DES MOINES - The top high jump mark of the junior season for Kailey Kladivo was 5 feet, 3 inches.
The North Tama senior has been making it a point to keep the bar on the rise in 2012.
Kladivo gained a sixth-place finish in the high school girls' high jump on Thursday during the Drake Relays.
T-R PHOTO BY MARK PAWLAK
North Tama senior Kailey Kladivo sails toward the bar during the high school girls’ high jump on Thursday at the Drake Relays. Kladivo finished sixth at 5 feet, 5 inches in her second trip to Drake.
"I'm just feeling a lot better this year with jumping," Kladivo said. "I'm doing my steps differently now. I went to a few clinics and got better technique."
Kladivo's final height at Drake Stadium was 5-5. Maddie Rouw of Waukee went out of the competition at 5-5 as well and took fifth on misses.
"Being in the top six was pretty good," said Kladivo, who will jump for the track team at Wartburg College, as well as play basketball for the Knights. "I'm not completely happy with how I jumped, but you've got to learn from it basically and be ready to come back down here for state and do better."
Thursday marked the fifth time Kladivo has jumped in the infield of Drake Stadium - twice in the Relays and three times at the Iowa Co-ed State Track and Field Championships. The height of 5-5 matches her best at Drake Stadium, which she did as a sophomore to finish second in Class 1A.
Advancing out of May 10th's state-qualifying meet in Grundy Center, will give Kladivo one more shot at the high jump in Des Moines at the state meet on May 18.
"I've just got to keep working on my form, working on my approach and get my steps down even better so they become just that more natural," Kladivo said. "Stay positive with it."
Kladivo broke the North Tama school record by clearing 5-8 to start the outdoor season and followed with 5-8 1/4 on Tuesday.
"Both of my school record breaking jumps this year were at Dike," Kladivo said. "Jumping there just really works for me."
"When I cleared 5-8 1/4, I cleared it by a lot so it just shows there's more there that I can clear," she added.
Alexis Conaway, a sophomore from MOC-Floyd Valley, was the winner Thursday at 5-10. She was top-seeded at Drake after clearing 5-9 earlier in the spring. Second place went to Taylor Twedt of West Fork (for the fourth consecutive year) at 5-8, while Chaley Rath of Treynor finished third at 5-7.
Sarah Boomgarden of South Hardin, the only freshman among the 24 participants, did not clear the opening height of 5-1.