Myers with a silver throw

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Mariah Myers of St. Edmond compete in girls 1A shot put on Thursday inside Drake Stadium

DES MOINES — For the second year in a row, Mariah Myers earned a podium finish at the state track and field meet.

This time, though, is was silver for the St. Edmond junior.

Myers uncorked a throw of 39 feet to top her season best by over a foot on her first attempt of the championship flight inside Drake Stadium. The result left her just two inches behind Class 1A champion Anna Hadley of Pekin.

That wasn’t the only hardware the Gaels collected on the opening day, as the 4×800-meter relay of Ellie Knox, Hannah Landwehr, Michaela Leiting and Anna Lursen placed third with a season-best.

“It was a great day for the girls,” SEHS head coach CJ Tracy said. “I couldn’t be happier with what we did.

“My nerves were going a little bit but I’m confident this will kick-start us to two more great days down here.”

St. Edmond is tied for first in the team standings heading into Friday. Both the Gaels and AGWSR scored 14 points as Pekin is third with 12.

Landwehr made it 3-for-3 with PRs when she finished 13th in the 3,000.

A University of Iowa softball commit, Myers also had throws of 38-3.5, 38-2.25 and 38-2 during the event, surpassing 38 feet on all three championship throws.

“I felt very ready to compete,” Myers said. “The training prior with my coaches helped me feel confident going into the day.

“Going to Drake Relays (where she finished seventh in the discus) will help me (Friday) as I will feel comfortable with the ring and some really nice weather. I can’t wait for the rest of state track and to watch my teammates compete.”

Myers, who was third in the 4A discus while competing for Fort Dodge last spring, will throw in the 1A discus on Friday.

Last spring, the St. Edmond 4×800 with the same four runners was disqualified following a strong run. That helped serve as motivation for the group returning to the blue oval.

“I’m just so proud of the girls and this relay,” said Leiting, a senior alongside Landwehr. “We’ve grown so much over the past year and we’re really determined to make some noise this week.

“After being disqualified last year, the third place spot on the podium meant so much more. We are all so excited and are pumped for the rest of the meet.”

Knox, a junior, had an opening 400 of 1:14 and followed that up with a 1:18 second lap before handing off to Landwehr, who clocked splits of 1:10 and 1:18.

On the third leg, Leiting went 1:10 and 1:17 before Lursen, a sophomore, finished things off with a 67-second split and a 77-second split.

Landwehr, who ran the 3,000 less than two hours prior, set a new PR in the event with a time of 11:28.06.

“The whole day I was overwhelmed with nerves and excitement,” Landwehr said. “I didn’t have a specific place goal. Instead, my goal was to PR during my last time competing in the 3,000. At the end of the race, I was shocked and excited to find out I had both earned a PR and placed 13th, exceeding my expectations.

“I was feeling a little nervous as the 4×8 approached because I would have liked to have had more rest. However, I told my teammates that they could trust that I would give it my all and I kept that promise in mind. Overall, I couldn’t be happier with how the day went.”

Anthony Valles was the lone Gael boy to run, as the sophomore finished 14th in the 3,200. Valles, who will run in multiple events over the next two days, also set a PR with a time of 10:22.51.

On Friday, St. Edmond will run in both distance medley races, both 4×400 prelims and the boys 4×200 along with Josie Harvey in the 100 hurdle prelims and Myers throwing in the discus.


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