DES MOINES — The first time Sara Stoakes tinkered with hurdling, she did so without her coach’s permission.
“(Coach Kent Hanser) wasn’t very happy about it,” Stoakes said. “He didn’t want me to get hurt.”
It didn’t take long to get Hanser’s blessing.
“I really liked it and I really wanted to try it,” Stoakes said. “He has belief in me.”
Stoakes rewarded that belief by winning the girls’ Class 1A title in the 400-meter hurdles at the state track meet Friday morning at Drake Stadium. She did so in 1:02.14, winning by about 2 seconds.
Her interest in the event was simple: “I like the 400, and you get to jump over stuff.”
A Kansas State University recruit, Stoakes gives North Tama a reasonable shot at a fourth consecutive 1A team title. Twin Cedars leads the race with 26 points. North Tama is tied for second with Council Bluffs St. Albert and Southern Cal with 20.
The final nine events are today. Stoakes will run in the 800 and 1,500.
A year after getting beat by a half-inch last year in the discus, Tri-County’s Jamie Vermillion left nothing to chance. Her second throw was 129-11, which was 5 1/2 feet better than anyone else.
“Last year made me want this a lot more,” Vermillion said. “I practiced a lot harder this year. Offseason, weekends … if the weather was good, I tried to practice year-round.”
Turkey Valley’s Hannah Lensing was second.
North Iowa edged Highland in the 800-meter relay. The Bison were timed in 1:46.26, the Huskies in 1:46.38.
“I knew it was going to be close,” said Highland anchor Mollie Kloepfer. “When it’s close it comes down to handoffs, and we had certain steps that could have been better.”
Team leaders (through 10 events) – 1. Twin Cedars 26, 2. (tie) Council Bluffs St. Albert, North Tama and Southern Cal 20, 5. Griswold 18.
Distance medley relay – 1. Council Bluffs St. Albert, 4:13.58; 2. Griswold, 4:14.66; 3. New London, 4:18.27.
Discus – 1. Jamie Vermillion (Tri-County), 129-11; 2. Hannah Lensing (Turkey Valley), 124-6; 3. Dana Sorensen (Janesville), 118-6.
400 hurdles — 1. Sara Stoakes (North Tama), 1:02.14; 2. Sarah Yeager (Cardinal), 1:04.12; 3. Sina Stepken (Clinton Prince of Peace), 1:04.45; 7. Cera Bauder (Elkader Central), 1:07.63.
800 relay — 1. North Iowa, 1:46.26; 2. Highland, 1:46.38; 3. Southern Cal, 1:47.52.
High jump – 1. Lindsay Hoehns (Twin Cedars), 5-5; 2. (tie) Ann Walker (Exira), Briana Schaeuble (Kingsley-Pierson) and Karly Groon (Akron-Westfield), 5-3; 5. Tiffany Quaas (Alburnett) and Sara Lipke (Alburnett), 5-2.
Boys state track at Scott Dochterman’s blog.