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DES MOINES - Dyersville Beckman hurdler Heather Boeckenstedt had her doubts Saturday at the state track and field meet.
She wasn't sure her shuttle hurdle relay team that was comprised of two freshmen and two seniors could defend its title. And she wasn't sure she could defend her individual 100-meter hurdle title.
She proved her own doubts wrong. The shuttle hurdle team led start to finish and won with a time of 1:05.60. Monroe PCM finished second in 1:07.92.
'This one meant a little more (than last year's),” said Boeckenstedt, who ran the anchor. 'We really stepped up this year. Last year, we knew that if everyone ran their best, we would run good together. But this year, we had to bring the (freshmen) along. It feels good being senior leaders this year and stepping up and showing what we can do.”
Fellow senior Addie McDermott ran the second leg and helped bring freshmen Kiersten Schmitt and Addie Koelker along.
'They really stepped up to the plate and did great,” McDermott said of the freshmen.
While the freshmen both did well Saturday, their success wasn't always a given.
'We wouldn't have been here if they still looked like they did on the first day of practice. It was God-awful,” Boeckenstedt said with a laugh, recalling the memory. 'They were five-stepping the hurdles. They looked like junior-high hurdlers.”
Which, to be fair to Schmitt and Koelker, they were junior-high hurdlers a year ago.
'They came along so fast,” Boeckenstedt continued. 'As soon as we got them to change their steps, we knew we had something special.”
In the individual 100-meter hurdles, Boeckenstedt qualified with the fourth fastest time. She wasn't sure she would repeat.
She was behind Osage's Paige Kisley for most of the race. With two hurdles left, she drew even with Kisley. With one hurdle left, Boeckenstedt had a narrow lead, one that she was able to hold on to.
Boeckenstedt defended her title with a time of 15.06 to Kisley's 15.22.
McDermott finished fourth in the race with a time of 15.36.
'I wasn't expecting that at all. I'm so happy. I'm so happy,” Boeckenstedt said after the race with each breath punctuating her first three sentences while she was trying to catch her breath. 'This is the first day my family came down and I'm so happy they got to see that, too. And Addie ran so well, too.
'It's all just overwhelming. I didn't think that was going to happen.”
Beckman finished with 25 team points, good enough for ninth in the team race. Mid-Prairie won the Class 2A team title with 49 team points.
The Golden Hawks won last year, too, and scored most of their points on the heels of the Hostetler sisters, but with Anna off to Iowa, Mid-Prairie had to find more scoring than just Marie.
Marie Hostetler accounted for 38 points, including 18 on Saturday, but the sprints came through with the remainder of the points.
'Not having Anna for the extra distance points, we definitely needed our sprinters to step up and they did,” Hostetler said. 'They worked so hard this season.”
Hostetler took second in the 800 Saturday to Aplington-Parkersburg's Sophia Jungling.
In the 1,500, Hostetler placed first with a time of 4:40.63, ahead of Jungling (4:46.81).
Even though Hostetler had the race in hand, she wanted to make sure there was no doubt.
'I wanted to push all the way to the finish and not let her catch me,” Hostetler said. 'She has a great kick, as I found out this weekend.”
With Hostetler's win in the 1,500-meter run, it marked four years in a row a Hostetler won the event - Anna won it the previous three years.
'It's different not having my sister here to push me, obviously,” Hostetler said. 'I'm glad I was able to win.”
Aplington-Parkersburg finished second with 39 points and Panorama was third with 38.
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