By Kristi Nixon
DES MOINES — Most of the faces have changed, but the result during the last few years has remained the same.
The Saint Ansgar girls shuttle hurdle relay will be racing in the Class 1A final on Saturday, May 20.
The quartet of Kenzie Peterson, Brylee Wynia, Maria Michels and Aspen Falk recorded a personal best of 1 minute, 9.71 to qualify fifth for the final, making it at least three years in a row for the the Saints. Only Falk returns from the last two years.
“We know we PR’ed,” Falk said. “Not sure of the time, but it felt good for everybody, I think. I think having Stanton, they were ranked first, having them in front of us helped us all push a little bit more. Good PR.”
One of the favorites, Algona Garrigan, fell down on the third leg in the second of six heats, but anchor Molly Joyce made up the difference and qualified with the sixth-fastest time.
Even though Wynia and Michels hit a few hurdles, both felt like they did their best.
“I think I was too close to the hurdle, pushing so hard to try to keep up with Stanton,” Wynia said. “I hit a few but it’s okay. I still feel like I did a good time.”
Michels added, “I hit a few hurdles, but that’s okay. It helped seeing Kenzie come in fast, it brought out the adrenaline. I was like, ‘I’ve got to go!’ Seeing Briley and Aspen finish it off, I think they did a great job.”
The quartet was concerned with Stanton in their heat, which qualified with the fourth-best time at 1:08.59. They had the highest seed coming in.
“I felt good, kept up with Stanton, right by her, I think,” Peterson said. “Maybe ahead of her a little bit and I felt good. I three-stepped most of them, so that was good.”
The Saints finished ahead of all of the teams that finished ahead of them at the state qualifier the week before.