Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – For four years Makinley Levin, Meghan O’Neill, Kaia Holtkamp and Emma Bock have been at the center of a class that has raised the Solon girls track program to new heights.
On Friday the senior foursome helped put the Spartans on the cusp of a state title.
Levin, O’Neill, Holtkamp and Bock teamed up to win the distance medley on Friday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines sparking another strong day for Solon that saw the Spartans stretch their lead in the Class 3A team race.
“Coming in as freshman together four years ago and now leaving our mark together is really exciting,” Levin said. “We lost a year as sophomores and coming back and finishing the way we have is a great feeling.”
The relay title was the second of the meet for Solon and was one of three top-three finishes for the Spartans on Friday.
Solon enters Saturday with a 12-point cushion in the 3A team standings, leading the way with 48 points.
ADM is second with 36 points, followed by Carlisle with 26 and Mount Pleasant with 20.
“We just keep boosting our confidence a little bit more,” Holtkamp said. “We just have to keep adding on points because at the end of the day we are going to need everything we can get.”
Prior to Friday the four seniors on the distance medley relay team had never run a relay together.
Friday the foursome adding a fitting moment to their already accomplished careers.
“I was so excited to be able to run together,” Bock said. “To race together for the first time together and win for the first time together it’s a great feeling.”
Last season Levin, Holtkamp and Bock were part of the Spartans’ winning distance medley relay team.
O’Neill joined on Friday as the Spartans defended their title in a time of 4:07.85.
“After districts I was really hoping I would be on the d med team,” Bock said. “I wanted to come back and defend the title.”
Bock clocked a 2:16.27 split on the 800-meter anchor leg on Friday as Solon finished more than four seconds in front of runner-up North Polk.
“This is our first time together and it feels really great as our last hurrah,” Holtkamp said. “With teammates that I’ve had for eight plus years it’s a great way to end.”
With the 11th fastest qualifying time from state qualifying meets the Spartans ran in the second of three heats on Friday.
After clocking the winning time the Spartans had to wait out the final heat to see if their time stood up.
“It was pretty stressful,” Levin said. “I was over there asking Meghan what a good last 200 of an 800 and just counting down the time. I was so excited when I saw the time and that we had won.”
The win continued a string of relay success for Solon that included a third-place finish in the 4×200 on Friday.
“We’ve been kind of checking team scores and seeing what we are projected to get,” O’Neill said. “We knew our projections weren’t going to be great off of districts to it’s great to keep getting these points.”
The 4×200 team of Levin, Sophia Stahle, Mia Duckett and Aly Stahle finished third in a time of 1:43.04 out of the second heat.
Sophia Stahle completed the big day for Solon with a third-place finish in the 400 hurdles in a career-best time of 1:04.86.
“I feel like we are all so close as a team but we know if we got out and do our individual events and focus on doing our best everything will fall in place,” Stahle said. “We try not to think about points just going out and doing your best.”
Class 3A State Track and Field Meet
At Drake Stadium
Team scores (Top 10; area teams) – 1. Solon 48; 2. ADM 36; 3. Carlisle 26; 4. Mount Pleasant 20; 5. Dubuque Wahlert 19; 6. Western Dubuque 18; 7. Spencer 16; 8. Bondurant-Farrar 15; 8. Mount Vernon 15; 10. Decorah 14; 38. Clear Creek Amana .5
State champions; area participants
400 hurdles – 1. JoJo Tyynismaa (South Tama) 1:03.65; 3. Sophia Stahle (Solon) 1:04.86; 18. Mia Stahle (Solon) 1:10.82
Distance medley relay – 1. Solon (Makinley Levin, Meghan O’Neill, Kaia Holtkamp, Emma Bock) 4:07.85; 17. Clear Creek Amana (Bailey Olerich, Bliss Beck, Kiera Rogers, Haidyn Barker) 4:28.17
4×200 – 1. ADM 1:42.12; 3. Solon (Makinley Levin, Sophia Stahle, Mia Duckett, Aly Stahle) 1:43.04
Long jump – 1. Isabelle Noring (Carlisle) 18-8 ¾; 9. Makinley Levin (Solon) 16-8 ¼; 15. Emma Descourouez (Clear Creek Amana) 16-4 ¾
Shot put – 1. Jadan Brumbaugh (Mount Pleasant) 47-5 ½;