DES MOINES — For a few moments Saturday afternoon, Stephanie Jenks turned the Drake Relays into the Goodwill Games.
Jenks raced to the girls’ 1,500-meter championship, then invited a couple of her friends to accompany her on a victory-lap tour of Drake Stadium.
“I was trying to get more of them to come along; they all worked so hard, just like I did,” said Jenks, a freshman at Linn-Mar High School. “But they were being (ushered into the interview room).”
Jenks won the 1,500 in 4 minutes, 35.22 seconds, about 2 seconds ahead of West Des Moines Dowling’s Karissa Schweizer, one of Jenks’ victory-lap buddies.
As she did Thursday in the 3,000, Jenks surged to the front on the backstretch of the final lap.
“I don’t know if that’s where my body wants to go,” Jenks said. “(After I took the lead), I didn’t know where they were, but I wasn’t going to let them catch me.”
Jenks ran the final lap in 68 seconds and capped a weekend that included two titles, a fourth-place finish in the 3,200 relay and fifth in the open 800.
“I wasn’t really expecting much coming here,” she said. “I got pretty anxious, and it pushes me to move on.”
Iowa City High’s Sarah Plock had the most down the stretch of the 400-meter hurdles, and won that event in 1:01.56.
Plock came into Drake as the top seed, and lived up to it. She outlasted 2012 champion Anne Leners of Pleasant Valley at the end.
“It still feels like a dream,” said Plock, sophomore. “It’s a hard event, and you’re tired. I didn’t want to jump any more hurdles, but you have to push through that.”
Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s relays were solid throughout the day.
The J-Hawks advanced to the shuttle hurdle relay finals, then were disqualified. They were third in the 400-meter relay, fourth in the 1,600 relay.