STATE TRACK AND FIELD 2019

Iowa 4A girls' state track and field: Ashlyn Keeney gives Liberty its first state championship

Freshman pulls away in the final 2 1/2 laps, wins 3,000 in 10:04.09

Iowa City Liberty's Ashlyn Keeney runs for the finish line during the 4A 3,000-meter run at the 2019 Iowa High School Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, May 16, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa City Liberty's Ashlyn Keeney runs for the finish line during the 4A 3,000-meter run at the 2019 Iowa High School Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, May 16, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — Ashlyn Keeney made her escape with about 1,000 meters to go.

It turned out to be a historical one.

Keeney became the first state track and field champion in Iowa City Liberty’s two-year history, winning the Class 4A girls’ 3,000-meter run Thursday afternoon at Drake Stadium.

“I was trying to conserve a little more (because of the heat),” said Keeney, a freshman. “I decided that if I felt like it, I would go.

“And with 2 1/2 laps left, I wanted to go.”

So that’s when Keeney raced away from Ames’ Camille Jackson. Keeney won the race in 10 minutes, 4.09 seconds, more than 20 seconds ahead of Johnston’s Brooklyn McKee.

Keeney was the Drake Relays champion, so this was no surprise. It’s probably just the first of numerous championships.

Three-time defending state champion Waukee moved into the lead in the 4A girls’ team race with 24.33 points. Southeast Polk and Cedar Falls are tied for second with 22 points, followed by Ottumwa (21).

The afternoon session began in 93-degree heat (with a heat index of 95). State officials had a table with water cups available for 3,000- and 3,200-meter racers along the back stretch.

“I used it twice,” Keeney said. “It was nice. I just splashed myself.”

Meredith Bahl of Western Dubuque cleared 5 feet, 2 inches to earn a share of third place in the high jump.

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Area fifth-place finishers were Micah Poellet of Linn-Mar (3,000) and Gabby Cortez of Cedar Rapids Prairie (400).

STATE TRACK & FIELD: CLASS 4A GIRLS

Thursday’s Finals, At Des Moines (Drake Stadium)

Top-10 teams (through 5 events) — 1. Waukee 24.33, 2. (tie) Southeast Polk and Cedar Falls 22, 4. Ottumwa 21, 5. Johnston 12, 6. Iowa City Liberty 11, 7. (tie) Urbandale and West Des Moines Dowling 10, 9. (tie) Lewis Central, Linn-Mar and Pleasant Valley 8.

Discus — 1. April Czarnecki (Urbandale), 133-3; 2. Lauren Payne (Lewis Central), 132-6; 3. Sarah Breitsprecker (Southeast Polk), 128-7.

High jump — 1. Layanna Green (Waukee), 5-6; 2. Sara Hoskins (Pleasant Valley), 5-6; 3. (tie) Mira Baccile (West Des Moines Dowling), Anne Guest (Ottumwa) and Meredith Bahl (Western Dubuque), 5-2; T-8. Taylor Peterson (Cedar Rapids Prairie), 5-0.

3,000 — 1. Ashlyn Keeney (Iowa City Liberty), 10:04.09; 2. Brooklyn McKee (Johnston), 10:24.19; 3. Camille Jackson (Ames), 10:27.23; 5. Micah Poellet (Linn-Mar), 10:33.19; 7. Ella Popenhagen (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), 10:45.39; 8. Camille Mac (Iowa City Liberty), 10:49.36.

3,200 relay — 1. Ottumwa (Mellin, Coulter, A. Bookin-Nosbisch, G. Bookin-Nosbisch), 9:13.85; 2. Southeast Polk, 9:15.50; 3. Waukee, 9:23.02; 6. Linn-Mar, 9:45.90; 7. Iowa City West, 9:48.49.

400 — 1. Mackenzie Michael (Cedar Falls), 55.64; 2. Auriona Kimbrough (Cedar Falls), 56.67; 3. Allison Bookin-Nosbisch (Ottumwa), 5. Gabby Cortez (Cedar Rapids Prairie), 57.79; 6. Rachel Nagel (Cedar Rapids Jefferson), 57.81; 7. Audrey Bierman (Western Dubuque), 58.38; 8. Lily Haars (Linn-Mar), 58.58.

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

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