GLENWOOD — The Creston girls track team came home from Thursday’s Class 3A State Qualifying Meet here knowing for sure it was taking one event to next week’s Coed State Track Meet.
But, a pair of relay teams that didn’t earn one of the top two automatic state-qualifying spots, stands a strong chance of making the state field.
The 4x800 relay team consisting of Natalie Mostek, Emily Wignall, Maria Mostek and Taylor Briley broke the school record set last year, and nearly held off Harlan for the second and final automatic berth in the state meet.
Briley took the baton on the anchor leg with the lead, but veteran runners for Sioux City Bishop Heelan and Harlan were able to close in on her and take the lead from her on the final lap.
Briley nearly held off Harlan standout Jess Feldman, just getting edged at the line.
“When Jess Feldman of Harlan steps out onto the track, you better have more than a 100-meter head start on her,” Creston head coach Clay Arnold said. “She had to have run under 2:20 to anchor that and come back. Briley fought her and fought her, but those last three steps it was a senior stud and a freshman stud, and (Briley) definitely learned from it.”
The Panther quartet finished third in 9:47.41, just .15 of a second behind Harlan.
The relay team also broke the school record of 9:54.34 set last year by Taylor Hudson, Emily Wignall, Katlin Briley and Audrey Bolinger.
“They came ready to go,” Arnold said. “Last year we shattered the record by 13 seconds or something like that from 1978. We set a lot of goals, and the season didn’t come around like we thought, but the 4x8 breaking the record was a goal, and to go up to state and medal. It’s nice to know one of those is still alive.”
The distance medley relay of Zaidy Frank, Brianna Maitlen, Hudson and Natalie Mostek also ran an impressive time in a third-place finish, running 4:23.90, which puts the Panthers among the state’s top 10 times for the season.
“We’re real confident with the 4x8 and the distance med (qualifying),” Arnold said. “There’s going to have to have been some sick times around to force us out of those.”
If the Panther relay teams are among the eight best performances statewide from Thursday’s State Qualifying Meets that did not earn a top-two automatic qualifying spot, those relays will compete at the state track meet.
The lone automatic qualifier for the Panthers was sophomore Maria Mostek in the 1,500 meter run.
Mostek finished second to Bishop Heelan’s Lindsay Joyce, running 5:15.72. Wignall finished third in the event and will be on the bubble for state meet qualifying with her time of 5:17.72.
Mostek qualifies for the state meet in the 1,500 meter run for the second straight year as a sophomore.
“We needed to run fast times to get both of them in there,” Arnold said. “We were only able to get one in.”
As a whole, the back half of the meet for the Panthers overshadowed how well things went in the front half of the meet, Arnold said.
But, Arnold was still encouraged by several other performances throughout the meet.
Freshman Becca Ross threw a big PR in the shot put with a throw of 27-7, improving her on her previous best by more than one foot.
Another freshman, Jessica Beatty, ran a PR in the 800 meter run. Beatty improved her time by three seconds, running 2:40.77.
Raegen Smith had three impressive performances, Arnold said.
Smith ran a PR in the 200 meter dash, breaking :30 for the first time after nearly dipping under at the Hawkeye 10 Conference Meet on Monday. She also ran a season’s best time in the 400 meter dash.
“I was really happy with how strong she was in both those races,” Arnold said. “But her highlight of the night — she had three great performances — but maybe of all the things we did, the high jump was the most exciting because she cleared 4-8.”
Nicole Haley, running the shuttle hurdle relay because Brittney Minson was out with injury, ran a two-second PR in her leg of the race.
Creston finished sixth in the team standings with 57 points, as Bishop Heelan edged out Harlan for the team title with 144.50 points.
Class 3A State Qualifying Meet
(Automatic state qualifiers & Creston results)
Team standings — 1. Sioux City Bishop Heelan 144.50; 2. Harlan 136; 3. Glenwood 132; 4. Carroll 115, 5. Denison-Schleswig 69; 6. Creston 57; 7. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 45.50; 8. Atlantic 37.
Discus — 1. Lauren Janning, Car, 122-7; 2. Valerie Johnson, Den, 115-7; 13. Olivia Nielsen, Creston, 78-4.
Shot put — 1. Miles Ludwigs, SBL, 39-2.25; 2. Lauren Janning, Car, 38-1.50; 14. Becca Ross, Creston, 27-7; 15. Olivia Nielsen, Creston, 27-5.
High jump — 1. Liz Riessen, Har, 5-1; 2. Dena Baughman, Har, 5-0; 9. Raegen Smith, Creston, 4-8.
Long jump — 1. Ali Meiners, Car, 16-9.50; 2. Madie Pike, SBL, 16-5; 4. Brianna Maitlen, Creston, 16-2; 8. Amber Castillo, Creston, 13-10.
3,000 meters — 1. Tiffany Williams, Atl, 11:36.27; 2. Emma Sealey, Heelan, 11:56.35.
4 x 800 relay — 1. Bishop Heelan, 9:46.49; 2. Harlan, 9:47.26; 3. Creston (Natalie Mostek, Emily Wignall, Maria Mostek, Taylor Briley), 9:47.41 (school record).
Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Harlan, 1:08.26; 2. Glenwood, 1:08.95; 7. Creston (Madison Hance, Amber Castillo, Brooke Thelen, Nicole Haley), 1:19.00.
100 meters — 1. Kecia Caudill, Glen, 12.93; 2. Yasmeen Rose, Heelan, 13.01; 12. Lauren Tucker, Creston, 14.57; 15. Josie Sickels, Creston, 15.01.
Distance medley relay — 1. Bishop Heelan, 4:18.95; 2. Harlan, 4:21.29; 3. Creston (Zaidy Frank, Brianna Maitlen, Taylor Hudson, Natalie Mostek), 4:23.90.
400 meters — 1. Mikayla Evers, Har, 1:00.32; 2. Alyssa Rihner, Den, 1:02.03; 8. Raegen Smith, Creston, 1:06.38; 13. Kelsey Donner, Creston, 1:22.95.
4 x 200 relay — 1. Glenwood, 1:47.38; 2. Harlan, 1:50.02; 5. Creston (Sydney Suiter, Nicole Haley, Jami Sickels, Josie Sickels), 2:01.71.
100 hurdles — 1. Katey Trecker, Car, 15.34; 2. Mackenzie Geary, Heelan, 15.87; 11. Amber Castillo, Creston, 18.40; 15. Brooke Thelen, Creston, 21.77.
800 meters — 1. Jess Feldman, Har, 2:23.59; 2. Lindsay Joyce, Heelan, 2:23.73; 7. Jessica Beatty, Creston, 2:40.77; 10. Monica Powers, Creston, 2:49.08.
200 meters — 1. Emily Keane, Heelan, 27.53; 2. Taylor Ferguson, Heelan, 27.62; 10. Raegen Smith, Creston, 29.92; 13. Sydney Suiter, Creston, 30.99.
400 hurdles — 1. Katey Trecker, Car, 1:07.94; 2. Molly Dean, Glen, 1:09.80; 7. Madison Hance, Creston, 1:16.16; 12. Nicole Haley, Creston, 1:22.33.
Sprint medley relay — 1. Glenwood, 1:54.73; 2. Bishop Heelan, 1:55.21; 4. Creston (Chelcee Downing, Zaidy Frank, Brianna Maitlen, Taylor Briley), 2:00.01.
1,500 meters — 1. Lindsay Joyce, Heelan, 5:12.49; 2. Maria Mostek, Creston, 5:15.72; 3. Emily Wignall, Creston, 5:17.72.
4 x 100 relay — 1. Glenwood, 51.09; 2. Carroll, 51.29; 6. Creston (Lauren Tucker, Zaidy Frank, Jami Sickels, Amber Castillo), 56.66.
4 x 400 relay — 1. Harlan, 4:07.93; 2. Bishop Heelan, 4:14.50; 3. Creston (Taylor Hudson, Chelcee Downing, Brianna Maitlen, Taylor Briley), 4:20.20.