WEBSTER CITY — April was anything but easy for track and field teams, but 12 area athletes — five girls and seven boys — achieved their goals by qualifying for the Drake Relays.
It’s the best of the best. No class. And the winners take it all.
Webster City and South Hamilton will compete in six combined events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in and around Drake Stadium.
Pitchers Austin Busch, a senior from South Hamilton, and JJ Moore, a senior from Webster City, qualified in the shot put and discus.
Busch will be a contender in both. He ranks second in the state in the shot put with a 60-foot, 1⁄2-inch throw, and he’s consistently been one of the best in the event this season. Only Brandon VanderSluis of LeMars (63-5) has thrown farther.
Moore could also be at the heart of the battle. He enters Friday morning’s shot put fourth with a record of 57-53⁄4.
Busch and Moore will both take part in the Thursday afternoon drive. Busch is ranked fourth (177-7) and Moore 23rd (153-11) after jumping onto the court on the final night of qualifying in Humboldt on Thursday. The two will chase top-seed Walker Whalen of Indianola, who owns an all-time top-five distance of 202-10.
Mackenzy Grady of South Hamilton earned her spot in the women’s discus field Friday morning with her school record of 124-7, the 18th-best distance out of 24 participants.
Hawks senior Tanner Blue clinched one of 32 spots in the 110-meter hurdles preliminaries, which take place Friday morning. He is ranked 20th with a time of 15.20 seconds.
The South Hamilton girls and WCHS boys will both compete in the 4×100 relay preliminaries on Saturday morning.
The Hawks – Kate Barkema, Kelbe Krumm, Makena Galetich and Ashlyn Erickson – are ranked 51st out of 96 teams with a time of 52.03 seconds. The Lynx – Charlie Stansfield, Jaxon Cherry, Keegan Hisler and CJ Hisler – have a time of 44.57, which is 58th out of 96 men’s teams.
Discus (24 qualified, Friday at 9 a.m.) – Mackenzy Grady, South Hamilton (124-7, 18th).
4×100 relay (96 qualifications, Saturday at 9:15 a.m.) – South Hamilton (52.03, 51st) – Kate Barkema, Kelbe Krumm, Makena Galetich, Ashlyn Erickson.
Shot put (24 qualifying, Friday at 9:30 a.m.) – Austin Busch, South Hamilton (60-01⁄2, 2nd) AND JJ Moore, Webster City (57-53⁄4, 4th).
Discus (24 qualified, Thursday at 4 p.m.) – Austin Busch, South Hamilton (177-7, 4th) AND JJ Moore, Webster City (153-11, 23rd).
110 High Hurdles (32 qualified, Friday at 8:15 a.m.) – Tanner Blue, South Hamilton (15.20, 20th).
4×100 relay (96 qualified, Saturday at 9:45 a.m.) – Webster City (44.57, 58th) – Charlie Stansfield, Jaxon Cherry, Keegan Hisler, CJ Hisler.