Gehlen boys win state qualifying meet; Boys and girls send 11 events on
LAWTON — The Gehlen Catholic boys track and field team claimed the team title at the Class 1A state qualifying meet hosted by Lawton-Bronson on Friday. It is the second straight year the Jays claimed the team title at the state qualifying meet.
The boys have qualified six events for the state meet with three of those being individual events and three being relays.
Bonderson, Kallsen advance as individuals
Keaten Bonderson is going in two individual events as he won the 100 and 200 meter dashes. His 100 meter dash time of 10.98 was .42 of a second in front of the next fastest time. He will enter state with a second-fastest time of the 24 qualifiers in the event.
In the 200, Bonderson won by three-tenths of a second with a 22.49 finish. That time enters state as the fourth fastest in the field.
Gehlen’s other individual event to qualify for state is Chance Kallsen in the 400 meter dash. Kallsen’s time of 52.36 was third place at the state qualifying meet, where only the top finishes are guaranteed a spot at state in 1A, but was easily able to crack the top 24 to advance to state. Race winner Theo Moseman of Lawton-Bronson enters state with the fastest time of 50.16 while Kallsen’s time is the 15th fastest entering state. The top four in the district all qualified in the event.
Sprint relays successful for Jays
The Gehlen boys will take three sprint relays to Des Moines as the 4x100, 4x200 and sprint medley relays all qualified. Gehlen didn’t win any of those races but still had fast enough times to make the field.
The sprint medley team of Dylan Lehmann, Kallsen, Aiden Spangler and Bonderson finished in a time of 1:35.15 which was just over a second behind race winner Lawton-Bronson. The time from the Eagles will enter state as the fastest from all the state qualifiers while Gehlen’s time is the third fastest in the state field.
The Jays again trailed Lawton-Bronson in the 4x200 by a little more than a second. Lehmann, Spangler, Mitchell Augustine and Bonderson finished in 1:33.44 which will enter state as the seventh best time. Lawton-Bronson’s winning time of 1:32.09 is the second fastest among the state qualifiers.
Gehlen finished fourth in the 4x100, but their time was still fast enough to move on. Lehmann, Kallsen, Augustine and Spangler completed the race in 45.37 which was good enough to snag the second-to-last at-large qualifying spot.
Gehlen girls place second
The Gehlen Catholic girls will be moving on with five events while also finishing second in the team standings.
“I’m very proud of the way our girls ran tonight,” Gehlen girls coach Travis Westhoff said. “We got contributions from our entire team throughout the meet, and it led to a second place finish, which we aim to finish in the top three at the district meet each year. It has been a season of ups and downs, with a lot of learning and growing from the girls and myself. We continue to peak at the right times and put our best effort out during the district track meet, which is what I push the girls toward throughout the season, and the girls understand the gravity of the night and are learning to embrace it.”
Ruden to have busy state meet
Sophie Ruden had a great showing at the state qualifier as she makes up four of the five events, three as an individual and the other with the 4x100 relay team.
She is an at-large qualifier in the 100 meter hurdles after finishing third. Her time of 16.98 was able to take the last at-large spot for state as she will enter with the 22nd fastest time.
Ruden knew she had a spot wrapped up right away in the 400 meter hurdles as she won that event with a time of 1:07.10 which will be the fifth fastest time entering state.
Ruden’s other individual event is the long jump. She hit the sand at 15-11 to finish half an inch behind MMCRU’s Emily Dreckman for the automatic qualifying spot. The jump was still good enough to earn an at-large spot by two and a half inches over the final at-large spot.
Ruden will be joined by teammates Brynn Wendt, Cadence Goebel and Lauren Heying on the 4x100. The team took third at the state qualifying meet with a time of 52.70, but five teams from the district all qualified by time.
Whitehead qualifies in the discus
Gehlen’s other qualifying event was in the discus as Miyah Whitehead won that event with a throw of 107-10. Teammate Nevaeh Hodgson took second in the event at 93-06, but that distance wasn’t good enough to grab an at-large berth. Hodgson’s throw was just over seven feet behind the last qualifying mark. Whitehead will enter the field 14th of the 24 qualifiers.
Whitehead and Hodgson came up just short in the shot put with the second and third place spots. The last at-large qualifying spot in the event was 35-02.75 and Whitehead’s mark was 35-00.25. Hodgson’s third place throw was 32-07.25.
Team scores: (Girls) South O’Brien 133, Gehlen Catholic 110, Lawton-Bronson 105, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 85, Westwood 61, Remsen St. Mary’s 56, MMCRU 55, River Valley 38, George-Little Rock 36, Akron-Westfield 31, Trinity Christian 9, Siouxland Christian 8.
(Boys) Gehlen Catholic 122, MMCRU 111, Lawton-Bronson 92, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 81, South O’Brien 74, George-Little Rock 70, Westwood 51, Akron-Westfield 50, Siouxland Christian 29, Trinity Christian 25, Harris-Lake Park 21, Remsen St. Mary’s 8.