Storms Can’t Stop Trojan Track


Alex Sonntag

Colton Rasmussen battles through the 110m hurdles. Rasmussen qualified in the high jump, long jump, and shuttle hurdle relay.

Claire Pellett, Editor

On a stormy Thursday night, the Atlantic boys and girls track runners competed to the last millisecond at the State Qualifying Meet in Carroll. The two teams have been competitive all season and they were looking forward to the chance to qualify for the state meet.

There are two ways to qualify for the state meet and each event has 24 spots. Runners can either qualify automatically by placing first or second in their event at one of the eight district meets or runners can qualify by an at-large spot. At-large spots are attained by running in the next eight fastest times across the class 3A districts.

The boys team exceeded expectations by attaining automatic qualification in four relays and three individual events. The team also grabbed two more individual events at the state meet in the at-large spots. Colton Rasmussen secured a spot in high jump placing first and Jayden Proehl grabbed an at-large spot. C. Rasmussen also attained an at-large spot in the long jump.

The girls team came into the meet with high expectations. With a multitude of successes all season long, including an appearance at the Drake Relays in two events, the team was ready to showcase their abilities. They qualified five events automatically and had five at-large qualifications.

The running events started off strong with a second-place finish in the girls 800 sprint medley relay, consisting of Hailey Huffman, Morgan Botos, Jayci Reed, and Ava Rush. The relay battled through pouring rain and high winds as they competed for their spot. The boys 800 sprint medley relay came from behind with Carter Pellett on the anchor. He took his team of Keelin Rasmussen, Jackson McLaren, and Jaice Larson from sixth place to second to qualify by finishing .04 seconds in front of his competitors. 

The Atlantic, Glenwood, and Harlan girls’ track teams huddle together in the locker room during the storm. The racing resumed after one 30-minute break but the rain continued throughout the night.

Unfortunately, the night took a turn when a lightning delay caused the girls 3000m runners to stop midrace. Fans took shelter in their cars while most teams took shelter in their buses or the locker rooms. After 30 minutes, the racing resumed and the 4x800m relay was next in line for their tickets. The girls 4x800m relay finished in second place consisting of Aubrey Guyer, Claire Pellett, Mariah Huffman, and Rush. The boys 4x800m relay finished in first place after a tough battle from the anchor Alex Sonntag. The other relay members consisted of Caden Anderson, Bennett Whetsone, and Tanner O’Brien.

The next double qualifier for the Trojans was the shuttle hurdle relay. The girls finished in second place with a team including Botos, Chloe Mullenix, Adler Bruce, and Reed. The boys team crossed the line in first place with a team including McLaren, C. Rasmussen, Alex Keiser, and Easton O’Brien. 

The distance medley was an at-large qualifier for the girls team with H. Huffman, Nicole Middents, Mullenix, and Clr. Pellett. Rush placed first in the 400m dash and punched her ticket individually. Reed placed fourth in the 100m hurdles and grabbed an at-large spot. McLaren also qualified in the 110m hurdles placing second.

I’m looking forward to just being with the team, the experience of state last year was just a blast.

— Carter Pellett

The girls team had two individual qualifiers in the 800m run with Rush placing first and Claire Pellett placing third. Botos qualified herself in the 400m hurdles through an at-large spot. Jadyn Cox qualified for the 400m hurdles on the boys side placing first. 

The night finished with a double qualification from the boys and girls 4x400m relay teams. The boy’s relay consisted of Tyson O’Brien, Whetstone, Anderson, and Carter Pellett and they crossed the finish line in first. “I told my coaches before that was the race I wasn’t allowing us to not qualify in,” said Carter Pellett. The girl’s team finished fourth with a team of Middents, M. Huffman, Mullenix, and Claire Pellett. 

Both teams anticipated a strong showing and were satisfied with their performances. Some qualifiers were happy enough with making it to state but others are looking to make a showing. Rush said, “I definitely think we can score points and medal in some events. I’m just excited to have fun at my last high school meet.” 

The teams will compete on May 18, 19, and 20 at Drake Stadium. “I’m looking forward to just being with the team, the experience of state last year was just a blast,” said Carter Pellett.