Waukee 4×400 sets Iowa girls mark

Iowa City West's Jessica Gehrke finishes second to Waukee's Whitney Westrum at the end of the girls' 400-meter relay at the Drake Relays Saturday (Gazette photo by Jim Slosiarek)

Iowa City West's Jessica Gehrke finishes second to Waukee's Whitney Westrum at the end of the girls' 400-meter relay at the Drake Relays Saturday (Gazette photo by Jim Slosiarek)

DES MOINES — They’d spent their high school careers chasing “a special moment.”

An all-time Iowa best — in their final race of their final Drake Relays. Yeah, that’s special.

Waukee ran the 1,600-meter relay like no girls team in Iowa has run it before. Whitney Westrum outdueled Sioux City East’s Ellen Dougherty in the final stretch to give the Warriors the gold in 3:50.21. East’s 3:50.58 also beat the former standard (3:51.70), set by Starmont 28 years ago.

“It was great competition,” Westrum said. “Neck and neck, stride for stride. I just felt an extra kick at the end.”

That was but a minor smudge on a remarkable day for Sioux City East. The Black Raiders won the 3,200-meter relay Saturday morning in 9:20.77, then Dougherty won the 400 hurdles and Shelby Houlihan took the 1,500.

Waukee got a lift from Colette Gnade in the third leg of the final race. Gnade, who is recovering from a stress fracture in her foot, made her only appearance of the weekend and lifted the Warriors into contention with a 56.0-second third leg.

“We didn’t know if (Gnade) would run until today,” Westrum said. “It was great to have her kick at the end.”

“Since we were freshmen, we’ve always thought maybe we would do something special,” Gnade said. “It’s nice to have that special moment.”

Waukee also captured the 400-meter relay in 48.72, 1-hundredth of a second off the record pace that Iowa City West ran in the prelims Friday. West finished second in 49.31.

North Tama’s Sara Stoakes concluded a solid weekend with a second-place finish behind Dougherty, who won in 1:03.01.  Stoakes closed fast to finish in 1:03.21.

It was only the fourth time Stoakes has run the 400 hurdles in competition.

“I don’t like to finish second,” she said. “I get worked up about it too much, I know. I view it as motivation for me to keep going.”

Stoakes was second in the 800 Friday. She scuffed up her knees in an end-of-the-race lean.

“We washed them up with some hydrogen peroxide,” she said. “I’m happy I came back out and ran today. I’ve improved so much in the past couple weeks.”

Iowa City High was third in the 3,200-meter relay.

“We couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said City’s Jessica Yagla.

Saturday’s conditions — 50 degrees and drizzly — were a stark contrast to Friday, when it was 85 degrees. For a distance runner, that’s all right.

“We ran in it Friday,” said City’s Meg Richardson. “This was a lot nicer.”

Logan-Magnolia, a Class 1A school, captured the shuttle hurdle relay in 1:05.19. West was third.

“We came in here (seeded) ninth, so we bumped it up a lot,” said West’s Natalie Mason. “We were working on running clean races. I think we did all right.”

Mount Vernon-Lisbon placed in five events throughout the weekend, including a fourth-place effort in the 1,600 relay at 4:01.68.

“It puts in perspective where we stand right now,” said Karly Cochrane. “Our medal all weekend was, ‘Get medals.’ ”


3,200 relay — 1. Sioux City East, 9:20.77; 2. West Des Moines Dowling, 9:31.31; 3. Iowa City High, 9:32.34; 4. West Des Moines Valley, 9:35.86; 5. Iowa City West, 9:36.02; 6. Mount Vernon-Lisbon, 9:41.65; 7. Johnston, 9:45.62; 8. Ames, 9:48.09.

Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Logan-Magnolia, 1:05.19; 2. Waukee, 1:06.12; 3. Iowa City West, 1:07.44.

400 hurdles — 1. Ellen Dougherty (Sioux City East), 1:03.01; 2. Sara Stoakes (North Tama), 1:03.21; 3. Susan Rodriguez (Pleasant Valley), 1:03.49; 4. Sarah Yeager (Cardinal), 1:05.47; 5. Krista Shoeman (Johnston), 1:05.82; 6. Michaela Jones (Gilbert), 1:05.92; 7. Alex Gochenour (Logan-Magnolia), 1:06.94; 8. Holly Salzbrenner (Mount Vernon-Lisbon), 1:07.03.

1,500 meters — 1. Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City East), 4:37.03; 2. Katie Flood (West Des Moines Dowling), 4:39.11; 3. Morgan Casey (Northeast), 4:41.79; 4. Ashlie Decker (West Des Moines Dowling), 4:44.52; 5. Abby Schlater (Council Bluffs St. Albert), 4:44.86; 6. Nichole Engelhardt (Iowa City West), 4:48.53; 7. Emily McCarthy (Sioux City East), 4:50.94; 8. Meg Richardson (Iowa City High), 4:54.34.

400 relay — 1. Waukee, 48.72; 2. Iowa City West, 49.31; 3. Davenport Central, 49.33; 4. Johnston, 49.41; 5. Iowa City High, 49.94; 6. Sioux City West, 50.39; 7. Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 50.55; 8. Des Moines Roosevelt, 51.02.

1,600 relay — 1. Waukee, 3:50.21; 2. Sioux City East, 3:50.58; 3. Johnston, 4:00.60; 4. Mount Vernon-Lisbon, 4:01.68; 5. Bettendorf, 4:03.57; 6. Dubuque Wahlert, 4:05.04; 7. Ankeny, 4:06.48; 8. Pleasant Valley, 4:06.83.

Link to Saturday boys


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One Response to “Waukee 4×400 sets Iowa girls mark”

  1. Waukee 4×400 sets Iowa girls mark | IowaPrepSports.com Says:

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