Redhawks and Knights headed to state

North Tama state track qualifiers include Rylee McLean, Jadyn Rausch, Abby DeBoef, Jules Breakenridge, Grace Lidgett and Jamie Jacobs. Darvin Graham/NT Telegraph

After a year with no high school track season, track and field athletes from both North Tama and Union high schools will have an opportunity to compete with some of the best in the state later this week.

At last Thursday’s state-qualifying district meet in Grundy Center, the Redhawks sent a group of five from the girls team to represent North Tama at Drake’s Blue Oval in Des Moines.

2020 cross country state meet qualifiers Grace Lidgett and Jules Breakenridge both made it through in individual events and helped the distance medley relay team to a first place finish.

After medaling at the state cross country meet, Lidgett was eager to get things going in her first track season as a sophomore.

“Knowing what I was able to do in the cross country season, it was exciting to be able to imagine what I could do this season in track,” Lidgett said.

Last Thursday, Lidgett came in first in the 1500 meter run with a time of 5:22.71 and first in the 3000 meter run with a time of 12:02.00. She also helped anchor the distance medley relay team that finished first with a time of 4:29.60. The relay team includes Lidgett, Breakenridge, Abby DeBoef and Breakenridge. Jamie Jacobs will be on hand for the relay team as an alternate this week at state.

“This season was exciting because we had the build up of anticipation last season of getting started going to practice right before everything shut down,” DeBoef said. “This year it was kind of brand new after taking a year off. It was exciting to see what this group could do since we didn’t get to all run together last year.”

The junior Breakenridge also qualified in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:31.08, finishing second at the district meet.

Lidgett will run all three days at the state meet starting with the 3000 meter run on Thursday afternoon, the distance medley relay on Friday afternoon and the 1500 meter run on Saturday afternoon. Breakenridge will take the track for her 800 meter run Saturday afternoon along with the relay team on Friday.

Senior thrower Rylee McLean will make a state meet appearance after qualifying in the discus and shot put events in Grundy Center. McLean finished first in the discus throw with a distance of 111-01 and fourth in the shot put with a throw of 32-04.50.

McLean credits efforts in the weight room this season with helping her raise her throwing performance to a state meet level this season.

At this week’s state meet McLean will compete in the shot put on Thursday afternoon and in the discus throw Friday afternoon.

In team scores the Redhawks girls and boys teams finished fourth at the district meet with a team score of 71.

Other top finishers for the Redhawks included DeBoef who finished fourth in the high jump with a jump of 4-08.00 and was just outside of a state qualifying finish.

Sam Snyder finished fifth in the 1600 meter run with a time of 4:56.86 and fifth in the 3200 meter run with a time of 10:37.57. His time in the 3200 finished above the final three state qualifiers who made it through as first place district meet winners and automatic state qualifiers.

Devin McKinley finished second in the long jump with a distance of 19-01.00. McKinley’s jump was inches short from grabbing the final state qualifying slot.

Lainey Willenbring turned in a strong district finish, coming in fifth in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 17.97

The Union Knights traveled to Jesup to compete in the Class 2A district meet on May 13. It was a fruitful outing for the Knights who qualified 10 events for the state meet this year.

Ellie Rathe, another state qualifier in the 2020 cross country season, came out strong in her distance events, finishing first in the 3000 meter run with a time of 10:42.20 and second in the 1500 meter run with a time of 5:04.12. Both of her times were in the top 10 among all Class 2A qualifiers. Rathe will run at the state meet first in the 3000 meter run on the Thursday, and again on Saturday in the 1500 meter run.

Union’s girls 4×100 meter relay finished third with a time of 52.25. The relay team includes Allie Driscol, Aubrey Gates, Gracie Rathe and Sydney Anton. Brooklyn Hubbard will travel will travel with the team as an alternate.

Aubrey Gates took the top slot in the high jump with a jump of 5-02.00. Gates will compete Friday morning among a field of 24 Class 2A competitors. Her qualifying jump ranks in the top half of the 2A group.

Asher Beerman qualified in the 400 meter dash among a competitive field at Jesup. Beerman finished third with a time of 53.93 and will compete Thursday morning in the 2A state prelims.

Beerman will also anchor the Union boys 4×400 meter relay team that qualified for the state meet with a time of 3:34.59. The team includes Jacob Carey, Danny Petersen, Joren Fisher and Beerman. Alternates traveling with the team include Conner Prestemon and Logan Rosaver.

Freshman Sam Spore will make his debut at the state meet, qualifying for the meet in four events including the wheelchair 100, 200 and 400 meter runs as well as the wheelchair shot put field event.

Spore will join a combined field of athletes including all four classes to compete in the state wheelchair events Saturday afternoon.

In team scores, the Union girls came home with a third place finish at the district meet with 87 points. The boys finished eighth with a score of 46 points.

Other top performances for the Knights included Brandon Tompkins, who finished third in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.84. His finish time was ahead of the final two state qualifiers who made it through winning their district meet events.

Four Union girls athletes finished fourth in individual events including Brooklyn Hubbard in the 100 meter dash, Allie Driscol in the 200 meter dash, Emily Petersen in the 400 meter dash and Ava Mills in the long jump.

The girls 4×200 relay team also turned in a fourth place finish with a time of 1:53.03.

Following updated pandemic guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, high school state officials updated the state meet attendance policy for the state meet to remove the limit of spectators originally announced by Drake University.

Class 2A events will compete in the morning session all three days at the state meet, with action beginning Thursday at 9 a.m. Class 1A events will be during the afternoon session that begins at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday.