14 Qualify for Drake


by Lexie Hagerty

The Simpson College track team is picking up the pace as it progresses through the outdoor season.

“We were able to jump ahead with our spring break trip,” coach Dave Cleveland said. “Then we went to Wartburg, built some momentum and have been making good strides from there.”

So far, three Storm athletes provisionally qualified for the National tournament within their first three meets, but several other Storm athletes aren’t far from qualifying either.

“We have some kids that haven’t taken that step yet,” Cleveland said. “They are excited to take that next step. So we are excited to see them so excited.”

Sophomore high jumper Kinsey Bak of Hinton, senior 100-meter hurdler Lauren Bucklin of Bondurant and 1,500 runner Catie Ellingson of Indianola all have provisionally qualified.

“We have become a team that other teams think about, where I don’t think that has always been the case,” Cleveland said.

Cleveland said his team has more depth in the outdoor season than in the indoor season.

“Some teams are better indoor and some are better outdoor,” Cleveland said. “The different events create different strengths and weaknesses for each team. We have more depth in the outdoor season.”

Many Storm athletes are close to provisionally qualifying for the national meet.

Senior Jess Christensen of Harlan broke the school record in the steeple chase and only missed the provisional time by 27 seconds.

Senior javelin thrower Ali Hagerty of Tama threw within a foot of the provisional mark.

Senior shot put thrower Scott Danielson of Dayton missed his provisional mark by .43 of a meter.

“I would like to get on that provisional list,” Danielson said. “Once I get on there, I would like to keep moving up.”

Cleveland said the Storm has depth in its throwing squad in which the men’s team has six shot put throwers alone.

“Throwing is definitely a strength for our outdoor season,” Danielson said. “We have a lot of throwers for certain events and where we don’t, we have quality.”

Senior thrower Stacy Bonertz of Swanton, Neb., said quality is what makes the women throwers competitive. The women’s team only has three throwers, two seniors and one junior.

“We make the best of what we got,” Bonertz said. “We don’t have quantity on the women’s side. It’s my and Ali’s last year and we want to go out with a bang.”

The Storm will send 14 athletes in 11 events to the Drake Relays in Des Moines on April 23-24.

On the women’s side, the Storm will be competing in the 4×100-meter relay, 4×200, 4×400 and 1600 sprint medley relay with Ellingson in the 800 and Bucklin in the 100 hurdles.

For the men, it will be the 4×100, 4×200, 4×400, 4×800 and 1600 sprint medley relay.

In addition to Bucklin and Ellingson, senior Lauren Anderson, senior Legrand Bien-Aime, sophomore Brandon Christensen, sophomore Ben Duea, senior Sarah Hammel, senior Alyssa Hedrick, senior Eric Patten, senior Martin Rounds, junior Molly Sabers, sophomore Matt Stone, senior Wardell Watkins and senior Kyle Yarkosky will be competing in the relays.

This date also marks Simpson College’s Kip Janvrin Open in Indianola where the rest of the Storm team will participate.

None of the Storm’s final meets before Conference will be scored. These meets provide last chance opportunities for all athletes to qualify for Nationals.

“We want to continue to be competitive as a team,” Cleveland said. “The next meets aren’t scored. So, we definitely have to focus on the individuals.”