Wildcats finish 11th at State; Zirtzman is state golf qualifier


Boys track

     A pair of second place finishes in relay events highlighted a Wildcat-filled State Class 1A Boys Track and Field Meet May 16-18 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.

     Maquoketa Valley, which sent 13 entries to the prestigious meet, wound up with 22 points and an 11th place finish in the meet.

     “I thought we performed very well,” said Pat Meehan, who co-coaches the Wildcats with Curt Feldt. “I was expecting 20-some points, and that’s what we had.”

     One of the biggest  performances was the effort of the 4x400-meter relay team of Derek Becker, Even Hoefer, James LeGassick and Chance Downs. That group qualified for the finals with the fastest preliminary time, then narrowly missed a comeback victory in Saturday’s finals, finishing second with a time of 3:25.85, just .12 of a second behind winner St. Edmond of Council Bluffs, and breaking the MV school record by four seconds.

     The other big one was a runner-up finish for the 4x200 relay of Daniel Hunter, LeGassick, Derek Becker and Chance Downs. That group came into the meet seeded 21st, but was second in 1:32.42.

     “The boys were ecstatic,” Meehan said.

     MV also picked up six points from its sprint medley team of Hunter, Chad Neuzil, Derek Becker and Downs in 1:36.58; taking fourth.

     Other Wildcat finishes: LeGassick was eighth in the 400 hurdles in 56.96. Norm Wilson was ninth (47-5.5) and Brian Heims was 20th (43-8.5) in the shot put. Neuzil was ninth in the 110 hurdles in 15.38. Downs was 10th in the 400 in 51.66.

     Also 10th was the 4x100 relay of Hunter, Hoefer, Zach Digman and Neuzil, in 44.84.

     Blake Becker was 14th in the discus, 131-4. Hunter was 18th in the 100 in 11.71, and A.J. Ambundo took 18th in the high jump at 5-9. The boys’ shuttle hurdle relay team reached the finals but was disqualified.

     “Next year’s team will be competitive again, but will feature some different events from this year,” Meehan said. “We have good kids that will try to do what is asked of them. They are a pleasure to coach.”


Girls track

     Two runner-up finishes by senior Sam Wall, and a third place finish by the 4x400-meter relay team, gave Maquoketa Valley 24 points and a ninth place team finish at the State Class 1A Girls Track and Field Meet May 16-18 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.

     Wall qualified for the finals in both the 100-meter dash and the 200 dash, and finished second in both, with times of 12.77 and 26.05 seconds, respectively.

     “I have been extremely lucky to have such a great talent and such a great person to coach for four seasons,” Maquoketa Valley coach Creig Dunlap said. “It was great to see her get some hardware at State after having a frustrating state meet as a junior.”

     The third place came from the 4x400 team of Payton Beaman, Kylie Chesnut, Amaya Hunt and Wall, which finished in 4:11.99. The alternates were Emerson Whittenbaugh and Allie Knipper.

     “I thought this group was something special as soon as we started the outdoor season,” Dunlap said. “We have been running great times all season and PR’ing at most meets.”

     Lydia Helle competed in the shot put, and finished eighth with a throw of 37-foot-2.5.

     “I want to say what a great job Lydia Helle did in the shot this season and at State,” Dunlap said. “She has been very consistent, and she took care of business.”

     MV also competed in the shuttle hurdle relay with the team of Leah Ries, Kailyn Hogan, Caelyn Sands and Beaman; and finished 12th in 1:12.18.

     “I wasn’t surprised to get points at the state meet with these gals, but I was surprised to score as much as we did,” the coach concluded. I am proud of these girls and excited about next year already.”


Boys golf

     Maquoketa Valley sophomore Isaac Zirtzman shot an 84 to finish fourth in the Class 1A district boys golf tournament, earning a trip to the May 23-24 state meet.

     The district meet was held May 15 at Blue Top Ridge Golf Course in Riverside.

     “From the opening tee, Isaac was in control of his game,” Maquoketa Valley coach Tim Andrews said. “Nothing surprises us with Isaac’s success on the golf course, knowing the amount of time and work he has put into crafting his skills to get where is at today.”

     Dustin Haines of Sigourney was the medalist with an 81, Parker Wieck of Iowa Valley shot 83 to finish second, and Jarod Kadel of Winfield, Mount Union had an 84 to take third, winning a tie-breaker over Zirtzman.


Girls golf

     Maquoketa Valley shot a 418, and Kelly Winter was overall medalist, as the Wildcats qualified for the Class 1A regional girls golf finals by winning the regional first round tournament May 13 at Wapsi Oaks in Calamus.

     The ‘Cats edged runner-up Durant by three strokes. Both teams qualified for the finals.

     Winter shot 48 on the front nine and 45 on the back nine to win the individual tournament by three strokes over Madi Fleming of Central City. Erika Supple had a total of 106, Chloe Roling shot 107, Mady Moenck had a 112, Faith Hunt totaled 115, and Kelsey Ries scored 121.

     “We as coaches were very proud of how the girls battled through their round to come out on top,” Maquoketa Valley coach Tim Andrews said. “It was a tough tournament and came down to the very end. We are looking forward to the regional final, and know the girls are too.”



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