Greene County's Jackson Morton finished seventh in the Drake Relays 110-meter hurdles final Friday, April 29 with a time of 14.96. He finished second in prelims with a school-record time of 14.6. PHOTO BY TOM KNAPP Greene County's Olivia Shannon (right) passes the baton to Katrina Heupel during the 2022 Drake Relays 4-by-100-meter prelims Saturday, April 30 in Des Moines. The Rams finished 76th overall with a season-best time of 52.4 seconds.  PHOTO BY TOM KNAPP

Morton places seventh in Drake Relays high hurdles, girls improve in relay

Staff Report

Yet another school record vaulted Greene County Jackson Morton into the Drake Relays final last week.

The senior broke his own school record in the 110-meter high hurdles preliminaries Friday, April 29 with a 14.6, qualifying with the second fastest time. Morton was only behind eventual Drake Relays champion and defending Class 2A champ, Jack Latham of Spirit Lake.

The record-breaking performance was the third time in the past two weeks in which Morton had re-set his school record. Eight of the state’s top hurdlers, regardless of class thusly qualified for Friday’s final, which was held just two hours after the prelims. Morton eventually finished seventh with a time of 14.96, just a hair behind Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Grayson Hartman (14.95) and Clear Creek-Amana’s Harrison Rosenberg (14.86). Latham captured the event title with relative ease, producing a 13.99, well ahead of Lisbon’s Kole Becker (14.6) and Iowa City Liberty’s Eric Lucas (14.71). Jesup’s Noah Sheridan was fourth with a time of 14.74.

Morton’s 14.6 is the seventh-fastest time in the state this year, across all classes, which ranks him third in 2A behind Latham (13.96) and Okoboji’s Caleb Postma (14.54) though Postma’s time was recorded manually.
Morton also ran the second leg for Greene County’s 4-by-100-meter Drake Relays qualifying quartet April 30. The Rams entered Saturday’s prelims seeded 80th overall with a qualifying time of 44.87 seconds. Morton was joined by Camden

Strennen, Bryce Stalder and Jesse Miller. The foursome finished right on par with their seeding, producing a season-best 45.37, good for 80th overall. They finished fourth in heat 10. Southeast Polk qualified for the 4-by-100-meter finals with the quickest time out of 96 teams, tallying a blistering time of 41.82. The 4A squad didn’t let up in the finals, securing the Drake Relays title with a time of 42 seconds flat. Ankeny finished runner-up (42.6) while Iowa City West (42.94), Johnston (42.98) and Dowling Catholic (43.2) rounded out the top five.

Ram girls improve in 4-by-100-meter relay

The Greene County girls’ track and field team also qualified for the 2022 Drake Relays in the 4-by-100-meter relay, putting forth their best performance of the year. The Ram quartet of Olivia Shannon, Katrina Heupel, Natalie Heupel and Isabella Schroeder entered Saturday’s competition seeded 86th with a qualifying time of 52.73 seconds. The foursome ran out of the 11th heat in the prelims shortly after 9:15 a.m., producing a season-best time of 52.4, which vaulted the Rams up to 76th overall, 10 spots ahead of their original seeding. The season-best time allowed Greene County to finish second in their heat thanks to Katrina Heupel’s 12.67 second leg.

Waukee Northwest produced the best qualifying time Saturday at 48.8, though they were outpaced in the finals by ADM. The Class 3A Tigers captured the Drake Relays title with a lightning-quick time of 48.48 followed by runner-up Waukee Northwest (48.69), Assumption (49.42), Class 1A’s Madrid (49.53) and Sioux City West (49.75).

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