DES MOINES– Solon’s girls got a chance to run against the best at the Drake Relays last week and emerged looking pretty good, especially against the competition they should see in post-season.
Drake is a showcase of the best of the state’s track and field athletes, alongside university, college and special invitation classes. The Spartans had entries in nine girls’ events.
Distance specialist Lauren Benzing had the best overall finish of the Solon delegation, running 4:45.15 in the 1500 for fifth place. She also crossed in ninth overall in the 3000 (running 10:23.89). Each was her best time of the year. Emily Bransky was sixth in the long jump (16’10.5). Kara Misel’s 38’09 toss in the shot qualified for the finals where she finished eighth overall.
“I thought Drake went pretty well. We battled some wind in the 100 and 100 hurdles– which affected the times– but we stacked up pretty well against the other Class 3A girls,” noted coach Brent Sands.
Those 3A comparisons will be important in the days ahead as coaches put together lineups designed to maximize points at the district and state meets. For instance, Bransky’s long jump was best of the 3A contestants at Drake. Her 13.18 in the 100 did not make the medals round, but was third among 3A girls in the field. Rylee Smith’s 16.55 in the hurdles stacked up fourth among 3A Drake entrants. Benzing’s two distance runs were third in 3A, too.
Misel flung the discus 118’5 for a 17th overall place; that ranked sixth out of 3A throwers. Cave’s 5’1 high jump ended up fifth out of her class. The 4x100 relay (Smith, Jessie Brimeyer, Karly Kramer and Bransky) rounded the Blue Oval in 51.01. The next time any Solon competitor sees it will be at the state meet in a couple of weeks.
“It was good to compete at the same place on the same day to get a better idea of what the times on Quikstats (statewide reporting site) really mean,” said Sands. “We get a much better idea of how we stack up.”