ATLANTIC — The Creston girls crowned four champions and had one runner-up finish here Thursday at a Class 3A State Qualifying Meet, sending a total of five events to next week’s Co-ed State Track Meet at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
The top two placewinners in each event automatically qualify for the state meet, with the next eight best performances statewide from State Qualifying Meets earning at-large berths.
“Those five, we came here to win all five of those events and nearly did it,” Creston head girls track coach Clay Arnold said. “We were 4-for-4 starting out on those.”
The Creston girls won the 4x800 relay, the distance medley relay, the 800 meter run and the 1,500 meter run. The second place finish came in a tight race in the 4x400 relay.
The Panthers started the night off with a dominating performance in the 4x800 relay with the team of Maria Mostek, Lexie Little, Taylor Briley and Natalie Mostek.
Creston ran 9:54.59, finishing 21 seconds ahead of second-place Harlan.
“Little, we were extremely happy with her in that 4x800,” Arnold said. “We came here to win it and we took care of business. We ran great times doing it. Little, 2:28, that’s what we’ve been looking for out of her for about a month now.”
The next win for the Panthers came in the distance medley relay with the team of Raegen Smith, Briley, Chelcee Downing and Maria Mostek.
Harlan opted not to run the race, so the Panthers had the fastest qualifying time by 10 seconds. Creston cruised to a seven second victory over Winterset.
The Mostek twins accounted for the other two Panther victories, as Natalie won the 800 meters and Maria won the 1,500 meters.
They each used a strong kick to pull away from the runner-up in each race.
Natalie ran a personal best time of 2:23.05, pulling away from Harlan’s Bailey Kuhl for a six-second victory.
“No doubt,” Arnold said. “Bailey just got smoked the last 300 meters there. That was very impressive. She’s right where we want her to be. We want her to be in the fast heat.”
Likewise, Maria led Greene County’s Allison Higgins around the track for 1,350 meters of the race, before flying down the homestretch to pull away for a two-second win.
Maria ran a season best time of 5:10.66.
“Maria’s 15, awesome,” Arnold said. “She’s back. She came in this morning and we worked out her splits, wrote them on her hand. She said she’d be much more focused if she knew what she was going after.”
Arnold said the four district championships is the most in a single year in his four years as head coach.
The Panther 4x400 team of Smith, Natalie Mostek, Downing and Briley nearly came up with a fifth gold medal for the Panthers, but Briley didn’t have quite enough steam at the end to hold off Harlan’s Asia Kloewer.
“We both pulled out our big guns,” Arnold said. “For the past two weeks, our 4x400 has not been up to snuff. This is what we’ve been looking for. We’ve been holding Briley back. This is only her fourth week of track so far. I tell you what, I was really proud of them.”
Harlan edged Creston 4:11.34 to 4:12.49. It was a season’s best time for the Panthers.
Arnold said he was also impressed by twins Jami and Josie Sickels, who both ran on the sprint medley relay team and both ran personal best times in the 400 meters, as they both medaled.
“Those Sickels girls have been a huge part for us this year,” Arnold said. “We had two or three girls that could have been on relays to go to state, we just had more girls than we could put in. I’m really proud of both of those two for everything they’ve done this year.”
Senior Olivia Nielsen ended her career with a personal best throw in the shot put, throwing 28-7. For the third meet in a row, freshman Kristy Powers earned an individual team point in the 3,000 meters. Angela Drey ran a PR in the 3,000 meters.
“Just really proud of the girls,” Arnold said. “Told them, we’ve had to fight harder for this than any other year. Makes it that much sweeter when you know you’ve had to work harder.”
Class 3A State Qualifying Meet
Team standings — 1. Greene County 135, 2. Glenwood 124, 3. Harlan 120, 4. Carroll 97, 5. Winterset 76.50, 6. Creston 63, 7. Winterset 57, 8. Atlantic 48.
Discus — 1. Ashton Weyer, Har, 126-3; 12. Olivia Nielsen, Creston, 79-10; 13. Marie Hood, Creston, 74-4.
Shot put — 1. Ashton Weyer, Har, 39-3.25; 11. Marie Hood, Creston, 29-8.50; 12. Olivia Nielsen, Creston, 28-7.
High jump — 1. Morgan Cullen, Car, 5-0.
Long jump — 1. Mikayla Evers, Har, 16-10.50; 10. Sydney Suiter, Creston, 12-7.
3,000 meters — 1. Allison Higgins, GC, 11:11.97; 8. Kristy Powers, Creston, 13:02.17; 9. Angela Drey, Creston, 13:14.17.
4 x 800 relay — 1. Creston (Maria Mostek, Lexie Little, Taylor Briley, Natalie Mostek), 9:54.80.
Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Greene County, 1:07.81; 7. Creston (Madison Hance, Leah Schuler, Amber Castillo, Lexie Little), 1:14.26.
100 meters — 1. Macy Johnson, Wint, 12.97; 10. Sydney Suiter, Creston, 14.07; 13. Aleisha Larkin, Creston, 15.11.
Distance medley relay — 1. Creston (Raegen Smith, Taylor Briley, Chelcee Downing, Maria Mostek), 4:29.82.
400 meters — 1. Olivia Hansen, GC, 1:00.88; 6. Jami Sickels, Creston, 1:07.60; 8. Josie Sickels, Creston, 1:09.23.
4 x 200 relay — 1. Harlan, 1:50.78; 6. Creston (Rachel Shepherd, Jessica Beatty, Madison Callahan, Jessica Drey), 2:01.21.
100 hurdles — 1. Katey Trecker, Car, 15.55; 12. Leah Schuler, Creston, 18.51; 15. Amber Castillo, Creston, 21.19.
800 meters — 1. Natalie Mostek, Creston, 2:23.05; 4. Lexie Little, Creston, 2:35.79.
200 meters — 1. Olivia Hansen, GC, 27.25; 11. Jessica Beatty, Creston, 29.13; 13. Madison Callahan, Creston, 31.00.
400 hurdles — 1. Katey Trecker, Car, 1:07.93; 5. Madison Hance, Creston, 1:14.55; 10. Nicole Haley, Creston, 1:28.46.
Sprint medley relay — 1. Harlan, 1:53.53; 6. Creston (Amber Castillo, Marie Hood, Josie Sickels, Jami Sickels), 2:04.51.
1,500 meters — 1. Maria Mostek, Creston, 5:10.66; 9. Rachel Shepherd, Creston, 5:47.51.
4 x 100 relay — 1. Glenwood, 51.70; 5. Creston (Amber Castillo, Sydney Suiter, Josie Sickels, Marie Hood), 55.80.
4 x 400 relay — 1. Harlan, 4:11.34; 2. Creston (Raegen Smith, Natalie Mostek, Chelcee Downing, Taylor Briley), 4:12.49.