Van Meter track and field athletes competed in eight events at the state meet in Des Moines. Meagan Blomgren represented the Bulldogs in three of those eight events.
Blomgren took part in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and long jump. She was the lone VM athlete on the girls’ side to qualify for state.
In the 100-meter dash, the freshman fell just short of qualifying for the finals. She placed 10th with a time of 13.27 seconds. Blomgren took 17th in the 200-meter dash preliminaries, coming in at 26.99.
Blomgren gave Van Meter a 15th-place finish in the long jump. Her best distance came on her second jump, when she reached 15 feet, 9.25 inches.
It was not an easy journey for the freshman Bulldog. Blomgren said she was barely able to walk six months ago because of a spinal fusion surgery. She was pleased with her results, even if she didn’t win at state.
The atmosphere of competing at state was something Blomgren had not experienced before.
"When I first walked in (to Drake Stadium), I thought, ‘Man, it’s really colorful here.’ So many people, but it’s not that nerve-wracking after all," Blomgren said.
She didn’t expect to go to the finals at state. Instead, Blomgren was focused on improving her personal records. Competing with the best high school athletes in the state was rewarding.
"Beginning of the season I was kind of rough, but I kept working," Blomgren said. "Now I’m here."
VM’s boys were represented by Jack Trudo in the 3200-meter run and Connor Guess in the shot put. The Bulldogs also ran in three relays at state.
Trudo placed 14th in the 3200-meter with a time of 10:20.59. Guess took 17th in the shot put. His best distance came on his third attempt when he hit 46-00.25.
In the 4x200-meter relay, VM sent the group of Zach Forret, Carson Rhodes, Anthony Lowman and Jake Koch. The Bulldogs finished 11th with a time of 1:31.89.
In the 4x100-meter relay preliminaries, VM was represented by the same group of four. They finished 17th with a mark of 44.57.
The Bulldogs sent Forret, Cameron Smolik, Alec Potthoff and Koch to compete in the 4x400-meter relay. The group took 21st in the preliminaries, coming in at 3:33.79.
With tough competition across the state, qualifying for eight events was a notable accomplishment for VM.