A closer look at the girls’ state track meet, Thursday through Saturday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines:
CLASS 4A (Heat/lane assignments)
Top individuals — Without a doubt, the dominant girls’ track athlete in any class is Sioux City East’s Shelby Houlihan. You can pretty much right off the 800 and 1,500 as Houlihan’s to win, plus whatever relays in which she is entered. Khashinah Williams of Burlington has high-jumped 5-foot-10 and is an elite hurdler.
Teams to watch – This isn’t going to be one of those years in which teams flirt with triple digits. Sixty-some points could be enough. Who can get there? Start with Iowa City High and Iowa City West, which were the creams of the crop of the regional at City. Des Moines Roosevelt put on a sprinting show at Drake and will score big in the short distances. West Des Moines Valley is a dark horse.
How they’ll finish — 1. Iowa City High, 2. Iowa City West, 3. Des Moines Roosevelt, 4. West Des Moines Valley, Sioux City East.
CLASS 3A (Heat/lane assignments)
Top individuals — Waverly-Shell Rock’s Rachel Peth is an elite sprinter and hurdler. She has turned in the top time this season in 3A in the 100 hurdles and ranks second in the 100 and 200. Lauren Benzing of Solon is the favorite in the 800 and a threat in the 1,500 and 3,000.
Teams to watch – After chasing Mount Vernon-Lisbon for the last two seasons, Dubuque Wahlert finally appears to have enough to break through. The Golden Eagles pretty much have all the bases covered and will be extremely tough to beat. MV-L and Wamac Conference rival Solon (last year’s 2A co-champ) are the prime challengers, along with Davenport Assumption.
How they’ll finish — 1. Dubuque Wahlert, 2. Mount Vernon-Lisbon, 3. Davenport Assumption, 4. Solon, 5. Waverly-Shell Rock.
CLASS 2A (Heat/lane assignments)
Top individuals — Sprints, hurdles, long jump … Alex Gochenour and Karen Hutson of Logan-Magnolia can do it as well as anyone in any class. Leah Seivert of Sibley-Ocheyedan is the best distance girl in 2A, while Lauren Smith of North Fayette is a threat in both throwing events.
Teams to watch — This shapes up to be a duel between the big-scoring duo of Logan-Magnolia and a vast supply of relay points from Hudson. The Pirates have a higher ceiling, but Lo-Ma has a lot of secure points that the Pirates will have to match.
How they’ll finish — 1. Hudson, 2. Logan-Magnolia, 3. Western Christian, 4. Cascade, 5. Sibley-Ocheyedan.
CLASS 1A (Heat/lane assignments)
Top individuals — Lauren Moore and Rachel Northrup head Griswold’s middle-distance and hurdling brigade; they are the top two 400-meter hurdlers in 1A. Sarah Ney of Hartley HMS is the top small-schooler in the 100 and 200 while Emily Toennies of Belle Plaine follows her in those races and is rated No. 1 in the 400.
Teams to watch – If Griswold and Treynor run to their potential, they will be the top two teams. They appear virtually dead even. Grundy Center is the top challenger.
How they’ll finish — 1. Griswold, 2. Treynor, 3. Grundy Center, 4. Belle Plaine, 5. Ventura.
Alex Gochenour, Davenport Assumption, Des Moines Roosevelt, Dubuque Wahlert, Emily Toennies, girls state track and field, Griswold, Grundy Center, Hudson, Iowa City High, Iowa City West, Karen Hutson, Khashinah Williams, Lauren Benzing, Lauren Moore, Lauren Smith, Leah Seivert, Logan-Magnolia, Mount Vernon-Lisbon, Rachel Northrup, Rachel Peth, Sarah Ney, Shelby Houlihan, Solon, Treynor