Greene County's Melanie Doran (right) prepares to hand the baton to Makala Kafer (left) during a relay Friday, May 17 at the annual Iowa High School state track and field meet in Des Moines.  PHOTO COURTESY OF KEVIN FISTER

Girls State Track: Olson leads slew of top 20 state events

By BRANDON HURLEY

Sports Editor 

sports@beeherald.com

 

Greene County’s Brooklyn Olson made a resounding statement in her state meet debut last week. 

The sophomore secured an 11th place finish in the Class 2A discus, missing the finals by just four feet. 

Olson competed in one of Greene County’s six events the school took to Des Moines, continuing a long and storied tradition for the Jefferson-based high school. 

Olson scratched on her first two attempts Friday, May 17 but came through in the clutch on her final throw, tossing 113-08. She missed the finals by a mere four feet, as Emmetsburg’s Molly Sohany set the cut-off mark at 117-07.

Tipton’s Jamie Kofron, the 2019 Drake Relays champion, captured the discus state title with a throw of 140-05 on her sixth and final attempt. South Hardin’s Brylie Keisneiss, the 2A shot put champion, finished second with a throw of 130-06 while Sumner-Fredrickburg’s Jenna Pagel came in with a bronze (127). 

Panorama’s Lydia Knapp (124) and Bellevue’s Shayla Gater (121-07) rounded out the top five. 

Olson secured Greene County’s highest individual honor as Brianna Osterson captured a top 25 finish in the long jump. The sophomore, coming off a seventh place finish at the Drake Relays and an eighth place medal a year ago as a freshman, struggled a bit in her second go around. 

Osterson scratched on her opening two jumps before securing a jump of 15-05.25, which placed her 22nd overall. 

Greene County’s presence at the 2019 state track and field meet inside Drake Stadium was aided heavily by relay events, as the Rams qualified in four different relays. 

The GCHS quartet of Mel Doran, Izzy Bravard, Makala Kafer and Lily Muir helped capture the Rams’ highest relay finish in the 2A shuttle hurdles, securing a season-best time of 1:11.45, which was good for 16th overall. 

Beckman captured the eventual state title Saturday, May 18, cruising to a time of 1:05.6, which was well ahead of PCM’s silver medal squad, finishing with a time of 1:07.92. 

The Greene County 4-by-100-meter relay of Melanie Doran, Maddy Sigler, Makala Kafer and Brianna Osterson placed 21st out of a possible 22 teams with a time of 54.51. Sioux Center set the cut-off time of 51.50, finishing preliminaries in eighth place.

OA-BCIG came out on top in Saturday’s 4x100-meter final, capturing victory by a few tenths of a second ahead of Pella Christian (50.09) in one of the tightest races of the entire three-day meet. 

Five of the eight teams in Saturday’s final finished in less than 51 seconds, all separated by no more than sixth-tenths of a second. 

Greene County’s sprint medley relay of Paige Heaning, Sigler, Kafer and Osterson was the only other relay to place, as they quartet finished with a time of 2:06.9, good for 23rd overall. KP-WC took home the state title with a time of 1:50 flat, edging Denver by nine-tenths of a second. 

The Rams’ 4-by-200-meter relay was disqualified in Friday’s preliminaries. 

Mid-Prairie captured its second straight team state title over the weekend, scoring 49 points to finish ahead of Aplignton-Parkersburg (39) and Panorama (38). PHS finished third for the second straight year while Western Christian (34) and Treynor (29) rounded out the top 5. 

Greene County will say goodbye to a relatively small senior class, though they’ll need to replace one of their relay mainstays. Melanie Doran was an eight-time state qualifier, competing at state in all four years of her high school career. She also finished off her career as a Ram with back-to-back appearances in the Drake Relays.

“Her commitment and leadership to the program will be missed,” Greene County head coach Derek Merk said on Twitter following Saturday’s awards ceremony. 

 big mental component in track and field. Knowing they have grown individually is going to give them that extra motivation to really compete at districts and try to make it to state in something.”

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