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The 2022 Iowa High School Co-ed State Track Meet is in the books after taking place at Drake University May 19-21.
Mount Ayr took 11 events between the Raider and Raiderette teams and the Mount Ayr athletes performed at a high level in front of almost 30,000 fans.
At the State Meet, four school records were broken and the other seven events all made the MACHS All-Time list.
Mount Ayr sophomore, Ryce Reynolds, became a two-time State Champion in the 400 meter run where he also ran the second fastest time between classes 1A and 4A, and the 400 meter hurdles where he was the fastest hurdler in the state, through all classes. His time of 53.03 in the 400 meter hurdles broke his own record set earlier in the year, and Reynolds now owns the record in the 400 meter run at 48.22, breaking Kyle Dolecheck’s record of 48.35 set in 2015.
“It feels amazing, I can’t imagine a better feeling in the world,” said Reynolds. “I crossed the finish line and it was instant feeling of joy and pride.”
The athletes were battling 90 degree weather again on Thursday, before it turned cold on Friday and Saturday, but that didn’t hinder Reynolds.
“Weather has not been up to par this season, but I knew coming in this would be my last open 400 of the season and had to end it with a bang,” said Reynolds. “I just wanted to stay smooth and battle through it. Coming into the season, the 400 record was one that I was aiming for. I’ve gotten pretty close, but it felt good to get it this year.”
Senior Adler Shay placed fifth in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:59.27 which ranks fourth on the MACHS All-Time list.
“It means a lot and I just wanted to go out there and leave a mark,” said Shay. “It was a tough race and I knew I needed to get out. It was a slow pace first lap but turned it on the last lap. Overall I’m proud.”
Shay reflected on his time as a Raider track member.
“Lots of memories, definitely going to remember the friendships we made,” said Shay. “It’s nice to get people to come out for track and the coaches are great. They made me into the guy I am today with all the work they put me through and the advice they’ve given me over the years.”
The Raider distance medley team of Preston Fleharty, Jaydon Knight, Austin Cole and Adler Shay finished seven at the State Meet with a time of 3:41.14.
The 800 medley team of Austin Cole, Jaydon Knight, Adler Shay and Ryce Reynolds placed fourth at the meet with a time of 1:35.9, narrowly missing the school record by .09 to put them second on the All-Time list.
The Raider 4×400 team had a rough outing, despite placing the second-best time in the State in the preliminary race on Friday.
Confusion, after the second hand-off, saw Mount Ayr’s runner and another runner collide in lane four which resulted in a disqualification.
Addy Reynolds, in her final appearance on the track for the Raiderettes, became a two-time State runner-up, while also setting a new school record in the 200 meter run. Her previous record was 26.22 and on the Blue Oval she set a time of 25.93, as the new bar.
“It means a lot,” said Reynolds about her last time running. “I’m glad I can get a PR, it means a lot that I gave it my all on my last race.”
It was also Reynolds last time running at the Blue Oval, a goal she had set when she was a freshman.
“This was the best weekend anyone could ask for,” said Reynolds. “I’ve done consistently better. I cannot complain. I am thankful for every opportunity and to run in front of all these people is a dream come true. To be able to do as well as we have, boys and girls, has been amazing.”
In the 400 meter run, Reynolds was runner-up after finishing with a time of 58.28.
Reynolds reflected on her entire career as a Raiderette and her favorite moment running track.
“Watching my brother [ Ryce Reynolds] get two-state championships is my favorite moment,” said Reynolds. “He’s been dreaming about that forever and I knew he was able to do it and to see that come true is the best big sister moment I could ever ask for.”
The shuttle hurdle team of Maddie Stewart, Tegan Streit, Kacee Klommhaus and Ryleigh Haveman rana season best time of 1:11.24 and finished 11th to kick off the State Meet on Thursday, May 19.
The Raiderette 4×200 team of Payten Lambert, Makenna Jones, Jaxy Knight, Addy Reynolds and Kaylie Shields placed sixth at State with a time of 1:49.15 to place them third All-Time on the MACHS list.
Kaylie Shields, Payten Lambert, Jaxy Knight and Addy Reynolds made up the Raiderette 800 medley relay team and were the class 1A runner-up while breaking the school record of 1:53.05, set last year at the 2021 State Track Meet. The 2022 team set a time of 1:51.84.
Coach Brad Elliott reflected on the meet as a whole after things ended on Saturday.
“The boys were incredile and Adler Shay runs a fourth best time in the 800, probably his best race. It’s probably one of the best senior races I’ve seen an athlete compete. The crazy thing is that time, some years, is enough to win the meet,” said coach Elliott. “An outstanding career for Adler Shay to end his career in that 800. On the girls side any medal in the top three was capable with that group. They were ready to go and it was nice to see our girls go out and answer the call.”
“You just can’t help having tears and getting emotional,” said Elliott. “We love the kids and they’ve put in a great effort this season and our community should be very proud of these kids.”
The Mount Ayr Raiders and Raiderettes both placed seventh overall in their respective team standings.