Five top-ten performances, State champion leave Drake

Five top-ten performances, State champion leave Drake

Countdown to Prom

by Taylor Burns

The PCM boys’ and girls’ track team couldn’t have asked for a better weekend at the State track meet at Drake University’s Stadium May 21-23.
The Mustangs even came home with a State champion this weekend. Senior Rachel Peter won the 2A 1500-meter run, setting a new personal record for herself.
“What a great weekend for PCM girls’ track and field,” Coach Bridget Martin said. “We ended the weekend with five top-ten performances and numerous season-best times and personal records broken.”
May 21 was a short day for both teams, as they each had only one event. Senior Rachel Peter started off the Mustangs in the 2A girls’ 3000-meter run. Peter finished in 11th place with a time of 11:07.38. For the boys, it was the 4×110-meter shuttle hurdle prelims for 2A. Overall, the team, consisting of seniors Ricky Reeve and Luke Pendory and Skyler Koder and junior Austin Sneller placed 18th, which did not qualify them for finals on May 22.
Koder participated in the first event of day two of the State track meet at high jump. He placed 21st with a jump of 5-11. While Koder was jumping, the girls’ distance medley was well underway. In this medley was senior Mackenzie Clarke, juniors Emily Hugen and Ashley Van Gorp and sophomore Rachel Stafford. These girls came in at 19th place with a time of 4:23.28, but they were only .49 seconds off an 11-year-old record.
Next up was the girls’ 4×200, which consisted of sophomore Jayci Vos, Hugen, Van Gorp and Clarke. They ran a time of 1:47.44, which got them into ninth place. Vos ran the 400-meter hurdles just shortly after that race and placed 9th at 67.07.
Later in the day was the girls’ 4×100, with the same runners as the 4×200, in the same order. They ran a time of 51.56, which got them into tenth place, just short of making it to the finals.
The girls’ 4×400 relay was a good race to finish off this busy Friday. In this race, Van Gorp, Vos, Stafford and Peter ran a time of 4:07.64. They placed eighth, which got them into the finals on May 23. Getting into the finals also guaranteed them a medal.
The girls’ sprint medley started the last day of State. This medley consisted of sophomore Tatum Schnug, Hugen, Clarke and Stafford, running the 400. They ran a time of 1:55.71, which earned them 21st place.
“It was such an amazing, surreal moment. I didn’t really believe it was true until the stater gave me the bullet that started the race,” Peter said. “Everything just came together perfectly. I couldn’t have asked for a better end to these four years.”
And it was a high note for Peter as she ran in the girls’ 2A 1500-meter run. She was steady back in sixth and seventh place for most of the race, but with 500 meters to go, she made her way around the pack of girls in front of her and went to the front. She had an outstanding finish to her long-distance career by getting first place and naming herself a State champion with a time of 4:48.29. She broke a record set in 1997 by Kendra Versendaal, which was 4:54.60. The record is as old as Peter—the new record holder. Peter also took 11 seconds off her personal best.
“We had a game plan going into the race, and Rachel executed it perfectly,” Martin said. “Rachel is one of those athletes that is a dream to coach. She is very disciplined and coachable. She has worked so hard to get to this point, so it is very fitting that she was able to end her high school career with a State championship. There are big things for Rachel in her future. Central College is getting a good one.”
After Peter’s outstanding finish, the last and final race for the Mustangs was the 4×400 finals. These girls ran a 4:05.04, which gave them a fifth place title. Their time was .72 seconds off an 11-year-old record.