Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – Bailey Nock didn’t come to the state track meet to win.
Well, she did but what Nock really came to Drake Stadium in Des Moines to do this week was to dominant.
The West High junior did plenty of both.
Nock capped an impressive meet with a title in the Class 4A 1,500 on Saturday, her third state championship of the meet.
“We wanted to dominant the distance events,” Nock said. “Coming out of cross country it was very important to me to make sure that we have strong distance runners.”
Nock won the first 3,000 in program history on Thursday and anchored the West High distance medley relay team to a championship on Friday.
On Saturday she made more history, becoming the first West High athlete to complete the 4A distance sweep by winning the state cross country title, 3,000 and 1,500 in the same school year.
“The true distance triple is cross country, 3,000 and 1,500 that 800 isn’t a distance event we call it that but it’s not,” Parker said. “She really wanted that triple and she is the first person in our schools’ history to win that triple.”
True to her goal, Nock didn’t just win she dominated. She won the 3,000 by more than 17 seconds on Thursday and was equally impressive in the 1,500 on Saturday.
Nock’s winning time of 4:39.48 was a career-best and more than seven seconds better than runner-up Helen Gould of West Des Moines Valley.
“You saw in the 1,500 she didn’t just win she dominated,” Parker said. “She wants to be that kind of distance runner.”
Nock was locked in the middle of the pack for the first 400 meters of the 1,500 before moving toward the front midway through her second lap.
At the 800-meter mark Nock took off and no one in the field could keep up.
“I was really boxed in so I was kind of freaking out during that first 400,” Nock said. “At about 800 I just said ‘I’m going’.”
Along with her three state titles, Nock added a fourth-place finish in the 800 on Saturday in a time of 2:16.74.
Cedar Falls freshman Mackenzie Michael won the 800 title in 2:11.54 while Waukee junior Lily Campbell was second and Lauren Van Dyke of Sioux City East was third.
“I definitely can improve on some things, that 800 was a huge lesson for me,” Nock said. “The open 800 is definitely something that I need to work on and focus on for next year.”
The breakthrough performance by Nock helped West High to a runner-up finish in the 4A team standings with 89 points while Waukee won the title with 116.
“It’s been a rollercoaster,” Nock said of the weekend. “We’ve had super exciting moments and we’ve also had super disappointing moments that we had to brush off and bounce back from but it was a lot of fun.”