Distance runners Gus Hayes (front) and Brady Hogan finished 1-2 in the 1600-meter run to qualify for state. (Photo courtesy of Valerie Gunhus)
Distance runners Gus Hayes (front) and Brady Hogan finished 1-2 in the 1600-meter run to qualify for state. (Photo courtesy of Valerie Gunhus)

 Drake Stadium as the Decorah boys’ and girls’ track teams will swarm the Blue Oval later this week.

Friday the Vikings swept the team titles at the Class 3A District 3 state-qualifying meet at Charles City. The girls produced 152 points to claim their 15th consecutive qualifying title, qualifying 11 events to the state meet.

The Viking boys squeaked out a win by a one-point margin with 118 points over Webster City and will have 10 entries to the state meet.

“It was a great team win on Friday night. We were only able to win one event, but team depth allowed us to nickel and dime our way to a qualifying banner. We are super proud of our athletes and their efforts to improve all season,” said boys’ coach Joel Rollinger.

The state meet runs Thursday through Saturday, May 16-18, at Drake Stadium in Des Moines (see box on page A-10 for the complete schedule)


Qualifying process

In Class 3A, the top-two place winners in each event at every state qualifying site automatically advance to state. The next eight best times/distances throughout the state also move on, making 24 entries total per event.


Qualify 11

It will be a busy weekend for the girls’ team in Des Moines with five relays representing the Vikings as well as six individual events.

The relays will start with the shuttle hurdle Thursday at Drake. Grace Syverson, Anya Lovstuen, Kallie Mincks and Ambria Pipho crossed the finished line in 1:09.76, good for third and qualifying on time. They are seeded 17th overall. Last year, G. Syverson, Pipho, Katie Bjergum and Bella Knutson finished fifth.

The 4x800 also will run Thursday. Leila Johnson, Brooke Courtney, Britta Swanson and Cassidy Carolan finished third at the state qualifying meet in 10:07.51. They are seeded 21st overall. Jenna Galligan, Sarah Mikkelson, Johnson and Shayla Betts finished fourth in 2018.

Numerous individuals also will compete Thursday. G. Syverson will compete in the 100-meter hurdles. Her state-qualifying time of 16.31 seconds has her seeded 19th heading to state. Winning the 200-meter dash qualifier in 25.81 seconds, Brooke Berns has the third fastest time entering Thursday’s prelims. Finishing one-two in the 100-meter dash, Vikings Rose Gullekson and Brielle Buresh punched their tickets to the prelims at state Thursday. Gullekson’s time of 12.73 seconds gives her the fourth-fastest time, while Buresh is seeded seventh with her 12.87-second time. Clearing 5 feet even, Pipho enters the state high jump event seeded 17th overall.

Aanaiya Weston will take the stage Friday morning. Her throw of 35 feet, 8 inches in the shot put gave her a silver and an automatic bid to state. The freshman is seeded 19th overall.

In the 4x200, Amanda Kuehner, Gullekson, B. Buresh and Berns won in 1:47.14 and are seeded 11th overall. Speedsters G. Syverson, Berns, Gullekson and B. Buresh broke the tape in 49.81 seconds, seeding them second. 

Saturday’s events begin with the sprint medley. After winning at Charles City in 1:51.04, G. Syverson, B. Buresh, Gullekson and Berns will step onto the Blue Oval with the fifth-fastest time. A year ago, Allie Hafner, Brynne Valkosky, Rylea Ranum and Katie Nimrod were second.