Crooks adds discus championship to shot put crown

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: Audi Crooks of Bishop Garrigan launches her discus attempt on Friday at the state track meet in Des Moines. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

DES MOINES — For Audi Crooks, it was about flexing her dominance.

For Sam Nielsen, it was about clearing the final bar.

Both Crooks and Nielsen walked out of Drake Stadium here Friday morning with gold around their necks, claiming titles at the state track and field championships.

Crooks, a junior from Bishop Garrigan, added the Class 1A discus title to her shot put crown captured on Thursday. Nielsen, a senior from North Union, won the high jump in an extended jump-off.

An Iowa State University basketball commit, Crooks knocked English Valleys thrower Kennedy Axmear off the top of the podium with her fourth throw of the event, checking in at 131-05. Axmear, a sophomore, was the Drake Relays champion earlier this season.

“It felt great,” Crooks said. “I’ve been putting in a lot of work with my coach over extra hours. It’s nice to see that all pay off.

“This is a big accomplishment, but it hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m just proud to see where it goes heading into next year.”

The Golden Bears enter Saturday second in the team standings with 30 points, two back of Nashua-Plainfield. They can still score points in three events on the final day.

Molly Joyce advanced to the 100-meter hurdle finals with the seventh-best time at 15.82. Raegan Murphy was 20th in the 400 hurdles, while both the 4×100 and 4×400 relays came up short in advancing out of the prelims.

Murphy, Emma Grandgenett, Zoe Montag and Abbie Capesius were 12th in the 4×100, while Grandgenett, Montag, Joyce and Capesius were ninth, just missing out by hundredths of a second.

After finishing second a year ago and earning a medal as a freshman, Nielsen cleared 4-foot-9, 4-11 and 5-1 on her first attempts, and 5-3 on her second. She topped Cadence Douglas of Lenox in a jump-off that took eight tries.

“It feels great,” Nielsen said. “When they said we were going to have a jump off, I was sort of confused because that’s all new to me. But when I was declared the winner, I was relieved and very excited.”

North Union’s 4×200 was 14th overall as well.

Newell-Fonda’s Lindsey Wolf was seventh in the high jump and the 4×200 relay of Isabel Bartek, Macy Sievers, Mia Walker and Mary Walker finished seventh.

The Mustang distance medley relay of Walker, Walker, Sievers and Kierra Jungers finished 16th, Emma Erickson was 23rd in the 400 hurdles and the 4×100 relay was 20th in prelims.

In 2A action, Southeast Valley’s Shelby Mills was 13th in the discus and Addi Hindt finished 23rd in the prelims of the 100 hurdles.

Manson Northwest Webster’s Paige Condon placed ninth in the 100 hurdle prelims and was 13th in the 400 hurdles. Pocahontas Area’s 4×200 relay of Allison Anderson, Amanda Davis, Jenna Vonnahme and Puritie Smith was 10th, while Kristen Davis placed 19th in the discus.

Anderson, Amanda Davis, Tiffany Sheets and Smith were also 19th in the 4×100 prelims.

Madison Ehrig of Emmetsburg secured herself a medal, finishing sixth in the high jump.

For Clarion-Goldfield/Dows, Mikayla Beisel was 16th in the 100 hurdle prelims and Kennedy Trca 19th, while Beisel was 19th in the 400 hurdles. East Sac County’s 4×200 relay of Hannah Pudenz, Meredith Brown, Carly Fischer and Brooke Jergens finished 23rd while the 4×100 relay of the same quartet was 20th in prelims.

Eagle Grove’s 4×100 of Addyson Jeske, Braxton Steil, Olivia Anderson and Ayden Feske placed 11th in prelims. They set a new school record in a time of 51.6.

The 3A events featured Algona’s A’Lailah Perry placing ninth in the shot put and teammate Andi Jensen 20th in the 400 hurdles. Webster City’s Adeline Tesdahl was 10th in the 400 hurdles, and Humboldt’s Rylee Coyle took 15th in the shot put.


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