It was a wild night both weather wise and on the track Thursday in a Class 3A state qualifying meet in Grimes. The top 2 individuals in each event qualified for the state tournament next weekend at the Jim Duncan Track in Des Moines. The Perry Jayettes were led by freshman Emma Olenjzack. Olenjzack won the 400 in a time of 64 flat. “Emma was absolutely awesome today, commented Emi Einck. “She has worked really hard all season and tonight she put it all together. I am so happy for her.”
The Bluejays entered the night a little banged up. Their top 2 long jumpers Will Whiton and Ben Daniels were both fighting hamstring issues. However, Whiton was able to overcome the ailment and won the event in only one jump with a leap of 2-8-1/2 inches. “That was our goal coming in with Will,” commented Perry Head Coach Cody Eichmeyer, “We wanted him to nail his first jump so we could shut it down and not risk pushing his hammy too much. We will try to get him rested and healed for next weekend.”
Whiton wasn’t done. He finished second in the 100 meter dash to punch his ticket to state as well.
The wild race of the night occurred in the 2 mile when Keegan Pau knocked off seven seconds from his previous personal best to qualify for the state for the first time in his career. Pau dodged hail pellets as well during the race as the sky opened up with brief small hail during the race.
The other state qualifier for Perry was Scott James in the high jump. He followed up his Raccoon River Conference title with a state qualifying meet championship after clearing 6-0. He failed on his attempt at 6-2.
Perry will wait for later today to find out if their 4×400 meter relay will qualify.