MARION - As the prep volleyball season nears the midway point, Cedar Rapids Xavier identified a vital ingredient if the Saints are to retain their No. 1 ranking in Class 4A.
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DES MOINES — It was a fact that merited double-checking, then triple-checking.
For all of Iowa City West’s vast distance-running tradition, the Women of Troy had never won a girls’ 3,000-meter run at the state track meet.
Jeni Frudden didn’t do it. Sarah Wickman didn’t do it.
“I always assumed, with the legacy of the distance girls before me, that somebody had won it,” Bailey Nock said.
A fair assumption. But an incorrect one.
Nock broke the 3,000-meter ice for the Women of Troy, controlling the Class 4A race from start to finish and winning in 10 minutes, 3.22 seconds Thursday at Drake Stadium.
“Coach (Mike Parker) told me to run based on feel,” said Nock, a junior who also won a state cross country title last fall. “I didn’t plan on leading from the start, but I had a lot of adrenalin.”
A 1-3 finish by Nock and Gabby Skopec, and a runner-up discus standing by Leah Dusterhoft moved West to the top of the 4A girls’ standings after Day 1.
With five events complete, West has 24 points. Johnston is second with 19, followed by Linn-Mar (18). Pre-meet favorite and defending-champion Waukee is tied for fourth with 17.
Linn-Mar’s Payton Wensel picked up her third consecutive 400-meter title, and did it in record time — 54.84 seconds.
That’s a mark that ranks No. 6 all-time in Iowa.
“It’s so cool,” said Wensel, a junior. “I’m so glad to have (the record) and call it mine. I remember when I was a freshman, it was such a big deal. It was so intimidating.
“I knew if I put my head down and raced, I had a good shot at the record. It’s hard to put it into words.”
Freshman Skyler Presler added a second-place finish for the Lions in the high jump, clearing 5-4.
“I was close at 5-6, but my steps were a little off,” Presler said. “We can fix that. Hopefully I can win Drake and state before I’m done.”
Thursday’s appearance marked the end of Dusterhoft’s career at West — “I’m done in my banana suit,” she said, referring to West’s bright yellow uniforms. She didn’t match her first-place effort at Drake, but “I’m happy to score points for my team,” she said.
“We’re off to a good start and I’m really excited,” she said.
STATE TRACK & FIELD: 4A GIRLS
Teams (through 5 events) — 1. Iowa City West 24, 2. Johnston 19, 3. Linn-Mar 18, 4. (tie) Waukee and North Scott 17, 6. Cedar Falls 15, 7. Indianola 13, 8. Southeast Polk 10, 9. West Des Moines Dowling 8, 10. (tie) Bettendorf, Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln and Pleasant Valley 6.
Results (top 3 plus other area placewinners)
Discus — 1. Anna Hoyman (Indianola), 138-0; 2. Leah Dusterhoft (Iowa City West), 128-5; 3. Kayla Slowick (North Scott), 128-2.
High jump — 1. Ellie Roquet (Johnston), 5-7; 2. Skyler Presler (Linn-Mar), 5-4; 3. Erica Loussaert (North Scott), 5-4.
3,000 — 1. Bailey Nock (Iowa City West), 10:03.22; 2. Jessica McKee (Johnston), 10:20.88; 3. Gabby Skopec (Iowa City West), 10:27.73; 5. Emily Bywater (Iowa City High), 10:33.48.
3,200 relay — 1. Waukee (Campbell, Groathouse, Caraway, Akason), 9:15.17; 2. West Des Moines Dowling, 9:24.85; 3. Cedar Falls, 9:25.06.
400 — 1. Payton Wensel (Linn-Mar), 54.84; 2. Sydney Milani (Southeast Polk), 55.57; 3. Darby Thomas (Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln), 56.18.
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