Your Prep Sports
It is postseason time for high school track and field athletes.
A two-week stretch that ends at the state track and field meet May 18-20 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines begins on Thursday with conference meets across the Your Prep Sports area.
All seven Your Prep Sports area teams will be in action at conference meets on Thursday and offer a quick breakdown of all three of those meets here.
MVC Mississippi Divisional
When: Thursday, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Dalzell Field in Dubuque
Teams: Liberty High; Cedar Rapids Prairie; Cedar Rapids Jefferson; Cedar Rapids Xavier; Cedar Falls; Dubuque Wahlert; Dubuque Senior
Team title chase: Cedar Rapids Prairie held off Liberty High to win the Mississippi Division title a year ago and those two should be in the thick of another tightly contested Mississippi Division team race on Thursday. Dubuque Wahlert and Cedar Falls both have the ability to work themselves into title contention.
Athlete to watch: A healthy Cori Mac continues to climb into the conversation of the best distance runners in Class 4A.
The Liberty High junior has top-21 times in the state this season in both the 1,500 and 3,000 and is a top-two seed in the Valley Divisional in both those events and the 800. Mac is second to Leah Klapatauskas in the 1,500 with a time of 4:47.52 and has the top 3,000 time at 10:27.35.
Event to watch: Liberty High has a sizeable advantage among team title contenders in the field events and the long jump is an event that could give Lightning a big early boost.
Senior Jasmine Barney is the top seed with a jump of 17-4 and freshman Alexi Thigpen has the second-best mark at 17-3 ¼. A big long jump effort could be the difference in what should be a tight team race.
Breakdown: This has the opportunity to be one of the most exciting meets of the day as four teams could be in the title conversation.
With its long jumpers and junior Jolie Nordell who has the best mark in both the shot put (37-10) and discus (105-6) Liberty High has the field event advantage.
Dubuque Wahlert has the top time in three relays and has a couple of standout sprinters in Meghan McDonald and Rylee Steffen while Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids Prairie are both balanced and deep.
MVC Valley Divisional
When: Thursday, 4:30 p.m.
Where: West High
Teams: City High; West High; Cedar Rapids Kennedy; Linn-Mar; Cedar Rapids Washington; Dubuque Hempstead; Waterloo West; Western Dubuque
Team title chase: This should be another exciting team title race with multiple teams having a n opportunity to work into the chase. Linn-Mar is the favorite on the strength of its field events as the Lions have three top seeds and three second seeds in the field events. City High, Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Dubuque Hempstead can all challenge.
Athlete to watch: West High senior Meena Tate has already made the most of her debut track season and will look to add a divisional title to her resume on Thursday.
Tate enters as the top seed in the high jump, clearing 5-5 this season and is one of only three competitors in the field to clear better than 5-0 this season.
Event to watch: Only 12 athletes have gone under 58.5 in the 400 this season and five are from the MVC Valley Division. Cedar Rapids Kennedy sisters Sidney and Addison Swartzendruber have the top two times among Valley Division competitors at 56.33 and 47.01 respectively while City High sophomore is third with a 58.18.
The Swartzendrubers rank second and third in the state this spring and Wedemeyer is ninth.
Breakdown: City High has just one top seed, senior Eva Reynolds in the 400 hurdles (1:05.76) but has the depth to be in the race till the end.
Wedemeyer has top-four times in three events, Nina and Nicole Peterson have top three times in the 3,000 and City High is the second seed in four different relays.
West High is led by a strong hurdle group.
Junior Erinah Carter has the second fastest time in the 100 hurdles at 15.9 and sophomore Sophia Olivo is third at 16.21.
Erinn Varga has the second fastest 400 hurdle time (1:06.56) and sophomore Lily McConnell has the fourth fastest time in the 400 hurdles.
The West High team of Olivo, McConnell, Hebah War and Carter has the top shuttle hurdle time at 1:06.92.
WAMAC Conference Meet
When: Thursday, 4 p.m.
Where: West Delaware High School in Manchester
Teams: Clear Creek Amana; Solon; Benton Community; Center Point-Urbana; Independence; Marion; Mount Vernon; Vinton-Shellsburg; West Delaware; Williamsburg; South Tama
Team title chase: Solon dominated the field a year ago racking up 180 points on its way to its second consecutive conference title. The Spartans should make it three straight titles this season after winning by 90 points a year ago.
Athlete to watch: Solon junior Gracie Federspiel is in the middle of a breakthrough season and enters with the top time in both the 400 (57.86) and 800 (2:15.95) with her times in both events ranking in the top 11 in the state this season.
Federspiel is also a big part of the relay success for Solon which has become a staple of the Spartan program.
Event to watch: With four of the top five times in Class 3A this season coming from WAMAC competitors the 400 hurdles at the WAMAC meet should be a solid state meet preview.
Solon senior Sophia Stahle has the top time in 3A at 1:04.06 while West Delaware senior Alivia Schulte has the third-best time in 3A at 1:06.19.
Clear Creek Amana freshman Jaylin Herring (1:06.7) and Mount Vernon senior Laura Swart (1:07.01) also have top-five times in 3A this season and Solon junior Mia Stahle (1:07.83) is just outside the top five.
Breakdown: Defending 3A state champion Solon has been the class of the WAMAC the past two seasons and with the top seed in 12 events that should continue on Thursday.
Solon has the top time in six relays and Federspiel (400, 800), Sophia Stahle (400 hurdles, 200) and Kayla Young (1,500, 3,000) all have the top time in two individual events.
Clear Creek Amana was fourth last season and should be in for another strong finish this season.
Silvana Kabolo has the top time in the 100 hurdles at 15.26 and is a member of the Clipper shuttle hurdle relay team that has the second fastest time.
Elizabeth Timmerman is the top seed in the long jump at 17-1 ¾ while Herring is third in the 400 hurdles and Haidyn Barker has top-five times in both the 1,500 and 3,000.
River Valley Conference Meet
When: Thursday, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Tipton City Park
Teams: Regina; West Branch; Anamosa; Dyersville Beckman; Bellevue; Camanche; Cascade; Durant; Maquoketa; Mid-Prairie; Monticello; Northeast; Tipton; West Liberty; Wilton
Team title chase: Four-time defending Class 2A Mid-Prairie is the heavy favorite to continue its River Valley Conference domination this season. RVC newcomer Maquoketa and last year’s runner-up Tipton should lead the list of teams chasing the Golden Hawks.
Athlete to watch: West Branch senior sprinter Iva Senio has vaulted into conference title contention with a strong final season.
Senio ranks third in the 100 (12.76) and fourth in the 200 (27.07) and is part of the Bears’ 4×100 relay that enters seeded third (51.45) and the 4×200 squad that has the second fastest time in the RVC (1:50.92)
Event to watch: The 100 hurdles will feature several of the top small school hurdlers in the state in Cascade senior Devin Simon, Durant senior Carlie Jo Fusco and Regina freshman Reese Naeve.
Simon has the top time among RVC competitors and ranks fourth in 2A at 15.15 while Fusco is right behind ranking sixth in 2A at 15.61.
Naeve has run 16.23 this season which ranks seventh in Class 1A.
Breakdown: West Branch made a nice jump a year ago at the RVC meet going from 10th in 2021 to seventh last season and will look to continue to rise this season.
Senio and the West Branch sprint relays should score points and the Bears will look for big points in the shot put where senior Sadie Smith has the top mark at 36-10 and sophomore Alyssa Pierce is second at 36-1.
Regina will look to improve on a 12th place finish from last season with Naeve ranking third in the high jump clearing 5-0 this season.
Junior Sydney Wagner has the fourth best mark in the shot put at 35-8 and Regina has the fifth fastest time in the shuttle hurdle relay.