TIFFIN– Heading into the last event, it was a long shot. To pull out a championship in the April 5 Creek Track and Field Classic, Solon’s girls would have to finish three or more places better than host Clear Creek Amana (CCA) in the 4x400 relay. CCA erased the question mark, though, with a nine-second win over the Spartans, who held on for third in the event and runner-up in the meet.
It was close all night; Solon and Clear Creek traded off with one-two finishes in 10 of the 19 events in the seven-team field. The Clippers’ 161 points, though, were enough to hold off the Spartans’ 152. Williamsburg was a distant third with 80 points. Following were Mount Vernon/Lisbon (79), Benton (72), Mid Prairie (32) and Independence (12).
Senior Emily Bransky was a four-time winner, winning the long jump, 100 and 200 as well as anchoring the 4x200 meter relay. She, Jessica Brimeyer, Karly Kramer and Emily Ira made the two loops in 1:49.26. Bransky’s long jump just hit 17 feet (and a half-inch). In the 100 she led from the start, finishing in 12.73. In the 200, she nosed CCA’s Megan Hall with a 26.50. Rylee Smith’s 15.80 topped the 100 meter hurdles field.
Other winners included Kelsey Cave, 5’2 in the high jump; Kara Misel 38’11.25 in the shot put; Lauren Benzing (4:49.56) in the 1500. Runner-up points came from Alex Smith (11:35.47) in the 3000, with teammate Leah Adams (11:40.34) on her shoulder in third; Rylee Smith, Caitlin Knoedel, Kari Vance and Jennifer Shelman in the shuttle hurdle relay (1:09.57); and Smith, Kramer, Brimeyer and Ira (52.28) in the 4x100. “Brimeyer has been running really well and Ira has been a pleasant surprise: a solid member on relay teams,” noted head coach Brent Sands.
Earlier in the week, Solon pushed Williamsburg to the wire, but had to settle for second, down three points to the Raiders in the six-team meet. Again, the host school hung on, this time for a three-point margin over the Spartans, 166 to 163. Washington was third with 85. Grinnell (63), Belle Plaine (58) and Mid-Prairie (44) filled out the field.
Kara Misel and Shelby Gunnells provided a one-two finish for Solon right away in the shot put. Misel’s winning toss was 38’1.75. Other firsts came from Lauren Benzing in the 3000 (10:55.50), and backing it with a 2:25.89 800. Also coming through were Smith (16:07) in the 100 hurdles, having teamed earlier with Vance, Knoedel, and Shelman to win the shuttle hurdle relay (1:10.56); Brimeyer, Kramer, Ira and Madi Shafer in the 4x200 (1:51.54); with Smith, Kramer, Brimeyer and Ira clipping a 52.27 in the 4x100.
Some key finishes in 400s could serve the Spartans well as they look for help in that critical ‘long sprint.’ Shafer and Jadyn Miller were third and fourth; each with a time of 1:04 and change. With Benzing clocking a 1:03+ in the 4x400, Haley Bell turning a 1:04+ in the distance medley and Mallory Carr also in that 1:04 range, it provides options as Solon Coach Brent Sands looks to load up relays as the season moves forward. “Molly Walkner ran a really good (800) anchor leg the other night and is coming along really well. Seydel, Shafer, Miller, and Bell have run some good times, and that is aside from the girls we expected to run solid 400s,” Sands said.
With the late addition to the schedule at Iowa Valley-Marengo Monday, the Spartans are slated for three girls meets this week; including one at West Branch Thursday and then back to Tipton on Friday.