HAMPTON — For the second straight season, senior Heather Jessen and junior Sailor Hinegardner are heading to the state track and field meet in individual events.
Jessen won the 3,000-meter run and Hinegardner was the runner-up in the long jump, and those finishes helped the Collins-Maxwell/Baxter girls’ track and field team to a third place team finish.
Sophomore Lauren Ratliff also punched her ticket to the state meet with a runner-up finish in the 800.
In the end, members of the Raider boys and girls teams ran one last lap together as Baxter and Collins-Maxwell will go their separate ways next season.
“This is a bittersweet end to the CMB Raider track team,” CMB girls coach Jerry Meinerts said. “As we go our separate ways next year, it was fitting that our girls and boys team ran one last lap after the meet was over, singing the Raider fight song on the home stretch as they finished together one last time.
“Many tears were shed tonight. Some happy tears as we had girls qualify for state, some sad tears as that will be the last time I hear the Raider fight song.”
The top two finishers in each event in all Class 2A state qualifiers advance to next week’s state meet. The next best eight times, distances and heights earn at-large berths in each event.
On the boys’ side, CMB senior Brady Kemp was not a top-two finisher in the shot put but his distance of 51-1 1/2 got him an at-large berth. Sophomore Will Clapper’s best throw was 49-9 1/4, and that too earned an at-large berth.
Jessen won the 3,000 with a season-best time of 11 minutes, 34.59 seconds. She’ll run in the event at the state meet for the second straight year.
Jessen will run the event with sophomore teammate Brenna Thomson, who earned an at-large berth with a time of 11:49.24. She was fourth at the state qualifier after running with Jessen most of the way.
Hinegardner qualified state in the long jump for the second straight season. She entered the finals in fifth place but a leap of 15 feet, 7 1/2 inches earned her a second-place finish. She missed first place by an inch.
“It really wasn’t a good day at the long jump, but it only takes one good jump to qualify,” Meinerts said. “We couldn’t get her steps right for some reason. She was able to get some run throughs before finals, and we got her dialed in.”
Hinegardner gained a second individual event when her time of 16.56 seconds in the 100 hurdles got her an at-large berth. She was third in the event at the state qualifier.
The final automatic qualifier was Ratliff in the 800. Her state-meet qualifying time was 2:30.62.
Ratliff was third in the 1,500 with a personal-best time of 5:13.89. That was six seconds faster than her previous best time but it did not earn at-large berth despite being a faster time than four automatic qualifiers.
The other third-place finish came from the 4x100 relay team.
The 4x100 relay team of freshman Rachel Kenney, junior Brianda Bane, senior Megan Ritter and Hinegardner finished third with a time of 52.87 seconds. That’s a top 30 time in 2A but did not qualify for the state meet.
The shuttle hurdle relay was fourth, but the time of 1:11.50 ranks in the top 20 in 2A. That foursome includes sophomore Gracie Cheville, Bane, junior Mary Schabilion and Hinegardner. The time was not fastest enough to earn an at-large berth.
The state track meet starts May 18 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines and runs through May 20.