DES MOINES — It’s beginning to sound like a broken record, but the Creston girls track team has broken the 4x800 school record yet again.
For the third year in a row, the Panthers have reset the school record in the event, as they ran 9:40.57 for fourth place here Thursday at the Co-ed State Track Meet.
“We cut 14 seconds in one week,” Creston head girls track coach Clay Arnold said. “We shattered the school record. Third year in a row we’ve shattered it.”
The team consisted of Taylor Briley, Lexie Little, Maria Mostek and Natalie Mostek.
After changing the order of the relay from last week’s State Qualifying Meet, the Panthers steadily moved their way up through the field until Natalie Mostek capped it off by holding off Mount Pleasant’s Chloe Haffarnan for fourth place.
Taylor Briley led off in 2:28.42 and handed off in ninth place.
“I went out way faster than I normally do on the first lap,” Briley said. “I just tried to stay up there. All the other girls were really fast.”
Little, a freshman, followed it up with a 2:28.32 leg to move the Panthers into seventh place.
“She ran a great second leg,” Arnold said. “The freshman didn’t let the big stage bother her at all.”
Maria Mostek moved the Panthers up two more spots, into fifth with her carry of 2:24.99. Twin sister Natalie finished it off with a personal best split of 2:18.14.
“I’ve been looking for that for three years,” Arnold said. “I knew she had that in her. In the 4x800, we haven’t really been challenged much this year. When we got people to run with, we really stepped up.”
“It was neck and neck with her (Haffarnan) the whole way,” Natalie Mostek said. “About the 200 mark, I kicked it in and she started to die. That was the hardest race I’ve ever ran.”
Arnold said he felt confident with his lineup change, having Briley lead off and Maria Mostek run the third leg.
“Maria had kind of been stuck on 2:28,” he said. “I knew if I put her in the third leg and she had someone to catch, she could cut some time off. Both of them wanted to do it. It worked out perfect.”
Briley and both Mosteks were members of the previous school record, which was set at last year’s State Qualifying Meet. The other member was Emily Wignall, as the Panthers ran 9:47.41.
The three returning members agreed Thursday’s experience, especially in front of a large contingent of Panther fans, was much better than last year’s state meet, when the Panthers were unable to match their time from the State Qualifying Meet.
“The word of the season was unfinished business,” Arnold said. “We came up here last year in the same position, with the third best time in the state and kind of laid down up here and didn’t run well. This was kind of redemption for us.”
Arnold’s message for his team coming into today is simple — it’s not over yet.
“I’m just really proud of them,” Arnold said. “The pep talk of the night would be we’re not done yet. Come back tomorrow and hopefully get some more medals and see what we can do with some other school records.”
The Panthers return to action today with the distance medley relay at 2 p.m. and the 4x400 relay prelims at 7:40 p.m.
Co-ed State Track Meet
4x800 relay — 1. Dubuque Wahlert, 9:28.68; 4. Creston (Taylor Briley, Lexie Little, Maria Mostek, Natalie Mostek), 9:40.57 (school record).