Shorthanded Cyclone girls place second at Koos Invite

Atlantic outscores HCHS 132-122 in team race; Cyclones place in all 19 events despite missing several girls

 HARLAN (April 4) -- The Harlan Community girls’ string of meet titles ended at three Thursday night, but with an asterisk attached.
 Competing without several key individuals partaking in State Mock Trials, HCHS still managed to score 23 times in all 19 events and finish with 122 points, but Atlantic scored 132 to take home the team plaque from the Koos Invitational Girls Track Meet at Merrill Field.
 Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln, led by senior Darby Thomas’ three individual golds and two meet records, placed third with 107 points while Treynor (70) won a close battle for fourth over Earlham (69.5) and Denison-Schleswig (66).
 The Cyclone girls had won their first three outdoor meets of the year at Carroll, Denison and Sergeant Bluff.
 “We’ve got some key people that are gone, but I don’t like to use that as an excuse. You’ve got to dance with who you came with and these girls stepped up,” said HCHS coach Doug Renkly.
 “It would have been the easiest thing in the world to say, ‘Oh, we can’t do it without so and so,’ but that wasn’t the case. Everybody stepped up and did their job, and the girls are going to be sore tonight. They’re going to wake up in the morning and be even more sore because everybody had three or four events and nobody complained and we had people step up when other people needed help. We’re blessed to have these people around us. They’re good people first, and that makes them good athletes too.”
 Atlantic led the 10-team field with six gold medals, followed by CB AL with four and HCHS three.
 The Cyclones’ first victory came in the 4x800 relay as Kaia Bieker, Olivia Anderson, Greichaly Kaster and Abby Alberti combined for a season-best time of 10:30.59. The Cyclone shuttle hurdle relay squad also improved their time to 1:11.38 as Justine Buman, Maci Schmitz, Lucy Metzger and Chloe Hansen combined for the victory. A few events later, Hansen, Delaney Wegner, Makayla Burchett and Alberti won the 4x200 relay in 1:52.98.
 HCHS closed the night with a second-place time of 4:19.98 in the 4x400 as Alberti, Hansen, Lilly Metzger and Bieker became the first Cyclone 4x4 quartet since 2017 to break the 4:20 mark.

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