Five State Medals Awarded to Area Athletes on Final Day of State Track

by Tyler Lance
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The 2024 Iowa high school state track and field season is over after day three of the state meet wrapped up on Saturday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.

Bishop Garrigan’s girls 800 meter sprint medley team started off the day with an exclamation point, earning a state medal by placing 7th in the class 1A timed finals in 1:53.92. Emmi Bartolo and Zoe Montag ran on the 100 meter legs, Reagan Murphy was on the 200 meter leg, and Abbie Capesius anchored the relay on the 400 meter leg. The Golden Bear relay team had to wait out a third heat, as they ran in the second heat and were sitting in third place when the third and fastest heat got underway. Only four teams from heat three were able to beat Bishop Garrigan’s time, moving the Golden Bears to 7th, and securing them a state medal with a top eight finish. In the final race of an outstanding high school career, Capesius overcame a shaky exchange with Murphy to rally Bishop Garrigan and help them finish second in their heat. Capesius left slightly early as Murphy approached, then had to slow down to receive the baton before re-accelerating into the race. She would close the relay in a sub-60 second relay split, passing four teams in the final 100 meters with a huge finishing kick. Capesius earns her second state medal of the weekend, after finishing 7th in the 400 meter finals on Thursday.

In the boys class 1A 800 meter sprint medley relay, Bishop Garrigan’s boys track team wrapped up their Saturday with a 20th place finish, clocking in at 1:39.10 with Caden Roethler and Owen Murphy on the 100 meter legs, Trayton Cink on the 200 meter leg, and Justin Bauer on the 400 meter leg.

Algona’s 800 meter sprint medley relay was the third Bulldog boys relay of the weekend to compete. The Bulldogs entered with their time from the state qualifying meet ranked 6th in class 3A, but were unable to procure state medal, finishing 14th in the timed finals in 1:34.63 with Will Weichert and Jack Limbaugh on the 100 meter legs, Ashton Moreno on the 200 meter legs, and Evan Allie anchoring the 400 meter leg. The Bulldog boys relays were shut of a state medal, as was the case in 2023, but all four members of each Algona boys relay at state are underclassman, and threats to contend for state medals in 2025.

After getting her first taste of state last year in the 4×800 meter relay, and also running the 4×800 this weekend as well, Algona sophomore Macy Knapp placed 19th in girls class 3A 800, the first individual state event of her career. Just like in her leg of the 4×800 meter relay on Friday night, Knapp opened up the first 400 meters in 69 seconds. She would cover the second lap in 76 seconds to clock in at 2:26.07.

In the boys class 3A 800 meters, Algona’s Gavin Weber narrowly missed his personal best of 2:00.56, running 2:00.91 to place 20th. Weber had to battle for position all throughout the race after his lane 2 assignment, starting nearly all the way on the inside of the track and having to battle through traffic on a couple different occasions in the two lap race. Weber was nearly tripped up with 120 meters left, as another runner made contact with him, but he regained his balance for the finishing kick to place 20th. Weber ran solid splits to get under 2:01, splitting 58 seconds for the first 400 meters and 62 for the 2nd 400 of the race.

As the afternoon rolled around, athletes battled a headwind and temperatures down on the track nearing 90 degrees. West Bend-Mallard sophomore Maddie Fehr earned her second career state medal, and first in the 100 meters, placing 7th in the girls class 1A finals in 13.16 seconds.

In the final race of her high school career, Bishop Garrigan senior Reagan Murphy earned her first career individual state medal, and second medal of the day joining the 800 medley, with a seventh place finish in the girls class 1A 100 hurdles in 16.73 seconds. Murphy will return to the track next season in college for Wayne State.

In the girls class 1A 200 meter dash, West Bend-Mallard sophomore Maddie Fehr improved her placing by two spots from last season, finishing 6th in 26.59. The state medal was the second of the weekend, and third in the young career of Fehr.

In the boys class 3A 200 meter dash, Algona sophomore Evan Allie took home his first career state medal, and only state medal of the weekend for the Bulldog boys team, placing 8th in 22.67.

After sneaking into state by just a couple of seconds with an at large bid, West Bend-Mallard sophomore Tyra Schupbach ran like a seasoned veteran, finishing 11th in 5:04.49, missing out on a bid for a second state medal of the weekend by less than four seconds, and setting a new personal best. Schupbach was near the back of the pack in the initial stages of the race, but quickly worked her way up heading into the second lap, clocking a 54 second split over the first 300 meters. Battling the blazing heat, Schupbach settled in to a consistent pace in the next two laps, lurking just outside of the top eight, picking out her spots to make moves. Schupbach’s 2nd lap split was 81 seconds, and 3rd lap in 84 seconds. Heading into the final 200 meters of the race, Schupbach moved into 9th place and right behind the 8th place runner, but would be outkicked by a couple of athletes over the final meters of the race, ending in 11th place with an 83 second split for the final lap.

In the final event of the day for KLGA area athletes, Algona sophomore Gavin Weber completed his fourth race of the weekend, placing 21st in the boys class 3A 1600 meters in 4:42.16. Weber started quickly, with a 65 second first lap, and came through 800 meters in 2:15, but lost steam after that, covering the final 800 meters in 2:26. The weekend wrapped up a busy postseason for Weber, one that saw him help lead Algona to a second straight boys conference title by winning the 800, 1600, and 3200 at the North Central Conference meet, in addition to running a leg on the 4×400 relay, as well as running the 800, 1600, 3200, and 1600 meter medley at the district and state meets.

Athlete Interviews

Bishop Garrigan girls class 1A 800 meter sprint medley (Emmi Bartolo, Zoe Montag, Reagan Murphy, Abbie Capesius)

Bishop Garrigan boys class 1A 800 meter sprint medley (Caden Roethler, Owen Murphy, Trayton Cink, Justin Bauer)

Algona boys class 3A 800 meter sprint medley (Will Weichert, Jack Limbaugh, Ashton Moreno, Evan Allie)

Macy Knapp – Algona – girls class 3A 800 meter run

Gavin Weber – Algona – boys class 3A 800 meter run

Maddie Fehr – West Bend-Mallard – girls class 1A 100 meter dash

Reagan Murphy – Bishop Garrigan – girls class 1A 100 meter hurdles

Maddie Fehr – West Bend-Mallard – girls class 1A 200 meter dash

Evan Allie – Algona – boys class 3A 200 meter dash

Tyra Schupbach – West Bend-Mallard – girls class 1A 1500 meter run

Gavin Weber – Algona – boys class 3A 1600 meter run

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