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There was both dominance and drama at Dyersville. There was a surprise in the Tri-Rivers Conference girls’ race. There were head-to-head battles between two of the state’s top girls at Epworth. The Iowa City High and Lisbon boys look like state-title contenders. And for the Decorah girls, a championship streak endured.
With a nod to Solon’s Emma Bock — “Two weeks until the big one,” she said — here’s a final glance back at Thursday’s conference-meet highlights:
Down to the wire, Part I
Due in part to a disqualification in the 400-meter hurdles that cost Clear Creek Amana seven points, the Wamac Conference boys’ race was a dead heat as the last event approached.
Gavin Zillyette was penciled in as CCA’s leadoff leg in the 1,600-meter relay, but asked for another role.
“I knew what was on the line, so I asked (Coach Ben Robison) if I could anchor,” Zillyette said.
Third place never felt so good.
The Clippers finished third in the 4x400, Benton Community was fourth, and CCA edged the Bobcats 107-106 for the title at Dyersville.
“We knew it was going to be a battle from the start,” said Zillyette, who absorbed a bear hug from Robison afterward. “It came down to the end, and to win back-to-back titles, it’s amazing.”
Down to the wire, Part II
If you’re a numbers-cruncher, you would have identified the Tri-Rivers girls’ title chase as a duel between Lisbon and Alburnett.
Instead, North Linn crunched expectations.
The Lynx won only three events, but had the most depth and pulled a surprise at Lisbon. North Linn tallied 110 points to edge Alburnett (107.5) and Lisbon (107).
Sophomore distance runner Meghan Wheatley had a big hand in it, winning the 1,500 meters, leading off the triumphant 3,200-meter relay and anchoring the sprint medley relay title unit.
Future Hawkeyes go at it again (and again and again)
There’s no dispute that Western Dubuque’s Audrey Biermann and Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Gabby Cortez are two of the top track girls in the area.
In the state.
Thursday was Biermann’s day.
Running on her home track, Biermann edged Cortez three times in the MVC Mississippi Division meet.
Biermann won the 100 meters in 12.39, the 200 in 25.03 and the 400 in 55.55. Cortez was second in 12.51, 25.36 and 55.91.
Cortez anchored Prairie’s sprint medley relay to a title, and the Hawks earned the big prize — a team championship.
Biermann and Cortez will be roommates at the University of Iowa next year.
Taking care of business
The boys from Iowa City High and Lisbon did what powerhouses should do. So did the girls from Solon and Mid-Prairie.
City High attacked the individual events at the MVC Mississippi Division meet at Kingston Stadium. Ford Washburn and Matt Schaeckenbach won two events apiece, and the Little Hawks’ 145-point tally was 30 points better than that of a high-quality Linn-Mar outfit.
Lisbon piled up 174 points at the Tri-Rivers meet, winning nine events. Kole Becker won both hurdles races, the long jump and the 400. The Lions’ margin of victory was 53 points.
Solon was a winner of 11 events at the Wamac meet and its 180 points was double that of second-place Williamsburg.
“There are a lot of good people, a lot of good teams here,” Bock said. “We couldn’t come here, slack off and not give it our all.”
At the River Valley meet at Monticello, Mid-Prairie resembled a team that is poised to win its fourth straight 2A girls’ state title. The usual suspects — Mitzi Evans, Danielle Hostetler and so forth — guided the Golden Hawks to a 149-point total and a 62-point margin; Tipton was second.
The beat goes on for Decorah
Decorah extended its streak to 17 consecutive Northeast Iowa Conference girls’ championships, prevailing at Waverly.
The Vikings scored 160.5 points. New Hampton was second with 142.