CLARINDA — The Creston girls set out Tuesday night to defend their Lady Cardinal Relays crown from last year.
The Panthers did that and much more thanks to improved depth.
Creston had two placewinners in every individual running event and in the high jump and long jump, rolling to the team title with 170 points.
Glenwood finished second with 144 points.
“That was goal number one,” head coach Clay Arnold said of repeating as team champion. “It was tough. Glenwood was pretty tough competition. At the end, we really pulled away in those last few events.”
Arnold said one of the keys to pulling away from Glenwood was scoring big points in the 1,500 meter run.
Senior Emily Wignall easily ran away with the victory in the event, running 5:29, after having already placed second in the 3,000 meters. Freshman Jessica Beatty finished fourth in 5:48.
“Wignall came out very loose in the 15, and she looked really smooth,” Arnold said. “Beatty, she goes out and and runs a heck of a race and ended up fourth.”
The fast start in the field events was another key in the Panthers gaining an advantage on Glenwood.
Arnold said his team’s goal was to come out of the field events with 20 points.
The Panthers easily eclipsed that mark as senior Brianna Maitlen won the long jump and sophomore Natalie Mostek won the high jump. Giving the Panthers additional points in those events were Amber Castillo, who finished fifth in the long jump, and Raegen Smith, who finished sixth in the high jump.
Creston also came up with big points in the shuttle hurdle relay, running the event for the first time since Arnold took over as head coach.
The team of Castillo, Brittney Minson, Madison Hance and Brooke Thelen finished second, running 1:18.
Junior Zaidy Frank picked up right where she left off after the Central Indoor Meet, claiming victories in the 100 meter dash and 200 meter dash, while also anchoring the sprint medley relay team to victory with a 1:02.4 split.
Arnold said he wasn’t 100 percent sure how the sprint medley would go, running newcomers Lauren Tucker and freshman Taylor Briley in the event, but noted that they performed well in the event.
Briley got off to a good start in her high school career by also winning the open 400 meter dash. Briley ran a time of 1:05. Natalie Mostek claimed fourth place with a time of 1:07.5.
Sophomore Maria Mostek and Wignall proved to be a strong one-two punch in the 3,000 meters, coming up with 18 points by finishing first and second, respectively. Maria Mostek also finished second in the 800 meter run.
“With all the great things already being said, we saved enough to have the best two relays at the end of the night,” Arnold said. “The premiere event (4x400 relay), we had two very good lineups ready to go.”
The Creston JV team ran a time Arnold said would compete at most varsity meets, running 4:44 to easily run away from the competition. That team included Hance, Nicole Haley, Minson and Beatty.
The varsity relay squad of Smith, Maria Mostek, Taylor Hudson and Briley survived a late scare from Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson and Glenwood, as Briley ran a strong anchor leg to lead the Panthers to victory in 4:26.
Arnold said his team’s depth came through in a big way on Tuesday.
“It was very good competition today,” he said. “It wasn’t like we came out here against a bunch of other teams’ JV teams. Coming out here and repeating after losing two of the states best runners (Audrey Bolinger and Katlin Briley) — my assistant and I knew this is what we’re capable of. I think the girls realize it now.
“It’s our overall depth that’s going to make our team a really good one,” he continued. “Definitely the depth we thought was there, is there, and maybe even more depth than we actually imagined.”
Creston returns to action Thursday at Red Oak.
Area Class 1A results and Creston JV results from the Lady Cardinal Relays will be published in Thursday’s edition of the Creston News Advertiser.
Lady Cardinal Relays
Team scoring — 1. Creston 170; 2. Glenwood 144; 3. Shenandoah 80; 4. Clarinda 70; 5. C.B. Thomas Jefferson 57; 6. Atlantic 49; 7. Red Oak 15; 8. Lewis Central 2.
Discus — 1. Mikayla Palmer, Shenandoah, 99-5; Olivia Nielsen, Creston, 80-8; Emma Saylor, Creston, 60-8.
Shot put — 1. Serena Parker, Shenandoah, 35-7.5; Olivia Nielsen, Creston, 27-6.75; Emma Saylor, Creston, 24-3.
High jump — 1. Natalie Mostek, Creston, 4-10; 6. Raegen Smith, Creston, 4-4.
Long jump — 1. Brianna Maitlen, Creston, 15-4.25; 5. Amber Castillo, Creston, 13-9.25.
3,000 meters — 1. Maria Mostek, Creston, 11:31; 2. Emily Wignall, Creston, 11:41.
4 x 800 relay — 1. Glenwood, 10:31; 3. Creston (Natalie Mostek, Maddie Skarda, Taylor Hudson, Nicole Haley), 11:00.
Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Glenwood, 1:14; 2. Creston (Amber Castillo, Brittney Minson, Madison Hance, Brooke Thelen), 1:19.
100 meters — 1. Zaidy Frank, Creston, 13.14; 5. Bri Maitlen, Creston, 13.62.
Distance medley relay — 1. Clarinda, 4:43; 2. Creston (Jami Sickels, Sydney Suiter, Chelcee Downing, Taylor Hudson), 4:49.
400 meters — 1. Taylor Briley, Creston, 1:05; 4. Natalie Mostek, Creston, 1:07.46.
4 x 200 relay — 1. Clarinda, 1:54; 6. Creston (Minson, Jami Sickels, Suiter, Downing), 2:01.
100 hurdles — 1. Brianna Maitlen, Creston, 17.08; 6. Madison Hance, Creston, 18.71.
800 meters — 1. Rachel Bair, Clarinda, 2:31.58; 2. Maria Mostek, Creston, 2:31.95; 4. Taylor Hudson, Creston, 2:35.48.
200 meters — 1. Zaidy Frank, Creston, 27.74; 5. Amber Castillo, Creston, 30.19.
400 hurdles — 1. Sydney Nielsen, Shenandoah, 1:08.44; 5. Brittney Minson, Creston, 1:15.72; 6. Madison Hance, Creston, 1:17.50.
Sprint medley relay — 1. Creston (Downing, Lauren Tucker, Briley, Frank), 1:59.47.
1,500 meters — 1. Emily Wignall, Creston, 5:30.49; 3. Jessica Beatty, Creston, 5:48.86.
4 x 100 relay — 1. Glenwood, 54.05; 32. Creston (Downing, Castillo, Maitlen, Frank), 54.81.
4 x 400 relay — 1. Creston (Smith, Maria Mostek, Hudson, Briley), 4:26.