By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
As track season gets into full swing this week here are five athletes to watch between now and the state meet set for May 18-20 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
Senior, West High
Welch had a breakthrough season as a junior, earning four state medals to go with a Drake Relays title in the long jump.
The Colorado recruit placed third in the long jump, 400 hurdles and 100 hurdles at the state meet last year and was a member of the West High shuttle hurdle relay team that placed fourth.
Welch set new school records in each of those four events last season and became the 13th girl in state history to jump 19 feet in the long jump.
Senior, City High
Arch will try to end her career with a strong track season after opening her senior year with a top-ten finish at the state cross country meet.
A three-event state qualifier last year, Arch reached the state meet in the 800 and ran on a pair of City High relays.
Arch helped the City High 4×800 relay team to a 13th place finish and was a member of the Little Hawks’ distance medley relay team that finished 15th.
Junior, West High
Another athlete hoping to build off a strong cross country season, Nock became the sixth individual state champion in West High history when she won the 4A cross country title last fall.
The junior distance specialist had her best season on the track last year as a sophomore.
Nock earned four state medals last season, highlighted by a fifth-place finish in the 800.
She also placed eighth in the 1,500, ran a leg on the West High 4×800 relay team that finished third and helped the Women of Troy to a sixth-place performance in the distance medley.
The first ever trip to the state meet was a successful one for Kerkhoff who earned her first career medal with a sixth-place finish in the 400 last May.
Kerkhoff also helped the Spartans’ sprint medley relay team to a 10th place finish in her state meet debut.
Junior, West High
Haight collected the first state medal of her career in her second trip to the state meet last season, placing third in the shot put with a mark of 41-3.
She just missed another medal last season, placing ninth in the discus and will attempt to build on those performances this season.