Prep Track and Field

Payton Wensel just misses sub-60 400-meter hurdles time at state track

Linn-Mar ace wins the 4A girls' race in 1:00.15

Linn-Mar's Payton Wensel clears a hurdle as she races for the finish during the class 4A 400-meter hurdles at the 2018 Iowa High School Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, May 18, 2018. Wensel won in 1:00.15. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Linn-Mar's Payton Wensel clears a hurdle as she races for the finish during the class 4A 400-meter hurdles at the 2018 Iowa High School Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, May 18, 2018. Wensel won in 1:00.15. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — She’s still new at this. The fear, for the most part, has passed.

Payton Wensel wouldn’t go as far as to say she loves the 400-meter hurdles. “But I’m starting to like them,” she said.

A senior at Linn-Mar, Wensel ran the second-best time in state history at the state track and field meet Friday morning at Drake Stadium. At 1:00.15, she just missed becoming the first sub-60 performer in 43 years.

“I got a little sloppy on a couple hurdles,” she said. “But it was bad on five hurdles last year, so that’s progress.”

At 5-foot-10 and the owner of long, leggy strides, you’d think Wensel would be a natural in the event.

She would beg to differ.

“I’m the most uncoordinated kid,” she said. “I’ve always had to pay attention to my form and my arms. I think (University of Iowa coach) Joey Woody can help me a lot next year.”

Wensel was a little extra determined after her runner-up finish to Sydney Milani of Southeast Polk in the 400 Thursday, which denied her a fourth state title in that event.

“I don’t like second place,” she said. “Yesterday was definitely motivation for today.”

Two-time defending champion Waukee leads the team race heading to the final day. With 10 events complete, the Warriors have 49 points. Last year’s runner-up, Iowa City West is second with 42, followed by Cedar Falls (30) and Southeast Polk (26).

West’s Chandler Haight was the shot put runner-up with a heave of 44 feet, 1 inch. Kat Moody of Waukee won it at 44-7 1/2.

“It’s great to have that competition because it was so close,” Haight said. “I knew it would be that way, that it would be back and forth. I knew it wouldn’t be easy for either of us, and that we were both going to push each other. 

STATE TRACK & FIELD: 4A GIRLS

Teams (top 10, through 10 events) — 1. Waukee 49, 2. Iowa City West 42, 3. Cedar Falls 30, 4. Southeast Polk 26, 5. Pleasant Valley 23.5, 6. Linn-Mar 23, 7. Iowa City High 18, 8. Davenport Central 17, 9. Johnston 15, 10. Lewis Central 14.

Shot put — 1. Kat Moody (Waukee), 44-7 1/2; 2. Chandler Haight (Iowa City West), 44-1; 3. Lauren Payne (Lewis Central), 40-11 1/4; 4. Katy Jones (Lewis Central), 40-10 3/4; 5. Lea Grady (Davenport Central), 40-8 1/2; 6. Cindy Gabriel-Flores (Davenport Central), 38-9 3/4; 7. Josey Starner (Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson), 38-8 1/2; 8. Salima Omari (Iowa City West), 38-3.

Long jump —

Distance medley relay — 1. Cedar Falls (Longnecker, Sterrett, Kimbrough, Michael), 4:04.91; 2. Waukee, 4:04.96; 3. Southeast Polk, 4:08.98; 4. Iowa City High, 4:10.33; 5. West Des Moines Valley, 4:10.42; 6. Ankeny Centennial, 4:11.37; 7. Dubuque Senior, 4:12.51; 8. Johnston, 4:14.13.

800 relay — 1. Pleasant Valley (K.Arthofer, Kirby, A.Arthofer, Creasy), 1:41.28; 2. Waukee, 1:41.85; 3. West Des Moines Dowling, 1:42.69; 4. Ames, 1:42.71; 5. Iowa City High, 1:43.77; 6. Cedar Falls, 1:43.82; 7. Waterloo West, 1:44.59; 8. Des Moines Hoover, 1:44.59.

400 hurdles — 1. Payton Wensel (Linn-Mar), 1:00.15; 2. Isabel Ingram (Ames), 1:02.36; 3. Skyler Shellmyer (Urbandale), 1:03.62; 4. Caroline Schaeckenbach (Iowa City High), 1:04.99; 5. Grace Larkins (Southeast Polk), 1:06.01; 6. Paige Hanson (Sioux City East), 1:06.38; 7. Karri Pippett (Ankeny Centennial), 1:06.73; 8. Hayley Hartman (Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln), 1:06.83.

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

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