Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – Sometimes in sports the story book ending becomes reality.
That was the case for Solon on Saturday at the State Track and Field meet.
The Spartans got the perfect ending to a nearly flawless weekend with a title in the 4×400 relay on its way to winning the Class 3A team title at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
“It’s been a dream,” Solon senior Meghan O’Neill said. “This is what we knew we wanted, this is what we all wanted, I’m just glad we got it done.”
Solon was dominant from start to finish while securing the first outright state title in program history and first championship since sharing the 2A crown with Gilbert in 2010.
The Spartans scored points in all seven relays and 11 total events and double scored in both the 400 and 800 while racking up 84 points to finish 18 clear of runner-up ADM.
“There are always a couple more things that you are hoping for but we were really happy with what we did this week,” Solon coach Brent Sands said. “You could knit pick a couple of things here and there but they really showed up and performed.”
Solon led the team standings after each of the first two days.
The Spartans locked things up early on Saturday with a third consecutive stellar performance.
Solon got fourth-place finishes from its shuttle hurdle and sprint medley relays and the 4×100 relay team finished third.
The 4×100 and shuttle hurdle relay teams each set school records on Saturday.
Seniors Emma Bock and Kaia Holtkamp finished third and fifth respectively in the 800 as Solon stretched its lead over ADM throughout the day.
“I think it was pretty close to perfect,” Holtkamp said. “We still had a little bit of personal disappointments maybe but it was about as close as perfect as it could be.”
Solon had locked up the team title before the 4×400 but the final event provided an opportunity for the perfect ending for what has been an impressive and unbeaten season for the Spartans.
The coaches told us before we had the team title in the bag but we wanted this race,” Bock said of the 4×400. The team total wouldn’t be as good if we didn’t finish with a win.”
Last season Solon closed a runner-up finish in the 3A team race with a second-place finish in the 4×400.
It was a sour ending to an otherwise strong season and state meet.
The disappointment to last year provided a little extra incentive for a special ending.
“Since our freshman year we all had this on the bucket list and we wanted to get it done,” O’Neill said. “After last year that really set us on a mission for this year.”
O’Neill, Holtkamp and Bock were joined by sophomore Gracie Federspiel in winning the 4×400 in 3:55.14.
Davenport Assumption, which defeated Solon in the 4×400 last season was runner-up in 3:59.77.
“This definitely makes up for last year getting second in the 4×400, getting second as a team to win both of those this year, it’s the perfect ending.”
With the win in the 4×400 Solon has now scored points in 15 consecutive state meet relays dating back to 2019 and has scored in all seven relays each of the past two seasons.
“I couldn’t image going out any other way,” Holtkamp said. “I’m so glad we got this done.”
The 4×400 win, the team title, the entire season was a perfect coronation for a senior class that has raised the program to new heights.
“The group as far as athletic performance they are ridiculous but just their leadership is so important,” Sands said. “Because track means so much to them that carries down to everyone else.”
Class 3A State Track and Field Meet
At Drake Stadium
Team scores (Top 10; area teams) – 1. Solon 84; 2. ADM 66; 3. Western Dubuque 51; 4. Dubuque Wahlert 50; 5. Carlisle 46; 6. Spencer 33; 7. South Tama 31; 8. Ballard 26; 9. Mount Pleasant 22; 9. Newton 22; 19. Clear Creek Amana 13.5
State champions; area participants
100 – 1. Audrey Biermann (Western Dubuque) 12.2
200 – 1. Audrey Biermann (Western Dubuque) 24.42
800 – 1. Ainsley Erzen (Carlisle) 2:10.07; 3. Emma Bock (Solon) 2:18.22; 5. Kaia Holtkamp (Solon) 2:20.84
1,500 – 1. Ainsley Erzen (Carlisle) 4:36.96; 13. Kayla Young (Solon) 5:06.64; 22. Kira Barker (Clear Creek Amana) 5:17.87
100 Hurdles – 1. Addisyn Terpstra (Newton) 14.55; 6. Silvana Kabolo (Clear Creek Amana) 15.44
Sprint medley relay – 1. Western Dubuque 1:45.58; 4. Solon (Mia Stahle, Mia Duckett, Sophia Stahle, Gracie Federspiel) 1:49.88
Shuttle hurdle relay – 1. Clear Creek Amana (Emma Mathis, Mari Cetta, Meghan Cullen, Silvana Kabolo) 1:05.9; 4. Solon (Mia Stahle, Calla Foster, Sophia Stahle, Aly Stahle) 1:06.27
4×100 – 1. ADM 48.53; 3. Solon (Aly Stahley, Makinley Levin, Mia Duckett, Emma Wolff) 49.28.
4×400 – 1. Solon (Meghan O’Neill, Kaia Holtkamp, Gracie Federspiel, Emma Bock) 3:55.14