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Joe Wilkinson

Can midseason pack migrate toward top?

ANAMOSA­– Each fall, the migration points south. If that’s where the finish line is, that’s where Solon runners will be headed, through the second half of their 2015 season. The goal is to arrive there sooner.
Solon’s girls are working with a lot of new faces on varsity and the first few junior varsity (JV) finishers. The boys show experience on the varsity level, with a lot of younger legs on JV to challenge the leaders.

Kerkhoff first Lady Spartan across; Girls seventh at Anamosa

Trisha Coberly third at Benton Community invitational

Cross country times drop

ATKINS– With a couple more new faces, Solon’s girls locked in fifth place Saturday at the Benton Community Invitational cross country meet.
Senior Trish Coberly was third overall during the annual Run Through the Woods, in Atkins. That’s the top individual finish for the Spartans this season. Freshman Erin Kerkhoff was within a few seconds all the way, taking 12th and collecting her first varsity (top-15) medal. Solon’s boys matched the fifth-place team finish. Senior Simon Düster was 16th overall. Senior Joe Regan was 18th.

Hot start for cross country

IOWA CITY– The early season is sizzling for Solon’s cross country Spartans. Their season opener was held in the morning. In their second meet, the start was pushed back to evening to avoid running in 90-degree heat. On top of that, high school girls are running an extra kilometer this year… with five of them getting their first feel for varsity competition.

A champ checks out as Solon girls grab 6th at state track

DES MOINES– A state title in the shot put and points in key individual and relay events kept Solon’s girls in the mix through the 2015 Class 3A high school track and field meet May 21-23 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
It just wasn’t enough at the co-ed, all-division state meet which now draws about 35,000 fans a year.

Field events lead the way to state track meet

Girls win regional

MOUNT PLEASANT– A win at regional is great… but it quickly takes a back seat to ‘what happens now?’ at the 2015 State Co-ed Track & Field Meet, May 21-23 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.

Lady Spartans cruise to WaMaC title

Solon girls roll up 123 points at super meet

MAQUOKETA– With an eye now on getting entries through to the 2015 State Co-Ed Track Meet, Solon’s girls brought home two more championships last week; a 40-plus point victory margin in the 16-team WaMaC conference meet in Maquoketa, and a similar win at Monticello.

Lady Spartans double up

Solon girls win home meet by 100-point margin

SOLON– Loading up with firsts in seven of the 19 events and with double-places in nine of 12 individual events, the Solon’s Lady Spartans more than doubled runner-up Vinton-Shellsburg’s score in the 2015 Denny Gruber Relays on April 21 in Solon.
With 213 points, Solon outran Vinton-Shellsburg (93 points) and the rest of the field; Mount Vernon (84), Marion (75), North Cedar (65), Iowa City Regina (63), Davenport Assumption (41) and Dyersville Beckman (36).

Gunnells wins second shot put championship

DES MOINES– Late Friday, Shelby Gunnells was still at the Drake track; watching as her teammates wrapped up their events in the high school division of the Drake Relays, one of the nation’s most prestigious track meets.
Her work was done.
“It feels like it was so long ago,” she said and smiled, thinking back to her morning in the shot put ring. That is where she rang up her second consecutive girls shot put title.

9 Lady Spartans to Drake Relays

DES MOINES– Twas a time, when a couple qualifiers for the Drake Relays were a big deal for Solon and many schools. Billed as ‘America’s Amateur Athletic Classic,’ the Relays (through this weekend in Des Moines) have been a showcase for college and world-class athletes, as well as the best of Iowa’s high schools for a century.

Girls run away with Creek title

Gunnells adds to her record for shot put

TIFFIN– With wins in seven events, Solon’s girls ran away with the Creek Classic Relays track title April 10 in Tiffin. In three of those events, the Lady Spartans got the win– and second place– on their way to 168 team points. Mount Vernon was second (123) in the team chase. From there, the field strung out with South Tama and Williamsburg (each with 94 points), Clear Creek Amana (86 1/2), Mid-Prairie (67), Independence (54) and Center Point-Urbana (45 1/2).

Lady Spartans run away at Tipton

fourth place at J-Hawk Relays

CEDAR RAPIDS– Balance through the lineup and three key event champions kept the Spartans close in the 2015 J-Hawk Relays April 4 at Kingston Stadium in Cedar Rapids.
Solon’s fourth place finish followed a runaway team title at Tipton earlier in the week.
Wins from Emma Moss in the 400-meter hurdles (1:10.24), Josie Durr in the high jump (5’2), Shelby Gunnells in the shot put (44’5) and points in eight other events kept Solon’s Class 3A girls in the mix throughout the meet, which featured larger, mostly 4A schools.

Lady Spartans tackle field at early WaMaC East indoor meet

MOUNT VERNON– Coming off the WaMaC East Division meet March 21 at Cornell College, Solon’s girls can point to throws and longer sprints as a couple bright spots heading toward the season’s first outdoor action March 31 at Tipton.
Team scores are not kept during the WaMaC indoor meets; with coaches experimenting with their lineups and some schools in the middle of spring break. But it does provide a peek at the strengths and potential weak spots once the outdoor season begins.