DES MOINES - Ellie Herzberg made the most of her opportunities at the first session of the girls state track meet Thursday inside Drake Stadium.
The Manson Northwest Webster junior set a new Class 1A meet mark in the 400 by clocking a 55.75, eclipsing the previous record of 56.08 that was established by former North Tama standout Sara Stoakes in 2009. Despite trailing Emily Toennies of Belle Plaine for a majority of the race, Herzberg used a strong late kick down the stretch to pull away from the rest of the pack. Toennies finished second once again in 56.39.
"I just had to tell myself that I could do it because I knew I could," said Herzberg, whose time ranks No. 14 all-time. "I was able to stay close until the last 100, and then I was able to get her.
Ellie Herzberg of Manson Northwest Webster.
"(Setting a new 1A meet record) is an unbelievable feeling. I'm just so blessed."
Herzberg, a University of Northern Iowa basketball recruit, also prevailed in the 100 prelims (12.60) and 200 prelims (25.53). Herzberg captured silver in both the 100 and 200 finals here last spring, while grabbing bronze in the 400.
Junior Macey Bales shined for the Indians by winning the 1A shot put title with a throw of 39-10.75, improving on her fourth-place performance from 2012. West Hancock's Haley Hiscocks (37-10.75) was next in line.
For the Wolverines, senior Kenzie Grimm checked in third in the 1A 400 (58.38).
WBM's 4x800 (Anna Zaugg, Ashley Schmidt, Madelynn Gehrt and Portlind Schmidt) was fourth in 9:58.75. Jesup (9:40.19) picked up a victory.
Junior Tiffany Christensen, who earned bronze at the 1A state cross country meet this past fall, was fifth in the 2A 400 (59.46) for the Eagles. Jasmine Staebler (56.23) of Clayton Ridge was the winner.
The Warrior 4x800 (Jojo Krekow, Chelsea Anderson, Baylee Moore and Erica Rittgers) placed eighth (10:10.95) in 1A.
Senior Erin Reedy was eighth (11:11.42) in the 1A 3000 for the Golden Bears. Sibley-Ocheyedan's Leah Seivert (9:56.54) set a new state record en route to gold. Reedy previously finished fifth, seventh and eighth in that same event.
Wildcat junior Sam Larson was sixth in the 3A 3000 (10:49.07) after placing ninth here last spring. Anna Holdiman (10:11.83) of Waverly-Shell Rock was the winner.
Tangy Wiseman, a junior, was seventh for the Bulldogs in the 3A 3000 (10:57.55).
Senior Quinn Flack placed sixth in the 3A discus (121-10) for the Rams. Leading the way was Dubuque Wahlert's Maddie Nilles (138-03).
Girls action continues today, starting at 9 a.m.