DES MOINES — Photo finishes were the theme of the girls’ races at the Drake Relays Friday.
Gabriel Williams of Sioux City West edged Iowa City West’s Jessica Gehrke by 6-hundredths of a second in the 100-meter dash. Shelby Houlihan of Sioux City East trimmed North Tama’s Sara Stoakes by 5-hundredths of a second in the 800-meter run.
“I didn’t know I’d won until they handed me the (championship) flag,” Houlihan said.
And in the 100-meter hurdles, Susan Rodriguez of Pleasant Valley upset Logan-Magnolia’s Alex Gochenour. The difference: 2-thousandths of a second, 15.168 to 15.170.
The Houlihan-Stoakes finish was a perilous one. Both leaned — and fell — at the line. Stoakes went to the medical tent instead of the interview room afterward.
“I knew she was going to lean, so I tried to lean even more,” Houlihan said.
Williams was the least likely champion. She was running in Lane 8. And she was on crutches a week ago, the victim of a stress fracture in her right foot.
“I wasn’t supposed to run (today),” she said. “My doctor said I was running at my own risk.”
With the risk came a big reward. Williams got off to an extremely fast start and held off Gehrke in 12.72 seconds. Gehrke, who won the long jump on her final effort Thursday, was timed in 12.78.
Houlihan paced a hurd of Sioux City East girls. Ellen Dougherty and Emily McCarthy were third and fourth.
Stoakes caught Houlihan at the front of the straightaway, and they ran stride for stride down the stretch. Houlihan was clocked in 2:10.17, Stoakes in 2:10.22.
Gochenour came into the 100 hurdles final as a substantial favorite, but couldn’t overcome a stumble over the second hurdle.
Hannah Willms of Dike-New Hartford established a Drake record in the high jump, successfully defending her title with a leap of 5 feet, 11 inches. She narrowly missed on her last chance at 6-1, which would have broken her all-time Iowa best.
“It’s really exciting because the level of competition is so good,” said Willms, a junior who has committed to Iowa State University to play volleyball — and is mulling a track career as well. “The competition pushes you to be at your absolute best.”
Taylor Twedt, a freshman from West Fork, cleared 5-9.
Brooke Gritters of Pella won the shot put with a heave of 46-10 1/4. Micaela Haight of Iowa City West moved from 10th to third with her final throw, an effort of 41-0 1/2.
“I had been thinking about it way too much (until my last throw),” Haight said. “That last throw, I just forgot everything and threw like I know I can.”
Waukee captured the sprint medley relay in 1:46.73. Mount Vernon-Lisbon was fourth.
Iowa City West set a Drake record in Friday evening’s 400-meter preliminaries. The Women of Troy ran in 48.71.
FRIDAY’S FINAL RESULTS
Shot put — 1. Brooke Gritters (Pella), 46-10 1/4; 2. Margo Shandri (Urbandale), 41-10; 3. Micaela Haight (Iowa City West), 41-0 1/2; 4. Candice Henrichson (Mid-Prairie), 40-8 3/4; 5. Breanna Vint (Gladbrook-Reinbeck), 40-4; 6. Kaitlin Kromminga (Benton Community), 40-1 3/4; 7. Majesty Tutson (Iowa City High), 39-9; 8. Emily Messerly (Waukee), 39-9.
High jump — 1. Hannah Willms (Dike-New Hartford), 5-11; 2. Taylor Twedt (West Fork), 5-9 1/4; 3. (tie) Khanishah Williams (Burlington) and Kendra DeJong (Unity Christian), 5-6; 5. Megan Glisar (Sergeant Bluff-Luton), 5-4 1/2; 6. Gina Montagna (West Liberty), 5-3; 8. Tanna Seuferer (Chariton), 5-3.
Sprint medley relay — 1. Waukee, 1:46.73; 2. Davenport Central, 1:47.77; 3. Bettendorf, 1:48.47; 4. Mount Vernon-Lisbon, 1:49.02; 5. West Des Moines Valley, 1:49.91; 6. Iowa City High, 1:50.33; 7. Johnston, 1:51.04; 8. Hudson, 1:51.43.
100 hurdles — 1. Susan Rodriguez (Pleasant Valley), 15.17; 2. Alex Gochenour (Logan-Magnolia), 15.17; 3. Taylor Twedt (West Fork), 15.64; 4. Tashina McAllister (Oelwein), 15.67; 5. Sarah Yeager (Cardinal), 15.69; 6. Slone Masters (Storm Lake), 15.72; 7. Emily James (Waukee), 16.15.
100 meters — 1. Gabriel Williams (Sioux City West), 12.72; 2. Jessica Gehrke (Iowa City West), 12.78; 3. Ebonie Butler (Davenport Central), 13.07; 4. Maddy Halyard (Cedar Rapids Washington), 13.07; 5. Ashley Wilkinson (Iowa City High), 13.10; 6. Whitney Westrum (Waukee), 13.12; 7. Sara Stoakes (North Tama), 13.14; 8. Jenna Higgins (North Scott), 13.20.
800 meters — 1. Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City East), 2:10.17; 2. Sara Stoakes (North Tama), 2:10.22; 3. Ellen Dougherty (Sioux City East), 2:12.57; 4. Emily McCarthy (Sioux City East), 2:14.90; 5. Katie Flood (West Des Moines Dowling), 2:16.72; 6. Abby Schlater (Council Bluffs St. Albert), 2:18.10; 7. Alex Wilson (Mount Vernon-Lisbon), 2:18.54; 8. Samantha Cameron (Bettendorf), 2:18.59.
Link to Friday boys