Carly King was not challenged in the 400 meters during the indoor season. It led to some times she wasn't entirely thrilled about.
But with some competition and sunny skies Saturday afternoon at Augustana College, the Davenport Assumption senior registered the best time of the season in Iowa.
The Duke signee and defending Class 3A state champion in the quarter-mile crossed in 56.39 seconds to outlast Cedar Falls’ Mackenzie Michael in her final Assumption Invitational.
“After running a few 58s, being a little frustrated indoors, it is really inspiring trending down to these 56s going into the next month,” King said.
King won three events — the 100 (12.72 seconds), 400 and anchored Assumption to a victory in the 1,600 relay.
Cedar Falls took six events to accumulate 137 points and capture the 15-team girls’ title. Assumption was second with 85 points and Bettendorf tallied 71 for third.
A strong headwind impacted King’s time in the 100. She used that wind to her advantage in the opening half of the 400 to snare the lead. Michael closed on King in the third 100, but King used a strong kick to stave her off.
“To see such a talented field, I was excited because I haven’t had as many people pushing me in the open 400,” King said. “I tried my best to put her away early. When I felt her coming on, I tried to finish stronger.”
Assumption coach Tim O’Neill said King has more in the tank.
“She’s a special athlete, but she hasn’t quite put it all together yet,” O’Neill said. “That’s probably the most encouraging thing about watching her race right now. She’s so much better than people around her, but when she gets in that moment against the best in the state or country, she’ll be that much more fun to watch.”
The Knights also won the 3,200 relay with Morgan Jennings, Olivia Lansing, Peyton Hanley and Laney Fitzpatrick in 9:58.03. This is the first season Lansing and Hanley have run 800s.
Lansing, like King, is a dual-sport athlete in the spring. Also a soccer player, Lansing had a 2:27 split.
“The coaches have always been talking about putting me in 800s,” Lansing said. “They thought with me in soccer, it might go hand-in-hand.
“It is a very mental race for me. It hurts less than the 400.”
Assumption did not have its entire roster. O’Neill believes his team is close to where it needs to be to make a run at a sixth state championship in seven years come May.
“When they’re clicking on all cylinders, they’re a very talented group of young women,” O’Neill said. “We’ve got some superstars, and we’ve got some kids that are close to breaking through and kicking the wall down.”
Clinton’s Kimberly Powell (shot put) was the other local winner on the girls side. Powell tossed the shot put 36-1 ½.
Dubuque Wahlert recorded wins in 12 events to dominate the 10-team boys’ competition with 155 points. Rochelle was second at 83 and Orion took third at 61.
Iowa football recruit and Orion senior Logan Lee cruised to the shot put title with a throw of 52-7 ¼. He threw a personal-best 150-1 to finish runner-up in the discus.
Lee is out for track and field this spring after taking the past two years off to focus on football and his recruiting in the spring.
“I took those two years off to help develop myself,” Lee said. “I’m not going to anymore (football) camps, so I figured it was a great opportunity to still be competitive. I am loving it so far.”
He already has set the Orion school record in both throwing events.
“I’m doing pretty well despite having some pretty rough form right now,” Lee said. “I have a lot to improve on at this point, so I’m going to keep working my technique.”
Other local winners for the boys were Rockridge’s Sam Whittington in the high jump (5-8) and the Rockets’ 1,600 relay team of Gabe Vroman, Niko Zarlatanes, Nick Shuda and Gabe Rogers in 3:37.42.