Evans, Hostetler beat the heat for medal finishes at State Track

By Paul D. Bowker
Posted 5/25/24


The final day of the Iowa High School Track & Field Championships didn’t actually begin for Mid-Prairie’s Jovi Evans until Saturday afternoon.

Temperatures were …

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Evans, Hostetler beat the heat for medal finishes at State Track



The final day of the Iowa High School Track & Field Championships didn’t actually begin for Mid-Prairie’s Jovi Evans until Saturday afternoon.

Temperatures were already in the upper 80s.

The track surface was hotter than that.

It had been so warm at Drake Stadium that one race was delayed while medical staffers treated a spectator who had passed out in the stands due to the heat. Prior to that happening, Mid-Prairie’s Greta Sieren collapsed after crossing the finish line in the 800-meter run and was helped by medical staffers.

For Evans, a Golden Hawks sophomore, the afternoon produced not only her first race of the day, but her first individual state final ever.

“I’m not used to the heat,” she said with a laugh afterwards. “I’m used to running when it’s raining out.”

Evans finished fifth in that 100 final, then an hour later finished fifth again in the 200.

“I guess I medaled,” she said. “I wanted to do better, but that’s all right. I’m just starting.”

The state championship meet featured a combination of several Mid-Prairie athletes making their debut on the Blue Oval and a group of seniors, led by four-time individual state champion Danielle Hostetler, taking their last and emotional runs on the track.

Hostetler, who won four individual state titles and two relay state titles in four years, pushed through the heat to finish fourth in the 1500. She added a sixth-place finish in the 3000 and anchored a pair of Mid-Prairie top 10 finishes in the distance medley and 4x800 relay.

“Every year has been so different for me,” Hostetler said. “I’m a completely different runner now than I was freshman year. I’ve just gone through a lot. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my team and fans and the parents and the community just supporting us.”

Hostetler finished the 1500 with a time of 4:48.95 while Abby Fleming, a senior, posted a personal-best time of 5:06.16 in the 1500 for a career-best 15th-place finish.

Sieren, a senior, finished the 800 in 2:25.95 and also joined senior classmates Hostetler and Emma Lueck, along with junior Dakota Mitchell, for a fourth-place finish in the distance medley with a time of 4:09.79. Sieren and Hostetler combined with Annika Poll, a senior, and Brooklyn Stutzman, a freshman, for a season-best time of 9:51.94 and an eighth-place finish in the 4x800 relay.

Another senior, Behla Schmidt, finished 18th in the 100 hurdles with a time of 16.54 seconds in the prelims.

Then, the Golden Hawks got a look at their future.

Mitchell, a volleyball and softball star who is a volleyball commit to the University of North Texas, made her state debuts on a pair of relay teams, medaling in both.

Harper Pacha, a sophomore, made her debut in the  shot put, finishing 18th with a throw of 34 feet, 11.5 inches.

Stutzman, a freshman, ran the third leg in the 4x800.

Myli Hershberger, a freshman, teamed up with Mitchell, Lueck and Evans in the 4x100 to place eighth with a time of 50.67 seconds in an incredible race that featured four state records and seven season-best times.

The relay race was the third of Saturday afternoon for Evans, who made her debut in four relay races a year ago and medaled in all of them. Saturday, she medaled three more times.

“I didn’t feel a lot of pressure,” she said. “I just felt like more nerves than before. When I got into the (starting) blocks, they all kind of went away.”

The Golden Hawks scored 23 points to tie for ninth place, marking the first time in five years that they hadn’t finished first or second. Van Meter won the 2A championship for the second consecutive year, scoring 63 points to edge Pella Christian by three points.

A strong group of freshmen and sophomores could lead Mid-Prairie back toward the top in 2025. And among those joining the team next year will be Jeorgia Evans, Jovi’s younger sister, an eighth grader who won the middle school state title in the 100 with a time (12.69 seconds) that would have placed her second in the high school finals.



100: Jovi Evans, 5th, :12.96

200: Jovi Evans, 5th, :26.06

800: Greta Sieren, 14th, 2:23.95

1500: Danielle Hostetler, 4th, 4:48.95; Abby Fleming, 15th, 5:06.16

3000: Danielle Hostetler, 6th, 10:39.44; Abby Fleming, 16th, 11:04.26

100 Hurdles: Behla Schmidt, 18th, prelims, :16.54

Long Jump: Emma Lueck, fouled out

Shot Put: Harper Pacha, 18th, 34-11.50

4x100 Shuttle Hurdles: Miller-Schlabach-Pennington-Schmidt, 14th, prelims, 1:10.63

4x100 Relay: Mitchell-Hershberger-Lueck-Evans, 8th, :50.67

4x800: Sieren-Poll-Stutzman-Hostetler, 8th, 9:51.94

Distance Medley: Mitchell-Lueck-Sieren-Hostetler, 4th, 4:09.79

Mid-Prairie, girls track, state championships, Drake Stadium, Danielle Hostetler, Jovi Evans