Your Prep Sports
CEDAR RAPIDS – Throughout the course of her illustrious prep career Ashlyn Keeney has had better track meets than the one she had on Thursday.
A multi-time state and Drake Relays champion Keeney has been a part of bigger and more memorable meets than Thursday’s Class 4A state qualifier.
As she quickly scanned her memory Keeney couldn’t recall a more challenging meet than the one she endured Thursday at Kingston Stadium.
Keeney battled scorching conditions with temperatures reaching into the 90s to pull off the individual distance trifecta winning titles in the 800, 1,500 and 3,000 on a sun-soaked afternoon in Cedar Rapids.
“It was definitely pretty difficult with the heat,” Keeney said. “I was tired and hot and in pain and I was thinking back and I knew I’d felt like this before and I was able to pull through so that experience definitely helped.”
The effort from Keeney helped Liberty High win the team title and secure nine automatic event entries for the Class 4A meet next week at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
Senior Isabelle Woody won the high jump with a career-best jump and Amira Coleman won the 100 as Liberty High finished with 172 points to edge runner-up Cedar Rapids Prairie by two.
“All sorts of people have stepped up and that’s what makes our team so special is we have all these people who want to get better,” Woody said. “That is the key to everything I think.”
Senior Darya Acas qualified for state with runner-up finishes in both the shot put and discus and Jasmine Barney (long jump) and Cori Mac (3,000) each secured spots at state with runner-up finishes.
However, Thursday was about Keeney who was as dominant as ever while leading the Lightning to the first state qualifying team title of her tenure in her third and final state qualifying meet. “Not many people get to go to a brand-new high school and be a part of creating that team legacy and culture so it’s special,” Keeney said. “I’m just so proud of all the work people have put in.”
Keeney opened her busy afternoon with a win in the 3,000 in 11:07.43.
Mac was runner-up in 11:13.92.
“I feel like I competed well,” Keeney said. “I wasn’t trying to go slow because I wanted the other girls to be able to get in and I wanted my teammates to get in so I was trying to run at a decent pace that would hopefully be able to qualify and then try to stay ahead at the end.”
Perhaps the toughest turnaround of the four-event schedule for Keeney came early as she ran the anchor leg on the Lightning 4×800 team that finished fourth in 10:37.84.
“The heat was insane,” Keeney said. “It was really difficult but I was really fortunate to have teammates who aren’t running today or who had a long break brought me some water, my mom was in the stands she had a towel for me, my coach was helping me so just having that support definitely made it a lot easier. If I wasn’t able to have those things I don’t know if I would have been able to finish the 4×800.”
The 40-minute break in the schedule allowed Keeney to rest before her final two events and equally importantly gave time for the temperatures to drop.
Keeney responded by running a 2:19.1 in the 800 to finish nearly two seconds clear of Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Lily Johannes who was runner up in 2:20.96.
“I was warming up and my legs felt like jelly and I didn’t know if I was going to have the pep in my step,” Keeney said. “It was really painful but I was happy with how it went.”
Keeney capped her day by winning the 1,500 in 5:02.42.
Coleman won the 100 in 13.13 while Woody cleared 5-4 to win the high jump.
“I wanted a pr and I wanted to have fun,” Woody said. “The biggest thing for me right now is coming off of surgery I can’t run so I just want to have fun and make my teammates proud and make my family proud. My goal was just to do that and have a pr an I did that today.”
Class 4A State Qualifier
At Kingston Stadium
Team scores – 1. Liberty High 172; 2. Cedar Rapids Prairie 170; 3. Linn-Mar 138; 4. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 108; 5. Marshalltown 55; 6. Ottumwa 43; 7. Cedar Rapids Washington 19; 8. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 14
Automatic state qualifiers; area placewinners
Long jump – 1. Kaylee Bunn (L-M) 17-6 ½; 2. Jasmine Barney (ICL) 17-3; 8. Asta Hildebrand (ICL) 16-2
High jump – 1. Isabelle Woody (ICL) 5-4; 2. Allison Kriegel (L-M) 5-1
Shot put – 1. Kennedy Evans (L-M) 40-5 ¾; 2. Darya Acas (ICL) 35-9 ¼; 6. Jolie Nordell (ICL) 35-0 ½
Discus – 1. Emma Joens (CRP) 122-11; 2. Darya Acas (ICL) 120-8; 8. Tashayna Church-Roberts (ICL) 95-9
100 – 1. Amira Coleman (ICL) 13.13; 2. Asia Russell (CRP) 13.24; 6. Brityn Gryp (ICL) 13.91
200 – 1. Addison Swartzendruber (CRK) 26.41; 2. Mary Gustason (L-M) 26.82; 4. Hannah Ramsey (ICL) 27.14; 6. Amira Coleman (ICL) 27.33
400 – 1. Gabby Cortez (CRP) 56.19; 2. Sidney Swartzendruber (CRK) 57.45; 4. Hannah Ramsey (ICL) 1:01.85; 8. Hailey Noel (ICL) 1:05.73
800 – 1. Ashlyn Keeney (ICL) 2:19.1; 2. Lily Johannes (CRP) 2:20.96; 6. Cori Mac (ICL) 2:31.71.
1,500 – 1. Ashlyn Keeney (ICL) 5:02.42; 3. Cori Mac (ICL) 5:11.22
3,000 – 1. Ashlyn Keeney (ICL) 11:07.43; 2. Cori Mac (ICL) 11:13.92
110 hurdles – 1. Grace Braden (CRK) 16.02; 2. Ryann Decker (CRP) 16.38; 3. Brie Klein (ICL) 16.76; 7. Asta Hildebrand (ICL) 17.76
400 hurdles – 1. Maci Harder (CRP) 1:11.03; 2. Asta Hildebrand (ICL) 1:11.83; 5. Elizabeth Jaeger (ICL) 1:13.81
Shuttle hurdle relay – 1. Cedar Rapids Kenney 1:08.05; 2. Cedar Rapids Prairie 1:08.76; 3. Liberty High (Brie Klein, Elizabeth Jaeger, Brityn Gryp, Asta Hildebrand) 1:10.33
Sprint medley relay – 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie 1:45.9; 2. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 1:51.04; 4. Liberty High (Brie Klein, Jenna Uden, Brynlee Slockett, Hannah Ramsey) 1:55.82
Distance medley relay – 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie 4:23.35; 2. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 4:26.33; 4. Liberty High (Jasmine Barney, Brynlee Slockett, Marissa Becker, Cori Mac) 4:36.47
4×100 – 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie 49.04; 2. Linn-Mar 50.1; 3. Liberty High (Brityn Gryp, Brynlee Slockett, Brie Klein, Amira Coleman) 50.97
4×200 – 1. Linn-Mar 1:46.3; 2. Cedar Rapids Prairie 1:47.5; 3. Liberty High (Brityn Gryp, Brynlee Slockett, Jasmine Barney, Amira Coleman) 1:49.85
4×400 – 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie 4:02.76; 2. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 4:08.6; 3. Liberty High (Jasmine Barney, Hannah Ramsey, Marissa Becker, Hailey Noel) 4:14.94
4×800 – 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie 10:03.95; 4. Liberty High (Hailey Noel, Clara Welch, Malia Taylor, Ashlyn Keeney) 10:37.84