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Linn-Mar Comes On Strong, Jefferson Girls Repeat In Relay

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DES MOINES — Seeds don't necessarily reflect speed.

Not fully, anyway.

Case in point: The North-Linn girls' distance medley relay team, which repeated as champion Friday morning during the Class 1A state track and field meet at Drake Stadium.

“It was awesome, just like last year,” said 400-leg runner Taylor Burke. “We came in last year, too, not favored to win, so it's kind of good being the underdog, I guess.”

Must be.

Burke and anchor Nicole Miller both won the event last year.

This time, Abbey Ingwersen and Kayla Newbauer kicked off a run to gold that spanned 4:12.68 — and beat runner-up Jesup by nearly four seconds.

The Lynx were seeded fourth in the event before each of the past two wins.

“It was absolutely amazing,” Ingwersen said. “I think we all ran our best. It's insane. It really is.”

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DES MOINES — Josh Evans watched Thursday as the fastest distance race in state history took place without him.

Then he went back to his hotel and simmered inside.

“I stewed about it for 2 hours,” Evans said, referrring to the brilliant Class 3A 3,200-meter race between Gilbert's Thomas Pollard and Boone's Chandler Austin, both of whom set the previous all-time Iowa best.

“That was an insane race. I thought to myself, 'What can I do to top that?' ”

Friday's anchor was a start.

Evans brought home Linn-Mar's 1,600-meter medley with a 1:50.0 split as the Lions set a state-meet record in 3:24.39, winning the 4A title at Drake Stadium.

That, plus a title by long-jumper Curtis McCrary and a third-place finish by its 800-meter relay unit, placed Linn-Mar smack-dab in the thick of the team race.

Through 10 events, Linn-Mar and Waukee are tied for the lead with 42 points. Cedar Rapids Kennedy is third with 35.5.

The final eight events are Saturday.

Austin Flieder, Tim Wolfe and Duggan Trenary ran the first three legs for the Lions' medley.

Evans got the baton in good shape, and with plenty of motivation.

“Josh is wicked when he gets fired up,” Flieder said. “It's inspiring to have a rock like that on our team.”


DES MOINES — Life has changed in the past year for Lucy Schneekloth and Jasmine Blue.

“There’s a lot of pressure now,” Schneekloth said. “We know we have a target on our back. We’d rather chase people down.”

Such is the life of an elite sprinting unit.

Veterans Schneekloth and Blue joined newcomers Abilene Ranschau and Morgan Meese, and created another symphony of speed at the state track meet Friday morning at Drake Stadium.

The Cedar Rapids Jefferson quartet repeated as the Class 4A girls’ 800-meter relay champions in 1:41.12, just missing the all-time Iowa best Iowa best of 1:40.94, set last year by the J-Hawks.

“We still won,” Blue said. “We’ll work hard again in the offseason, and we’ll get it next year.”

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