800s help a lot,” she said. “I’d like to try the steeplechase some day.”

Allison Yuska of South Tama was second in 1:05.03.

Benton Community came out of the middle heat to finish second in the 800-meter relay. The Bobcats ran in 1:42.22, then watched as Dubuque Wahlert went 1:41.77.

“We knew if we ran out best that we would be close,” said Benton’s Shelby Hulsebus, “We would have preferred to have won, but second place, out of the second heat, we can’t complain.”

Freshman Hannah Anderson of Washington (Iowa) was the long jump runner-up, leading 17 feet, 9 3/4 inches, just a half-inch behind Sierra Durr of Grinnell.

STATE TRACK & FIELD: 3A GIRLS

Teams (through 10 events) — 1. Davenport Assumption 37, 2. Decorah 31, 3. Pella 30, 4. Dubuque Wahlert 24, 5. North Polk 17, 6. South Tama 16, 7. Sioux City Heelan 15, 8. Crestwood 14, 9. Spencer 13, 10. (tie) Humboldt and Carlisle 12.

Results (top 3 and area placewinners)

Shot put — 1. Hannah Hood (Creston), 42-4 1/2; 2. Brandi Botcher (Spencer), 41-4 1/4; 3. Kaeleigh DeWaard (Pella), 39-6 3/4; 6. Sabrina Holtz (South Tama), 37-5 1/4; 7. Hailey Nierling (Decorah), 36-8.

Distance medley relay — 1. Decorah (Quandahl, Mikkerson, Berns, Nimrod), 4:09.67; 2. Crestwood, 4:11.99; 3. Dubuque Wahlert, 4:12.83.

800 relay — 1. Dubuque Wahlert (Ganshirt, Sherman, Wedewer, Hasken), 1:41.77; 2. Benton Community, 1:42.22; 3. Pella, 1:44.38; 5. Mount Vernon, 1:46.10; 6. Decorah, 1:46.66; 7. Union, 1:49.32; 8. Marion, 1:49.33.

Long jump — 1. Sienna Durr (Grinnell), 17-10 1/4; 2. Hannah Anderson (Washington), 17-9 3/4; 3. Macy Johnson (Winterset), 17-1 1/2; 8. Ella Wischmeyer (Mount Vernon), 15-5 1/2.

400 hurdles — 1. Katie Nimrod (Decorah), 1:03.48; 2. Allison Yuska (South Tama), 1:05.03; 3. Kiki Pingel (Pella), 1:05.57; 5. Sydney Brase (Marion), 1:07.09; 7. Gabbi Bullard (Solon), 1:07.22.

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

Video: Nimrod anchors Decorah's DMR, wins 400 hurdles

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