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Anna Hostetler continued her remarkable year on Thursday in Des Moines, running away with the Drake Relays 3,000-meter championship.
The Golden Hawks finished the weekend with six top-seven finishes from Anna Hostetler, Marie Hostetler, and Levi Duwa. Lone Tree’s Niko Gosnell finished sixth in the high jump and the Mid-Prairie 4x800-meter relay finished 12th.
Only four Iowa athletes have ever won a state cross country title, a Drake Relays 3,000 meter race, and a 3,000 meter state championship in the same school year.
With three weeks remaining before the state track meet, Anna Hostetler took the second step toward completing Iowa’s distance triple crown, finishing with a 14-second personal best of 9:51.08. The time landed the 2A state cross country champion at No. 12 on the IGHSAU all-time 3,000-meter leader board.
Marie Hostetler finished second with a time of 9:56.78, becoming the only other Iowa high school runner to finish the race in under 10 minutes this year.
“It’s really exciting, and to do it with Marie right behind me was super exciting,” Anna said after the race. “Coming in, we were nervous, but knowing that God was with us every step of the way… it really calms our nerves.”
Marie surrendered the 3000-meter school record to her older sister just 20 days after running a state-leading time of 10:03.20 at the Creek Classic in Tiffin.
“Its OK,” Marie laughed after the race. “Anna worked hard for it. She deserves it probably more than I do. I’m proud of her.”
The two Golden Hawks each ran a new season-best in Saturday’s 1,500-meter race as well. Anna finished second with a time of 4:34.20, while Marie finished fourth in 4:43.36.
It was nine seconds faster than Anna’s previous low for the season, and four seconds faster than her 2016 2A state title time.
“I was really happy with how the race went, I thought it couldn’t have gone much better,” she said.
“I was hoping to get under my previous PR, knowing that I was in better shape and hadn’t run that fast yet this year.”
Anna was in front after 700 meters before giving up the lead to Joy Ripslinger of Davenport Assumption on the third lap. Marie was in seventh place with three laps to go, but moved into fourth place and held her position.
Anna also ran her best 800-meter race of the season, finishing fifth with her time of 2:16.35 on Friday.
The conditions were poor, with a temperature of 40 degrees in the wind and rain.
“We were freezing before the race even started but it turned out OK,” said Hostetler, who stumbled on the wet track with 400 meters remaining.
“It was pretty cold, but you also have to realize that sometimes it can get to people’s heads. You have to not let it affect you and just stay determined even though it’s raining and cold.”
Ripslinger, the two-time 3A state champion in the event, finished over four seconds ahead of the field.
Lone Tree’s Niko Gosnell placed sixth in the high jump. He was one of only four athletes to clear 6-feet, 5-inches on his first attempt at that height.
“I felt like it went OK,” he said. “The jump that I hit at six-one the first time, I felt a little slow and then when I cleared six three the first time, that one felt more smooth.”
Gosnell had just one miss out of four attempts before reaching 6-7, which would have been a new personal best. J’Von Harris of Oskaloosa missed his first two attempts at 6-5 before clearing the bar and going on to win with a jump of 6-9.
The worst of Levi Duwa’s five measured throws on Thursday would have made him a Drake Relays shot put champion in 2014.
This year, he finished seventh during a historic shot put competition on the infield of the blue oval. Duwa’s toss of 57-9½ was good for fifth place heading into the finals, behind four throwers who had each gone over 60 feet, a first for the Drake Relays.
In the finals, Jared Brinkman of Regina took the lead with a throw of 65-2½ before Tristan Wirfs of Mount Vernon uncorked the winning attempt of 66-3½. Wirfs, like Duwa, is a member of Iowa’s incoming football class.
“It was cool to be a part of, that’s for sure,” Duwa said. “Obviously, we didn’t really end up quite where we wanted to. We were hoping to get over 60 and it didn’t quite happen. Being a part of that field and ending up where I was, it was a good accomplishment.
“I think we’re gaining, but we’ve got a lot of work to do before state.”
Mid-Prairie’s 4x800-meter relay of Abby Tornow, Marie Hostetler, Kate Cavanagh and Anna Hostetler finished 12th with a time of 9:50.42. Mid-Prairie was in eighth place after the first two legs of the relay.
Anna Hostleter passed runners from Dubuque Wahlert and Indianola on the anchor leg as the Golden Hawks nearly equaled their second-best finish of the season.
Mid-Prairie is one of only two Class 2A 4x800 relays to run a time under 9:52 this year. River Valley Conference member Monticello finished fourth in the race with a season-best time of 9:33.82.