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The first few steps of the 100-meter dash did not go the way that Emily Yahnke had planned.
Almost everything else in Thursday’s district meet did.
The Highland sophomore came from behind to win that race, took first in the long jump, and anchored two state-qualifying relays at the 1A district meet hosted by WACO.
Yahnke worked hard to get back on the track after straining a hamstring after the Huskies’ home meet on April 30.
“I’ve been at physical therapy almost every day since the injury, trying to recover and get back as soon as possible,” she said.
When she stepped to the starting line of the 100-meter race, she faced a new challenge.
“I had some really old (starting) blocks,” Yahnke said. “I had the oldest blocks there and I couldn’t fix how it was positioned.”
“I had a really bad start, but I made up for it in the middle.”
Yahnke caught Sigourney senior Autumn Barthelman and finished a tenth of a second ahead of the 2017 1A state runner-up. She received an automatic bid in the long jump, finishing ahead of last year’s 1A long jump champion, Rylee Menster of Springville. Her jump of 17-feet 3-inches led all 1A qualifiers and she has a goal of a top-three finish at the state meet.
“I’m really excited, because last year I got 11th in 2A,” she said. “This year it’s 1A, not as hard of a competition, but still really good jumpers.”
The Huskie quartet of Sarah Schneider, Aly Stokes, Kristy Thomann and Yahnke finished second in both the 4x200-meter and 4x100-meter relays, but the runners were confident that their times would qualify.
On Friday, the girls learned that they had qualified.
“It was a really good feeling,” Stokes said. “The rest of the girls, we were all in class together and we were all really excited.
With a high seeding, the girls have high expectations for the state meet.
“It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s also something to look forward to,” Stokes said.
Stokes was also one of six long jumpers to qualify from the Wayland meet with her fifth place finish of 15-5. Stokes medalled in the event at the 2016 state meet.
Led by the state qualifiers, the Highland girls finished second out of the 15 teams with 92 points. Danville won with 119.
Lisbon took the boys district title with 130.5 points. The Huskies finished 13th with 17 points, led by Zack Lasek’s third-place finish in the shot put and his state-qualifying fourth place finish in the discus.
Lasek’s longest throw of the day came on his third attempt at the discus, but he almost didn’t allow his state-qualifying throw to be recorded.
“It felt terrible,” he said. “It did not feel good at all. I was actually about to scratch it, but I thought, ‘you know what, I need to get at least one off obviously,’ so I just let it go and it ended up being 133 (feet).
“It was relieving to see that I actually made it while not performing my best, so hopefully, my best is yet to come.”
“It was a great night to run and we had a lot of personal best times,” coach Angela Strobel said. “The kids were really competitive, especially on the girls side.
“Every race that they were put in, they were competitive, getting points for the team. So I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out this season.”
Girls results (place, name, result):
100 meter dash – 1, Emily Yahnke, 12.67.
200 meter dash – 13, Jenna Sands, 30.73. 15, Alyssa Clarke, 30.91.
800 meter run – 3, Taylor Sublette, 2:40.78. 5, Madison Thomann, 2:43.17
1500 meter run – 3, Zoe Mahler, 5:42.81. 4, Taylor Sublette, 5:44.04.
3000 meter run – 6, Alli Brand, 14:06.60. 7, Fiona Mahler, 15:15.03.
100 meter hurdles – 8. Bailey Harmston, 17.87.
4x100 meter relay – 2, Schneider, Stokes, K. Thomann, Yahnke, 52.33.
4x200 meter relay – 2, Schneider, Stokes, K. Thomann, Yahnke, 1:49.25.
4x400 meter relay – 9, Beinhart, Clarke, Sands, M. Thomann, 4:53.50.
4x800 meter relay – 4, Z. Mahler, Clarke, M. Thomann, Sublette, 11:22.13.
Sprint medley – 4, Beinhart, K. Thomann, Schneider, Stokes, 1:59.91.
Distance medley – 7, Harmston, Beinhart, Sands, F. Mahler, 5:15.00.
High jump – 5, Bailey Harmston, 4-08
Long jump – 1, Emily Yahnke, 17-3. 5, Aly Stokes, 15-5.
Discus – 8, Kaylee Rath, 88-3. 24, Carrie Jacobson, 52-2.
Shot put – 2, Kaylee Rath 32-11. 15, Carrie Jacobson, 25-1.5.
Boys results (place, name, result):
100 meter dash – 17, Bryce Waters, 12.72
200 meter dash – 16, Bryce Waters, 26.62. 23, Samuel Davis, 29.02.
400 meter dash – 18, Jacob Roling, 1:03.82. 23, Samuel Davis, 1:08.75
800 meter run – 9, Bryan Redlinger, 2:22.19. 13, Mason Manley, 2:30.70
1600 meter run – 12, Bryan Redlinger, 5:37.81. 15, Jacob Roling, 5:51.67.
4x200 meter relay – 6, Waters, Brown, McFarland, Jepson, 1:42.47
Distance medley – 8, Brown, McFarland, Manley, Redlinger, 4:12.96.
Sprint medley – 8, Jepson, McFarland, Brown, Manley, 1:46.85.
Long jump – 8, Jacob Roling, 14-2. 10, Samuel Davis, 13-7.
Discus – 4, Zack Lasek 133-4. 17, Bradley Rodgers, 99-2.
Shot put – 3, Zach Lasek, 42-6.5. 25, Bradley Rodgers, 31-4.25.