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Cascade Girls Take Two Relays, Gunnells Wins Shot-Put Crown

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DES MOINES — Every tear met the memory of a smile.

Cascade four-sport star Abbey Meyer seriously considered dropping a sport — in this case, track — from her wildly successful athletic repertoire as winter raged outside her window.

Until she remembered the laughs and the hugs.

The other girls.

And what could loom in May, as in now.

“I would cry every night because I was like, 'What do I do, what do I do?'” said Meyer, who obviously settled on what she does best: winning. “My mom and dad were like, 'It's up to you. We just want you to be happy.' And I always talked to my coach and he was like, 'We need you, Abbey. It's up to you. I respect whatever you do, but we need you; we'd love to have you.' Then I kind of teared up. I know he cares a lot about me and I really wanted to be a part of this amazing team this year.”

Smart, if highly emotional choice.

Meyer helped propel the Cougars to two more relays wins Friday — in the distance medley and 800-meters.

Cascade became the first school in any class to win the 800 relay four straight years.

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DES MOINES — For Shelby Gunnells, consistency reflected dominance.

A junior at Solon High School, Gunnells collected each of the top five efforts in the Class 3A girls' shot put at the state track meet Friday at Drake Stadium.

Gunnells' top effort — 43 feet, 11 inches — gave her a state title to go along with the Drake Relays crown she won four weeks ago.

“My goal was to get a mark in, then try to work it up from there,” she said.

She followed the plan to perfection.

Her first throw was 42 feet. Her next one was 43-11, and then it was a game of catch-me-if-you-can.

Nobody could.

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