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DRAKE RELAYS: Bobcat 4x1 wins heat, denied finals

April 28, 2012
By MARK PAWLAK - T-R Assistant Sports Editor ( , Times-Republican

DES MOINES - An ideal day for running it was not - cold, extremely windy and a night-time thunderstorm to boot.

The Marshalltown girls' track and field team ended its 2012 Drake Relays experience by winning its 4x100-meter relay heat on Friday. The Bobcats' 51.34-second clocking put them 31st out of the 80 participants.

"It was encouraging to end the afternoon on a positive note like that," said MHS head coach Chad Pietig.

Article Photos

Saryn Case of Marshalltown runs the third leg of the 4x200-meter relay during the high school girls’ event at the Drake Relays on Friday. The Bobcats finished 22nd in 1:48.49.

Marshalltown won its heat in 51.34 with Jessie Vopava, Abby Keith, Mackenzie Beals and Eisha Oden. The same group of four earlier in the day ran the Bobcats' sprint medley.

The previous season-best in the 4x100 for MHS was 52.5.

"They dropped time like we expected," Pietig said. "I think there's still even a little bit more there for them to drop. It was nice to see them get out and win their heat."

Of the 10 heats of the 4x1, only the top 24 teams are seeded into the first three starts.

"We knew coming in those last few heats they just throw teams in," Pietig said. "Not having a great seed time and knowing we're faster than our seed, we had to come out, run our lane, push ourselves to do it on our own."

The sprint medley of Vopava, Keith, Beals and Oden gained 16th in 1:51.92.

Marshalltown ran in the 4x200 for the first time at Drake (the event was added in 2011) and Beals, Keith, Saryn Case and Oden were 22nd in 1:48.49.

"We ran respectable," Pietig said of the earlier in the day relays. "I just think both those relays have more to show before the end of the year. It just felt off a step a little bit on both the 4x2 and sprint med. We just couldn't get all four to have the perfect race at the same time."

Now the Bobcats set their sights on getting a contingent that is strong in number back down to Drake Stadium next month for the state meet.

"When we ran the medley at Cedar Falls, it was under ideal conditions, no wind, a nice humid day," Pietig added. "Here we ran the same seed time with not our best performance all around."

Marshalltown's individual qualifier Beals was 28th in the 100 meters in 13.38. The wind was a factor all day in Des Moines with headwinds across the track between 0.5 and 3.7 during the four heats.

While Marshalltown does not have any entries in today's events (boys or girls), former Bobcats listed on the heat sheets include Jill Lageschulte of Northern Iowa in the women's 3,000 steeplechase (11 a.m.) and Kellyn Fogarty of Missouri in the men's 400 hurdles (1:50 p.m.).

West Marshall senior McKenzie Shipley finished 13th in the girls' long jump on Friday.

Shipley had a leap of 16-5 as her best on her final preliminary attempt. The cutoff to make the finals was 16-10. Shipley moved up from 20th in 2011.



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