The Cascade girls track and field team might have won only two events at the River Valley Conference meet in Camanche May 2, but they still earned enough points to call themselves conference champions. They racked up 113 points to earn the conference crown, 20 points ahead of second place Mid-Prairie (92). Anamosa (80) was third and Northeast, Goose Lake (76.50) took fourth. Iowa City Regina and Tipton tied for fifth (60) followed by Monticello (48), North Cedar (44), West Liberty (43), West Branch (39), Wilton (32), Bellevue (23) Durant (20) and Camanche (10.50).
“It was a great night to win the championship in a talented and competitive conference. Going into the meet we knew we would have to perform well to have a chance and in just about every event we performed at or above seed. Our depth and balance proved to be the difference as we scored in all but four events and placed twice in several running events,” said Tim Frake, head coach of the Cougars. “We should have plenty of confidence going into the state-qualifying meet and look forward to an exciting night Thursday.”
Madison Kelchen ran a season’s best 11:26.95 to win the 3,000-meter run. Her time was 25.05 seconds faster than her previous best time of the season.
The 4x800 team of Marie Knepper, Abby Welter, Kelchen and Madeline Rhomberg can also call themselves conference champions in that event taking the title with a time of 10:08.01.
The Cougars had two athletes earn points in five running events. The best result was in the 1,500 where Madeline Rhomberg was second (5:06.85) and Kelchen fifth (5:24.49) cutting a second and a half off her best time this season.
Rhomberg ran a personal best 2:24.35 to place third in the 800 and Marie Knepper also ran a personal best 2:32.15 to earn sixth place in that event.
Jordan Simon (16.92) and Mae Felton (17.38) were third and fourth in the 100-hurdles.
Rachel Trumm was third in the 200 with a season’s best 27.73. She was fourth in the 400 (62.78), a personal record and Knepper was sixth (63.70) a season’s best. The final double point finish was in the 400-hurdles when Elizabeth Gibbs ran a PR 69.33 to take fifth place and Rachel Rhomberg’s PR of 1:12.54 was good enough for seventh place.
Kelchen ran a season’s best 5:24.49 to take fifth in the 1,500 and Anna McDermott cleared 4-8 to take seventh in the high jump.
As always, the relay races were kind to the Cougars as they earned points in five events. The Cougars ran a season best time of 4:15.12 to take second place in the 4x400 (Trumm, Knepper, Welter and Gibbs). They also logged a season-best time of 4:23.20, over five seconds faster in the distance medley relay (Molly McElmeel, Libby Felton, Welter and Madeline Rhomberg) to take second in that event. The shuttle hurdle team of Mae Felton, Rachel Rhomberg, Gibbs and Simon placed second with a season best time 1:09.14.
McElmeel, Libby Felton, Knapp and Simon combined to take third in the 4 x100 (53.36) and the sprint medley squad of McElmeel, Libby Felton, Knapp and Trumm ran a season best 1:55.88 for a fourth-place finish.
Three days earlier, the Cougars competed in the Cardinal Relays in Maquoketa April 29 to get in some final work before the conference meet. Cascade had good success at the meet, but so did conference foes Northeast, Goose Lake who won the meet with 129 points. Central DeWitt was second (117) ahead of the Cougars (92), Maquoketa (66), Easton Valley (63), Clinton (57) and Bellevue (51).
Madeline Rhomberg helped lead the charge winning the 800 (2:24.63) and Kelchen took the title in the 1,500 (5:26.75).
The Cougars 4x400 team of Trumm, Knepper, Welter and Gibbs (4:16.14) won that event and also took first in the 4x800 (10:03.26). Knepper, Madeline Rhomberg, Kelchen and Welter make up that team.
Libby Felton finished fourth (14.39) and Julia Ludwig sixth (14.91) in the 100.
In the 200, Trumm (27.80) was second and Knapp fourth (28.57).
Rachel Rhomberg was third (1:12.10) in the 400-hurdles and Libby Felton fifth in the 100-hurdles.
Sophie Callahan took fifth in the long jump (13-07.5) and Anna McDermott sixth (4-4) in the high jump.
In the relays, the Cougars’ 4x200 Molly McElmeel, Taylor Menster, Marie Knepper and Elizabeth Gibbs were second (1:53.29) and so was the sprint medley team of McElmeel, Taylor Menster, Knapp and Rachel Trumm (1:56.36).
The Cougars’ 4x100 team of McElmeel, Menster, Knapp and Jordan Simon where third (53.77) and the distance medley team of Brooke Denniston, Sophie Callahan, Alexis Shaffer and Harley Bradtke earned fifth (5:00.61).