DES MOINES — As conditions deteriorated Saturday afternoon, the late races became battles of attrition.
“We told ourselves, we had to be the most mentally tough here,” Linn-Mar’s Dimia Burrell said.
There’s no way to accurately measure toughness. But the stopwatch indicated the Lions’ resolve.
Burrell, Jill Bennett, Emily Schmidt and Lily Haars prevailed in the girls’ 1,600-meter relay at the Drake Relays. Their time, a nice, round 4:00.00.
It wasn’t as fast as their preliminary time, but it was faster than anybody else in the finals field. And that’s how champions are determined.
When the 1,600-meter relay began, the temperature had dropped to 38 degrees, the wind chill to 28.
The Drake flag is the fourth of Bennett’s career.
“It’s special,” she said. “We worked our butts off in the winter. And the freshmen (Schmidt and Haars) came in and were amazing.”
Burrell and Bennett put the Lions in front. The third runners from West Des Moines Dowling and Southeast Polk passed Schmidt, but Schmidt regrouped in the final 100 meters and gave Haars a chance.
“I just had to do whatever I could to get the baton to her,” Schmidt said.
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Dowling anchor Kelsey Schweizer collapsed immediately after taking the baton, an apparent victim of a leg cramp. She got up and tried to finish the race, hopping on one leg for more than 100 meters before stopping.
“I was so focused, I had no idea that anything was going on,” said Haars, who jetted to a lead she didn’t relinquish.
Southeast Polk was second in 4:01.35, and that wrapped up the girls’ Hy-Vee Cup for the Rams, who scored 24 points. Davenport Assumption was second with 16; Linn-Mar and Waukee tied for third with 14.
Mid-Prairie’s Marie Hostetler surrendered the lead briefly with a lap to go in the 1,500-meter run, but seized it back for good with 300 meters left and ran away with the title in 4:38.14, a personal best.
“The last lap, I had less and less feeling in my legs,” Hostetler said. “But I knew I had to kick it in. I knew I had it in me.”
Hostetler took the lead by the 600-meter mark, then Carlisle’s Ainsley Erzen went in front at the bell lap. But after they rounded the next curve, Hostetler was back in command and continued to increase her lead.
“It was mostly mental,” she said. “I thought, I have less than a lap left.”
In the 400-meter hurdles, Caroline Schaeckenbach of Iowa City High was neck-and-neck with Glenwood’s Janette Schraft until the 10th hurdle, when a misstep cost her.
“I was right with her. I thought I had her,” said Schaeckenbach, a junior.
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Schraft was clocked in 1:03.21 to win it; Schaeckenbach was second in 1:04.05. Both are competing in the 400 hurdles for just the second year.
“It’s hard to like right away,” Schaeckenbach said. “It hurts so much. But I do enjoy the competition, and God has really blessed me and made me fast.”
Summer Barthelman of Sigourney was third in 1:05.57.
DRAKE RELAYS: SATURDAY’S GIRLS RESULTS
At Des Moines
Hy-Vee Cup leaders — 1. Southeast Polk 24, 2. Davenport Assumption 16, 3 (tie) Linn-Mar and Waukee 14, 5. (tie) Cedar Falls and Pleasant Valley 13.
Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Ames (Carney, Conteh, Buss, Morken), 1:03.75; 2. Waukee, 1:04.19; 3. West Des Moines Dowling, 1:04.35.
400 hurdles — 1. Janette Schraft (Glenwood), 1:03.21; 2. Caroline Schaeckenbach (Iowa City High), 1:04.05; 3. Summer Barthelman (Sigourney), 1:05.57; 4. Melinda Puumala (East Marshall), 1:05.94; 5. Gabbi Bullard (Solon), 1:05.95; 6. Elsie Thoreson (Pella), 1:05.99; 7. Anna Kenny (Adel ADM), 1:06.15; 8. Maggie Cristoforo (Mount Pleasant), 1:06.28.
400 relay — 1. Ankeny (Sidney, Van de Mortel, Fulk, Mayberry), 48.57; 2. Pleasant Valley, 49.02; 3. Davenport Assumption, 49.35; 4. Des Moines Hoover, 49.41; 5. Waukee, 49.73; 6. Linn-Mar, 49.94; 7. Bettendorf, 50.08; 8. Waterloo East, 50.34.
1,500 — 1. Marie Hostetler (Mid-Prairie), 4:38.14; 2. Amber Aesoph (Sioux City Heelan), 4:42.45; 3. Ainsley Erzen (Carlisle), 4:42.78; 4. Claire Edmondson (Dubuque Senior), 4:45.64; 5. Paige Blackford (Southeast Polk), 4:46.26; 6. Emma Lucas (Bedford), 4:48.39; 7. Janette Schraft (Glenwood), 4:48.63; 8. Helen Gould (West Des Moines Valley), 4:48.93.
1,600 relay — Linn-Mar (Burrell, Bennett, Schmidt, Haars), 4:00.00; 2. Southeast Polk, 4:01.35; 3. Waukee, 4:07.26; 4. Cedar Falls, 4:09.16; 5. Sioux City Heelan, 4:10.08; 6. Pleasant Valley, 4:10.90; 7. Independence, 4:11.55.
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