Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – The attention turns entirely to the blue oval inside Drake Stadium on Saturday for the final day of the three-day state track and field meet.
Nine running event titles are up for grabs in all four classes on Saturday in the only day of the meet that has all four classes competing together.
In addition to the 36 event titles up for grabs eight team champions in four classes will be crowned on Saturday afternoon.
Here are five things to follow on Saturday as the 2017 state track and field meet comes to a close.
Can West High Hang On?
A big day on Friday has given the West High girls the lead in the Class 4A team race heading into Saturday and the final nine events. Now the Women of Troy need to hang on.
West High finished Friday with 62 points, 10 more than defending champion Waukee.
The Warriors have entries in seven of nine events on Saturday while West High has entries in four.
West High has already put up its highest point total at state since it won its last title in 2010. Every point will be important on Saturday as the Women of Troy attempt to hold off the Waukee charge.
Head to Head Matchups
Speaking of the team race, the 800 and 1,500 should play key roles in determining who wears the 4A crown.
Waukee enters with the top two qualifiers in the 800 in juniors Lily Campbell (2:17.04) and Logan Akason (2:17.92).
West High counters with junior Bailey Nock who is ranked fourth and held of Akanson to anchor West High to the distance medley title with a 2:12.4 relay split and sophomore Deniz Ince who is seeded ninth.
Nock enters with the top time in the 1,500 and has already won the 3,000 title and teammate Gabby Skopec is sixth.
Akason has the second-best qualifying time and freshman Sydney Schaffer owns the third best time from districts.
West High and City High have gone head to head all season in the 4×400 relay.
The two cross-town rivals made sure they will close out the season and the 2017 state meet with one more matchup.
Both teams advanced to the 4A finals on Friday with top-eight qualifying times from the prelims.
The City High team of Daniel Brown, Zach Jones, Jack Roggeveen and Lucas Firmstone clocked a season-best 3:20.09 in the prelims, third fastest among 4A finalists.
The 3:20.09 was more than 1.5 seconds faster than its qualifying time and is the 10th best in school history.
West High’s foursome of Derek Nugent, Chris Low, Austin West, Gabe Caruthers entered with the top qualifying time of 3:20.75 and finished seventh in the prelims with a time of 3:21.42.
West Branch senior Paige Miller bounced back from a fall in the shuttle hurdle relay to place third in the 400 hurdles on Friday.
She followed up that performance by anchoring the West Branch 4×400 relay team to a season-best time of 4:07.39 in the prelims on Friday night.
On Saturday Miller will get a chance to end her career with a bang.
The lone senior on a foursome that qualified in three relays, Miller joins freshman Jaylen Votroubek, Kaiya Luneckas and junior Tatum Koenig on the West Branch 4×400 team that enters the finals with the sixth best time from prelims.
Valerie Welch finally got her first state title on Friday.
The West High senior will try to add to her title count in her final run on the blue oval on Saturday.
Welch will cap her prep career in the Class 4A 100 hurdles and enters with the top time in the state in the event this season at 14.34 and posted the second fastest time in the prelims on Friday at 14.73.
Waukee junior Sydney Winger has the top time from prelims at 14.69.