There were only three local athletes competing in Des Moines last year. This year, there will be over 20.
While several kids will have a chance to place high in their respective events, a couple of Moravia boys have a chance to give Moravia their first state title since Stephanie Harrington won the high jump in 1987.
Their best chance will come in the 4x400 relay where they recorded the best Class 1A qualifying time of 3:30.06. They will first have to get through the prelims on Friday afternoon before competing in the finals on Saturday.
Moravia also had two boys in the top six qualifying times in the 800 meter run. Hunter Arbogast and Wil Martin will look to push for a high placing but will have to wait until Saturday morning to run that race.
To add on to his chance at a title in the 4x400, Nick Martin finds himself within one second of the top qualifier in the 110 hurdles and the 400 hurdles. He will compete individually in both of those events on Friday morning.
Centerville qualifies in seven different events but none of their qualifying times were inside the top 15 in their class so they will need strong showings to make the top half. The boys’ 4x110 shuttle hurdle are three seconds off the fastest time and could move up the results with a great relay.
The Redettes are in a similar situation where they will have to have career-best days to get a good finish. The girls’ 4x100 shuttle is a little over two seconds behind the best time so just like the boys, they have the potential to move up to get a good finish.
Acey and Payton Jellison will represent Seymour but both will be long shots in their events as they try to win Seymour’s first track title since 1985. If Acey reaches her season-high of 5-foot-2 on the high jump then she will have a good chance at a high placing but will likely need a new career high to have a chance at the title.
The Iowa State Track and Field Championships run from Thursday to Saturday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
Thursday’s local schedule
9 a.m. — Payton Jellison (Seymour) in girls shot put (flight one)
9 a.m. — Tucker Babbitt (Moravia) in boys long jump (flight one)
12:10 p.m. — Moravia (Wil Martin, Tanner Cormeny, Hunter Arbogast, Chace Hamilton) in boys 4x800 (section one)
2:40 p.m. — Centerville (Jaxson Ocker, Tyson Belloma, Matthew McDonald, Trent McCann) in boys shuttle hurdle preliminary (heat six)
4:30 p.m. — Peyton Moore (Centerville) and McCain Oden (Centerville) in boys shot put (flight one)
4:30 p.m. — Claire Mathews (Centerville) and Ysabella Berja (Centerville) in girls long jump (flight one)
7:40 p.m. — Centerville (Ysabella Berja, Abigail White, Alyssa Anderson, Claire Mathews) in girls shuttle hurdle preliminary (heat six)
Friday’s local schedule
9 a.m. — Brendan Gray (Moravia) in boys high jump (flight one)
9:40 a.m. — Nick Martin (Moravia) in boys 110 meter hurdles preliminary (heat two)
11:20 a.m. — Nick Martin (Moravia) in boys 400 meter hurdles (section three)
11:30 a.m. — Acey Jellison (Seymour) in girls high jump (flight one)
2 p.m. — Moravia (Hunter Arbogast, Nick Martin, Tucker Babbitt, Wil Martin) in boys 4x400 preliminary (heat one)
4:30 p.m. — Cade Moore (Centerville) in boys discus (flight one)
5 p.m. — Jaxson Ocker (Centerville) in boys 400 meter hurdles (section one)
Saturday’s local schedule
10:30 a.m. — Emily Lewis (Centerville) and Acey Jellison (Seymour) in girls 800 meter (section one)
11:10 a.m. — Hunter Arbogast (Moravia) and Wil Martin (Moravia) in boys 800 meter (section two)
11:50 a.m. (if qualify) — Centerville (Ysabella Berja, Abigail White, Alyssa Anderson, Claire Mathews) in girls shuttle hurdle final
12:15 p.m. (if qualify) — Centerville (Jaxson Ocker, Tyson Belloma, Matthew McDonald, Trent McCann) in boys shuttle hurdle final
1:15 p.m. (if qualify) — Nick Martin (Moravia) in boys 110 meter hurdles final
4:20 p.m. (if qualify) — Moravia (Hunter Arbogast, Nick Martin, Tucker Babbitt, Will Martin) in boys 4x400 final