DES MOINES — The slimmest of margins. Exactly .28 combined seconds.
That was the difference — .06 in the 200 dash preliminaries and .22 in the 400 — the kept Perry junior Reece Dunlap from being assured of at least two medals in the State Track Meet.
Dunlap ran a fast 22.88 seconds in the 200, but just missed the eighth qualifying spot in Saturday’s finals of the event. His 51.03 in the timed finals of the 400 place Dunlap ninth in the state, with senior Adan Medina clocking in at 51.55 to earn 13th place.
Neither Bluejay need hang their head, as simply competing on the famed Blue Oval at Drake Stadium is the goal of every track athlete in Iowa, only 24 of which, in each class, qualify for a spot in Des Moines, already placing the duo in elite company.
Both will also have shots at redemption. The pair will run with Mana Martinez and Brandon Kenyon at 9:50 a.m. Saturday in the sprint medley relay, which Perry enters at the 17th seed.
However, first up will be the 4×00 preliminaries, which will cap today’s meet at 7:40 p.m. Kenyon and Rashon Ivory will join Dunlap and Medina in seeking to reach Saturday’s finals. The Bluejays enter with a time among the fastest eight in the state.
Kenyon, Ivory, Zachary Thompson and Kaleb Olejniczak ran the 4×800 for the Bluejays Thursday, finishing 11th over in 8 minutes, 18.89 seconds, a drop of nearly six full seconds from their 12th-seeded qualifying time.
Also in action for Perry Thursday was Grace Stewart, who completed the 3000 in 12:02. The junior was competing at the state meet for the first time.
The Jayettes will be in action today at 2:40 p.m. when Rachel Kinney, Breanna Penenger, Haley Vaughn and Sid Vancil run in the first of three heats of the distance medley.
In addition to the sprint medley — and the 4×400, should they qualify — the Bluejays will be represented Saturday by Kenyon, who will run in the 800 at 11:10 a.m.