Blown Away: Wind the toughest competitor at Bengal Relays

GILBERT – The winds howled and never relented, making yesterday’s Bengal Relays that much tougher on a large contingent of teams that included Webster City and South Hamilton.

Were the times great? No, not really. But going up against gusts that exceeded 30 mph, coaches were more than content to focus on the places rather than the stop watches.

Besides, there were the few rare occasions where the wind was actually a help rather than a hindrance, right Carrie Gerdes?

The Webster City junior long jumper rode the wind to her best jump since she won the Class 3A silver medal at the 2012 state meet. She soared into the sand and ripped off a leap of 16 feet, 5 inches to easily win the Class A gold.

She jumped 16-81?4 at the state meet two years ago as a freshman.

“The wind was brutal, but Carrie, oh my goodness, it was so good to see her have an excellent night in the long jump,” WCHS head coach Kristy Manson said. “It’s the best she’s looked since her freshman year at state. It was one of the events where the wind really helped, but she looked pretty confident and she was poised.”

Gerdes claimed the Lynx only first-place finish; they were third overall with 96 points. Gilbert (178) kept the trophy at home and Roland-Story (140) was second.

Sophomore Drake Relays qualifier Allie Flaws had to settle for a pair of runner-up finishes in the 100- and 200-meter dash. She finished the 100 in 12.81 seconds and the 200 in 26.94.

“I’m sure Allie probably wasn’t very happy with her night, but it was really nice to see her go up against some good competition,” Manson said. “This will only help her down the road.”

Hannah Myers saw her first significant competition of the outdoor season after injuring her ankle in late March and she excelled with bronze-medal showings in the high jump (4-8) and 100 hurdles (17.05). Morgan Gourley tied her teammate for third in the high jump.

“It was really nice to see Hannah Myers back,” Manson said. “It was her first time in the high jump and she really hadn’t practiced that much, so we’ll take it. She looked really good in the 100 hurdles, too.”

Kaylee Schnathorst added a third-place finish in the discus (95-11).

WCHS took second in the distance medley (5:03.26) and 4×200 (2:03.21) relays, and third in the shuttle hurdle (1:14.53), sprint medley (2:05.99) and 4×400 (4:44.41).

South Hamilton picked up five medals en route to 48 points and a sixth-place finish in the Class B field.

“We had to make a couple of lineup changes that affected our relays,” South Hamilton head coach Dan Brodie said. “It was such a windy night and it was tough to get good times, but I thought we competed really well.”

Kali Lucas, Alissa Moss, Ady Wintermote and Meghan Fisher banded together to give the Hawks the top spot in the sprint medley relay (2:01.57).

Allyson Ervin was an individual silver medalist in the 400 hurdles (1:14.33), and on the 4×800 (11:00.06) and distance medley (4:47.75) relays.

South Hardin (137) won the Class B team title.