The 2022 Iowa high school track and field season came to a conclusion on Saturday from Drake Stadium in Des Moines, with strong performances and highlights from all around the area.
Bishop Garrigan started day three off for the local teams, competing in heat two of the girls class 1A sprint medley timed finals. Emma Grandgenett and Zoe Montag ran the 100 meter legs, Reagan Murphy carried the baton on 200 meter leg, and Abbie Capesius anchored in the 400 meters, as the relay recorded a season best time of 1:54.91, placing 11th in spite of some minor hiccups on a couple exchanges. The Golden Bears would narrowly miss scoring, as two-tenths of a second separated 8th through 11th place.
In the shuttle hurdle relay, the Golden Bear team of Reagan Murphy, Zoe Montag, Emma Grandgenett, and Molly Joyce finished off their season with a fourth place finish in a time of 1:08.59. It was a bittersweet moment for a group that entered the finals with the top seed time and state championship hopes. The relay marked the final race in the career of the senior Grandgenett, who earned a state medal in the shuttle hurdles in all three track seasons at Bishop Garrigan, with an eighth place finish as part of the 2019 relay, a runner up finish last season, and this year’s fourth place medal.
West Bend-Mallard had one lone competitor in Saturday’s events, as senior Collin Montag capped off his career with a personal best of 2:04.67 in the boys class 1A 800 meters. Montag’s time was good for an 18th place finish.
Algona also had just one competitor in the Saturday session, with junior Caden Weber placing 18th in the boys class 3A 800 meters. The junior recorded a time of 2:03.53, setting a career best, and capping off a season that began with him focusing on the 400 meter dash, followed by the adjustment of moving up to the 800 meters, and capped by two laps around the blue oval in a personal best time.
North Union junior Bryer Prochniak took advantage of an ideal day for sprinters, placing 7th in the boys class 1A race in 11.15 seconds. The finish marked the second straight year medaling in the 100 for Prochniak after finishing sixth last year. Three of the four boys 100 meter races ended up with a class record being set, including 1A, where Tripoli’s Liam Carlson recorded a time of 10.82. Fourth place and eighth place in the 1A race were separated by eight hundredths of a second.
Prochniak would place even higher in the 200, taking fifth place in 22.80, running out of lane eight. With his performance this weekend, Prochniak now has won two state medals in both the 100 and 200 in his career.
Bishop Garrigan senior Quinn Swift and North Union sophomore Preston Guerdet both competed in the boys 1600 meter run, as Swift ended his high school career with a new personal best of 4:40, finishing 12th, while Guerdet capped his sophomore campaign with a time of 4:54. Swift stuck to the tactics that helped him qualify for state in the first place, running a consistent pace, with laps of 67, 70, 72, and 70 seconds. Guerdet came off the line quickly, with a first lap split of 66 seconds, and followed with 74, 78, and 74 second times in the ensuing laps to wrap up his state debut.
The final local competitor was North Union freshman Jacey Welbig in the girls 1500 meter run. Welbig established a fast early pace, and held enough speed to cross the finish line in a time of 5:24, setting a new personal best and finishing in 22nd place.
In the final team standings, Bishop Garrigan’s girls finished in fourth place in class 1A with 36 points, as Nashua-Plainfield won the team title with 59, Madrid placed second with 54, and Riverside was third with 40. The Golden Bears equaled their final standing from 2021 with the fourth place finish, and were the lone area team to place within the top 20 in their class. Mid-Prairie won the girls 2A title, Solon was victorious in girls class 3A, while Waukee Northwest was the girls champion in class 4A. In the boys team races, New London took the win in class 1A, Spirit Lake was first in 2A, Dallas Center-Grimes emerged from the 3A field, and Dowling Catholic was victorious in 4A.
A record crowd took in the events from the weekend as well, with an announced three day attendance of 39,415.
Interviews from day three of the competition can be heard below:
Bishop Garrigan Girls Sprint Medley (Emma Grandgenett, Zoe Montag, Reagan Murphy, Abbie Capesius)
Collin Montag – West Bend-Mallard – 800 meter run
Caden Weber – Algona – 800 meter run
Bishop Garrigan Girls Shuttle Hurdle Relay (Reagan Murphy, Zoe Montag, Emma Grandgenett, Molly Joyce)
Bryer Prochniak – North Union – 100 meter dash
Bryer Prochniak – North Union – 200 meter dash
Molly Joyce – Bishop Garrigan – 100 meter hurdles
Quinn Swift – Bishop Garrigan -1600 meter run
Preston Guerdet – North Union – 1600 meter run
Jacey Welbig – North Union – 1500 meter run