SH girls make most of last chance; Moore and Busch medal contenders in throws

South Hamilton freshman Ashlyn Erickson (center) leaves the field in the dust on the anchor of the 4x100-meter relay in Gilbert earlier this month. She and teammates Kate Barkema, Kelbe Krumm and Tanna Thompson will compete in the event at the Drake Relays on Thursday in Des Moines. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — One last chance, or sprint if you will — that’s what the South Hamilton girls’ 4×100-meter relay faced last Thursday night in Manson.

Run well and there was a chance. Run just OK and that chance evaporated.

But the foursome of Kate Barkema, Kelbe Krumm, Tanna Thompson and Ashlyn Erickson didn’t run well. It ran better than that.

And now they’re headed to the Drake Relays.

That’s called being clutch, ladies and gentlemen.

JJ Moore.

“We knew that there was going to be a good opportunity to get it done at Manson and (the girls) were definitely excited because it’s one of the goals they set out to make a reality,” South Hamilton head coach Dan Brodie said. “We knew they had to go pretty low to get it, but they wanted it.”

In all, seven area athletes qualified for the Drake Relays. All of the high school events will take place on Thursday.

In addition to the relay, South Hamilton will send junior Austin Busch to Des Moines to compete in the shot put and discus. He’ll be joined in both fields by Webster City junior JJ Moore. Lynx senior Kaiyu Levongkhom claimed a spot in the 110 high hurdles field.

The Hawks’ relay — consisting of two freshmen (Thompson and Erickson), a sophomore (Barkema) and a junior (Krumm) — entered last Thursday’s meet ranked 50th in the state; only the top 48 make it into Drake. But the quartet lowered its time to 52.21 and sits 43rd among the entrants and seventh-best among Class 2A qualifiers.

Waukee enters as the girls’ 4×100 favorite with a time of 49.36. Brodie didn’t disclose how fast he thinks his crew can run, but he knows there’s room for improvement.

Kaiyu Levongkhom.

“What’s exciting is there are still things to clean up,” he said. “We’re not perfect yet.”

Moore and Busch are legitimate medal contenders in both throwing events. They’ve been among the state leaders throughout the early portion of the season.

“He’s done what we thought he could do and I think he’ll still get better,” WCHS head coach Chad Hisler said of Moore. “He’s been very coachable.”

“Austin is far from being just excited,” South Hamilton throws coach Carlton Ness said. “He wants to go out and compete for a medal.”

Moore heads to Drake seeded fourth in the shot put (54 feet, 5 inches) and 14th in the discus (157-1). Busch is seeded seventh in the shot put (53-10) and eighth in the discus (164-2).

Austin Busch.

Both throwers have faced shot put state leader Mason Lobeck of Madrid (57-2) this season. Lobeck took the state lead at a meet in Jewell earlier this month and Moore topped him when they faced off at the Southeast Valley Invite.

Woodbine’s Layne Pryor is the discus favorite (170-11).

Busch is the 2A leader in the shot put and sits at No. 2 in the discus. Moore is ranked second and third in 3A in the shot put and discus, respectively.

Levongkhom broke his personal-best time in the 110 high hurdles in back-to-back meets, and his top clocking of 15.33 seconds at the Southeast Valley Invite has him 22nd among the 32 Drake qualifiers.

“He’s worked really hard,” Hisler said of Levongkhom. “All last spring he was running, and then in the summer and fall he’d be out there hurdling on his own and it’s paying off. This was a goal of his and I thought he could run this fast, but I didn’t know he would do it that early (in the season). He really ran two good races in a row.”

Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Drew Bartels owns the top 110 hurdles time (14.35 seconds) and he’s one of five competitors in the field to break 15 seconds.

One big question that all of the area athletes face now is will any of their family members be able to watch them compete on Thursday? Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 3,000 spectators will be allowed in the stadium during each of the three days. Ticket holders from 2020 were given priority and only a few remained by the time they were offered to the general public last Thursday morning. They were all scooped up in a matter of minutes, one day before the official high school qualifiers were known.

“It’s frustrating because we’re getting to a point where we can have people come back for meets and watch outside, but it’s a fact of life and it’s what we’re dealing with this year,” Brodie said. “You can try to scour some on the second market, but we’re going to have some parents go down and just listen to it and experience it that way.”

Fans will be able to watch the Drake Relays live on Mediacom channel No. 22, and it will also be streamed online at runnerspace.com for a fee.


Drake Relays


(Area events in bold)


9:30 a.m. — Girls high jump (final).

9:30 a.m. — Girls discus (final).

10 a.m. — Boys shot put (final).

10 a.m. — Boys long jump (final).

1:00 — Boys high jump (final).

1:00 — Boys discus (final).

1:30 — Girls shot put (final).

1:30 — Girls long jump (final).


9 a.m. — Girls sprint medley relay (final).

9:13 a.m. — Girls 3,000 (final).

9:28 a.m. — Boys 3,200 (final).

9:43 a.m. — Girls 4×100 relay (prelim).

10:01 a.m. — Boys 4×100 relay (prelim).

10:19 a.m. — Girls 4×800 relay (final).

10:33 a.m. — Boys 4×800 relay (final).

10:47 a.m. — Girls shuttle hurdle relay (prelim).

11:02 a.m. — Boys shuttle hurdle relay (prelim).

11:17 a.m. — Girls 100 (final).

11:27 a.m. — Boys 100 (final).

11:37 a.m. — Boys distance medley relay (final).

11:56 a.m. — Girls 400 (final).

12:02 — Boys 400 (final).

1:00 — Coed 400 wheelchair (final).

1:05 — Girls 4×200 relay (final).

1:18 — Boys 4×200 relay (final).

1:31 — Girls 100 hurdles (final).

1:46 — Boys 110 high hurdles (final).

2:01 — Girls 800 (final).

2:08 — Boys 800 (final).

2:14 — Girls 400 hurdles (final).

2:21 — Boys 400 hurdles (final).

2:27 — Girls 1,500 (final).

2:33 — Boys 1,600 (final).

2:39 — Girls 4×100 relay (final).

2:44 — Boys 4×100 relay (final).

2:49 — Girls 4×400 relay (final).

3:07 — Boys 4×400 relay (final).

3:23 — Middle school girls 4×100 (final).

3:40 — Middle school boys 4×100 (final).


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