Lone Tree, Highland, Hillcrest girls track & field teams battle it out at the Wayland State Qualifiers

By Giovanni Coronel
Posted 5/17/23

The day track and field athletes looked forward to all season finally arrived, a chance to qualify for State. All the preparation, fine tuning, and training during the course of the regular season …

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Lone Tree, Highland, Hillcrest girls track & field teams battle it out at the Wayland State Qualifiers


The day track and field athletes looked forward to all season finally arrived, a chance to qualify for State. All the preparation, fine tuning, and training during the course of the regular season would finally come to fruition at the Girls 1A State Qualifying meet in Wayland on May 11.

With 14 schools arriving at WACO high school with goals of competing at the Blue Oval in Des Moines on their mind, it would be no simple feat to earn one of the coveted bids to State. Highland, Hillcrest, and Lone Tree were among the 14 schools to compete in this event. The Lions and Huskies found great success at this qualifying meet with both schools being able to send multiple athletes to State. 

Finishing in first place in an event at this meet would auto-qualify someone to State immediately. 

Top finishers can still qualify for state but it would have to be a top 14 finish compared to the other times/distances recorded at the other 10 state qualifier meets going on around the same time. So, while one can leave this meet with a pretty good idea on if they will head to state, it wouldn’t be confirmed until all the results were tabulated the next day.

Highland Results 

At the end of the day the Huskies found themselves with a 5th place finish after they scored 63 points. Regardless of its finish, Highland can be rest assured they will be represented in the State Meet, qualifying in four events. 

It has been a spectacular season for Highland junior Sarah Burton in the long jump and there was little question about whether or not she would continue her season in Des Moines. 

Burton would auto-qualify for state in the long jump after she claimed first place at the qualifying meet. Her jump of 17-07.50 gave her the gold and Burton would not stop at just qualifying in just one event. 

As an individual Burton finds herself as a double event qualifier for State, with the other event being the 100 meter dash. At the WACO qualifiers she was able to claim second place with a time of 13.11 and this was fast enough to earn her the right to race again in Des Moines. 

In addition to Burton’s two individual event qualifiers, Highland also had two relay teams qualify for State as well. 

Highland’s 4x100 meter relay team of senior Mackenzie McFarland, senior Katelyn Waters, sophomore Lilly Barre, and Burton earned the right to represent Highland at the State Meet. This quartet of Huskies qualified after they finished in fourth place at the WACO meet with a time of 52.42. 

The same team of four will also head to State in the 4x200 meter relay event. Highland would finish in fourth again in this event with a time of 1:50.21. In total Highland will race in three events and jump in one event in Des Moines and Burton will be a part of them all.

Lone Tree Results 

The State Qualifiers proved to be a productive track meet for Lone Tree. School records were broken, new personal records were set, and tickets to state were punched. 

After taking third place overall at the WACO qualifiers with an even 100 points overall, there will be no shortage of Lady Lions competing in the State Meet next week. 

With the regular season coming to a close Lone Tree can take pride in finishing third place or higher in every track meet they attended this season. 

When the WACO meet was over Lone Tree knew they qualified for State in four events and after all the results were compiled the number increased to seven. 

Outracing everyone in the 100 meter event to claim first place at the WACO qualifiers was freshman Ava Christofferson. Christofferson accomplished this feat with a time of 13.02 and by taking first she auto-qualified to race again at State. Her time ranks her 6th in Class 1A. 

While Christofferson was not the only Lady Lion to qualify in an individual event, she was the only one to earn a bid to state by placing first as an individual. The three other events in Lone Tree auto-qualified in were relay events. 

After placing first at the WACO meet the Lone Tree 4x100 meter relay team of sophomore Vivian Zaruba, sophomore Rylee Shield, senior Riley Krueger, and Christofferson will be heading to Des Moines. It was a close race with Lone Tree placing first with a time of 51.58, just edging out Regina’s runner-up time of 51.85. Lone Tree’s qualifying time ranks them 6th in Class 1A. 

Breaking a Lone Tree school record to place first in the 4x200 meter relay was the Lady Lion quartet of sophomore Avery Morarie, Shield, Christofferson, and Zaruba. This Lone Tree team took the gold with a time of 1:48.27, ranking them 4th in Class 1A, and this allowed them to auto-qualify and advance to State. 

The third relay event Lone Tree took first place in to auto-qualify was the 800 meter sprint medley. Another Lone Tree school record was broken in this event and it was courtesy of the team of freshman Sophie Bell, Christofferson, Shield, and Zaruba. First place was taken with a time of 1:53.06 and this time ranks them 3rd in Class 1A. 

Shield, in addition to being part of multiple relay teams heading to State, will also compete in the 200 meter dash at State courtesy of her second place finish in Wayland. She earned runner-up honors and set a new PR at the qualifying meet with a time of 27.03, ranking her 11th in Class 1A. 

Lone Tree will also have someone represent them in the 800 meter run in Des Moines. Zaruba, after taking second place at the qualifiers in the 800m with a time of 2:33.32, will be heading to State. Her time of 2:33.32 ranks her 24th in Class 1A and it also sets a new PR for Zaruba. 

The last event Lone Tree qualified for state was the high jump, courtesy of Krueger. Krueger, who is ranked 18th in Class 1A, finished the event with a cross-bar clearing jump of 5-00.00. This jump set a new PR for Krueger and it also gave her a runner-up finish. 

Hillcrest Results 

The girls Hillcrest track and field season came to a close at this qualifying meet. No one on the Ravens roster would qualify for state and by not placing in the top eight in the events they competed in, Hillcrest would end the meet with zero points. 

While this wasn’t the finish Hillcrest was hoping for there were still some solid performances posted from this Raven team. Multiple Ravens would set new PRs at this meet. 

Hillcrest sophomore Erin Bontrager would set a new PR in the 200 meter dash. She would claim 13th place with a time of 31.61. 

One of the top finishes for Hillcrest at the WACO qualifiers came from sophomore Morgyn Nafziger. Nafziger placed ninth in the 200m with a time of 30.15. This would be the first of two events she would PR in, with the other event being her 11th place finish in the 100 meter dash. 

Also earning a ninth place finish for Hillcrest was sophomore Delaney Shaw. Shaw claimed ninth place in the 400 meter dash with a time of 1:08.59. 

The third and final ninth place finish for the Ravens came in the sprint medley relay event. The Hillcrest team of junior Anna Torok, Bontrager, Nafziger, and Shaw placed ninth in the sprint medley with a time of 2:07.09. 

Coming up for the Lone Tree and Highland will be heading to the state’s capital to compete in the State meet. The State Track and Field Meet is a three day event taking place in Des Moines at Drake Stadium from May 18-20.

Results: *= State Qualifier

100m:  1, *Ava Christofferson, Lone Tree, 13.02; 2, *Sarah Burton, Highland, 13.11; 6, Mackenzie McFarland, Highland, 13.39; 11, Morgyn Nafziger, Hillcrest, 14.07; 15, Anna Torok, Hillcrest, 14.33; 22, Emma Slaughter, Lone Tree, 16.14.

200m: 1, Kate Lanz, Wapello, 26,77; 2, *Rylee Shield, Lone Tree, 27.03; 6, Kealy Roberts, Highland, 29.79; 9, Morgyn Nafziger, Hillcrest, 30.15; 13, Erin Bontrager, Hillcrest, 31.61; 22, Ella Buser, Lone Tree, 34.32; 23, Lillee Boshart, Highland, 36.93. 

400m: 1, Alaina Gourley, Danville, 1:00.56; 4, Sophie Bell, Lone Tree, 1:07.35; 9, Delaney Shaw, Hillcrest, 1:08.59; 14, Erin Bontrager, Hillcrest, 1:19.65; 15, Hailie Hoppman, Highland, 1:21.03; 16 , Shauna Sublette, Highland, 1:22.38; 18, Lila Bell, Lone Tree, 1:26.65. 

800m: 1, Alaina Gourley, Danville, 2:28.57; 2, *Vivian Zaruba, Lone Tree, 2:33.32; 12, Avery Pierson, Highland, 3:03.51; 13, Delanie Graap, Lone Tree, 3:12.81. 

1500m: 1, Chloe Glosser, Pekin, 5:12.51; 5, Jazmine Nino, Lone Tree, 5:57.81; 9, Siena Stanerson, Highland, 6:27.69; 15 , Lilly Mills, Lone Tree, 6:56.61.

3000m: 1, Lauren Steigleder, Pekin, 11:38.11; 5, Siena Stanerson, Highland, 13:01.59.

100m hurdles: 1, Reese Naeve, Regina Catholic, 16.55; 6, Riley Krueger, Lone Tree, 17.88; 7, Brena Hazelett, Highland, 18.13; 8, Adelynn Kleopfer, Highland, 18.33; 20, Lindsay Werbach, Lone Tree, 20.54.

400m hurdles: 1, Reagan Clarahan, Sigourney, 1:10.30; 8, Mackenzie Davis, Highland, 1:20.63.

4x100m relay: 1, *Lone Tree (Rylee Shield, Ava Christofferson, Riley Krueger, Vivian Zaruba), 51.58; 4, *Highland (Sarah Burton, Mackenzie McFarland, Katelyn Waters, Lilly Barre), 52.42; 11, Hillcrest (Delaney Shaw, Anna Torok, Erin Bontrager, Morgyn Nafziger), 57.00.

4x200m relay: 1, *Lone Tree (Ava Christofferson, Rylee Shield, Vivian Zaruba, Avery Morarie), 1:48.27; 4, *Highland (Lilly Barre, Sarah Burton, Mackenzie McFarland, Katelyn Waters), 1:50.21.

4x400m relay: 1, Pekin, 4:15.48; 7, Lone Tree (Cate Sexton, Avery Lisk, Lindsay Werbach, Sophie Bell), 4:58.37; 8, Highland (Hailie Hoppman, Halle Hazelett, Hailey Nestor, Shauna Sublette).

4x800m relay: 1, Pekin, 10:04.89; 3, Lone Tree (Delanie Graap, Jazmine Nino, Bella Pourry, Sophie Bell), 12:17.90; 4, Highland (Laney Skelton, Avery Pierson, Kylie Allen, Hailey Nestor), 12:39.21.

800m sprint medley: 1, *Lone Tree (Vivian Zaruba, Rylee Shield, Ava Christofferson, Sophie Bell), 1:53.06; 8, Highland (Grace Prybil, Kealy Roberts, MyLei Smith, Lorelei Lueck), 2:06.11; 9, Hillcrest (Anna Torok, Delaney Shaw, Morgyn Nafziger, Erin Bontrager), 2:07.09. 

Distance medley: 1, Pekin, 4:28.25; 7, Highland (Emma Cole, Grace Prybil, Laney Skelton, Lorelei Lueck), 5:24.46; 8, Lone Tree (Bella Pourry, Avery Lisk, Alyson Ford, Cate Sexton), 5:28.37.

4x100m shuttle hurdle relay: 1, WMU, 1:09.90; 3, Highland (Brena Hazelett, Adelynn Kleopfer, Mackenzie Davis, Avery Morarie), 1:16.35; 4, Lone Tree (Lindsay Werbach, Avery Morarie, Riley Krueger, Cate Sexton), 1:16.83.

High jump: 1, Kayse Miller, Pekin, 5-02.00; 2, *Riley Krueger, Lone Tree, 5-00.00; 7, Alyson Ford, Lone Tree, 4-06.00; 10, Hailey Netser, Highland, 4-06.00; 11. Kealy Roberts, Highland. 4-04.00.

Long jump: 1 , *Sarah Burton, Highland, 17-07.50; 5, Avery Morarie, Lone Tree, 14-11.50; 8, Cate Sexton, Lone Tree, 13-07.00; 10, Anna Torok, Hillcrest, 13-00.50; 12, Delaney Shaw, Hillcrest, 12-04.25; 15, Hailie Hoppman, Highland, 10-07.75.

Shot put: 1, Anna Hadley, Pekin, 40-00.00; 9, Hayden Yoder, Lone Tree, 30-04.75; 14, Jessica Kraus, Highland, 28-06.25; 16, Sami Branson, Lone Tree, 26-11.25.

Discus: 1, Anna Hadley, Pekin, 126-08.00; 3, Jessica Kraus, Highland, 98-08.00; 5, Alex Dautremont, Lone Tree, 87-04.00; 11, Hayden Yoder, Lone Tree, 74-09.00.