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Joe Wilkinson

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.

Fresh fish

IDNR stocking Lake Macbride, Pleasant Creek with larger walleyes

DES MOINES– Walleyes stocked this week will help fisheries biologists in future stocking decisions. Spawned this past spring, then raised at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Lake Rathbun hatchery, the eight-inch advanced fingerlings join walleyes already in Pleasant Creek Lake, Lake Macbride and five other Iowa lakes introduced as tiny, day-old fry.

Solon to host state qualifier Oct. 23

XC girls finish fifth at WaMaC meet

IOWA CITY– A tough field faces Solon’s girls, as state qualifying cross country meets are held around the state this week. Only the top three teams– and top 10 individual runners– from each class move on to the Nov. 1 state meet in Fort Dodge.
The Lady Spartans face four ranked schools in 3A, but teams they have run against this season. Solon– ranked in the top-15 for several weeks earlier this season– would have to knock off at least two... and hold off any late season surprise team... to return to state.

Prelude to postseason: Girls sixth at North Linn

TROY MILLS– It will take a couple leaders to push the pack as Solon’s cross country season races into the home stretch. Thursday’s WaMaC conference meet is followed by the state qualifying meet one week later.
Leading into that stretch, the Spartans are coming off the North Linn meet, with 18 (girls) and 19 (boys) full teams and several incomplete (less than five runners) squads circling the crowded Troy Mills campus. The boys were 11th, with just two top-50 runners in the crowded 1A through 3A field. The girls edged Central Clinton of DeWitt for the sixth spot.

Boys