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Girls State Track: Jefferson Runs Fastest Iowa 4x200 Ever

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DES MOINES, Iowa Thirty-eight years, Woodbine held the all-time Iowa best in the girls' 800-meter relay.

Thirty-eight years, but no longer.

Cedar Rapids Jefferson was No. 1 in the Class 4A girls' race Friday at the state track meet. And No. 1 ever.

Maliya Rattliffe, Lucy Schneekloth, Jasmine Blue and Rachel Broghammer sizzled to a time of 1:40.94. The old record was 1:41.00, set by Debbie Esser-led Woodbine in 1975.

"It's so amazing. I'm so proud of everybody," Broghammer said, thinking she was summarizing a mere state championship.

Then the state record was brought to the J-Hawks' attention.

"What?" Broghammer said in amazement, covering her mouth, the winning baton still in her hand. "Oh my gosh!"

Schneekloth correctly noted that it's a school record, too. Her mother, Julie Davis Schneekloth, was on the former record-holding quartet at Jefferson.

Jefferson has horses, to be sure (Broghammer's nickname, after all, is Bronco). They could run in individual events and shine. When they run together, though, it's almost an art.

"We're so good at handoffs," Rattliffe said. "We work so hard at them."

The J-Hawks have a relay mentality.


"This is why," Broghammer said, making a sweeping motion around her teammates. "It's the best feeling, doing this together, knowing what you've accomplished with three of your best friends.

"It's going to be great coming back here someday and seeing our name up (as record-holders)."

With 10 events complete, Pleasant Valley is the 4A girls team leader with 55 points. Waukee is second with 42, followed by Iowa City High (35), West Des Moines Dowling (23) and Jefferson (22).

The final nine events will be contested Saturday.

Iowa City West's McKennan Cronbaugh captured her third straight long jump title, leaping 19 feet, 1 inch in the preliminaries an effort that ranks No. 5 all-time.

When her distance was announced, it elicited a jive of elation from the senior.

"That was my Happy Dance," Cronbaugh said. "It was my Very Very Happy Dance."

Cronbaugh underwent an approach overhaul about four weeks ago, and it worked.

"I focused on getting up in the air, kicking my feet out and really getting my knees up to my chest," she said.

Taylor Jacobson, who will join Broghammer at UNI next year, gave Jefferson a second-place effort in the 400-meter hurdles, in 1:04.24. Anne Leners of Pleasant Valley won it in 1:02.19.

Jacobson overcame a couple of distractions. First, a false start that forced a recall. Then, Sarah Plock of City High fell in an adjacent lane.

"You just have to stay mentally focused, stay in the race," Jacobson said. "You can't let little things like that get to you."

Remarkably, Plock got up after her spill and finished third in 1:05.34.

City High's Aliyah Gustafson was the shot put runner-up with an effort of 40 feet, 9 3/4 inches. Kiera Washpun was third in the long jump.

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