West captures 7th straight divisional title

Nicole Engelhardt of Iowa City West races to victory in the MVC Mississippi Division 3,000-meter run Friday. (Gazette photo by Jim Slosiarek)

Nicole Engelhardt of Iowa City West races to victory in the MVC Mississippi Division 3,000-meter run Friday. (Gazette photo by Jim Slosiarek)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A thundershower belted the northeast side of town Friday afternoon, causing a 95-minute stoppage at the MVC Mississippi Division girls’ track meet at Xavier High School.

It delayed the inevitable.

Iowa City West captured its seventh consecutive divisional crown, outscoring Iowa City High, 183-158. The Women of Troy have not been beaten in a scored meet since the 2005 state meet.

“Other than the state meet, there’s not a meet that means more to us than the conference meet,” said West Coach Mike Parker. We take it extremely seriously.”

West won 10 events, including a distance double by Nichole Engelhardt. She claimed the 3,000 (10:36.88) in sultry conditions, then won the 1,500 (4:52.27) after the rain — and a cold front — moved through.

“We’re not going to let a little weather affect us,” Engelhardt said. “We’re going to work hard in the rain or the sun, or even if it snows.”

Engelhardt is a senior. She has not experienced team defeat in her high school career.

“We take tremendous pride in our streak,” Engelhardt said. “We’re fighting for four (state titles). We want to keep the streak alive.”

West’s Jessica Gehrke was named the athlete of the year after winning the long jump and the 100. The Women of Troy also got a boost from freshman Jessica Shull, who anchored West from behind in the 3,200-meter relay with a 2:20.3 split.

“I wanted to stay behind for the first lap, catch her with about 200 (meters) to go, then just finish it,” said Shull, who later outlasted Waterloo West’s Abby Coselman in the 800, in 2:22.46.

City High’s Ashley Wilkinson outran Gehrke in the 200, breaking a 10-year-old MVC record in 24.87 seconds. City High’s Kristin Knight ran 25.03 in 1999.

“It didn’t feel that fast,” said Wilkinson, who outdueled Gehrke again in the anchor of the 400 relay. “The first 100 felt sluggish. I didn’t feel like I was up to full speed. The last 100, I gave it more. The last 50, was mostly mental. I just wanted it.”

Xavier’s Emily Whitters provided the Metro’s highlight. Whitters won the 400-meter dash in 59.29 seconds, then anchored the Saints’ winning sprint medley relay.

“There’s really tough competition here. It’s an honor to compete against these schools,” Whitters said.

Xavier’s 800-meter relay also struck gold, in a swift 1:44.87.

The Xavier team spent the rain delay in the locker room at the high school.

“We were all confused about what was going on,” Whitters said. “There were conflicting stories. We have our prom (Saturday), so we didn’t want to come back and run (Saturday). We just came back out and focused on what we needed to do.”

RESULTS

Teams — 1. Iowa City West 183, 2. Iowa City High 158, 3. Dubuque Wahlert 87, 4. Cedar Rapids Xavier 56, 5. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 46, 6.  Dubuque Hempstead 29, 7. Waterloo West 26.

Shot put — 1. Miacela Haight (ICW), 43-4; 2. Jadyn Spencer (WW), 40-8; 3. Majesty Tutson (ICH), 40-2; Discus — 1. Courtney Fritz (ICW), 127-5; 2. Majesty Tutson (ICH), 125-3; 3. Morgan May (DW), 120-1; High jump — 1. Claire Till (DW), 5-6; 2. Virginia Johnson (ICH), 5-2; 3. Kristin Huebsch (CRK), 5-2; Long jump — 1. Jessica Gehrke (ICW), 16-10; 2. Brittany Nelson (ICH), 16-3 1/4; 3. Gina Harrison (CRK), 16-2 1/2.

3,000 — 1. Nichole Engelhardt (ICW), 10:36.88; 2. Meg Richardson (ICH), 10:44.75; 3. Allison Fick (ICW), 11:12.07; 3,200 relay — 1. Iowa City West, 9:41.84; 2. Dubuque Wahlert, 9:44.07; 3. Iowa City High, 9:51.59; Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Iowa City West, 1:07.29; 2. Iowa City High, 1:08.94; 3. Dubuque Wahlert, 1:10.09; 100 — 1. Jessica Gehrke (ICW), 12.20; 2. Ashley Wilkinson (ICH), 12.51; 3. Kate Steingreaber (CRX), 12.61; Distance medley relay — 1. Dubuque Wahlert, 4:20.02; 2. Iowa City West, 4:22.18; 3. Iowa City High, 4:23.88; 400 — 1. Emily Whitters (CRX), 59.29; 2. Tara Mills (ICH), 1:00.20; 3. Katie Kelley (ICW), 1:00.50; 800 relay — 1. C.R. Xavier, 1:44.87; 2. Dubuque Wahlert, 1:45.94; 3. C.R. Kennedy, 1:47.07; 100 hurdles — 1. Mariah Jordan (ICH), 15.44; 2. Brooke Ludvicek (ICW), 15.92; 3. Natalie Mason (ICW), 16.12; 800 — 1. Jessica Shull (ICW), 2:22.46; 2. Abby Coselman (WW), 2:22.70; 3. Sarah McNamara (DW), 2:24.22; 200 — 1. Ashley Wilkinson (ICH), 24.87*; 2. Jessica Gehrke (ICW), 25.13; 3. Kate Steingreaber (CRX), 26.24; 400 hurdles — 1. Liza Minor (ICW), 1:07.72; 2. Beth Larsen (ICH), 1:09.22; 3. Mackenzie Welsh (CRK), 1:09.93; Sprint medley relay — 1. C.R. Xavier, 1:50.83; 2. Dubuque Wahlert, 1:53.93; 3. Iowa City West, 1:54.54; 1,500 — 1. Nichole Engelhardt (ICW), 4:52.27; 2. Rebecca Rethwisch (ICH), 4:57.68; 3. Taylor Fehlberg (ICW), 5:00.00; 400 relay — 1. Iowa City High, 49.80; 2. Iowa City West, 49.97; 3. C.R. Xavier, 50.03; 1,600 relay — 1. Dubuque Wahlert, 4:05.57; 2. Iowa City West, 4:09.00; 3. Iowa City High, 4:16.34. 

*MVC record

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