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Joe Wilkinson

Shafer leads Solon girls to 15th place at state cross country meet

FORT DODGE– Solon’s girls showed they were up to the challenge with a 15th place showing in the 2016 Class 3A state cross country meet Oct. 29 in Fort Dodge.
Though ‘last’ in that championship field, they outpointed every 3A team sitting at home for the day. Their finish matched a slow, steady improvement from middle of the pack showings early in the season to conference and district meet runner-up finishes and a No. 14 ranking from the Iowa Association of Track Coaches heading into state.

XC Girls on to state

Justus just misses qualifying for boys

“I’m so excited for the kids.”
– Solon coach Emy Williams.
“We wanted to do it for Emy.”

–Solon runner Erin Kerkhoff.

SOLON– When both parties are that excited, something good has to happen. As results went up near the finish line of the Oct. 20 Class 3A state-qualifying cross country meet, it became official. Solon’s girls will be in the starting box at the 2016 state meet.

Lady Spartans race into postseason

Cross country girls second at North Linn, champs at IMS

TROY MILLS– Heading into conference and postseason cross country meets, Solon’s girls are ‘packing it in’... in a good way. All five scoring runners were within 27 seconds of each other at the finish line as the Lady Spartans captured runner-up honors in the 19-team North Linn Invitational, Oct. 8.
That builds momentum as the starter’s pistol cracks Thursday, at home for the WaMaC Conference Meet at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area, and a week later, again on their home course, for the state qualifying meet.

Crowds build as cross country season hits final stretch

Spartans 20th overall at North Linn, fourth at IMS

TROY MILLS– Expect a crowd at North Linn every year.
The October cross country meet features hundreds of runners– 25 schools provide entries on the boys side, with 22 represented in the girls competition. And there are just as many fans packed around the course, threading around and through the rural Troy Mills athletic fields, school buildings and woods.
“The crowd is crazy; people yelling. There is some pushing as the pack tries to get sorted out; to try to stay ahead of somebody,” recalled Solon sophomore Jorel Justus of his first trip around the course.

Pack taking shape as cross country hits midseason

Girls fourth, boys ninth at Solon invite

SOLON– Packs can be good in cross country. “It’s a sport where you are out there, running by yourself for 20-some minutes. You want to get up with someone you know; to push each other… to keep going. Then, it’s all about the team,” explained Solon Head Coach Emy Williams.

Girls fourth, boys ninth at Bob Brown Invitational

Nicol, Smith pace Solon cross country teams

IOWA CITY– Mild weather and a mostly flat course made for good meet conditions Sept. 1, and Solon cross country runners responded with better times, and better contact with teammates while on the run, at the Bob Brown Invitational at Kicker’s Soccer Park, in Iowa City.
Solon’s boys finished ninth in their 12 team field. The girls were fourth, with nine full teams fielded.

Solon boys and girls take ninth at soggy Prairie Invitational

CEDAR RAPIDS– Season opener… and overnight rain had stopped in time for hundreds of runners to stay dry– for the most part. The squish of saturated soil at low points along the rolling course on the College Community campus still guaranteed mud-soaked shoes and ankles at the finish line of the Aug. 27 Prairie Invitational.
The cross country meet featured over 20 schools, in two divisions. Entries came from Waukee and Pella to the west… and as far away as Davenport, Fort Madison and Maquoketa to the east.

Girls 2nd at WaMaC; state qualifier May 12

TIFFIN– Just a handful of points separated conference champ Western Dubuque and runner-up Solon in the 16-team Girls’ WaMaC Super Meet. As the May 5 meet ended, though, the focus immediately turned to Thursday’s state qualifying meet push through to the state May 19-21 in Des Moines. Most of the WaMaC schools– including Solon– fall into Class 3A, so there will be plenty of familiar faces.

Spartans on The Blue Oval for Drake Relays

DES MOINES– A sure sign of spring in Iowa is a weekend of rain for the Drake Relays.
Rain fell on all three days of major activity on The Blue Oval at Drake University for the 107th edition of America’s Athletic Classic. However, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of 4,485 high school, college and elite class performers on and around the track, including 17 Olympic medalists, gearing up for the 2016 Rio Games in 10 weeks.

Girls break meet records on way to title

Senior Tanner Wymer remembered at Denny Gruber Coed Relays

SOLON– On an evening steeped with bittersweet memories, Solon’s track teams built some happier moments with twin wins in the 2016 Denny Gruber Co-Ed Relays Tuesday, April 19, at the Solon Outdoor Events Center.
From the girls, it was– again– strong field event showings and balance through the running events to build a 126-106 margin over Mount Vernon. Running third was Marion (88), with North Cedar (79), Davenport Assumption (75), Vinton-Shellsburg (65.33), Dyersville Beckman (27) and Iowa City Regina (19) following.

Balance helps Solon girls to 5th place

Misel 2nd in discus, shot put; Solon places in all 7 relays

DAVENPORT– In their annual battle against the big schools, Solon’s girls had scoring from all seven relays on the track and another great showing from the field to finish fifth in the Jesse Day Relays April 14 at the Brady Street Stadium in Davenport.

Track season hits the great outdoors

Girls finish fourth at the Mount Vernon Relays

MOUNT VERNON– The move outdoors brings a new look to the 2016 track season. Solon’s girls could see how they do on the full-size 400 meter track, while adding events like the shuttle hurdle relay, discus… even the 3,000, which are difficult– or impossible­– to accommodate in early season indoor meets.