(KMAland) – Round two, it’s the Rolling Valley Conference and the girls side of track and field.
PREVIOUS SPRING SPORTS PREVIEWS
ROLLING VALLEY CONFERENCE GIRLS TRACK & FIELD PREVIEW
The Woodbine girls joined their boys team in winning the Rolling Valley two years ago. The Tigers had 138 points while Glidden-Ralston was second with 111. West Harrison won a tight race for third over CAM and Boyer Valley. A lot has changed since then. Let’s see what we know – or think we know.
RETURNING STATE MEDALISTS
We don’t have any, folks. If last year would have happened, we could have talked about Leslie Luft (Ar-We-Va), but she was cheated out of her senior year. And heck, maybe some juniors last year would have grabbed medals, too. Moving on…
RETURNING STATE QUALIFIERS
These are individual events for the 2019 meet, and there are four names to know in that regard.
-Mallory Behnken, Junior, CAM: One of three returning individual state qualifiers for the Cougars, Behnken was in the shot put at state.
-Jade Jackson, Senior, CAM: Jackson was a state qualifier in the high jump during her sophomore season.
-Jadeyn Smith, Senior, Ar-We-Va: The multi-sport standout was a state qualifier in the shot put in 2019.
-Molly Venteicher, Senior, CAM: Venteicher joined teammate Behnken in the shot put at the state meet.
INDIVIDUAL EVENT-BY-EVENT BREAKDOWN
With a look back to the 2019 Rolling Valley Conference meet and the times, jumps and throws that were recorded on QuikStats, here’s a look at each individual event. They only scored six at the meet, but we will drag this out to eight because we’re that good.
100: The top four finishers in this event two years ago are gone. The top-returning finisher is Paton-Churdan junior Carmyn Paup, who took a fifth-place finish ahead of sixth-place Madison Mohr – a senior at Coon Rapids-Bayard. Boyer Valley senior Addie Wood and Exira/EHK senior Imagen Gessert were seventh and eighth, respectively. Also of note, Ar-We-Va seniors Smith and Hannah Kraus had the sixth and seventh fastest times in the 100 during the 2019 season.
200: The champ and runner-up are gone and graduated, but third-place Kraus (Ar-We-Va) could be back for her senior year. Exira/EHK junior Macy Emgarten placed fifth in the event, and the aforementioned Mohr (CRB) and Paup (Paton-Churdan) placed seventh and eighth, respectively. CAM senior Zoey Baylor could also figure in here, as she had the sixth-fastest time during the season.
400: The 2019 third-place finisher is also potentially returning here, and it’s Woodbine senior Amanda Foster, who posted a season-best time in the race. Fifth-place Kali Peasley – a West Harrison junior – could also return to the fold. Coon Rapids-Bayard’s Bridget Shirbroun, Boyer Valley’s Paige Ringenberg and CAM’s Paige Jensen ran 6-7-8 and were all underclassmen in 2019. West Harrison senior Kayla Lynch is another potential returnee after posting the fourth-fastest time of the 2019 season. Ar-We-Va’s Smith had the eighth-fastest time.
800: Our first defending champ. Woodbine junior Riley Kerger was the 800 champion in 2018, edging past a then-junior. Third-place Maddie Holtz of CAM is into her junior year while Exira/EHK senior Camryn Paulsen ran fourth. Glidden-Ralston senior Gretchen Wallace (7th) and West Harrison junior Chenoa Bowman (8th) also finished among the top eight in 2019. A big one to watch here is Boyer Valley senior Kylie Petersen, who posted the fastest 800 time of the season in 2019 but did not run at the RVC meet. CRB’s Shirbroun also ran well during the year with the eighth-quickest time.
1500: Petersen did not run the 800, but she did run the 1500 – and won it. She was followed by West Harrison senior Katie Gore and Glidden-Ralston junior Alexia Nelson in the top three. And actually, all of the top eight are back. The rest of those names, in order: CAM senior Cadence Stephenson, Bowman (West Harrison), Woodbine seniors Jamie Plowman and Audrey Ireland and Paton-Churdan senior Karissa Stephenson. Also of note, Exira/EHK senior Kate Hansen had the fourth-fastest time of the season.
3000: Nelson ran third in the 1500, but she was the champion in the 3000. Gore took the runner-up spot here, too, and Plowman and Ireland went third and fourth, respectively. West Harrison junior Rachael Olson finished in fifth, and CAM junior Paige Vais finished in seventh. Hansen (Exira/EHK), again, could factor in here. She had the third-fastest 3000 in 2019. Bowman ran the fourth-fastest time.
100 hurdles: Ar-We-Va’s Luft did not run in this event two years ago, and that opened the door for CAM’s Jackson to win the event in her sophomore year. Runner-up Sydney Klein could also be back for her senior year at Boyer Valley. Woodbine junior Oakley Van Pelt took fourth to finish ahead of Paup (Paton-Churdan), who ran fifth. Seventh-place Claire Schlueter of Exira/EHK is another potential returnee. Woodbine has other potential names to watch in this event with senior Alyssa Schafer and junior Whitney Kuhlman posting the sixth- and seventh-fastest times during the ’19 season.
400 hurdles: The top two are gone, but the other five that ran in the event are back in the fold. CAM’s Jackson would be the top returnee while West Harrison junior Sage Wallis was fourth in the event. Kuhlman (Woodbine) took fifth, Schlueter (Exira/EHK) ended up sixth) and Boyer Valley senior Zoe Reffitt was seventh.
High jump: Jackson won the high jump championship two years ago, and she was followed by a couple Woodbiners in Kuhlman and senior Alexa Steinkuehler. Wallace of Glidden-Ralston placed fourth.
Long jump: Boyer Valley junior Leah Cooper won the long jump two years ago as a freshman. Woodbine’s Steinkuehler was second, and CAM junior Abby Follmann rounded out the top three. Van Pelt (Woodbine) is another returnee in the top four. CAM senior Mallarie Peach did have the seventh-longest jump of the season, but she did not compete in this event at the RVC in 2019.
Shot put: Three of the top five are back, including the runner-up, Smith (Ar-We-Va). Behnken and Venteicher went 4-5 for the Cougars and could be back, and Woodbine senior Grace Moores finished in eighth.
Discus: Only two of the top eight are back, and the top four is all gone from the 2019 meet. The top potential returnee is fifth-place Venteicher. The only other scorer from the meet that could be back is Plowman (Woodbine), who ended up in seventh. Boyer Valley’s Wood was ninth at the RVC meet, but she did have the seventh-longest throw of the season.
To recap, CAM has four of the potential top-returning finishers from the RVC two years ago. Ar-We-Va, Boyer Valley and Woodbine have two each, and Glidden-Ralston and Paton-Churdan have one each.
RELAY EVENT-BY-EVENT BREAKDOWN
And now for a look at the top three finishers from each relay and those that are returning.
4x100: The defending champion and state qualifier Woodbine could bring back their lead (Van Pelt) and their third leg (Foster) while runner-up West Harrison could bring back the two lead legs in Haleigh Rife and Peasley. The third-place finisher, CAM, could return all four of their runners in Baylor, Follmann, Marissa Spieker and Peach.
4x200: Glidden-Ralston was a dominant winner, although three of the four legs are gone and graduated. The second leg, Alicen Dreessen, could be back for the Wildcats. The runner-up and third-place relays could return completely intact. Baylor, Follmann, Spieker and Peach also ran here for CAM while Ar-We-Va ran Kraus, Jordan Hansen, Sara Schurke and Smith.
4x400: Woodbine won the event in 2019, and they could very well bring back three-quarters of that group. Schafer, Kerger and Foster ran 1-2-3 while runner-up Glidden-Ralston could bring back just their second leg in Wallace. Third-place Boyer Valley ran Ringenberg second and Jaci Petersen third.
4x800: Exira/EHK had a great group here, and they won by nearly a full 12 seconds. Makaela Riley, Emgarten and Paulsen ran the first, second and anchor legs and could be back. Runner-up Boyer Valley could also return a pair of their legs in Ringenberg (2nd) and Petersen (anchor). Woodbine’s entire group could also return with Kerger, Moores, Plowman and Foster running in that order.
Sprint medley: The defending champion is Glidden-Ralston, although all four of this group has moved on. West Harrison ran second and have three in that group that has remaining eligibility in Rife (1st), Peasley (2nd) and Lynch (anchor). And again, CAM could bring back all four of their runners that finished in third: Baylor, Spieker, Peach and Holtz, in that order.
Distance medley: The defending champion is Boyer Valley, and they could use three of the same girls from that 2019 team in Klein, Cooper and Petersen, which ran 1-2-4. Exira/EHK was the runner-up and could return Riley (1st) and Paulsen (3rd). And third-place would theoretically only return their anchor, Nelson.
Shuttle hurdle: Woodbine won the shuttle hurdle in 2019, and they could have a strong returning group with Kuhlman, Van Pelt and Schafer running the first three legs. Glidden-Ralston ran as the runner-up with Dreessen potentially coming back at the No. 3 spot. The anchor is not listed, but it might have been Wallace, so that would equal two returnees. Boyer Valley ran third and could have their last two legs in Cooper and Klein.
To recap, Woodbine and CAM both have some solid returnees from their top three finishing relays in 2019. Woodbine has 15 total while CAM has 12. Boyer Valley is also in the mix with 11 while Exira/EHK, Glidden-Ralston and West Harrison could all bring back five. Ar-We-Va is another that could bring back four.
A LOOK BACK AT CROSS COUNTRY
Boyer Valley’s Kylie Petersen was the conference champion earlier this fall while Woodbine’s Kerger won the RVC in her sophomore year. Paulsen of Exira/EHK of third. Some other names to know:
-Quinn Grubbs, Sophomore, Exira/EHK: You’ve probably heard of her. The basketball star was eighth in the RVC meet this past fall.
-Whitney Holaday, Senior, CAM: Holaday could definitely find herself in the mix in the RVC track season after placing seventh in cross country.
-Abby Mandel, Freshman, Boyer Valley: Mandel was the runner-up at the RVC meet this past fall and could be a threat in several distance events.
-Maci Miller, Junior, Boyer Valley: Miller is in her junior year, but she is on the come after placing fifth in the RVC meet.
-Kylie Neligh, Freshman, Woodbine: Yet another Woodbine Tiger worth noting, Neligh was 10th at the RVC XC meet in the fall.
-Ella Petersen, Sophomore, Exira/EHK: Petersen placed sixth in the RVC meet this past fall.
-Emily Plagman, Senior, CAM: Another breakout performance from the fall that could see some success in the spring. She was ninth in the RVC meet.
-Mia South, Freshman, CAM: Want another reason to believe in CAM this year? South was the fourth-place runner at the RVCs.
Woodbine is the defending champion, and they have A LOT of athletes ready to roll again this spring. Their relays should be particularly fantastic, and we could be saying their name quite a bit at the state track meet later this spring.
CAM, though, should not be counted out. With four individual top returnees and another 12 that ran in top three relays, the Cougars should have plenty of reason to believe. Boyer Valley cannot be counted out of this thing, either. At the moment, I would call these three the favorites.
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