BONDURANT — Both the Bluejay and Jayette thinclads had their shares of uplifting moments and disappointments at Saturday’s Raccoon River Conference meet, results which left Perry boys coach Ben Coy and girls coach Matt Hardy with conflicted reactions.
While the Jayettes finished last in the team standings, Hardy found several areas to highlight.
“The 4×800 team ran a season-best time by 11 seconds,” he noted. “The girls (Sidney Vancil, Breanna Penenger, Mariah Duffy and Emma Olejniczak) are peaking at just the right time as we prepare for the state qualifying meet (Thursday in Winterset). They are six seconds faster than they were at this time last year.”
The same quartet finished second in 10 minutes, 18.3 seconds, a drop of 10.75 seconds off their previous best this season. The same foursome set the school record in the 2015 state qualifying meet at 10:15.85 en route to appearance at the state tournament.
Senior Taylor Lathrum also stood out, Hardy said, after her personal-best throw of 36 feet, one-quarter inch placed fourth in the shot put.
Grace Stewart finished fourth in the 3000 in 11:58.59, with Peneger sixth in the 400 low hurdles in 1:16.96 while Olejniczak was fifth, and Vancil sixth, in the 800 in 2:38.01 and 2:40.35, respectively.
Hardy said “strong efforts by each leg” helped lead the 4×400 foursome of Damaris Robles, Vancil, Peneger and Olejniczak to a fifth-place finish in 4:34.7. The team had entered the event as seeded eighth.
While not scoring, the coach made note of the season-best efforts produced by Isabel Saemisch in the 400 (10th in 1:09.7), the 12th place result of 24’5 from Adrian Thompson in the shot put and the 59.02 4×100 time set by Emma Humpal, Mariah McNamara, Haileigh Kenyon and Lathrum.
Boone’s 140 points easily won the girls side, with ADM able to tie Carlisle for second at 119 after the Tigers won the 4×00 and Bondurant-Farrar edged the Wildcats for second place in the race. Winterset was fourth in the team standings with 57 points, with Ballard (52), Carroll (42), B-F (37) and Perry (32) completing the standings.
Boone’s 101 points in the boys competition was just enough to edge Carlisle (99.5), who barely nipped Carroll (95) for the runner-up spot. Winterset was fourth (77), with B-F (66.5), Ballard (43), Perry (42) and ADM (34) also in action.
“I really felt like we left 12 points out there,” Coy said. “We had a few bright spots, but this wasn’t our best effort, and we had better be sharper Thursday (at the state qualifier). There were simply too many cases of us not meeting our seed.
“When you look at it, those 12 points would have only moved us up one spot, but what matters is that I want us to be peaking and today we didn’t,” he added. “I’m confident we will have a better night Thursday.”
Perry received unexpected single points in both throwing events, as J.R. McCord stepped up in the shot put with a season-best throw of 40’4 for sixth place while Janier Puente unloaded with a personal-best spin of 122’6 in the discus to steal a sixth-place point. Puente had entered as the 13th seed and exceed his best effort on Saturday by over 15 feet.
Sophomore speedster Reece Dunlap was third in both the 100 (11.38) and 200 (22.86) while junior Adan Medina crossed third in the 400 in 51.9. Both will be the second-seed Thursday in each event; Class 3A state qualifiers must finish first or second at one of the eight district meets, with the final eight spots taken on a “next best” system.
“Reece and Adan are both going to have great chances, but it won’t be easy,” Coy said. “If they give us their best efforts, they are going to go (to state).”
“You have no control over what the other guy is going to do, so you only need to focus on yourself,” he added. “If we do that, we will be OK.”
Coy was saved his greatest praise for the conference champion 4×400 team of Dunlap, Medina, Alexis Garrido and Rashon Ivory, who entered as the fourth-seed and left as RRC titleists in 3:34.08.
“Just a fantastic effort from each guy,” the coach said. “Each leg was really moving, and I was proud to see that kind of effort in the last event of the day.”
Kaleb Olejniczak, Alex Long, Juma Bushiri and Jacob Thompson were third in the 4×800 in 8:43.03, with Nic Fellom, Eli Saemisch, Thompson and Long finishing fourth in the 1600 medley in 4:00.95. Perry also scored in the 4×200 by placing fifth when Saemisch, Fellom, Dunlap and Brandon Kenyon combined for a clocking of 1:34.92.
Coy noted that senior Shammond and sophomore brother Rashon Ivory had just missed points in the long jump after placing seventh and eight with leaps of 19’10 and 19’5-1/2.
“Those are good jumps and are going to score, and maybe win, quite a few 3A meets,” he said. “That just shows you how a meet can be really packed in one or two events, and the long jump was full of studs today. Those were good efforts, just not enough, and I don’t fault either one of them.”