116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Rain or shine, Ashlyn Keeney was just fine.
Running in a driving downpour are barely able to see, Keeney capped a memorable Saturday afternoon at the state track and field meet, winning the Class 4A girls’ 1,500-meter race.
“Water was getting into my contacts,” said Keeney, who usually wears glasses, but made the prerace switch due to the weather. “I was just looking at the shape ahead of me.”
She relied on her other senses, as well.
“If I heard splashing to the side of me, I knew somebody was trying to pass me,” she said.
It was Keeney that did the passing in the final lap, and the Iowa City Liberty junior won in 4 minutes, 41.30 seconds.
It was a similar outcome to the 800, run earlier in the day in much more favorable conditions. There, Keeney outlasted Kaia Downs of Sioux City East in 2:12.70.
Somewhere along the line, Keeney has developed a strong kick.
“I’ve always been into hill work, speed work, strength work,” she said. “Ever since junior high, coaches told me I had a good kick.
“I trust my coaches and I trust the process.”
Waukee won its fifth consecutive 4A girls’ championship, scoring 96 points. Pleasant Valley (57) and Ames (52) won the other two trophies.
Cedar Rapids Prairie was sixth, Liberty seventh.
Prairie’s crew of Sarah Jordan, Ryann Decker, Catie Reittinger and Gabby Cortez started the session with a sprint medley relay title, in 1:46.65.
“We knew if we got the baton to Gabby in a good place, she was going to fight for us,” Reittinger said, and Jordan added, “We all did our part.”
Cortez got the stick in fifth place, but gradually moved forward in the pack and took the lead for good as she hit the front straightaway.
“I’m really confident every single time I come down the stretch,” she said. “I always think I’m going to be the stronger one at the end.”
Iowa City High was second in the 1,600-meter relay, third in the shuttle hurdle relay.
“Our coaches talked about winning, but coaches are always going to say that,” said 4x400 anchor Lillian Reynolds. “We didn’t know what to expect ... we had gone 4:02 in the prelims, 4:03 at Drake.
Saturday, the Little Hawks went 3:56.76. They were emotional before, and after, the race.
“I was crying before we even started, probably because it was my last race,” said Reynolds, a senior.
STATE TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Des Moines
CLASS 4A GIRLS
Teams — 1. Waukee 96, 2. Pleasant Valley 57, 3. Ames 52, 4. (tie) Ankeny and Cedar Falls 40, 6. Cedar Rapids Prairie 38, 7. Iowa City Liberty 35, 8. Sioux City East 33, 9. (tie) Norwalk and Sioux City West 29.
Sprint medley relay — 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie (Jordan, Decker, Reittinger, Cortez), 1:46.65; 2. Pleasant Valley, 1:47.63; 3. Ames, 1:47.65.
800 — 1. Ashlyn Keeney (Iowa City Liberty), 2:12.70; 2. Kaia Downs (Sioux City East), 2:13.94; 3. Kathryn Vortherms (Ankeny Centennial), 2:14.27; 8. Lily Johannes (Cedar Rapids Prairie), 2:17.62.
Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Waukee (Winger, Carney, Weers, Harris), 1:00.75; 2. Cedar Falls, 1:04.72; 3. Iowa City High, 1:05.47.
100 — 1. Holly Duax (Sioux City West), 12.12; 2. Claire Farrell (Norwalk), 12.36; 3. Jessica Kyne (Des Moines Hoover), 12.47.
100 hurdles — 1. Mackenzie Carney (Waukee), 14.54; 2. Maddy McFarland (Cedar Falls), 15.03; 3. Esaba Okwaramoi (West Des Moines Dowling), 15.05; 7. Grace Braden (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), 15.70.
200 — 1. Holly Duax (Sioux City West), 24.59; 2. Jessica Kyne (Des Moines Hoover), 25.07; 3. Claire Farrell (Norwalk), 25.24.
1,500 — 1. Ashlyn Keeney (Iowa City Liberty), 4:41.30; 2. Keelee Leitzen (Dubuque Hempstead), 4:43.18; 3. Kaia Downs (Sioux City East), 4:45.18; 6. Micah Poellet (Linn-Mar), 4:45.89.
400 relay — 1. Pleasant Valley (Albertson, Creasy, Ruff, Wood), 49.91; 2. Waukee, 50.17; 3. Ankeny, 50.46.
1,600 relay — 1. Ames (Jones, Lynch, Engels, Moon), 3:54.72; 2. Iowa City High, 3:56.76; 3. Waukee, 4:00.91; 5. Cedar Rapids Prairie, 4:03.34.