DES MOINES — Creston senior Brianna Maitlen capped off her outstanding track and field career here Friday at the Coed State Track Meet.
And she did it in style, winning her fourth career state meet medal in the Class 3A long jump competition.
Maitlen finished sixth overall with a leap of 16-6.25.
"It feels awesome," Maitlen said of the accomplishment. "I wish I could have gotten higher, but I'll take the four medals. It's just an awesome experience."
Maitlen placed sixth as a freshman in 2010, seventh as a sophomore, sixth as a junior and sixth as a senior.
"Brianna jumped the best she's jumped here since she was a freshman," head coach Clay Arnold said. "That's after busting a 26.4 a couple of hours earlier. Her first jump was low, but her second jump, she came back and nailed it."
Arnold said he was extremely happy with how Maitlen finished up her career.
"I'm just extremely proud of her work this year to get back to where she was," he said. "She kind of started off the season sluggish. She just became that much more determined to get back to where she's always been. That's just a testament to her toughness."
Sophomore Maria Mostek was the final competitor for the Panthers at the state meet, running the 1,500 meters on Saturday.
Mostek went in with a race plan that was designed to help her beat teammate Emily Wignall's school record of 5:07.02 in the event.
Mostek executed that race plan to perfection and ran 5:07.04, which after being converted to hand time becomes 5:06.80, breaking Wignall's record.
"It feels pretty good," Mostek said about breaking the record. "I know Emily worked really hard to get that record, and even being able to be close to that is an honor. She's a really good runner and me breaking it, it's just unbelievable."
Mostek stayed in the middle of the pack for the majority of the race, clicking off her splits, and finished 13th overall, moving up on her seed, which was 17th.
"That's exactly what we were wanting to do, come out here and run a time to beat Emily's record," Arnold said. "Coming into the season, that was a goal of both girls to beat that. I was watching the clock real close there, and I knew on that last lap there she had a really good shot. Maria went out and took care of business, and she was elated to say the least. So was her sister and her teammates."
The distance medley relay team of Chelcee Downing, Maitlen, Taylor Hudson and Natalie Mostek finished 15th on Friday, running a new season best time of 4:21.15.
Downing, who did not run on the relay at the State Qualifying Meet, filled in on Friday and didn't miss a beat, Arnold said.
"We had a lot of confidence in putting her in that spot," Arnold said. "She was not on that relay to qualify, but we knew she could take care of business. She came out and ran a 27.7, which is definitely her best opening leg split of all time."
Maitlen followed that up with a 26.48 split, which Arnold said is one of the best legs she has run. Maitlen's leg was followed up by a 1:02.35 split from Hudson in the 400-meter leg and Natalie Mostek closed with a 2:24.18 800-meter leg.
"Taylor Hudson, through all the sickness and not being able to run 800s and terrible asthma, I tell you what, three of the most impressive races I've ever seen her run were those last three 400s," Arnold said. "Today was the best one yet. I was extremely happy with all their splits."
The Panthers finished fifth in their heat and 15th overall, just two spots behind Harlan.
Three Creston seniors finished their high school track and field careers at the state meet over the weekend.
Maitlen competed in the long jump and the distance medley relay, Hudson in the distance medley relay and Wignall in the 4x800 relay on Thursday.
All three will be continuing their careers at the collegiate level as Maitlen and Wignall will compete at Northwest Missouri State and Hudson will compete at Morningside College.
"Those three seniors are pretty special to us," Arnold said. "They bought into what we wanted to do and they helped build the program into what we wanted it to be. They are girls that are going to remain legends in Creston track lore. I told them, they're going to be the girls we talk about when we're coaching all the future generations to come up."
Creston finished 35th overall in the team standings with three points.