LT girls secure Drake Relays berth at Pankoke Relays

By Douglas Miles
Posted 4/26/23

The milestones keep coming for Lone Tree girls’ track and field.

A week after the Lions’ 800-meter relay team broke a 28-year-old school record at the Winfield-Mount Union …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

LT girls secure Drake Relays berth at Pankoke Relays


The milestones keep coming for Lone Tree girls’ track and field.

A week after the Lions’ 800-meter relay team broke a 28-year-old school record at the Winfield-Mount Union Invitational, Lone Tree returned to chilly, windy Winfield on Thursday and made more history.

A first Drake Relays’ qualifier in 10 years.

“It wasn’t a great night to run,” Lone Tree Coach Chad Shield said after the Lions’ 400-relay foursome of sophomore Vivian Zaruba, freshman Ava Christofferson, senior Riley Krueger and sophomore Rylee Shield finished in a meet-best 52.19 seconds at the Pankoke Relays. “But I think the attitudes and the dedication, you could just tell by the way they warmed up that they wanted it really bad. That was a really fun thing to see. I’m biased, but I felt they deserved it by the way they prepared themselves last night in pretty windy conditions. They wanted it pretty bad and we did it.”

Lone Tree thought it had secured the coveted Drake berth on April 15 at Iowa City West High School when the 400-relay team ran a 52.50. But as the week progressed, other schools caught up and by the time the squad arrived in Winfield Thursday afternoon, it was two spots outside of Drake qualification.

Thursday’s performance left no doubt.

“It’s really fun,” Rylee Shield said. “We all wanted it so bad. Even though it wasn’t the best conditions to run in, we all wanted to go to Drake so bad. We had our minds set on it, so we did it.”

Lone Tree’s last Drake qualifier was in 2013 when Madelyn Flemr competed in the 100 dash. The 2023 Drake Relays are Wednesday through Saturday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.

“I think it is really special, especially since this is the first time that we have gone in a really long time,” Zaruba said. “It is going to be a really good experience and we are all super-excited.”

Zaruba also finished first as an individual when she outlasted the field in the 800 run in 2:46.12, which was more than two seconds faster than Danville’s Kamryn Sherwood. The feat was particularly impressive considering it was staged so close to the 800 relay, which Lone Tree won in 1:51.65 behind sophomore Avery Morarie, Shield, Zaruba and Christofferson.

“It was tough,” said Zaruba, who qualified for the state meet in the 800 last season as a freshman. “It wasn’t too bad. I really had to push myself because I was still very tired ... It was all right. My time wasn’t the best, but I still really had to push myself. The competition was good.”

Zaruba headlines a cast of talented underclassmen for Lone Tree. A whopping 14 of the 21 Lions on the girls’ track and field roster are either freshmen or sophomores, and both classes made loads of impact on Thursday. In addition to the 800-relay win, Morarie, Zaruba, Christofferson and Shield also won the sprint medley relay (1:59.13), while Shield (200 dash), Christofferson (100 dash) and Morarie (long jump) each claimed runner-up individual finishes.

“It is so important because we are all so young,” Rylee Shield said. “We have so many years to get better.”

Lone Tree finished third in the team standings with 132 points, just six points behind first-place Danville (138), with West Burlington Notre Dame (134.50) wedged in between.

“It went really well,” Chad Shield said. “We were right there.”

Highland was fourth with 88.5 points, highlighted by individual wins from freshman Siena Stanerson (1,500 run), senior Sarah Burton (long jump) and Jessica Kraus (discus).

Host Winfield-Mount Union won the boys’ competition with 146 points, while Lone Tree (47 points) and Highland (nine) were sixth and seventh, respectively.



100m: 1, Ava Parkins, Burlington, 13.06; 2, Ava Christofferson, Lone Tree, 13.23; 12, Alyson Ford, Lone Tree, 15.32; 15, Emma Slaughter, Lone Tree, 16.35.

200m: 1, Amiya Davis, Burlington, 27.12; 2, Rylee Shield, Lone Tree, 27.45; 8, Sophie Bell, Lone Tree, 29.14; 10, Bella Pourry, Lone Tree, 32.84.

400m: 1, Alaina Gourley, Danville, 1:01.42; 4, Sophie Bell, Lone Tree, 1:09.14; 8, Lilly Mills, Lone Tree, 1:25.89; 9, Lila Bell, Lone Tree, 1:30.26.

800m: 1, Vivian Zaruba, Lone Tree, 2:46.12; 10, Delanie Graap, Lone Tree, 3:18.67; 11, Avery Lisk, Lone Tree, 3:25.97.

1500m: 1, Siena Stanerson, Highland, 6:13.38; 5, Lilly Mills, Lone Tree, 7:16.23.

4x800m relay: 1, Danville, 11:57.14; 3, Lone Tree (Sophie Bell, Delanie Graap, Avery Lisk, Jazmine Nino), 12:47.41. 

800m medley relay: 1, Lone Tree (Avery Morarie, Ava Christofferson, Vivian Zaruba, Rylee Shield), 1:59.13. 

100m hurdles: 1, Keetyn Townsley, Winfield-Mt. Union, 16.97; 3, Riley Krueger, Lone Tree, 18.12; 8, Cate Sexton, Lone Tree, 19.24; 13, Lindsay Werbach, Lone Tree, 21.05.

4x100m shuttle hurdle relay: 1, Winfield-Mt. Union, 1:18.46; 2, Lone Tree (Cate Sexton, Lindsay Werbach, Avery Morarie, Riley Krueger), 1:20.81. 

LonG jump: 1, Sarah Burton, Highland, 16-05.75; 2, Avery Morarie, Lone Tree, 14-07.25; 3, Cate Sexton, Lone Tree, 13-11.00; 7, Avery Lisk, Lone Tree, 12-09.25. 

High jump: 1, Tysann Gipple, New London, 4-08.00; 3, Riley Krueger, Lone Tree, 4-06.00; 4, Alyson Ford, Lone Tree, 4-04.00.

Shot put: 1, Elise Oleson, West Burlington, 33-05.00; 5, Hayden Yoder, Lone Tree, 30-00.00; 13, Sami Branson, Lone Tree, 24-00.00; 14, Alex Dautremont, Lone Tree, 22-10.50.

Discus: 1, Jessica Kraus, Highland, 88-06.50; 5, Hayden Yoder, Lone Tree, 77-05; 6, Alex Dautremont, Lone Tree, 76-03; 11, Madison Floyd, Lone Tree, 59-02.50.