DES MOINES — Cedar Valley athletes were counted among some of the best in the state at the Drake Relays.
On Friday, student athletes from eight area high schools joined competition from across Iowa gathered in the pouring rain to compete in one of the largest track and field events in the county.
Starting at the boys’ 110-meter hurdle, Noah Sheridan of Jesup came in fourth in the preliminary at 15.03, qualifying for the finals in the middle of the pack. He would improve his time in the finals with 14.74 seconds to finish fourth there as well.
Waterloo East would finish in 22nd place with 1:48.74 in the girls’ 4x200 relay. In the boys 4x200, Cedar Falls would finish in eighth with 1:30.48. Denver placed 19th at 1:33.02. For boys’ 4x400, Cedar Falls came in fifth in the first round, with Derek Woods, Ben Roussell, Jordan Townsend and Cayden Schellhorn advancing to the finals with a 3:24.34 finish.
The University of Northern Iowa had a good showing as well, with Isaiah Trousil and Dike-New Hartford alum Parker Kiewiet coming in first and third in the final men’s 200-meter race. Trousil became the first Panther in five years to win an individual flag at the Drake Relays. He would also come in second at the men’s 100-meter with 10.67 seconds, qualifying for the finals on Saturday.
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For women, Panthers Rylan Santi, Jill Bennett, Libby Wedewer and Pashience Johnson also came in seventh place in the first round of the women’s 4x100 relay Saturday.
Dallas Wright of Wartburg finished third in the college men’s 400m hurdles.
On the field, Sarah Albaugh finished ninth for Cedar Falls in the girls’ long jump, making it 16’5.75. Denver senior Sydney Eggena failed to qualify for the finals round, but was able to take second in girls’ shot put the night before with a personal best of 42’1.75.
“Yesterday was more my day, I’d say. I came out and crushed shot put,” Eggena said. “And discus wasn’t quite my day today, which is completely fine … and it just means that state will be better.”
On the boys’ end, Jesup senior Carson Lienau came third with 55’10.75.
“I feel good about it,” Lienau said. “My coach just told me that he thought it was the highest Drake Relays finish at Jesup, which is a great honor because we’ve had a lot of great athletes come through Jesup.”
Cedar Falls junior Jacob Kieler also had a strong performance. Just over two weeks after setting his personal best in the high jump (and a new school record 6 feet, 7 1/2 inches, he went into Des Moines to set it again at 6 feet 9 inches, coming in at second place behind Jack Noble of North Polk. Both were tied at first, with 11 jumps between the two to settle the outcome.
“It was kind of messing with my head a little bit,” Kieler said. “Just thinking, ‘I keep missing this height. I want to get it so bad,’ but just trying as hard as I can to get it each time.”
Northern Iowa alum Jessica Heims set a paralympic record in the women’s discus at 37.28 feet on her third throw, while Goodwill Waterloo’s Special Olympic team finished second in the men’s 4x100 relay.