Betsy Flood, Khanishah Williams, Alex Gochenour 2017 Inductees Into IGHSAU Track & Field Hall of Fame
Dowling Catholic’s Betsy Flood, Burlington’s Khanishah Williams and Alex Gochenour of Logan-Magnolia are the 2017 inductees into the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s Track and Field Hall of Fame. The trio will be honored Saturday afternoon at the 2017 Iowa State Track and Field Meet at Des Moines’ Drake Stadium.
Flood becomes the second Dowling Catholic prep to join the Track & Field Hall of Fame, joining younger sister Katie, who was enshrined in 2016. Running for the Maroons from 2005 to 2008, she captured five state crowns while placing second five times. She won 4A crowns in the 1500 meters in 2006 and 2008, won the 4A 800 meters in 2006 and anchored the Distance Medley and 4×800 meter relay teams to titles. In addition to her five state crowns, Flood won the Drake Relays 1500 meters as a senior. Flood ran cross country and track at the University of Iowa, where she was a three-time NCAA qualifier. She ranks in the top 10 at Iowa in seven different events.
Williams competed at Burlington High School from 2007 to 2011, where she won five state crowns. She was a three-time 4A state champion in the high jump and her career best jump of 5-8 ¼ remains the Class 4A record. In addition to the high jump title, Williams won the 100 hurdles in 2010 and 2011 along with a Drake Relays flag in the 2011 high jump. Williams competed at the University of Iowa from 2012 to 2016, competing in the high jump. Her career best of 5-11 ¼ ranks third on Iowa’s all-time list, winning a Big Ten Conference crown in the outdoor high jump in 2014. Williams is the third Burlington athlete to enter the IGHSAU Track and Field Hall of Fame, joining Leisa Davis and Jenna Caffrey.
Gochenour competed at Logan-Magnolia from 2007 to 2011. She owns 13 state championships and is just one of three runners to win the 100-meter hurdles four times. Her career-best time of 13.9 is the current Iowa all-time mark in the event. Gochenour set or was a part of five state meet records. She owns three 100-meter dash crowns with two 200-meter and 400-meter hurdle titles in helping Logan-Magnolia win Class 2A state team titles in 2009 and 2011. Gochenour captured four Drake Relays flags, winning the 100 meter hurdles twice along with a long jump and 400 hurdles crown. Gochenhour competed at both Louisiana State and Arkansas. Specializing in multi-event competitions, she earned all-American honors six times in the heptathlon and pentathlon. As a senior in 2016, Gochenour was fourth in the NCAA in the heptathlon and sixth in the pentathlon, earning first team all-American honors in both events. Gochenour is the first Logan-Magnolia athlete to enter the IGHSAU Track and Field Hall of Fame.
I see, as I look out at the growing grass (after two weeks of rain!), that Spring has worked it’s way into our little corner of the world. With it comes the inviting warmth that becons us to roll our bikes out of the garage and onto the trails, and in a short time, it means that Bike Month will kick off!
Bike Month is a month-long celebration of all things cycling, from enjoying our local trail system with our area mayors to the beauty that is the bicycle itself. One of the most popular events of Bike Month is the annual PedalArt Poster Show, opening on Friday, May 19.
In it’s eighth year, PedalArt selects Iowa artists to create an original bike-themed art poster. Each artist will have 30 prints of their poster for sale at $35. PedalArt can be viewed in the Viaduct Gallery from May 19 through the 29th.
A VIP Preview Reception for artists and sponsors will kick off the opening night festivities from 5:30-7 p.m. This is an outstanding opportunity to meet the artists and purchase posters before the doors open to the public at 7 pm. A $100 donation to the Des Moines Bicycle Collective makes you and a guest Very Important People (and welcome to the VIP Preview Reception).
The doors open to the public at 7 p.m. for the official Gallery opening. Admision is free to what has become one of the biggest social gatherings of the year for the cycling community.
The 2010 opening event at the original Des Moines Social Clup location, was the nation’s most successful bike-themed poster show opening, surpassing Minneapolis, Portland, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Denver.
PedalArt attracts cyclists: Single-speeders, fitness cyclists, mountain bikers, casual cruisers, commuters, and recreational riders. However, the appeal of the poster show extends to a wider group of people who enjoy bikes and appreciate owning original artwork.
The Viaduct Gallery, with help from Drake and Grand View art professors, have selected 35 Iowa artists (nearly 60 applied) to create an original poster design for the May 19-31 show and sale. PedalArt has been with the Social Club through all three Des Moines locations. Social Club. Sponsorships received by May 15 will be included in the printed recognition.
Pedal Art Poster Show — Gallery Opening on May 19 7pm to 10pm @ Des Moines Social Club. 9th and Mulberry streets. The show runs from May 19 – 29. Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
For more information visit the Des Moines Bicycle Collective’s PedalArt page.
The Bring Back the Mile Grand Prix Tour announced that the Wellmark Grand Blue Mile will serve as the opening leg of the Grand Prix Tour.
Started in 2014, the Bring Back the Mile Grand Prix Tour is a national campaign to designed to elevate the presence of the mile in track and field. The Tour features five stops and more than $110,000 in guaranteed prize money. Outside of Des Moines, the Tour features stops in Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Duluth, Minn., and Washington D.C.
Heather Kampf, three-time Grand Blue Mile Champion, headlines the Tour as the reigning three-time Grand Prix Champion. Riley Masters, the 2016 Grand Prix Champion, took third at last year’s Grand Blue Mile.
This year’s Grand Blue Mile, set to take place on Apr. 25, also sees the return of the USA Track & Field 1 Mile Road Championships. The Grand Blue Mile last hosted the Championship in 2014 where Kampf set the course record of 4:32.62.
Last year’s Grand Blue Mile drew more than 4,200 registrants who participated among the elite, competitive, recreational run/walk, and corporate team categories. The one-mile course loops through the streets of downtown Des Moines.
Participants this year can also register for the ‘Bulldog Double’ to participate in both the Grand Blue Mile and either the Drake Road Races 5k or Half Marathon. Those that complete the ‘Bulldog Double’ will
receive a special ‘Spike’ or ‘Griff’ medal while all finishers receive a technical shirt and a finisher medal. Registration for the Drake Road Races also includes one paid admission to the Thursday, Apr. 27 Distance Carnival inside Drake Stadium and a discount ticket rate to Hy-Vee Night at the Drake Relays Friday, Apr. 28.
The current early bird registration rate is available until Mar. 6 is $15 for the Grand Blue Mile, $25 for the Drake Road Races 5k and $40 for the Drake Road Races Half Marathon.
For more information on the Grand Blue Mile, visit www.GrandBlueMile.com
For information on the Drake Relays, visit www.godrakebulldogs.com.
If you live in Des Moines and pay any attention at all to high school track and field, you’ll recognize the name “Schweizer.”
Grandfather Frank coached track at Dowling Catholic. Mom and Dad were both runners. Brother Ryan is an all-time best high school runner and younger sisters Alexis and Kelsey can be seen on the track after school behind Dowling High School. Today, Karissa, the eldest sibling from Urbandale, now a junior at Mizzou, runs both track and cross country for the Tigers.
This past weekend (March 10-11) the Dowling Catholic alum accomplished a feat no other female had done at Missouri – becoming an NCAA Champion, not once, but twice, in her career.
She did so last Friday (March 10, 2017) with a first place finish in the 5,000m run at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in College Station, Texas. The National title is her second of the year after she won the NCAA Cross Country National Championship in November, and the third NCAA All-American honor of her career after the cross country national title and a third place finish in the 5,000m run at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Schweizer ran the proto-typical smart 5,000m race, staying near the front of the pack before using her signature kick to separate herself from the rest of the field over the final 400 meters. She finished the race with a personal record and school record time of 15:19.14, resetting the school record which she set on Dec. 3, 2016 at the Boston University Season Opener, where she finished at 15:37.40. Schweizer finished eight seconds ahead of the second place finisher, as her time of 15:19.14 now ranks fifth all-time in indoor collegiate history.
“This feels unbelievable. It feels like a dream come true,” said Schweizer moments after the race.
“My strategy throughout the race was to stay relaxed, because I knew the other girls in the race were going to make it an honest race. I was just going to hang in there and see what I can do since I haven’t ran a 5K in a while. With 400 meters to go, I knew I was going to make a move, whether I felt good or not.”
She later told ESPN: “I’m pretty competitive. I wanted to make it hurt. I just visualized this a million times. I’m beyond excited.”
On Saturday, (March 11, 2017) Schweizer closed out her 2017 indoor season with a second place finish in the 3,000m run at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. With the second place finish and a national title in the 5,000m run Friday night, Schweizer recorded the third and fourth NCAA All-America honors of her career.
“Just an amazing weekend for Karissa and our program,” said Mizzou assistant coach Marc Burns. “She had quite a bit of pressure on her coming off the Cross Country National Championship, but I think she did a great job of focusing on the process and really taking one race at a time and executing game plans over the weekend. That’s a testament to the hard work she has put in throughout the year and all the people who have helped her get to where she is. Winning a national title is a tough thing to do, for her to do that in the 5K on Friday night, then come back less than 24 hours later and finish second in the 3K is very impressive.”
“I’m ecstatic to finish in second place,” said Schweizer following the race. “Obviously I wanted to win, but I’m proud to be where I’m at right now.”
Schweizer pushed the pace in the 3K race, leading for a majority of the race before the rest of the field caught up with around five laps to go. With just two laps remaining, Schweizer once again kicked out to the front of the pack, causing a two-legged race between the Tiger junior and Colorado’s Dani Jones. Schweizer crossed the finish line at 9:09.33, a mere .13 seconds behind Jones, who finished with a time of 9:09.20.
The two-time NCAA Champion now shifts her focus to the 2017 outdoor season, where the Tigers distance team will begin the season at the Stanford Invitational, March 30-April 1 in Palo Alto, Calif.
After being held to 11 points in Pocahontas’ first round game, Elle Ruffridge was lit on fire in their semifinal game, and not like a quiet little candle on fire, but a flames-leaping-high-into-the-sky inferno kind of fire. Lobbing threes like they were lay-ups, the 5-foot, 4-inch senior hit eight of 12 from beyond the arc (state tournament record) and was perfect from the line (16/16) and was hot underneath to put up a new 5-player tournament record 48 points. That pushed Pocahontas past Center Point-Urbana in the final game of the evening, a 3A match-up, 80 to 59.
“We’re best friends on and off the court,” said Ruffridge of she and the group of senior starters. “That’s what makes us so special and such a good basketball team, because we gel so well.”
Pocahontas will face Sioux Center in the championship game on Saturday. The Warriors moved on with the hot hands of Erika Feenstra and Lexi Toering who combined for 41 points to push the Warriors past Cherokee 80-51.
Class 1A kicked off with a dominant performance by Springville’s Mikayla Nachazel who
put up 32 points shooting 68-percent from the field and going 6 for 7 at the line. Springville moves on to the championship game (Friday, March 4 at 4:00 p.m. on IPTV) defeating Kingsley-Pierson 61-43.
We just came out with a lot of energy,” said Nachazel. “We knew we had to be aggressive in this game and had really good ball movement.”
In Class 2A Western Christian’s Ashtyn Veerbeek dominated on offense, from both beyond the arc and in the paint, going 11 of 19 inside and 8 for 10 outside the 3-point line. Her size also helped on the boards, as she pulled 10 back for the Wolfpack. For Iowa City Regina, Alex Weise led the scoring with 14. Final score: Western
Christian 71, Regina 49.
Western Christian will be facing Treynor in the finals (Friday, March 3 at 8:00 p.m. on IPTV) after closing a double-digit deficit against Lisa Tucker and the Cascade Cougars, winning in the final minute with a steal and lay-up by Treynor’s Konnor Sudmann.
“I saw her hold the ball up on her shoulder,” said Sudmann of her steal and bucket. “I thought ‘I see my chance,’ and I just tipped it out of her hand really fast and I just took off and got the lay-up to go.”
Treynor moves on after a strong defensive stand for the final 30 seconds, final score: Treynor 43, Cascade 41.
Interviews and photos are posted on the Central Iowa Sports Network Facebook page.
Iowa Public Television will be airing and streaming all the championship games beginning Friday, March 4 at 6:00 p.m.
The third day started off strong with some competitive 4A action. Marion kicked things off with a 46-38 victory over Boone. Kayba Laube led Marion with 17 points in the quarter final game.
Head coach Corby Laube stated that “Ultimately in the end, it was our defense that carried us.”
Marion will move on to play Pella in the 4A semifinal game at 11:45am on Friday, March 3rd.
Pella advances to the semifinal game as well with a win over Lewis Central, 47-43. Throughout the game, there were six lead changes and four ties, but Pella pulled through in the end.
“I think that’s just something that’s unique about our team. We don’t just have an inside game or an outside game. We can work in and out depending on what their defense is giving us,” Katie Vander Molen from Pella replied when asked how they were able to come out on top.
5A action began with the undefeated Indianola Indians playing the Johnston Dragons. Indianola was able to protect their perfect record with a 77-67 victory. Grace Berg led Indianola to their 24th win of the season by scoring 36 points. Indianola advances to face Cedar Falls in the first 5A semifinal game on Friday, March 3rd at 1:30pm.
Cedar Falls moves on to the semifinal game after a close win over Iowa City High. Cedar Falls’ number 33, Kiana Barney, dominated the floor with 24 total points. Cynthia Wolf, number 51, was Cedar Falls’ second leading scorer with seven points.
West Des Moines Valley controlled most of their quarterfinal game against Dowling Catholic. The Tigers defeated their rival, the Maroons, 87-64.
When asked how her team has been able to have such success all throughout the season, Hannah Fuller responded, “I think we are just getting better everyday and we are having fun playing the game that we all love. We’re so close as teammates, and we continue to bond. I think that’s just carrying us, along with our love for the game.”
Valley will matchup against Iowa City West in the second 5A semifinal game at 3:15pm on Friday, March 3rd.
Iowa City West advances to the semifinals after a tight battle against the Waukee Warriors. Iowa City West was able to hold on to a small lead and top it off with a 40-38 victory.
When asked how the team handled Waukee’s comeback towards the end of the game, Logan Cook, number 22, said that in order to hold on to their lead, “[They] had to put everything into it. [They] had to have great defense and just focus on that.”
To wrap up day three, Pella and Marion join North Scott and Cedar Rapids Xavier in the final four for 4A. Indianola, Cedar Falls, West Des Moines Valley, and Iowa City West will continue to compete for the 5A Iowa Girls’ State Basketball title. Play for these six teams resumes on Friday, March 3rd, beginning at 11:45am. Stay tuned for more updates on the final three days of the Iowa Girls’ State Tournament. Be sure to follow CISN on Facebook for exclusive interviews, photos and more!
By Sarah Westholm and Chloe Havermann
Drake University director of athletics Sandy Hatfield Clubb has announced the hiring of Blake Boldon as the 12th Franklin ‘Pitch’ Johnson Director of the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee. Boldon will be introduced during a press conference held in the Courtside Club of the Shivers Basketball Practice Facility on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 11 a.m.
Boldon, a native of Osceola, Iowa, currently serves as the executive director of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and has an extensive background and record of success as a competitive athlete, collegiate coach and event director.
“I am excited to become a part of the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee, Drake University and the Des Moines community,” Boldon said. “As an Iowan and former Relays competitor, I know firsthand the tremendous history and tradition the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee has in Iowa, the U.S. and in the international track and field community. With Hy-Vee’s partnership, the Drake Relays has become one of the premier athletic events in the world. Through my experience growing up as a spectator, competing as an athlete and coaching, the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee has played a significant role in making me who I am today. The opportunity to build upon the incredible foundation of success while we work to continue to elevate the profile of the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee is truly an honor.”
In addition to Boldon’s familiarity with the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee, his experience at Beyond Monumental and the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon presented the unique qualifications Hatfield Clubb was looking for in selecting the 12th Franklin ‘Pitch’ Johnson Director of the Relays.
“Blake is the perfect candidate at the right time who has a personal and passionate history with the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee,” Hatfield Clubb said. “His extensive knowledge of and passion for track and field, coupled with his experience leading major events make him uniquely qualified for the position. However, it is his demonstrated integrity and his undeniable commitment to excellence that stand out. I have had the opportunity to see and have been incredibly impressed by Blake’s deep dedication to his work as well his admiration for the people he works with at Beyond Monumental. I very much look forward to working with Blake as we enter a new era with the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee.”
In his previous role, Boldon has transformed the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (IMM) and its associated races within the Beyond Monumental organization into one of the premier road racing events in the nation over the last four years. Overseeing a budget of nearly $2 million, Boldon has propelled the event from the 60th largest marathon in the country to the 20th. That growth rate was the third largest nationally for a marathon and the largest for a half marathon. His leadership has resulted in the IMM setting annual revenue records and a 100 percent growth in sponsorships while also making the IMM an agent of change in the Indianapolis community. In addition to strengthening the existing lineup of events, Boldon created the Monumental Mile in 2014 that was ranked by Shape Magazine as one of the top 10 1-mile road races in the nation alongside with Des Moines’ Grand Blue Mile.
“The Drake Relays serves not only as one of the nation’s most celebrated high school, intercollegiate, and elite track and field event, but also as a university-wide celebration for the Drake community and an important cultural event and economic driver for Des Moines and the Midwest,” said Drake University President Marty Martin. “This legacy as America’s Athletic Classic has been carefully cultivated over more than a century, most recently under the exceptional leadership of Brian Brown and with the robust support of Hy-Vee. I am confident that Blake Boldon has the leadership experience, logistical expertise, and creative vision to carry this legacy forward.”
Before taking the reins of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, Boldon spent two years at the University of Pennsylvania as the Quakers’ head cross country coach and track and field distance coach. While managing every aspect of a successful Division I cross country program, he was also involved in the planning and execution of the Penn Relays and coordinated the Penn Relays Men’s Olympic Development Mile.
Boldon also coached at UAB (2009-10) and Iowa State (2005-08), serving as the recruiting and academic coordinator at the latter.
As an Iowan and competitive athlete, Boldon is extremely familiar with Drake Stadium and the iconic Blue Oval, where he won the 3A state title in the 1,600 meters in 1998. As a collegian at Missouri State, he won five Missouri Valley Conference titles and a Drake Relays title in the 1,500 meters in 2003. Boldon graduated from Missouri State with a degree in education in 2003 and was named MSU’s Outstanding Male Athlete Award winner in addition to being a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American.
Boldon also competed professionally, returning to the Drake Stadium many times. In 2007, he became just the third Iowan to run a sub 4-minute mile and finished second at the Drake Relays that same year to American record holder, Alan Webb, who shattered the Drake Stadium record with a 3:51.71 finish in that classic race. Boldon’s professional career also include four top 10 finishes at USATF Championships.
Boldon assumes the role of Franklin ‘Pitch’ Johnson Director of the Drake Relays from Brian Brown, who recently completed an 11-year tenure directing the iconic event. In 2016, the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee saw more than 40,000 fans witness some of the finest professional, collegiate and high school performances of the year at Drake Stadium.
As part of the building excitement for the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Relays staged numerous Olympic Preview events that brought more than 60 Olympians to the Blue Oval. Those athletes would go on to win 20 medals at the 2016 Rio Games, including 10 gold medals. In addition to showcasing that Olympic talent, the 2016 Relays featured a total of 11 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee records that were broken or tied and three world-leading marks were established. The 108th Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee is scheduled for April 26-29, 2017.
As swimmers and divers head into conference meets, coaches start thinking ahead to the state-qualifying district meets looming a week later and if current times are any indication, Ames will be the team to beat.
Led by Amy Feddersen in the shorter freestyle events, and complimented with Sophie Sorenson in the back stroke and individual medley, Ames puts point on the board. Ames diver Jayna Misra has a season high of 317.65 in diving (six dives) to give Ames points mid-meet.
In the CIML, both Waukee and Johnston put strong relay teams together to move them to the top of the power rankings. Lexie Winnett scoring in short freestyle events as well as the 100-butterfly for Johnston.
Lewis Central senior MyKenzie Leehy tops all freestyle swimmers in the 50-, 100- and 200-Yard events, stopping the clock at 23.72, 51.99 and 1:52.32 respectively. Though the Lewis Central team may not be a threat for the state meet podium, look for Leehy to wear some gold medals home from Marshalltown in November.
Always threats at the end of the season, Dowling Catholic and West Des Moines Valley have strong teams that know how to score points when it matters. Dowling recently swam strongly at the Johnston Invitational, and meets Johnston again on Tuesday, Oct. 11 for a dual in the Dowling pool.
Valley senior Emily Wilson, when teamed with Reilly Shaner, Rachel Anfinson and Rachel Studer is a threat to any relay team, whether in freestyle or medley relays. With Wilson sitting as the top Valley backstroker and complimented by Studer in the breaststroke, Shaner in the fly and anchored by Anfinson – the Valley medley relay team is fast, stopping the clock at 1:41.24 already this year.
Conference swim meets begin next week (week of Oct. 17). Southeast Polk, Johnston and Des Moines Lincoln hosting.