One of the biggest meets of the spring produced some of the best results Monday afternoon.
The Panorama girls’ track and field squad came away with four indoor school records and six career bests during the 26th annual Iowa State High School Classic in Ames.
The Panthers are fresh off a third place finish last spring at the 2A state meet, just four points shy of second with 40 points.
A group of sprinters were the standouts inside the Lied Rec Center on the Iowa State campus, while Morgan Johnk continued a hot start to her senior year in the hurdles and high jump.
The sprint medley team of Bailey Beckman, Johnk, Kassidy Bremer and Gwen Steffen finished sixth with a time of 1:58.78, smashing the previous indoor school record in a field of 69 teams.
Johnk came in sixth in the 60 meter hurdles
(9.78)while the 4x400-meter relay of Beck-man, Storesund, Olivia and Gwen Steffen got in on the historic day, finishing ninth with a school record time of 4:19.47. Ella Waddle broke the 1,500-meter indoor school record as well, finishing 11th with a time of 5:12.07.
Rounding out the school record performances was the 4x100 meter relay team of Beckman, Johnk, Hope Arganbright and Bremer, who set the school record with a time of 53.19, good for eighth place and the Panthers’ seventh top 10 finish of the meet.
Johnk also finished sixth in the high jump in a field of 50 athletes, clearing 5-02 while Waverly-Shell Rock’s Reagan Dahlquist won the title with a Drake Relays qualifying leap of 5-06.25. A total of 70 teams from all over Iowa competed in the annual indoor meet, providing some of the best competition all year long. Woodworth came in 13th in the shot put (33-09).
“These girls had heavy legs from their full day competition at Buena Vista University two days earlier, but they competed and battled well,” Panorama head coach Greg Thompson said. “ All of the girls do the unnoticeable things (such as icing, stretching, warming up, cooling down, and eating healthy) to be at the level they are.”
The Buena Vista meet Saturday, March 16 in Storm Lake produced seven indoor school records, as Beckman broke the long jump mark (16-04.5), Lydia Knapp set the shot put record (34-05), Johnk broke her own 60 meter hurdle mark (9.54) and Gwen Steffen ran a record-setting 2:30.95 in the 800-meter. Not to be outdone, Waddle set the 1,500 meter record with a time of 5:22.73 while the 1,600-meter relay of Payton Beckman, Arganbright, Gwen Steffen and Ella broke the record with a time of 4:40.32. The 4x60-meter shuttle hurdle relay of Shey Storesund, Payton Douglass, Knapp and Johnk set the lowest mark in school history with a time of 42.3.
In boys action, the Panthers produced a pair of medalists in Spencer Hunt in the 60-meter and Gracen Welberg in the high jump.
Hunt captured a bronze medal with a time of 7.39, just a tad shy of OA-BCIG’s Cooper Dejean (7.31) and Sioux City East’s Ardell Inlay (7.15), who won the event title. Welberg also captured a third place finish in the high jump, clearing six feet. Greene County’s Carter Morton secured the victory, clearing 6-07, five inches higher than second place Mason McCaffery of Spirit Lake.
“This was the first high school track meet (first ever for some) for several of these athletes. We were very pleased with the way the boys just got on the track and competed,” Thompson said. “Many of them had no idea what to expect or how to pace their races, but they competed and showed us their willingness to lay it on the line.”