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WATCH: State Champs Highlight Day 1 at State Track

By Jason Van Arkel, May 19, 2017

What a difference a year makes. In 2016, area schools were all but shut out of the championships at state track, with only the Albia boys 4×400 team winning a title in the very last event of the meet. With only day one of the 2017 state meet in the books, however, area athletes have already claimed four individual titles.

The winning began in Class 1A, when the first of the Pekin boys’ vaunted relay teams–the 4×800 squad–took to the track Thursday morning. Chandler Eckley and Sam Roth staked the Panthers to the early lead, Isaiah Wittrock expanded the gap, and anchorman Ryan Millikin blazed down the stretch to give Pekin not only the state title, but a new state meet record. The Panthers’ time of 7:58.63 beat the previous Class 1A record by nearly five full seconds.

Sigourney brought its own strong runner in Class 1A this year in Avery Moore. The senior had already run two races in the morning, qualifying for the finals in both the 100 and the 200, before he lined up for the 400-meter dash. With a burst of speed around the final turn, Moore pulled away to take his first individual state title, finishing with a time of 49.19.

The other two area championships came from the second session of day one. Davis County’s Jaylynn Sharp showed what it really means to save the best for last. The senior, competing in the final meet of her career, leaped a career-best 17 feet, three inches to win the Class 2A girls long jump title.

Finally, late in the day on Thursday, Albia proved that no school owns the quarter-mile distance quite like the Blue Demons. Kyle Sinnott has already been a part of the famed Albia 4×400 relay team, but this time he had the glory all to himself. Sinnott powered his way to the boys Class 2A 400 meter dash championship, turning in a time of 49.32.

Outside of the four state titles, many other athletes also had strong performances at state track on Thursday, including:

–Sigourney girls shuttle hurdle relay: qualified for the 1A final with the best qualifying time

–Sigourney’s Summer Barthelman finshed fourth in the girls 1A long jump

–Sigourney’s Autum Barthelman had the best qualifying time in the girls 1A 100-meter prelims

–Sigourney’s Bryce Goldman joined Moore in qualifying for the boys 1A 100-meter final

–Pekin’s Ryan Millikin finished 3rd in the boys 1A 3,200 meters

–Pekin’s Kaylee Linder had the 2nd-best qualifying time in the girls 1A 100-meter prelims

–Ottumwa girls 4×800 relay: rallied from next-to-last place to finish 5th in 4A

–Ottumwa’s Kylie Latham was a placewinner in the girls 4A 3,000 meters, finishing 8th

–Ottumwa’s Sam Yeaway placed 7th in the boys 4A 400 meters

–Oskaloosa’s Alexis Westercamp placed 3rd in the girls 3A discus

–Oskaloosa’s Jack Moore placed 7th in the boys 3A high jump

–Oskaloosa’s Shalandra Shilling placed 4th in the girls 3A high jump

–Albia’s Jordan Winke placed 3rd in the girls 2A 3,000 meters

–Albia’s Jake Clouse won his heat and qualified for the boys 2A 200 final

–Albia’s Tony Leshen won his heat and qualified for the boys 2A 100 final

–Davis County’s Alysa Shirkey qualified for the girls 2A 200 final