Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Eva Reynolds has a reputation for being a bit accident-prone.
Last year, the City High senior injured her hip while on a run.
This past February, a tumble on the ski slopes at Dubuque’s Sundown Mountain resulted in a broken right collarbone.
So when Reynolds decided she wanted to try her hand at hurdling after her sophomore track campaign, City High track and field coach Jeremy Mims was skeptical.
“She had just never hurdled before,” Mims said after the Little Hawks won three events and placed third as a team at the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division championships Thursday at Iowa City West’s Trojan Field. “And she was like, ‘Can I try it? Can I try it?’ ‘Can I do it?’ And we were like, ‘Maybe later. We don’t want you to get hurt.’”
Hurdling is part of the Reynolds’ DNA.
Eva’s older sister, Lillian, placed fourth in the 400-meter hurdles for City High at the 2021 state meet.
Their mother, Christina Reynolds (Welu), ran hurdles at both Dubuque Wahlert High School and Loras College.
In order to make a convincing case that she was the next in line, Eva summoned her friends for assistance.
“My sophomore year of the summer, I went to the track with my friends and filmed myself going over a hurdle, joking that I should start hurdles,” Reynolds said. “(Mims) sent me a photo back, saying, ‘You’re starting hurdles next year.’”
The decision proved wise.
After finishing seventh at last year’s state meet in the 400 hurdles, Reynolds entered the MVC divisional meet as the top seed in the event.
She won in 1:06 more than a second faster than West High junior Erinn Varga.
“It was my first race of the day,” Reynolds said. “I was just having my mind set on staying loose all day. I stayed out of the sun all day, made sure I had my warmups on even though it was really hot outside. Just trying to stay strong throughout the whole race.”
Reynolds also helped City High close the meet with a third-place performance (4:01.03) in the 4×400 relay alongside junior Lucy Thompson and sophomores Josephine LeClair and Ani Wedemeyer.
“She is a competitor,” Mims said. “She wants to get after it. I don’t think she knows how good she is yet. I think she is starting to figure that out.”
Junior Grace Kirschling (high jump) and freshman Hannah Braun (discus) notched the other individual event victories for City High.
Kirschling’s leap of 4-10 was four inches higher than Linn-Mar’s Katelyn Orr while Braun entered the meet seeded third behind a pair of Linn-Mar throwers, but bested the field with a toss of 118-4.
“Both she and Rachel (Haack, who placed fourth with a throw of 115 feet) as freshmen have really stepped up,” Mims said. “Having the kids starting to peak now is what you are looking for. We’re just excited to see what they can do at districts.”
Ani Wedemeyer posted one of two runner-up individual finishes for City High when she completed the 800 run in 2:16.95.
Fellow sophomore Nicole Peterson had the other with a personal-best time of 5:05.13 in the 1,500.
Ironically, it was Peterson’s performances in the longer, more grueling 3,000 run – both at last week’s Drake Relays and early in the conference meet – that provided both the confidence and the strategy for success in the 1,500.
“I PR’d in the first 1,500 in both of those 3Ks,” Peterson said. “So I kind of went out here today with a mission to live up to that and put that mentality into practice.”
Peterson finished fourth in the 3,000 in 11:05.54, just behind twin sister Nina Peterson (10:56.61).
“It is not super-competitive, but it is kind of inspiring to have a built-in training partner and teammate all the time,” Nicole Peterson said. “Twenty-four, seven.”
Linn-Mar won the team title with 176 points, while Cedar Rapids Kennedy was second with 123.5.
West High placed fifth as team with 95 points, highlighted by runner-up individual performances from senior Annie Schwartz (200 dash), Varga (400 hurdles) and the shuttle hurdle relay foursome of sophomores Sophia Olivo and Lily McConnell, plus senior Hebah War and junior Erinah Carter.
Both schools will compete at a Class 4A state-qualifying meet on May 11.
West High will be at Dubuque Senior (along with Liberty High), while the Little Hawks travel to North Scott.
For Reynolds – who returned to action April 8 after the collarbone injury – it will be a chance to show she’s fully healthy and earn a coveted second state berth in the 400 hurdles with an opportunity to improve on last year’s debut.
“I have just been practicing every day, keeping my times down,” Reynolds said. “I think training for the 400 and the 400 hurdles is going to make my time drop even more. This is the point of the season when the times start to show.”
Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division Meet
At Trojan Field
Team scores – 1. Linn-Mar 176; 2. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 123.5; 3. City High 109; 4. Dubuque Hempstead 106; 5.West High 95; 6. Western Dubuque 81.5; 7. Cedar Rapids Washington 31; 8. Waterloo West 15.
Event winners; area placers
Long jump – 1. Petra Sherman (L-M) 17-0 1/2; 4. Emily Arling (ICH) 16-3; 5. Evelyn Asay (ICW) 15-9 3/4; 6. Ruth Cloyd (ICH) 15-3 1/2; 8. Lindsey McKane (ICW) 15-2
High jump – 1. Grace Kirschling (ICH) 4-10; 5. Emmy McComas (ICH) 4-4
Shot put – 1. Kennedy Evans (L-M) 39-07; 6. Helen Penning (ICW) 34-06; 8. Hannah Braun (ICH) 30-03
Discus – 1. Hannah Braun (ICH) 118-04; 4. Rachel Haack (ICH) 115-0; 8. Helen Penning (ICW) 91-11
100 – 1. Brynn Walters (WD) 12.95; 5. Annie Schwartz (ICW) 13.35; 7. Safia Almabrazi (ICH) 14.12
200 – 1. Addison Swartzendruber (CRK) 26.15; 2. Annie Schwartz (ICW) 26.70; 6. Sierra Pruessner (ICH) 27.29
400 – 1. Sidney Swartzendruber (CRK) 56.64; 5. Josephine LeClair (ICH) 1:02.83; 7. Lucy Thompson (ICH) 1:03.78
800 – 1. Keelee Leitzen (DH) 2:16.72; 2. Ani Wedemeyer (ICH) 2:16.95; 7. Nina Peterson (ICH) 2:30.83; 8. Lydia Evans (ICW) 2:36.18
1,500 – 1. Sophia Dallal (DH) 5:02.97; 2. Nina Peterson (ICH) 5:05.13; 6. Cindy Wang (ICW) 5:25.38; 8. Gabby Moniza (ICW) 5:30.41
3,000 – 1. Keelee Leitzen (DH) 10:44.08; 3. Nina Peterson (ICH) 10:56.61; 4. Nicole Peterson (ICH) 11:05.54
100 hurdles – 1. Grace Braden (CRK) 15.28; 3. Erinah Carter (ICW) 16.06; 4. Sophia Olivo (ICW) 16.14; 8. Gloria Konu (ICH) 17.73
400 hurdles – 1. Eva Reynolds (ICH) 1:06; 2. Erinn Varga (ICW) 1:07.08; 7. Lily McConnell (ICW) 1:15.31.
Sprint medley – 1. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 1:47.03; 3. City High (Safia Almabrazi, Sierra Pruessner, Josephine LeClair, Ani Wedemeyer) 1:50.34; 7. West High (Natalie Steva, Shaniya Jackson, Cassie Thurmond, Sage Slessor) 1:58.06.
Distance medley – 1. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 4:25.24. 4. West High (Lindsey McKane, Anna Prouty, Eva Willis, Cindy Wang) 4:36.86; 7. City High (Emmy McComas, Mckenzie Brown, Cooper Hamilton, Katiya Ellermeier) 5:01.78
Shuttle hurdle – 1. Linn-Mar, 1:08.53; 2. West High (Sophia Olivo, Lily McConnell, Hebah War, Erinah Carter) 1:10.38; 5. City High (Gloria Konu, Kjirsten Kenlin, Monique Schnoebelen, Kayden Jensen) 1:14.76.
4×100 – 1. Western Dubuque, 50.33; 3. City High (Safia Almabrazi, Sierra Pruessner, Jessi Kucera, Ruth Cloyd) 51.0; 5. West High (Natalie Steva, Erinah Carter, Shaniya Jackson, Annie Schwartz) 52.34.
4×400 – 1. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 3:56.88; 3. City High (Josephine LeClair, Eva Reynolds, Lucy Thompson, Ani Wedemeyer), 4:01.03; 4. Iowa City West (Annie Schwartz, Kate Van Waning, Anna Prouty, Erinn Varga), 4:11.67.
4×800 – 1. Dubuque Hempstead 10:07.38; 3. West High (Erinn Varga, Gabby Moniza, Lydia Evans, Kate Van Waning) 10:20.66; 7. City High (Nina Kuhlmann, Elim Michael, Alma Bhandary-Narayanan, Rachel Matel) 11:42.25.