DES MOINES — Davenport Assumption has produced some high-caliber sprinters in its girls’ track and field program the past decade.
None of them reached the territory Carly King did on Friday afternoon at the Drake Relays.
King clocked a school-record 11.99 seconds to capture the 100 meters inside Drake Stadium, her first white championship flag in an individual event.
“This means everything to come out and perform my best at the time when it counts,” she said. “It is amazing. My coach told me right before I went out on the track, I had a sub-12 in me.
“I took what he said and ran with it.”
King is Assumption’s first Drake champion in the 100.
After running the top preliminary time Friday morning (12.36), she came back and bettered Rose Ripsligner’s previous school mark of 12.20.
“Coming off the prelims, I had all the confidence in the world,” she said. “I ran a pretty comfortable but fast time. I knew I could go out there and run quite a bit faster in the finals.”
King exploded out of the blocks to separate herself from the field. Benton Community’s Ellie Masten was the runner-up in 12.20.
“Usually it’s a good sign if you don’t see a lot in your peripheral vision,” she said. “I wasn’t seeing much. I knew it was going to end up pretty good for me.”
The junior called it one of her bigger accomplishments along with running on a national championship medley relay and on the Drake title team last year.
King had a strong indoor season but tweaked her hamstring at the Dickinson Relays in Cedar Falls. It set her back for several weeks.
“It was difficult, but I think with my teammates, coaches and family, they helped keep me strong and my self-esteem up to race my best again,” King said.
Tipton’s Jamie Kofron made it a sweep in the throws.
After taking Thursday’s shot put, she followed with a personal-best and school-record 143 feet to claim the discus. It was a stark contrast from last season when she was outside the top 20 in both events.
“I had a really tough year getting the form to work last season, and being able to clear my mind, lean on people — my coaches and youth group leader — to build me up mentally was a huge deal,” Kofron said.
“It is amazing, a testament to what you’re able to do if you get your mind right.”
Four of Kofron’s six attempts were better than runner-up Mackenzie Goeller of Wapsie Valley (135-9). Davenport Central’s Lea Grady earned her second medal in as many days with a third-place finish with a school-record 135-6.
Kofron said a Drake title was on her goal list since her freshman year. However, it was particularly gratifying after last year’s lull.
“So this year it wasn’t necessarily to go out and win Drake, but I wanted to win everything that I could, and I wanted to PR every single meet,” she said. “To set two PRs here is everything. That’s what I’m more proud of than winning.”
Asked what she would do with the two flags, Kofron smiled and said: “I’m probably going to take senior pictures with them. That’s what I wanted them for the most.”
Grady said the competition she saw this weekend will help immensely for the final three weeks of the season. She had three throws exceed 132 feet.
“It pushed me a lot,” Grady said. “I’m proud of the consistency. It means I’m doing something right all the time. If I keep working on that, then it is only going to get better from there.
“I feel I learned from my mistakes last year.”
Assumption and Pleasant Valley finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 800 relay. King, Lea Nelson, Laney Fitzpatrick and Mary Grace Carroll posted a time of 1:44.44.
“We were hoping for more, but you can only ask for so much when you’re not in the fast heat,” Carroll said. “This is a new quartet we’ve put on the track, and we’ve only raced together once before. We performed as well as we could.”
PV, which qualified for today’s 400 relay final, finished in 1:44.62 with Kira and Adrea Arthofer, Amaria Kirby and Harmony Creasy.
Kirby said the Spartans came here with something to prove.
“We don’t have Addie (Swanson), someone who has been here for our program all four years,” Kirby noted. “We’re building our own legacy and trying to continue on what people did here in the past to make PV what it is right now.”
Bettendorf’s Erin McQuillen earned the other area medal with a sixth-place showing in the long jump with a leap of 17-7 ¾.
McQuillen came in with the top jump at 18-11.
“I was shooting for 18s to show more consistency with my jumps,” McQuillen said. “I’m happy I made it to the finals and got a medal, but this definitely motivates me.
“I know how this feels now, and I don’t want to have that feeling again.”
Creasey and teammate Carli Spelhaug were eighth and ninth in the long jump.