Spartans focused on making impact at state (PHOTOS)

Grundy Center's Derek Ciddio (right) tries to stay ahead of Hudson's Collin Luck during the distance medley race at a state-qualifying meet in Grundy Center last Friday. (Jake Ryder photo)

GRUNDY CENTER – Roll on through adversity, push past barriers or leap right over them.


Full-throttle competition pushed plenty of local athletes through to the state meet as part of a 1A co-ed state-qualifying track and field meet in Grundy Center on Friday.


The Grundy Center boys ended the night as district champions, qualifying in 10 events in the process.   


Friday ended in uneasy fashion after officials disqualified Grundy Center's victorious boys 4x400 team due to a post-race violation after the Spartans bested Hudson in the final race of the night.


Nevertheless, a lesson was learned, Grundy Center senior Caleb Kuiper said. No matter what is thrown in the Spartans' way, their goals of a team trophy at the state meet for a top-3 finish in the Class 1A boys team standings are still within reach.


"I think this will help us stay focused this week in practice," Kuiper said. "More focused on the events that we did go in and make those that much better. … All in all, our team is thrilled. It means a lot to the program to hang another banner."


Grundy Center boys qualifiers

100, 200, 400: Will Grames

800: Jensen Clapp

1,600: Derek Ciddio

110 hurdles: Nick Ascher

4x200: Matt Jansen, Logan Knaack, Austin Knaack, Caleb Kuiper

4x800: Ciddio, Soren Cleveland, Mitchell Munson, Clapp

Distance medley: Jansen, L. Knaack, Kuiper, Ciddio

Sprint medley: Jansen, L. Knaack, Kuiper, Clapp



WILLIS FINDS A WAY IN SHOT PUT: Grundy Center senior Kylie Willis credited summer weight training programs with her progression in the shot put, which has resulted in a trip to the state track and field meet in the event in her final go-around at Drake Stadium.


Willis won the field event on Friday with a top throw of 35 feet, 0.5 inches, qualifying as the 23rd seed out of 24 competitors scheduled for the event. Kaitlyn Wilder of Dunkerton is the top seed at 41 feet, 9.75 inches.


Having only hit the 35-foot distance once before in her throwing career, Willis knew she had to find the power within.


"Working on my technique throughout the year really helped," Willis said. "There was some pressure knowing I was tied with three other girls for first in the district, but I just gave it my all, I had nothing to lose."


Grundy Center girls qualifiers

100: Hailey Wallis

1,500: Taylor Stahl

Long jump: Kyah Luhring

Shot put: Kylie Willis

4x400: Luhring, Brooke Flater, Sarah Lindeman, H. Wallis

4x800: Lindeman, Bella Dole, Paiton Wallis, Stahl

Distance medley: Flater, Luhring, H. Wallis, Stahl

Sprint medley:Dole, Flater, Luhring, H. Wallis


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Photos: State-qualifying track and field at Grundy Center

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