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Fort Dodge juniors see state action

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: Connor Carver of Fort Dodge clears a hurdle on Friday at the state track meet in Des Moines. For more photos, visit CU.messengernews.net

DES MOINES — Friday gave Fort Dodge underclassmen Lainey Maehl and Connor Carver the chance to see what the state track and field meet was all about.

Maehl and Carver competed in the Class 4A morning session inside Drake Stadium.

A junior, Maehl finished 14th overall in the shot put. Her best throw was her first attempt of the opening flight, as she recorded a toss of 34-05.75.

Maehl also went 33-01 and had a foul during her attempts. West Des Moines Valley’s Caitlyn Cox was the event winner with a throw of 40-07.25.

“State was really an amazing experience, and I’m so thankful for all the support I got from my family and coaches,” Maehl said. “It was great for me to be able to watch my teammates compete (on Thursday), which also allowed me to settle into everything.

“My goals going in were to set a new PR and to finish better than I came in. Even though I didn’t PR, it was satisfying to at least be able to place so much higher than I started. I can’t wait to compete next year for the chance to come back and do even better.”

Carver, also a junior, placed 15th in the prelims of the 110-meter hurdles. He clocked a time of 15.40, completing the run cleanly over the hurdles.

“It was a great experience,” Carver said. “It’s always fun being able to run at the blue oval. I’m going to take what I’ve learned this year and use it as fuel for next season.”

Entering state, Carver’s top time on the season was 15.74. He went 15.77 at districts to claim a runner-up finish.

“I want to thank Coach Q (Quennel McCaleb). He did an amazing job and was definitely a huge part of why I was here,” Carver said. “Also, Coach (Kevin) Astor. I can’t thank them enough for their support.”

Fort Dodge’s Angel Gervacio will close the meet for the Dodgers on Saturday when he competes in the 100-meter wheelchair race at 12:42 p.m. on the blue oval.

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