STATE TRACK AND FIELD 2019

Iowa 4A girls' state track: Ashlyn Keeney controls the 1,500 from start to finish

Second-year Iowa City Liberty earns fourth place in team race

Liberty’s Ashlyn Keeney run ahead of the pack during the 4A 1,500-meter run at the 2019 Iowa High School Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, May 18, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Liberty’s Ashlyn Keeney run ahead of the pack during the 4A 1,500-meter run at the 2019 Iowa High School Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, May 18, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — As Ashlyn Keeney reached the final race of a memorable freshman track and field season, there was no longer a reason to conserve energy.

So in the 1,500-meter run, she didn’t mess around.

Keeney burst off the starting line and led from wire to wire Saturday at Drake Stadium, winning the Class 4A title in 4 minutes, 34.04 seconds.

“The last couple of events, I’d kind of been sitting back,” Keeney said. “This was my last race, so I thought I’d might as well try to get out.”

Keeney was a double-winner (she triumphed in the 3,000 Thursday) and also grabbed a pair of second-place finishes (distance medley relay Friday, 800 earlier Saturday). She had a hand in 36 of Iowa City Liberty’s 48 points; the Lightning finished fourth in the 4A girls’ team standings.

Waukee ran away with its fourth straight title — and its sixth in the last eight years — with an 81.33-point total. Cedar Falls was the runner-up with 64 points, followed by Southeast Polk (51). Then it was Liberty, a program from a school in its second year of existence.

Keeney was in command of the 1,500 throughout, winning by more than 7 seconds. She was edged at the wire by Allison Bookin-Nosbisch of Ottumwa in the 800. Bookin-Nosbisch was clocked in 2:11.45, Keeney in 2:11.57.

“I thought somebody might have been coming,” Keeney said. “Once she went around, I thought that I definitely should have sprinted to the finish.”

Keeney’s rookie season wasn’t defined only by her success.

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“It’s about all of the friends I’ve made,” she said. “Both from other teams, and my teammates here.”

She plans to take two weeks off before beginning training for cross country season.

Liberty’s Taylor Cannon was the 100-meter hurdles runner-up, edging Iowa City West’s Peyton Steva for second. Both were timed in 14.46 seconds, behind Darby Thomas of Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln (14.23).

“At the beginning of the season, Peyton would beat me by a whole hurdle, but I kept getting closer,” Cannon said. “A couple of weeks before state, I came really close to beating her.”

With Thomas and Steva graduating, Cannon will enter 2020 as the 4A favorite.

“My goal for next year is to go undefeated,” she said. “I’m going to train all summer.”

Steva was on West’s third-place shuttle hurdle relay team.

Linn-Mar got fourth-place finishes Saturday from Micah Poellet in the 1,500 as well as its 1,600-meter relay team. The Lions were fifth in the team race with 41 points.

STATE TRACK & FIELD: CLASS 4A GIRLS

Saturday, At Des Moines (Drake Stadium)

Top-10 teams — 1. Waukee 81.33, 2. Cedar Falls 64, 3. Southeast Polk 51, 4. Iowa City Liberty 48, 5. Linn-Mar 41, 6. Ottumwa 39, 7. (tie) Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln and Pleasant Valley 36, 9. West Des Moines Dowling 33, 10. Ames 27.

Sprint medley relay — 1. Cedar Falls (Longnecker, Sterrett, Green, Kimbrough), 1:47.42; 2. Pleasant Valley, 1:48.04; 3. Southeast Polk, 1:49.13; 4. Western Dubuque, 1:49.34; 7. Cedar Rapids Prairie, 1:49.86.

800 — 1. Allison Bookin-Nosbisch (Ottumwa), 2:11.45; 2. Ashlyn Keeney (Iowa City Liberty), 2:11.57; 3. Mackenzie Michael (Cedar Falls), 2:13.56.

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Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Waukee (Peters, Stark, Drees, Harris), 1:03.11; 2. West Des Moines Dowling, 1:03.23; 3. Iowa City West, 1:03.79; 5. Iowa City High, 1:05.60; 6. Iowa City Liberty, 1:06.01.

100 — 1. Kerris Roberts (Waterloo East), 11.90; 2. Darby Thomas (Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln), 12.08; 3. Holly Duax (Sioux City West), 12.27; 4. Jill Bennett (Linn-Mar), 12.58; 7. Cheyenne Mitchell (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), 12.91.

100 hurdles — 1. Darby Thomas (Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln), 14.23; 2. Taylor Cannon (Iowa City Liberty), 14.46; 3. Peyton Steva (Iowa City West), 14.46; 8. Caroline Schaeckenbach (Iowa City High), 15.56.

200 — 1. Kerris Roberts (Waterloo East), 24.74; 2. Darby Thomas (Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln), 26.18; 3. Holly Duax (Sioux City West), 25.70; 4. Jill Bennett (Linn-Mar), 26.18.

1,500 — 1. Ashlyn Keeney (Iowa City Liberty), 4:34.04; 2. Helen Gould (West Des Moines Valley), 4:41.34; 3. Claire Edmondson (Dubuque Senior), 4:43.07; 4. Micah Poellet (Linn-Mar), 4:43.11.

400 relay — 1. Ankeny (Sidney, Van De Mortel, Fulk, Mayberry), 48.29; 2. Waukee, 48.95; 3. Pleasant Valley, 48.97; 7. Linn-Mar, 49.69.

1,600 relay — 1. Cedar Falls (Kimbrough, Stokes, Lenaerts, Michael), 3:51.51; 2. West Des Moines Dowling, 3:52.05; 3. Southeast Polk, 3:52.73; 4. Linn-Mar, 3:54.70.

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

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