DES MOINES - The temperatures were soaring on the Drake Stadium track Thursday, May 16, but that didn’t stop the Anamosa girls’ 4x800 relay team from doing what they normally do.
The Raiders came into the class 3A state event in Des Moines as the No. 2 seed behind only Iowa Falls-Alden, as Maggie McQuillen, Ava Claussen-Tubbs, Gabby Gadient and Corinne Gadient battled not only the Cadets, but near 95-degree heat.
“I was really proud of how these girls ran in the heat,” said Anamosa girls track coach Reed Smith, as his foursome turned in a solid time of 9-minutes, 39.60-seconds to place second in the state against a field of 24 of Iowa’s top programs.
“It was tough competition, but they competed really well.”
Anamosa ran in the second of the two 4x800 relay sections that included Iowa Falls-Alden, who claimed the state championship with a blistering time of 9:28.53.
“We knew it was going to be tough going against the top-ranked 4x800 team in the state,” said Raider junior Maggie McQuillen, who ran the opening leg for the Anamosa team.
“Iowa Falls has a set of triplets who all ran incredibly fast, and we just had a hard time keeping up with any of them. For us, we knew it was going to come down to who would get second, and we wanted to make sure it was going to be us.”
The Cadets dominated the 3A 4x800 race from the start, but it was the Raiders who were equally as impressive keeping themselves in the hunt for second.
“I got the baton in third place and said to myself right then that I knew I could catch that girls ahead of me,” said Corinne Gadient, who ran a sensational anchor leg, even while feeling under the weather with an upset stomach.
“There was no way I was going to let my teammates down. If we couldn’t get the state championship, we wanted state runner-up, and I was going do everything I could to bring that home.”
Corinne did, passing Spencer’s Abby Weeks during the final 100 meters to give the Raider program their highest state placing at the meet.
Overall, Anamosa scored 13 points at the 2019 state meet to place 19th as the distance medley relay (fifth) and Olivia Nebergall in the high jump (seventh) also tallied points for the team.
“Being able to hand the baton to my sister in our last 4x800 was amazing,” said Gabby Gadient, who ran the third leg for the team.
“Corinne and I haven’t been feeling to well this week, but being together on a state runner-up team sure makes me feel a lot better right now.”