DES MOINES – Ballard sophomore Abby Kohut-Jackson topped her freshman performance by placing in two events at the state coed track meet last Thursday through Saturday at Drake Stadium.
On Saturday, Kohut-Jackson finished fifth in the Class 3A girls’ 800-meter run and seventh in the 1,500. She came in 11th in the 800 and sixth in the 1,500 as a freshman.
“Abby ran two nice races,” Ballard head girls’ track coach Scott Barth said. “Although these weren’t her two best races of the season, she performed well and scored six points for us. She has room for growth, especially in the confidence area. She is growing from year to year and with solid conditioning and confidence, I expect her junior season to be better . She is an excellent runner.”
On Saturday morning, Kohut-Jackson ran a time of two minutes, 18.71 seconds in the 800 to place fifth and easily top her 2:23.42 showing at state last year.
“My goal was top five and I just made it,” Kohut-Jackson said. “I knew it was going to be more competitive than last year; I was kind of surprised how close everyone was on the first lap. I knew I just had to break away and get with the leaders to do my best.”
A big kick at the end enabled Kohut-Jackson to earn a spot in the top five.
“I knew I had some left at the end,” Kohut-Jackson said. “So I was just going to use that because it was time to go.”
In the 1,500 later that afternoon, Kohut-Jackson was competing in another loaded field. Her time of 4:51.58 was off her school-record 4:48 mark set at the Drake Relays earlier in the season, but it bested her freshman run at state by six seconds.
“It’s exciting when I know there’s real competition,” Kohut-Jackson said. “That makes it OK not placing as high as I did last year. I’m really running against some of the toughest girls in the state.”
With the points Kohut-Jackson racked up, Ballard ended up tied with Spencer for 26th place in the 3A girls’ team competition. Davenport Assumption easily won the title with 107 points and Mount Pleasant took second with a score of 77.
Rachel Watters was the other competitor at state for the Ballard girls.
Like Kohut-Jackson, Watters is a sophomore that also qualified for state as a freshman. She ran the 400 hurdles each time and finished 19th on both occasions.
Watters’ time of 1:11.66 was just a little off last year’s 1:10.96 showing on the blue oval.
“Rachel ran fairly well,” Barth said. “We had been working on getting to the first hurdle faster and then more closely maintaining speed after the sixth hurdle. She is a very good athlete and has a great upswing. With a continued focus on form and strategies, I am confident she can cut several more seconds off her time and compete for all-state honors.”
The Ballard boys’ track team competed in seven events at state. The Bombers improved their times coming into the meet in four of those events.
“I’m very proud of the all the guys and their efforts all season,” Ballard head boys’ track coach Al Christian said. “They represented Ballard well.”
Luke Kohut-Jackson turned in the top showing for the Ballard boys. He came in 10th in the 3,200 with a personal-best time of 9:53.26.
Isaiah Johnson also set a personal record in the open 400 for Ballard. He clocked in at :51.23 to place 16th.
Tyson Pritchard and Mason Edwards also competed in individual events for Ballard.
Pritchard ran in both the 100 and 200.
On Thursday, Pritchard completed the 100 prelims in :11.51 to place 14th. He came in 18th in the 200 prelims later that day with a :23.32 showing.
Edwards ran in the 110 high hurdle prelims on Friday. His time of :15.93 placed 21st and was just a little off his :15.51 qualifying time.
The Bomber boys ran in two relays as well. They placed 12th in the distance medley and 21st in the 4 X 400.
In the distance medley Kaleb Odden, and Max Stoltz teamed with Pritchard and Johnson to run a 3:40.58. That time was more than four seconds faster than their qualifying time.
In the 4 X 400 Odden, Pritchard and Johnson were joined by Kobe Schulze. They ran a 3:31.14 beat out their qualifying time of 3:32.81.
Solon won the 3A boys’ team championship with 50 points. Center Point took second with 42.25 points, Algona came in third with 40 points, Gilbert tallied a score of 37 to place fourth and Dallas Center-Grimes and Fort Madison tied for fifth with 34 points apiece.
Final Class 3A team scores (top 10 plus Ballard)
Girls: 1. Davenport Assumption 107, 2. Mount Pleasant 77, 3. Dubuque Wahlert 68, 4. Decorah 49, 5. Boone 39, 6. MOC-Floyd Valley 36, 7. Pella 32, 8. Gilbert 31, 9. ADM 29, 10. DCG 28, 26. (tie) Ballard and Spencer 6.
Boys: 1. Solon 50, 2. Center Point 42.25, 3. Algona 40, 4. Gilbert 37, 5. (tie) DCG and Fort Madison 34, 7. Bishop Heelan 33, 8. Boone 32, 9. (tie) Waverly-Shell Rock and Knoxville 26.
Individual results – Ballard
800-meter run – 5. Abby Kohut-Jackson, 2:18.71
400-meter hurdles – 19. Rachel Watters, 1:11.66
1,500-meter run – 7. Kohut-Jackson, 4:51.58
3,200-meter run – 10. Luke Kohut-Jackson, 9:53.26
100-meter dash – 14. Tyson Pritchard, :11.51
400-meter dash – 16. Isaiah Johnson, :51.53
110-meter high hurdles – 21. Mason Edwards, :15.93
200-meter dash – 18. Pritchard, :23.32
Distance medley relay – 12. Ballard (Kaleb Odden, Pritchard, Johnson, Max Stoltz), 3:40.58
4 X 400-meter relay – 21. Ballard (Odden, Pritchard, Kobe Schulze, Johnson), 3:31.14