Archive for March, 2009

New resource for you

March 31, 2009

I’m linking athletic websites to area high schools and conferences. They are located on the right part of the screen.

Many area high schools now have schedules, records and all sorts of helpful info on their sites.

Here’s hoping this is a valuable resource.


They’re Mermaids, and they’re fast

March 30, 2009
(From left) Karly Cochrane, Holly Salzbrenner and Alex Wilson are key members as the Mount Vernon-Lisbon girls' track team opens 2009 as the Class 3A favorite.

(From left) Karly Cochrane, Holly Salzbrenner and Alex Wilson are key members as the Mount Vernon-Lisbon girls' track team opens 2009 as the Class 3A favorite. (Liz Martin photo)

MOUNT VERNON — Behind the ever-changing mascots and the silly T-shirts lies a growing track and field giant.

Behold the Mount Vernon-Lisbon … uh … Mermaids.

Seniors choose the mascot and motto each year. Usually it’s a cuddly animal.

“This is the first time we’ve had a mystical sea creature,” said Karly Cochrane.

The motto: “Eat our bubbles.”

Much of the competition can plan on living in Mount Vernon-Lisbon’s wake this season. This is one loaded squad.

“Up and down the line, this is the most depth we’ve ever had,” said MV-L Coach Bill Thomsen. “We’ve always had one or two good kids. Up and down, we’ve got kids that will score.”

Mount Vernon-Lisbon went from anonymity to the big time in a hurry. After scoring a half-point at the state meet in 2007, MV-L tallied 59 last year, finishing two points behind Benton Community in the Class 3A race. (more…)

Girls track ’09: Teams to watch

March 30, 2009


2008 state finish — 8th in Class 3A, 34 points.

Key returners — Moran Lonning, soph.; Kaia Miller, jr.; Karli Ramstad, jr.

Outlook — The Vikings advanced 22 events to state last year, and depth will not be an issue. Decorah will be strong in the middle distances, both in individual events and relays.


2008 state finish — 6th in Class 4A, 43 points.

Key returners — Mariah Jordan, sr.; Majesty Tutson, sr.; Ashley Wilkinson, jr.

Outlook — Sixth place was a down year for City High last year. The Little Hawks ought to rebound somewhat behind strong relays and depth.


2008 state finish — Class 4A state champion, 84 1/2 points.

Key returners — Nicole Engelhardt, sr.; Jessica Gehrke, jr.; Micaela Haight, jr.

Outlook — The Women of Troy won back-to-back 4A titles behind outstanding field events and relays. Graduation hit somewhat, but Gehrke is an excellent place to build a team around. West will be among the top 4A contenders once again.

2008 state finish — 6th in Class 2A, 36 points.

Key returners — Brandee Bohr., sr.; Missy Hershberger, sr.

Outlook — In a wide-open 2A, the Golden Hawks have to be considered a factor. They’ll put together strong sprint relays behind Bohr, and the addition of freshman distance ace Sofia Chmaruk might be enough to put Mid-Prairie over the top.


2008 state finish — Class 3A runner-up, 59 points.

Key returners — Karly Cochrane, jr.; Courtney Kintzel, soph.; Holly Salzbrenner, soph.; Alex Wilson, soph.

Outlook — In two short years, MV-L has gone from a run-of-the-mill program to a budding superpower. This team has both depth and elite runners, which makes them a solid favorite to win the 3A championship come May.


2008 state finish — Class 1A champion, 110 points.

Key returners — Sara Stoakes, sr.

Outlook — Stoakes, who has signed with Kansas State, is among the most versatile runners in the state. She’ll be the runner to beat in 1A in any race from 100 to 3,000. That alone makes North Tama a factor in the 1A race.

Girls track ’09: Athletes to watch

March 30, 2009

BRANDEE BOHR, sr., Mid-Prairie — The 2A 100-meter runner-up. Also second in the 800-meter relay and fourth in the 400 relay.

KARLY COCHRANE, jr., Mount Vernon-Lisbon — Class 3A champion in the 1,600-meter relay and distance medley. Third in the sprint medley relay and fourth in the 400.

JESSICA GEHRKE, jr., Iowa City West — Anchored the 400-meter relay to second place in 4A, third in the long jump, fourth in the 100 and 200.

KELSEY LABS, sr., Marion — Third place in the 3A 400-meter hurdles and fourth in the 1,600-meter relay.

TASHINA McALLISTER, jr., Oelwein — Class 3A champion in the 400-meter hurdles. She was second in the shuttle hurdle relay, fifth in the 100 and seventh in the 100 hurdles.

KAIA MILLER, jr., Decorah — Placed second in the 3A 3,200-meter relay, fourth in the distance medley relay and fifth in the 800.

KYLEE OLSON, jr., Valley Community — Ran on the 1A champion 400-meter relay and finished third in the 1,600-meter relay.

HOLLY SALZBRENNER, soph., Mount Vernon-Lisbon — Ran on the 3A champion 1,600-meter relay. Second in the 400 hurdles, fourth in the shuttle hurdle relay and seven in the 3,200-meter relay.

SARA STOAKES, sr., North Tama — Four-event champion in Class 1A as a junior, winning the 100, 200 and 400 and anchoring the winning sprint medley relay. Won the 1A cross country title last fall.

ASHLEY WILKINSON, jr., Iowa City High — Finished second in the 4A sprint medley relay and third in the 800-meter relay, plus fifth in the 100 and sixth in the 200.

ALEX WILSON, soph., Mount Vernon-Lisbon — A member of the 3A-winning 1,600-meter and distance medley relays. Runner-up in the 800 and seventh in the 3,200-meter relay.

What I did over spring break

March 30, 2009

I’m back.

Ten days off. Where did I go? Not far. What did I accomplish? Not much.

It was great.

My kids’ baseball team had three outdoor practices. Two were held in warm weather. One, not so much. My team lost four fewer players to defections than did Todd Lickliter.

The family toured the Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines. We spent an afternoon. We could have spent much longer.

I watched college basketball. Lots of it. I saw more of Jim Calhoun than I’d like. And less of Sherri Coale.

Meanwhile, my NCAA pool brackets fizzled. Final Four pick Wake Forest … gone in the first round. For a brief moment Sunday, my 7-year-old daughter went ahead of me.

I learned that my cousin is about to be announced as a varsity girls basketball coach at a 4A school. The bad thing: the program won three games last year. The good thing: in the Mississippi Athletic Conference, you don’t have to be great to be competitive in a hurry.

I missed out on the girls’ state indoor track meet. Looked like I missed some good stuff, most notably Hannah Willms’ all-time Iowa best in the high jump (6-0 1/4).

Now I’m back. Tomorrow, the girls’ track preview.

IGHSAU hires Oswald as assistant director

March 20, 2009

Joel Oswald of Pleasant Hill has been hired as an Assistant Director with the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.

Oswald, 28, will be the administrator for basketball and softball, as well as the supervisor of all IGHSAU-licensed officials.

Oswald has an extensive officiating background, refereeing high school softball, basketball, baseball, volleyball, and football.

He has worked 20 state tournaments in four sports. Oswald will begin his duties in April.

Postseason track sites set

March 19, 2009

The IHSAA and IGHSAU have released the sites and teams for the district/regional track meets May 15.

Here they are:

Girls bkb 2009-10: Conference picks

March 19, 2009

Once again, this is based on a mathematic formula … (’08-09 W-L pct.) x (returning points in ’09-10)


1. Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 2. Cedar Rapids Xavier, 3. Iowa City High, 4. Waterloo West, 5. Dubuque Wahlert, 6. Iowa City West, 7. Dubuque Hempstead.


1. Linn-Mar, 2. Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 3. Cedar Rapids Washington, 4. Cedar Falls, 5. Dubuque Senior, 6. Cedar Rapids Prairie, 7. Waterloo East.


1. DeWitt Central, 2. Mount Vernon, 3. Anamosa, 4. Maquoketa, 5. Western Dubuque, 6. Solon, 7. West Delaware, 8. Dyersville Beckman.


1. Marion, 2. Williamsburg, 3. Vinton-Shellsburg, 4. Waterloo Columbus, 5. Center Point-Urbana, 6. Benton Community, 7. Clear Creek-Amana, 8. Independence.


1. Iowa City Regina, 2. Wilton, 3. West Branch, 4. Tipton, 5. West Liberty, 6. Durant, 7. North Cedar, 8. Mid-Prairie.


1. Camanche, 2. Northeast, 3. Preston, 4. Clinton Prince of Peace, 5. Bellevue Marquette, 6. Midland, 7. Olin, 8. East Central, 9. Bellevue, 10. Lisbon, 11. Andrew, 12. Calamus-Wheatland.


1. Waukon, 2. Crestwood, 3. Charles City, 4. Decorah, 5. Oelwein, 6. Waverly-Shell Rock, 7. New Hampton.


1. Sigourney, 2. Lynnville-Sully, 3. Belle Plaine, 4. North Mahaska, 5. BGM, 6. Keota, 7. HLV, 8. Iowa Valley, 9. English Valleys, 10. Montezuma, 11. Tri-County.


1. Cascade, 2. North Linn, 3. Central City, 4. Maquoketa Valley, 5. Monticello, 6. Edgewood-Colesburg, 7. Alburnett, 8. Springville, 9. Starmont, 10. East Buchanan.


1. MFL MarMac, 2. Sumner-Fredericksburg, 3. Valley Community, 4. Postville, 5. Elkader Central, 6. Turkey Valley, 7, Lansing Kee, 8. South Winneshiek, 9. Clayton Ridge, 10. North Fayette, 11. West Central.

Gatorade honors Printy

March 17, 2009

Jaime Printy of Linn-Mar has been named the Gatorade Iowa Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year, the first Linn-Mar player to be honored.

Printy, a 5-foot-11 guard who has signed with the Universithy of Iowa, led the Lions to a 24-1 record and a spot in the Class 4A semifinals at the state tournament. She averaged 17.8 points per game and ranks 78th in ESPNU HoopGurlz 100 Class of 2009.

Big East-Cedar Valley showdown is Sunday

March 17, 2009

TIPTON — Top seniors from two Eastern Iowa conferences will hit the floor for a girl-boy doubleheader Sunday at Tipton.

Seniors from the Big East Conference and the Cedar Valley Conference will meet in the third inter-conference showdown between the conferences.

A girls’ game will tip-off at 3 p.m. with the boys’ contest scheduled for 5 p.m.  Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for students.