Your Prep Sports
Track (and field) is back!
And yes, the exclamation point is necessary. Maybe even two would be fitting.
That is because for the first time since 2019 high school track season is underway.
The coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of all spring sports last season, including track, but the first week of competition is underway and all area teams are set to start their seasons in the coming days.
Before the start of the season-opening meets we take a look at some area athletes to keep any eye on this season.
Junior, Liberty High
Already one of the most decorated distance runners in the state Keeney will attempt to add to a career resume that already features a pair of title titles and a Drake Relays crown.
Keeney won the 3,000 (10:04.09) and 1,500 (4:34.04) in her state meet debut in 2019 and added runner-up finishes in the 800 and distance medley relay helping Liberty High to a fourth-place team finish.
A four-event qualifier as a freshman in 2019, Bock earned three state medals in her state meet debut including a sixth-place finish in the 800 in 2:18.05.
Bock was also a member of three state qualifying relay teams running on the Spartans’ title winning 4×400 relay team in 2019 and anchored the third-place distance medley team.
Gahan will look to improve her place in the 400 hurdles for the third consecutive season after earning medals in the event in each of her first two trips to the state meet.
Gahan was eighth in the 400 hurdles as a freshman in 2018 and fifth in 2019 when she also anchored the Regina sprint medley relay team to a seventh-place finish.
Senior, West High
Liao will look to continue a strong recent string of hurdle success at West High as she enters the season as one of the top returning hurdlers in the state from 2019.
The senior was fifth in the 400 hurdles at the 2019 state meet in a career-best time of 1:08.01, helped the West High shuttle hurdle relay team to a third-place finish and was also a member of the Trojans’ state qualifying 4×200 team.
Senior, West Branch
A key senior leader for the Bears, Henson has sprinters speed and valuable experience after running the leadoff leg on the West Branch state qualifying 4×100 relay team in 2019.
Henson is one of three returning members from that 4×100 team that qualified for the 2019 state meet.
Senior, City High
A four-event qualifier as a sophomore, Kelly-Harvey helped City High post a pair of top-10 relay finishes at the state meet highlighted by a fourth-place performance in the distance medley relay.
Kelly-Harvey helped the City High 4×800 team to a ninth-place finish and also ran on the Little Hawks’ sprint medley and 4×400 squads.
Part of a strong group of experienced returners for Solon, Levin was a four-event qualifier as a freshman helping the Spartans’ distance medley and sprint medley relay teams to third-place finishes.
Levin was also a member of the state-qualifying 4×100 team and placed 13th in the long jump.
Senior, Liberty High
Half of one of the best distance duos in the state along with Keeney, Mac will look to cap a strong career with a third consecutive state medal in the 3,000.
Mac was fifth as a freshman and eighth in the 4A 3,000 last season when she also qualified for the state meet in the 1,500 and ran on the Liberty High 4×800 relay team.
Senior, City High
Another returning multi-event qualifier for the Little Hawks, Reynolds competed in the 4×800 relay and the 400 hurdles at the state meet in 2019.
Reynolds helped City High to a ninth-place finish in the 4×800 and was 12th in the 400 hurdles in a time of 1:09.58.
Senior, West Branch
A Bradley basketball recruit, Koenig isn’t bad on the track either where she helped West Branch to a third-place finish in the Class 2A shuttle hurdle relay in 2019.
Koenig was also a member of the Bears state-qualifying 4×100 relay team as a sophomore.