SOLID START: Lynx 3rd, leave Richard Ryan Relays with 9 medals

GOWRIE – The times, places and medals were secondary for the Webster City girls’ track team at its outdoor opener here last night.

The Lynx had a much more modest goal as they got set to step onto the track at the Richard Ryan Relays – they just wanted to compete.

Following a 2013 outdoor season that didn’t even begin until April 25 thanks to six consecutive cancellations, WCHS is 1-for-1 so far this spring and the final product was a third-place finish in Class A in the meet hosted by Prairie Valley High School.

“It’s already better than last year, that’s for sure, because we actually got to compete and that’s so important,” WCHS head coach Kristi Manson said. “We weren’t really trying to load up stuff; we just wanted to give kids a lot of different opportunities. For a lot of the girls, this was their first high school outdoor meet.”

WCHS picked up nine medal-winning performances and piled up 98 points – a 13-point cushion over fourth-place finisher South Central Calhoun (85). Pocahontas Area (124 points) led throughout and claimed the team title ahead of runner-up Carroll (113).

It’s no secret who will be the Lynx leader in terms of point production this spring, and sophomore sprinter Allie Flaws certainly lived up to the lofty expectations heaped on her shoulders by cruising to victories in the 100- and 200-meter dash.

With a strong wind at her back in the 100, Flaws screamed to the front early and then cruised to the line in a time of 12.51 seconds, just .05 behind the meet record held by former Lynx star Mikaela Pruismann. Flaws was unable to track down Pruismann’s record 200 time either, but her 26.48 was still more than enough for a comfortable win.

Just a sophomore, Flaws remained unbeaten in her prep career in individual events off the state-meet track at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.

“Allie looked exceptional and she was eyeing those records that Mikaela has in the 100 and 200,” Manson said. “She’s running almost as fast as her fastest times from last year and that’s really encouraging to see this early in the season. And now we’ve got a time to input for the Drake Relays.”

Flaws didn’t qualify for Drake a season ago; WCHS didn’t run outdoors until after the prestigious meet took place.

Junior Carrie Gerdes was able to mentally shove aside a pair of early scratches in the long jump, and on her third leap she reached 14-6.75 to secure the top spot.

Gerdes was the 3A state runner-up in the long jump two years ago.

“Carrie was not very happy with her distance and she was jumping right into the wind, but she didn’t lose her composure,” Manson said. “She just went back and got two jumps in and that showed a great deal of maturity.”

Kaylee Schnathorst earned a pair of medals; the senior took silver in the 100 hurdles (17.40) and was third in the discus (101-11).

Schnathorst also led-off and keyed the Lynx to a third-place result in the shuttle hurdle relay (1:21.00) alongside Kenzie Garvey, Chelsey Wagoner and Liz Wells.

“Kaylee looked great in the 100 hurdles. She’s not happy that she finished second, but she had a solid performance to start the year,” Manson said.

The Lynx competed without junior Hannah Myers – a strong hurdler and high jumper. She hopes to return from an ankle injury on Thursday at the Waukee Relays.

WCHS ended the meet with runner-up finishes in the 4×100 (53.70) and 4×400 (4:39.40) relays. The 4×200 (2:03.40) was third midway through the meet.