Prep Track and Field

As Anamosa's Maggie McQuillen shows daily improvement, virtual race draws hundreds

Moving 4 Maggie drew 386 finishers

Ribbons and photos are tied to a hurdle at Downing Field in Anamosa on April 2 in honor of Maggie McQuillen, a senior an
Ribbons and photos are tied to a hurdle at Downing Field in Anamosa on April 2 in honor of Maggie McQuillen, a senior and four-sport athlete at Anamosa High School, who has been recovering from a car-semi collision since March 19. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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ANAMOSA — For five weeks, the results have filtered in, each attached with their own story.

There was a 91-year-old man of Waverly, who covered a mile in less than 16 minutes.

There was a family from Montana, who completed a 5K in snowshoes and on cross-country skis.

There was an extemely pregnant woman from Davenport, who got through a mile in 21:15, then gave birth the next day. Her son is on the list of finishers.

“Watching this has been a lot of fun,” said Nic Weers, who — as part of B&W Racing Services — conducted the Moving 4 Maggie virtual race. “There was a competition to it. Some people were flat-out racing.”

They came from Anamosa and Williamsburg, Monticello and Montezuma.

Philadephia. Idaho. Germany.

They were inspired by Maggie McQuillen.

The race concluded Thursday night, with 386 recorded finishers — 208 in the mile, 128 in the 5K, 50 in the 10K.

“That’s just the people that have sent results,” said Weers, the assistant boys’ track and field coach at Anamosa High School, where McQuillen is a senior. “We’re aware of people that did different distances, whether it was a half-marathon or 7 miles, or just got out and were active without logging a time.”

A four-sport athlete (volleyball, basketball, track and field, and softball), McQuillen suffered severe trauma to her brain, skull, face and jaw in an auto/semi collision March 19 on Highway 151 near Anamosa. She was on her way to track practice at Downing Field.

McQuillen underwent a 16-hour surgery at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics on March 26.

“For a week, we didn’t know if she was going to make it,” said her father, Matt McQuillen. “Then we didn’t know where she would be cognitively and physically.”

Every day brings challenges, setbacks and milestones.

Some highlights of Maggie’s recovery:

March 30 — Taken off the ventilator.

April 3 — Placed in a chair to get upright.

April 6 — Out of intensive care.

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April 7 — Gave a thumbs-up sign and stood up with help. First steps, with support.

April 10 — Gave her parents hugs while standing.

April 18 — Transferred from UIHC to Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago.

April 21 — Advanced communication, pointing to letters. Drank through a straw.

April 22 — Spelled the names of her three dogs. Walked 500 feet.

April 24 — Began playing board games.

April 27 — Video chat with Matt: “Good morning, Dad,” and ‘I love you, Dad.”

“Every time we hear something from the family, it’s more and more encouraging,” Weers said.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, only one parent is allowed to stay with Maggie at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. That’s been her mother, Beth.

“I don’t know if Maggie is completely aware yet of what happened,” said Matt, who hasn’t been allowed to visit since Maggie was transferred, but communicates through daily video chats. “But she is responding very well. Her vision seems to be good.”

Maggie is scheduled to have wires removed from her jaw May 7. The average stay at Shirley Ryan is 44 days, and Maggie is on target to leave Chicago in mid-June.

“We’re in this to win it,” Matt said. “We’re going to go next wherever gives her the best chance for the best recovery, whether it’s Bakersfield or Houston or St. Luke’s (in Cedar Rapids).

By all accounts, Maggie’s recovery is well ahead of schedule.

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“There are so many good people out there,” Matt said. “We feel like we’ve won the lottery.”

Moving 4 Maggie virtual race

Age-Group Winners (*overall winning time)

1 MILE

Female

8 & under — Ellie Matthes, Williamsburg, 9:09

9-12 — Brooke Heying, Anamosa, 6:39

13-15 — Ellen Cook, Montezuma, 6:40

16-19 — Mary Cline, Cedar Rapids, 5:24*

20-29 — Claire Duncan, Anamosa, 6:06

30-39 — Tami Abkes, Cedar Rapids, 6:36

40-49 — Emy Williams, Solon, 6:56

50-59 — (tie) Chris Neuhaus, Dubuque, and Sheryl Warren, Anamosa, 10:00

60 & over — Rhonda Weers, Center Junction, 16:11

Male

8 & under — T.J. Engelbart, Anamosa, 8:41

9-12 — Garrett Appelhans, Anamosa, 6:05

13-15 — Devin Busch, Williamsburg, 6:11

16-19 — Brice Rhodes, Des Moines, 4:40*

20-29 — Cameron Kinsey, Kettering, Ohio, 4:52

30-39 — Justin Bader, Anamosa, 5:40

40-49 — Nick Nordheim, Williamsburg, 4:51

50-59 — Marek Wensel, Marion, 5:24

60 & over — Pete Temple, Monticello, 10:58

5 KILOMETERS

Female

8 & under — (tie) Aubry Zell, Mount Vernon, and Alethea Zell, Mount Vernon, 38:00

13-15 — Ellen Cook, Montezuma, 21:24

16-19 — Kiersten Conway, Solon, 21:15

20-29 — Paige Holub, Monticello, 20:51*

30-39 — Tami Abkes, Cedar Rapids, 22:33

40-49 — Leandra Walker, North Liberty, 26:30

50-59 — Martha Gearhart, Hopkinton, 33:22

60 & over — Lorelei Hackbardt, Marion, 46:05

Male

8 & under — Brecken Eggers, East Helena, Mont., 1:14:00

9-12 — Nolan Weers, Center Junction, 23:42

13-15 — Connor Lyon, Olathe, Kan., 19:46

16-19 — Ben Moss, Anamosa, 19:12

20-29 — Jay Welp, Iowa City, 15:08*

30-39 — Raphael Arnold, Germany, 15:19

40-49 — Jon Kalaher, Houston, 20:19

50-59 — Will Harte, Iowa City, 21:10

60 & over — Gary Reeder, Delhi, 26:49

10 KILOMETERS

Female

13-15 — Zoey Skriver, Walford, 1:19:52

16-19 — Madeline Fox, North Liberty, 1:01:42

20-29 — Paige Holub, Monticello, 46:29*

30-39 — Tami Abkes, Cedar Rapids, 48:05

40-49 — Kathy LaDue, Anamosa, 55:25

50-59 — Linda Von Behren, Wyoming, Iowa, 58:02

Male

9-12 — Nolan Weers, Center Junction, 1:32:00

13-15 — Tristan Weers, Center Junction, 48:24

16-19 — Ben Jung, Tinley Park, Ill., 39:53*

20-29 — Simon Hagen, Germany, 42:39

30-39 — Martin Schumann, Germany, 40:21

40-49 — Kris Lyons, Monticello, 51:25

50-59 — Gregg Fox, North Liberty, 52:17

60 & over — Tom Wolfe, Cedar Rapids, 53:02

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

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