Kofron goes for throws sweep
Tipton senior Jamie Kofron became the second girl in the history of the Drake Relays to sweep the shot put and discus titles in consecutive years last month.
The University of Iowa recruit aims for a state double in the throws this week at the Class 2A state meet.
Kofron is the reigning state champion in the discus and placed second in the shot put behind South Hardin's Brylie Zeisneiss at last year's meet.
Based on what has transpired this season, another showdown between Kofron and Zeisneiss appears likely in both events. Kofron has the state's best toss in the discus this year at 147 feet, 8 inches. Zeisneiss has thrown 147-7.
In the shot put, Zeisneiss, an Arizona recruit, has launched a throw of 48-10. Kofron's best is 46-3 1/4 at last week's state qualifier. Nobody else in 2A has reached 42 feet in the shot put this spring.
Kofron is looking to become Tipton's first state shot put champion since Margo Peters in 1980.
PV looks for some hardware
Waukee is the overwhelming favorite to claim a fourth consecutive Class 4A state title this weekend. The intrigue could be the battle for the second- and third-place trophies.
Cedar Falls, Linn-Mar, Southeast Polk and Pleasant Valley figure to be among the four teams vying for those two spots.
The Spartans aren't projected to score any team points in the individual running events. They'll need to excel in the field events and relays.
Sara Hoskins (high jump), Carli Spelhaug and Harmony Creasy (long jump) and Ilah Perez-Johnson (shot put) are all top 10 seeds. PV ran the best state-qualifying time in the sprint medley and 800 relays.
The Spartans, represented in 16 of the 19 events, will need to snatch a few points in events where they're seeded outside the top eight. The 1,600, 3,200 and distance medley relays are among the best opportunities.
Bettendorf, second to Pleasant Valley at the conference and state-qualifying meets, has at least one representative in 15 of the 19 events. Coach Erin Flynn's squad has multiple entries in the high jump, 100 and 400.
The Bulldogs scored 11 points at last year's state meet to finish inside the top 20. Based on state-qualifying results, they are projected to tally 15 points.
Annika Braaten and Claudia Johnson both had career-best clearances of 5 feet, 3 inches at the state qualifier last Friday in Eldridge. If they can duplicate that, both should figure into the top six.
Bettendorf is entered in all seven relays. The 800, 1,600, 3,200 and distance medley relays appear to be the Bulldogs' best chances for a top-eight finish.
Louisa-Muscatine, Tipton and Wilton each have siblings competing with and against each other at the Class 2A state meet.
L-M sophomore Kylee Sanders qualified in the long jump, and she'll also team up with older sister, Hailey, in the distance medley relay. Kylee is expected to run the 400 and hand the baton off to Hailey, who is the 800 anchor leg.
Wilton qualified in two events and both involve a Drake. Freshman Kelsey Drake earned a spot in the long jump. She'll also be in the open 400 along with older sister, Kortney.
Kelsey runs in the first of three sections and Kortney is in the middle heat. Kortney's best time this season is 61.15 seconds and Kelsey ran 62.92 at the state qualifier in Tipton.
Tipton's siblings — Frank, Rachel and Elizabeth Bierman — all qualified for state. Frank will run in the 110 hurdles along with the shuttle hurdle and 1,600 relays.
Rachel competes in the distance medley, 800, 1,600 and 3,200 relays. Elizabeth is a discus thrower and on the Tigers' shuttle hurdle relay.
More medals for Grace?
For the second consecutive season, Calamus-Wheatland senior Grace Elvert qualified for the Class 1A state meet in the same three events -- 100, 200 and long jump.
She hopes for a better outcome this time around on the blue oval.
Elvert left Drake Stadium with an eighth-place medal in the long jump last May, but failed to qualify for the finals in the 100 or 200.
She enters Thursday's competition seeded sixth in the long jump (16-6 1/2), 11th in the 200 (27.25) and 14th in the 100 (13.20). All three of those performances at last week's state qualifier in Central City were season bests.
— Compiled by Matt Coss