THE STRETCH RUN: WCHS field events key to top-tier finish

EAGLE GROVE – They make up only 21 percent of the meet, but there’s no questioning just how important the four field events are to the Webster City girls’ track team and its chances of climbing the leaderboard at today’s North Central Conference meet.

But will the field events even be held? That’s the question that tormented Lynx co-head coach Kristy Manson over the weekend.

The blizzard that hit the area late last week has left the field saturated at the Eagle Grove Middle School, particularly the area where the throws are scheduled to take place.

The contingency plan for what happens if the field is unusable is still up for debate.

“We were given three options on Friday,” Manson said. “One of the options was to do whatever we can on Monday. The second option was to move the whole meet to Tuesday, and the third option was to run all the running events and all of the field events that we can on Monday and then go back on Tuesday to finish the field events. But nothing has really been agreed upon yet.”

The option that eliminates any of the field events doesn’t sit well with Manson.

“For me it’s hard to call it a conference meet if all of the field events can’t be held,” she said of today’s meet that will begin at 5 p.m. “There isn’t one event that’s more important than the other.”

WCHS possesses some of the league’s top talent in the field events. Long jumper Carrie Gerdes was the Class 3A state runner-up last spring and enters today with the top jump (16 feet, 4.25 inches). Hannah Myers and Morgan Gourley are tied for the second-best high jump performance (4-10), and Kaylee Schnathorst ranks third in both the shot put (34-6) and discus (102-8).

“The field events are crucial for us,” Manson said.

WCHS has its sights set on a spot in the top three in the team race. Algona is the prohibitive favorite with its deep roster and talent from top to bottom, but the Lynx can score in bunches where they’re strong.

“I think we can be in the top three if things go well,” Manson said. “The individual events will dictate how we do as a team, so if we take care of business then the team results will follow.”

Rookie sprinter Allie Flaws will have a big say on where the Lynx finish. She’s the top contender for gold in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes with league-best times of 12.91 and 26.65 seconds, respectively. She’s also likely to run on the Lynx 4×100 and 4×200 relays.

“The biggest message I had for (Flaws) was to take everything in stride and everything else will take care of itself,” Manson said. “She’s fast, there’s no doubt about that, so things look good for her.”

WCHS could also score well in the hurdles. Schnathorst and Myers will be out for individual medals in the 100 hurdles, and they lead the NCC’s fastest shuttle hurdle relay (1:11.11). Kenzie Garvey and Chelsey Wagoner, two more freshmen, will also compete.

Today will mark just the fourth meet of the season for the Lynx, who will have a quick turnaround for Thursday’s 3A State Qualifying Meet in Nevada.