State Track And Field: Linn-Mar's Jenks Wins 3,000 Again

By Jeff Linder (Story) and Josh Christensen (Video), Reporters

Linn-Mar's Stephanie Jenks takes the lead during the class 4A 3,000-meter run during the first day of the Iowa High School State Track and Field Meet at Drake Stadium on Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Des Moines, Iowa. Jenks won in 9:50.70. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette-KCRG)


By Grant Burkhardt

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Stephanie Jenks enjoyed her 3,000-meter experience at the Drake Relays so much, she provided a sequel.

A freshman at Linn-Mar, Jenks tracked Pleasant Valley’s Mackenzie Yanek for the majority of the race before pulling ahead and pulling away at the end.

Jenks was timed in 9 minutes, 50.70 seconds to claim the Class 4A girls’ race at the state track and field meet Thursday at Drake Stadium.

“I thought Yanek was going to take it out fast,” Jenks said. “I thought if I stayed with her, I would be in pretty good shape.”

As was the case at the Drake 3,000 three weeks ago, it was Jenks with the most in reserve at the end. She went around Yanek with just over 400 meters to go Thursday, then held off a challenge by Karissa Schweizer of West Des Moines Dowling in the final lap.

Jenks ran the final 400 in 69 seconds.

“I was watching the video board (on the backstretch), and I could see (Schweizer) right behind me,” Jenks said. “I know I’m not supposed to look at (the board). I’m supposed to be focused on the race.

“I just told myself, ‘If you really want this, Steph, you have to go as fast as you can.’ ”

Pleasant Valley holds the lead in the girls’ team race through five events. The Spartans have 32 points, followed by Waukee (30), Ankeny (15) and West Des Moines Dowling (15).

Iowa City High stands in fifth place with 14 points. The Little Hawks got fourth-place finishes Abby Saehler (high jump) and Aliyah Gustafson (discus).

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