Knights win regional track title, send 10 to state meet
The Fremont-Mills girls held off Council Bluffs St. Albert in the final event of the night to claim the team title at the Class 1A, District 9 state qualifying meet at Southwest Valley High School Thursday in Corning.
The Knights’ claimed just one gold medal – Teagan Ewalt in the 400-meters – but punched 10 tickets to state while tallying 120 points, three more that runner-up St. Albert’s 117 points.
“The girls competed amazingly,” said Fremont-Mills coach Kyle Fichter. “The weather did not make for a good night, but our times were still very strong as we set two school records. We were hoping to get as many kids to the state meet as we could and just let the points fall where they fall and it just happened to work out that we won the meet and got many events to the state meet. Every girl who was in an event gave us everything they had and every point was crucial for the win.”
Hannah Wilson was a four-event qualifier for the Knights. Wilson placed second in the 800-meters and the 400-meter hurdles and anchored the 4x800-meter and distance medley relays to second place finishes. Emily Madison ran third in the 400-meter hurdles but earned a nod as an at-large bid.
The Knights’ sprint medley and 4x200-meter relays both won gold in Corning.
The Knights’ Izzy Weldon (100-meter hurdles) and Macy Mitchell (shot put) added individual state bids.
Cooper Marvel won the shot put to notch a second straight trip to state.
The East Mills’ boys finished third in the team standings but earned six state bids.
“I am very impressed how we competed as both a boys and girls team,” said East Mills coach Claude Lang. “Some people won’t make it to state, but they did still earn a district medal and ran a season personal best.”
Peyton Embree (110-meter hurdles), Davis McGrew (400-meter hurdles) and Zach Thornburg (100-meter dash) all notched runner-up finishes to earn individual sate bids.
The Wolverines’ 4x100 meter relay team of Ryan Stortenbecker, Thornburg, Mson Crouse and Matthew Haley were second and the shuttle hurdle relay team of Stortenbecker, McGrew, Jackson Embree and Peyton Embree ran second to earn state nods.
The East Mills girls’ finished fourth with 64 points.
Emily Williams led the Wolverines with three individual bids and anchored the 4x400-meter relay team to a gold medal time. The senior won the 100-meters and the 400-meter hurdles and placed second in the 100-meters at the state qualifier.
Williams and Wolverines teammates Jenna Thornburg, Miah Urban and Aspen Crouse capped off the district meet with a gold medal performances in the 4x400-meter relay. Their time of 4:20.80 was an “epic finish,” Lang said.
“All four girls ran their best 400-mters of the season and competed to the highest level and earned the win in the final 50 meters,” he said. “When Emily was within 10 meters starting the anchor leg, I knew she was going to win. Seeing them punch their ticket to state is easily one of my proudest moments as a coach at East Mills.”