Track and field
Willert’s dedication has helped him become one of the state’s top hurdlers. This past weekend, the Saint Ansgar senior placed second with a time of 53.99 in the Drake Relays 400 hurdles. He’s previously finished eighth in the Class 2A 4x400 at state, and was fifth in the 2A 400 hurdles last year. “I think his continued improvement can be traced to his work ethic in practice and his work in the weight room,” Saint Ansgar coach Drew Clevenger noted. “I think we will see continued improvement through the state track meet.” Willert is also a first team all-conference selection in baseball and basketball, and a first team all-district football player. He plans to attend and run track at Hawkeye Community College.
Waterloo East Junior Track and field
East’s high-flying junior has been a valuable leader for the Trojans this season. Standing 5-foot-7, Clark has soared above most of the state in the high jump. He cleared 6-feet, 5-inches and placed seventh at last week’s Drake Relays. “He is a team player, great leader and a solid student athlete,” East coach Tim Moses said of Clark, who currently ranks second among Class 4A’s high jump leaders. Clark is also an All-Metro basketball and football selection, and placed 11th in the 2016 Class 4A state high jump competition.
Ortiz is part of an experienced midfield that has been a building block for 1A’s No. 2 ranked Columbus team that most recently defeated No. 7 Nevada. The Sailors’ junior has been calm on the ball on offense and patient on defense, picking the right time to make a play. She has four goals and one assist this season. “Ana continues to impress her coaches and teammates by developing her technical skills each season,” Columus coach Julie Girsch noted. “Ana makes quick decisions, creates goal scoring opportunities and has the ability to make a huge impact for our team. She is a critical part of our soccer family.” Ortiz also plays volleyball is active in the spring musical and fine arts department at Columbus.
Dike-New Hartford Senior Golf
A fourth-year starter, Weber has been a valuable leader for a Dike-New Hartford team that remains unbeaten. He’s earned individual medalist honors in all but one meet, where he was the runner-up. Weber placed 19th in last year’s Class 2A state meet. “He is constantly communicating with team members to initiate extra practice times,” D-NH coach Tim Kopriva noted. “Whenever he has a free minute you will find him out on the course practicing in some fashion. He is what you would call a golf junkie.” Weber also started on D-NH’s basketball team. He plans to continue his golf career in college.
Hudson Junior Soccer
Geisler’s confidence, focus and never-give-up attitude make him a valuable player on both sides of the ball. The Hudson defensive midfielder is a captain for a returning state qualifying Pirates team that has won eight consecutive games and is ranked No. 8 in Class 2A. The defensive midfielder has six goals and two assists on the season. “Wes is an incredible athlete,” Hudson coach Sue Rink noted. “He enjoys taking on all challenges. He has no fear. Wes is an excellent leader and is the foundation of our connection between defense and offense.” Geisler also plays football and placed eighth at the state wrestling meet.
Aplington-Parkersburg Senior Track and field
Haren has built himself into a competitive runner, consistently playing first or second in the 800 this season. Last week, Haren was part of a 4x800 relay that more than held its own with Iowa’s larger schools by finishing 11th at the Drake Relays. Haren was part of a 4x800 team that placed fifth in last year’s 2A state meet. “The biggest thing with him is you get invaluable leadership,” A-P coach Mark Haren said. “Over the years, I’ve had better athletes and slightly faster kids but I’ve never had a kid like him that runs with such a chip on his shoulder. He’s extremely competitive.” Haren is also a four-time all-state vocalist who plans to major in musical performance at Luther College.