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Roadrunners battle nerves at state meet

DES MOINES – Two boys relays, a long jumper and two distance events for freshman Abbi Goering was the layout for the Roadrunners at the Co-ed State Track and Field Meet May 16-18.

For several I-35 athletes, it was their first experience on the Blue Oval as Goering admitted the nerves were flowing for her first event, the 3,000 meter run Thursday morning.

“It was probably worse than state cross country, honestly. Just with all the people and it puts a lot of pressure on you,” said Goering.

The freshman distance runner put together a 14th place finish in the 3K in 11:37.96 and overall left her first event of the state meet fairly pleased with her final result.

“My goal was top 20 so I definitely got my goal,” Goering said, who entered the race with the 23rd best qualifying time of the 24 competitors.

Goering noted the transition from the 5K in cross country to the 3K on the track relies much more heavily on the start and avoiding jostling for position in the early going.

“In the 3K, I mostly sprint at the beginning and then if there is someone in front of me I just sprint as hard as I can at the end,” said Goering.

She was back on the track Saturday in the Class 2A 1,500 where she was 17th in 5:15.52, crushing her season best and personal record by nearly 10 seconds.

Thursday morning brought a similar level of nerves for I-35 long jumper Jack Smith, who admitted after his jumps he was feeling the pressure.

The junior’s first leap of the day went for 19 feet, 1 inch and his second jump was 17-11 3/4, leaving him with room to be desired.

Smith’s third jump was his best leap of the day at 19-6 1/4, but it wasn’t good enough to advance him into the finals, finishing his first event of the state meet with a 20th place finish.

On the track, Smith and teammates Mason Cassady, Logan Cassady and Jake Sheeder took to the 4x200 to open their relays in the fourth lane of the opening heat.

The Roadrunners finished in 1:32.81, notching their best time of the season and an 18th place finish in the event.

In the 4x100 meter relay, the Drake Relays qualifying Roadrunner quartet didn’t put together their best performance with a 44.83, missing the qualification mark for the finals.

Overall, the time was good enough for a 12th place overall finish in Class 2A.

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