Relays push Mustangs into fourth

by Ashley Miller

Rain was constant and the competition was tough on April 28 at the Pella Tulip Time Relays. PCM placed fourth behind 3A teams Pella and Oskaloosa and 4A Ottumwa, who came in first, second and third, respectively. With a score of 91, only four points separated the Mustangs from third place.
Senior Ashley Van Gorp landed another first-place finish in the long jump. She jumped 15 feet, four-and-a-half inches. Despite not placing in the top three, sophomore Paige Wood threw a personal best of 34-07 in the shot put. Freshman Maddie Samson broke 100 feet in the discus; she placed third with a throw of 104-03. The Mustangs’ only top-three finish in an open event was junior Jayci Vos in the 200. She crossed the finish line at 28.21 seconds.
“[Breaking a hundred feet] was something I was working towards for a very long time,” Samson said. “It was an amazing feeling. My coaches pushed me to practice harder, and it was awesome to see it all work out and pay off.”
Relays were the best part of the night for the Mustangs. Starting off the night was the 4×800 team of sophomores Amaya Hartson and Baylee Smith, freshman Kirstin Ives and senior Morgan Novak. They placed third with a time of 11:22.58. Senior Emily Hugen, sophomore Ashley Miller and freshmen Morgan Uhlenhopp and Delaney Clarke made up the 4×200 team. They crossed the finish line at 1:55.01, landing them second place. Hugen, Miller and Clarke joined freshman Avery Stock for the 4×100. The team finished second with a time of 54.58. Junior Rachel Stafford joined Van Gorp, Hugen and Miller in the sprint medley. They placed first with a time of 1:58.44. Van Gorp, Stafford, Vos and junior Tatum Nearmyer made up both the distance medley and 4×400 teams. They finished second in the distance medley and first in the 4×400 with times of 4:30.4 and 4:15.67, respectively.
The Mustangs’ next meet is tonight, Thursday, May 5, at Newton for the Cardinal Relays. Field events begin at 4:30 p.m.