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Joe Wilkinson

Depth pays off for Solon XC girls at Bob Brown Invitational

Lady Spartans capture second at Regina meet

IOWA CITY– Three runners in the top-20 led their pack, with Solon’s girls finishing as team runner-up in the annual Bob Brown Invitational cross country meet, Sept. 5 in Iowa City.
Sophomore Emma Bock was eighth, overall– seventh in the team count– across the finish line on the 5-kilometer course, in 21:40. Junior Kiersten Conway (11th overall, 10th in the team scoring), came in at 22:01). The pair swapped their one-two team finish the week prior at the season opener. Teammate Meghan O’Neill (22:32) was 18th. Kaia Holtkamp was 22nd, in 22:43, with freshman Mary Fiala 27th, 23:05.

Times improve for boys; work now on closing the gap

Hinman finishes 8th at Regina invitational

IOWA CITY– Solon’s boys are getting the pack idea down.
Their job over the next few cross country meets is to move it up as the finish line approaches.
With sophomore Gabe Hinman cracking the top 10 at the Regina-hosted Bob Brown Invitational, the Spartans didn’t have another runner cross the finish line for a minute and a half. Hinman, 25th ranked among Class 3A boys, turned in a 17:45 finish; good for eighth place at the Sept. 5 Regina meet.

XC Boys 6th, Hinman medals at Prairie

DSC 0863
Sophomore Ethan McLaughlin hits the electronic finish line Aug. 31 at the Prairie cross country invitational.

CEDAR RAPIDS– First meet of the season? Solon’s boys stepped up against 21 schools– 10 of which qualified for the 2018 state cross country meet. With a new season, though, come new lineups… and new expectations.

School records, top-five finishes for girls at Drake Relays

Sprint medley fourth, Bullard fifth

DES MOINES- So, now, they’ve run against the best in the state. Solon’s Lady Spartans track team returns to the regular season this week, before gearing up for their next tour of Drake University’s ‘Blue Oval.’ With a meet in Monticello and WaMaC conference slated this week; it is into the post-season. The regional qualifier, May 9, determines who returns to Drake Stadium, May 16-18, for the state coed track meet.

Girls send 14 to state

Four field events, six relays, three individuals

SOLON– Senior Sophie Nicol’s track season has gone a little rough.
“I was sick. There was an injury,” she said. “I spent the longest time getting my endurance back, trying to qualify for state.”
She has run just about every distance in her four year high school career. It took the toughest one, in the state qualifier, to make her statement.

Girls take WaMaC East track title

State track qualifier at home Thursday, May 11

SOLON– The midfield celebration was loud… but short… as Solon’s girls raised their WaMaC Conference East Division trophy May 7. They walked away with a 37-point win on their home track. But they also realize the hard work continues. Their Thursday task– the Class 3A state qualifying meet, also at Solon– is to advance as many events as possible to the 2018 state track meet, May 17-19 in Des Moines.

Great Drake Relays for girls

Conference, state lie ahead for Lady Spartans

DES MOINES– It’s a time-worn axiom; Time keeps slipping away. Good news, if you are the Solon girls track team, looking for ways to chip away at their times, just ahead of conference, district and the state coed track meets later this month.
With nine events qualifying for the century-plus old Drake Relays, it was hard to pick your favorite. But it was a great way to see how the team stacks up against not only Class 3A competition they’ll see at state but the best across the board, in the one-class Relays. A total attendance of 40,000 was announced.

Girls win Gruber Relays

1-2 finish in long jump, Troyer reaches shot put goal

SOLON– In a cold, wet track season with five cancelled meets early, you want reasonable weather, and a win, for your big home meet. Mission accomplished for Solon’s girls.
With wins in six events and runner-up points in eight more, Solon outdistanced the eight-school field with 164.5 points at the Denny Gruber Relays, April 17. Mount Vernon, with 107.5, was second. North Cedar had 77 for third. Marion (70), Vinton-Shellsburg (49), Davenport Assumption (46), Dyersville Beckman (44) and Iowa City Regina (27) filled out the field.

Girls sending a crowd to the Drake Relays

SOLON– High School track in Iowa has two season highlights. As with other sports, there is the state championship– May 17-19 this year. But this weekend, the Drake Relays spotlights international, college and high school athletes showing their stuff in a track showcase with a century of tradition.
To qualify for Drake, Iowa high schoolers compete against the entire state, not just their school’s enrollment class, for the limited events offered. Solon descends on Drake’s Blue Oval with five relay teams and four individuals.

11 Solon girls On to state

Five relays, six individuals in girls’ Class 3A track & field

MARION– “Are we in?”
As regional high school track meets close across Iowa, that question is voiced countless times by athletes and coaches, moms and dads. Many spend a restless night checking screens, wondering who made it to the state meet, beyond the automatic qualifiers. For Solon’s girls and those in 63 other Class 3A schools, only first and second place guarantee a ticket to state, May 18-20 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.

Lady Spartans make their mark at Drake Relays

Durr third in high jump, 4x4 breaks school record again

DES MOINES– Weather and track conditions were consistent through the weekend at the Drake Relays; cold, wet and windy. Solon’s girls responded, though, with highlight performances and others which still kept them near the top of the state’s high school track finishes, as they now head into their 2017 homestretch.
Drake is a late-season pause in the high school regular season. Top Iowa high school track and field performances share the limelight with regional and national college/university competition, special international elite events and Olympic rematches.

On to Drake for Solon girls

SOLON– Was it the shoes?
Solon sophomore Abby Smith was doing okay early this season in the high jump, clearing 4-10, 5 foot once, and picking up a couple points in the event for her team.
Add a new pair of jumping shoes, though, and she’s scaling new heights.
At Solon’s April 18 Denny Gruber Coed Relays track meet, she laced up her new footwear and cleared 5-4.
That was good for third place at the meet named for her grandfather, a former head track coach at Solon, who still volunteers as the school’s– and Abby’s– jumps coach.