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Women of Troy track and field preview

Bailey Nock, the reigning state champion in the 1,500- and 3,000-meter runs. (file photos by Chris Umscheid)

2018 West High Women of Troy track and field preview
North Liberty Leader
IOWA CITY– Iowa City West High’s motto is “A tradition of excellence.” The Women of Troy Track and Field Team has not only taken it to heart, they’ve proven it time and time again with 16 Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC) championships, 12 regional championships and six state championships. The six state championships are the second most in Class 4A history and the fifth most in all classes.
The Women of Troy are the defending MVC and regional champions and finished runner-up team at last year’s state coed meet.
As the 2018 season moves into the regular (outdoor) phase, following a handful of indoor engagements, Coach Mike Parker (in his 21st season) expects nothing less than excellence.
The program graduated Valerie Welch (100-meter hurdles, long jump and distance medley relay state champion in 2017), Jessie Skopec, Gabby Skopec and Leah Dusterhoft. However, there is a lot of firepower returning in Parker’s arsenal, including Bailey Nock, Kia Noibi, Peyton Steva, Chandler Haight, Kitra Bell, Deniz Ince, Claire Ronnebaum and Katie Severt.
Nock is the reigning state champion in the 1,500- and 3,000-meter runs, the defending MVC champion in the 1,500-, 3,000- and 800-meter runs and was part of the state championship distance medley relay. Noibi was on the MVC championship shuttle hurdle relay and distance medley relay teams. The shuttle hurdle team won at the state coed meet last year. Steva was on the MVC champion shuttle hurdle and distance medley relays, earning state championships in both. Haight, sister of Assistant Coach (and four-time state shot put Champion) Danica Haight, is the defending MVC and state shot put champion. Haight also was a state qualifier in the discus.
Bell was on the MVC and state champion shuttle hurdle and distance medley relay. She also was a state qualifier in the long jump. Ince was on the MVC champion distance medley relay and was a state qualifier with the 4x800 and 4x400 relays and in the 800-meter run. Ronnebaum was on the MVC champion 4x800 relay, which qualified for the state coed with the 4x400. Severt qualified for state with the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
Peggy McGuire, Morgan Stroud, Lauren Bobst and Danica Haight will assist Coach Parker this season.
McGuire is in her 19th year with West High track and field and has assisted the girls cross country program for 18. She is a state champion in the 100-meter dash (1986, 1988) and went undefeated her senior year. McGuire was named the 2013 and 2014 Iowa Association of Track Coaches (IATC) Assistant Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year.
Haight has five state championships, three Drake Relays championships and three All-American honors to her name and was inducted to the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s Hall of Fame in 2014.
Stroud is in her second season with the Women of Troy and is a 2010 West High graduate.
Bobst is a 2013 West High grad in her first year as an assistant coach. She was a four-year qualifier for the Drake Relays and state meet with a background in sprinting and hurdling.
Parker, who has also coached the West High girls cross country program for 23 years, won the Iowa High School State Coach of the Year or the At-Large Coach of the Year 31 times by the IATC and 25 times by the MVC (11 track and field, 14 cross country). He has been a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Girls Track and Field National Coach of the Year three times (2010, 2015 and 2017).
The 2018 season opened in late February with six scheduled indoor meets and the outdoor season set to open with the Women of Troy relays on Tuesday, March 27. The Women of Troy compete in City High’s Forwald-Coleman Relays on Thursday, April 19, starting at 4:30 p.m. The Drake Relays are set for Thursday through Saturday, April 26-28, at Drake University, in Des Moines. West High hosts the 2018 MVC Divisional Championship Meet on Thursday, May 3, at 4:30 p.m. The State Coed Track and Field Championships are set for Thursday through Saturday, May 17-19, also at Drake.