Comets Collins, Staudt, Vais among event winners at NEIC Indoor Meet
By John Burbridge
DECORAH — Some corny metaphors are just too tempting to resist when they align with opportunity, so forgive the following passage.
At the Northeast Iowa Conference Indoor Meet held Tuesday at Luther College, several of the Charles City’s returning state-qualifying jumpers have already gotten off to a flying start a week before outdoor competition.
Comet senior Lydia Staudt and sophomore Keely Collins, respective state medal winners in the long and high jumps, were winners in those events at Luther College.
Staudt, who placed sixth in the LJ at state last spring, recorded a flight to 16 feet, 8 inches to win the NEIC Indoor gold.
Collins, who placed second in the HJ at state and has the school record with a clear of 5 feet, 6 inches, nearly matched that personal-and-Comet record with a first-place clear of 5-4.
Comet senior Nakila Toney was second in the HJ with a clear of 4-10; Comet freshman Mya Rimrod placed sixth in the long jump with a flight of 13-05.5.
Staudt also won the 200 dash (27.62) with junior teammate Janila Toney placing sixth (30.25).
Collins placed third in the 400 dash (1:09.72) with junior teammate Olivia Litterer placing sixth (1:10.66).
Comet freshman Leah Stewart placed third in the shot put (32 feet, 7 inches), and the Comet 1600 Medley Relay team of Rachel Chambers, Destiny Kolheim, Kaylee Hennick and Staudt placed second with a time of 4:45.96.
On the boys side, Charles City senior Jacob Vais continues to make up for lost time due to a series of injuries that have hampered his underclass seasons as the cross country state qualifier paced the 1600 run field with a first-place time of 4:54.35 — nearly 40 seconds better than his best 1600 effort last season.
Teammate Xander Graeser, who was a rare boys freshman cross country state individual qualifier this past fall, placed third in the 1600 (4:55.31) ahead of Comet senior Jared Johnson (5:17.36).
Comet sophomore Josiah Cunnings placed second in the high jump while clearing 6-feet even for the first time — Griffin Franksain placed third for the Comets (5-10) — and third in the long jump (19-05).
Comet senior Tino Tamayo, who was a Drake Relays and state qualifier in the discus last year, placed third in the shot put with a personal-best throw of 46 feet, 10 inches.
In the 200 dash, Comet seniors Mario Hoefer and Malcolm Lopez placed fifth and sixth with respective times of 24.86 and 25.03 seconds.
In the 400 dash, Comet junior Ethan Peterson placed fourth (58.89).
The Charles City 4-by-400 Relay team of Franksain, Clayton Rand, Johnson and Lopez placed second with a time of 3:45.01 — a half-second behind the winning Waverly-Shell Rock team.