DES MOINES — The hamstring is healed. McKennan Cronbaugh is herself again.
Cronbaugh repeated as Class 4A girls’ long jump champion at the state track meet Friday at Drake Stadium. She did so by the slimmest of margins, one-quarter of an inch.
With the championship wrapped up, the Iowa City West junior returned to the event after competing in the 400-meter relay preliminaries.
She scratched. She shrugged. And she smiled.
“Coach (Mike Parker) wanted me to give it a go and try for 19 feet,” said Cronbaugh, who settled for 18 feet, 3 inches and a championship.
Allanah McCorkle of Davenport Central was second at 18-2 1/4; Kiera Washpun of Iowa City High was third at 18-2. All of them had their best jump in the preliminaries.
Until recently, it had been a forgettable season for Cronbaugh, who has battled hamstring and knee ailments.
“By (the Drake Relays), I was starting to get into the swing of things,” Cronbaugh said. “Lately, I’ve been having regular practices, just like always.”
Cronbaugh’s title was the news of the day for area 4A girls, but City High’s ascent is the big-picture story.
A second-place finish by Aliyah Gustafon in the shot put, and third-place outputs by Washpun and Sarah Plock (400-meter hurdles) moved the Little Hawks up the 4A girls’ leader board.
With 10 events in the books, Waukee leads the race with 46 points. West Des Moines Dowling is second with 38 1/2, followed by City High with 31.
“(Thursday) wasn’t our best day, but we’re not the kind of team that is going to give up,” Washpun said. “We’re going to keep going for it, we’re going to rack up the points, and we’re going to come home with a state championship.
“I just feel like (Saturday) is going to be our day.”
Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s 800-meter relay accounted for the best Metro finish Friday. The J-Hawks were fourth.