What to Watch on Friday at the State Track and Field Meet
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With five more event finals in each class Friday marks the official halfway point of the state track and field meet.
The second of two days divided into a pair of sessions, Friday offers the first finals in relay events and the conclusion of field events in all four classes.
For the second straight day Friday features three finals on the track (distance medley relay, 4×200 and 400 hurdles) and two field event finals in each class.
Here are five things to keep a close eye on Friday.
Field Day for West High
Friday marks the end of field event competition and West High would like to see it end with a bang.
West High has top-two seeded qualifiers in both of Friday’s field events as junior Chandler Haight enters with the second best qualifying mark in the shot put and senior Valerie Welch enters seeded second in the long jump.
Both Welch and Haight placed third in those respective events last season and are capable of improving on those performances on Friday.
Haight enters with the second-best performance in 4A this season at 44-7 while Welch has the second best mark in 4A at 18-10 ¼.
West High is seeking a double place in the long jump with junior Kitra Bell entering with the seventh best performance in 4A this season.
Bell was fourth at the state meet last season as a sophomore and could provide a big team boost with extra points in the long jump on Friday.
Miller Goes for More Hurdle Gold
Two seasons ago Paige Miller helped the West Branch shuttle hurdle relay team make school history with a state title.
Miller returns to Drake Stadium this season in search of her own individual hurdle history.
A qualifier on three relays, including her fourth consecutive trip to state on the shuttle hurdle, Miller enters with the second-best time in 2A this season at 1:06.2 and top qualifying time in the 400 hurdles.
A Drake Relays qualifier, Miller is attempting to become the first 400 hurdle champion in West Branch history.
Luci Murphy Saving Her Best for Last
Talk about peaking at the right time.
City High senior Luci Murphy posted an 18-inch personal best in the shot put at last week’s state qualifier.
Her career-best toss of 40-9 is the fifth best in Class 4A this season and puts Murphy in a position to become the first City High medal winner in the shot put since Aliyah Gustafson was runner-up in 2013.
Future Hawkeyes Battle for Shot Put Supremacy
Tristan Wirfs and Tyler Linderbaum will be football teammates in a few years.
Before teaming up on the gridiron the two Iowa football recruits will be meet one final time as high school competitors in the Class 3A shot put.
Wirfs has already established himself as one of the best throwers in state history and is a heavy favorite to repeat as a state champion.
The Mount Vernon senior has the top throw in the state this season and second best in Iowa prep history at 67-0.
Linderbaum is no slouch in the ring himself.
The Solon junior posted the third best mark in 3A this season at last week’s state qualifier at 55-10 and was seventh at the state meet last season as a sophomore.
Solon sophomore Coal Flansburg enters with the fourth best throw in 3A at 54-8 ½.
Class 4A Team Races Take Shape
The West High boys and girls both entered with plans to contend for state titles.
Both are in contention to do just that after one day.
The West High girls enter Friday leading the 4A team standings with 24 points, five more than second-place Johnston.
Linn-Mar is third with 18 and defending champion and favorite Waukee is fourth with 17.
On the boys side West Des Moines Valley and Waukee are tied with 27 points after one day and five events while Bettendorf is third with 18 points, Linn-Mar is fourth with 15 and West High is fifth with 14 points.