CEDAR FALLS - Stephanie Jenks ran 15 laps around the UNI-Dome track Monday at the A.D. Dickinson Relays, took one deep breath and then waited for the rest of the girls in the 3000 meter run to cross the finish line so she could shake their hands.
The Linn-Mar freshman had to wait a while to greet them all.
Jenks won the 3000 in 10:16.27 in a breeze. She clocked a 9:49.24 at the same distance last week at a major meet in Ames when she faced serious competition from Anna Holidman of Waverly-Shell Rock, but there wasn't much of a challenge Monday.
Lauren Benzing of Solon finished more than 32 seconds after Jenks. Allison Culver of Kennedy, who placed sixth, finished more than a minute after the winner.
Jenks also captured the 1500 Monday in 4:41.94 in a tight race with Holdiman. Jenks used a strong kick on the final lap to beat the Waverly-Shell Rock runner by 99-hundredths of a second.
Cedar Rapids Jefferson continued its strong showing in relays during the indoor track season Monday by claiming the 4x200 and 4x400 relays at the Dickinson Relays.
Lucy Schneekloth, Morgan Meese, Taylor Jacobson and Rachel Broghammer captured the 4x200 relay for the J-Hawks, with Broghammer supplying a strong anchor. Jacobson, Schneekloth, Hunter Konigsfeld and Broghammer passed the batton in winning fashion on the 4x400 relay.
Jenks is the phenom who ran away with the Class 4A state cross country title last fall. She'll undoubtedly be the favorite in the 3000 at the state track meet in May, but she's set her goals higher than that.
Jenks is one of the top young triathletes in the country and hopes to compete for national honors. She's graduated into the 16-and-over division for triathlons now and plans to compete in a major meet in Virginia in early May.
She considers track a "secondary sport" to triathlons, which are her true love, and plans to use many of the spring track meets as practices.
Jenks will be competing against girls (and young women) in the 16-and-over division later this year.
"There will be some people who are freshmen in college. It will be fun, though," she said. "It will just be a great experience to race in a pack like that."
The triathlon distances are longer in the 16-and-over division, compared to her former level in 15U meets. Now there's a 750 meter swim, a 12 mile bike race and a 5 kilometer run.
Jenks trained all winter in all three disciplines and was a member of the Linn-Mar swimming team last fall. She's looking forward to her first triathlon at the longer dimensions.
She's confident she can comfortably handle the longer races, but is not entirely sure at this point. "I don't know," she said. "I've never raced those distances altogether."
Jenks spent four days at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., last November with some of the other top young triathletes in the country.
"It was so cool and so much fun," she said. "We had a great time."
Jenks said she enjoyed her tight race with Holdiman in the 1500 Monday more than her easy victory in the 3000. Grace Coen, a freshman from Newton, also battled Jenks in the 1500 before falling back on the final lap.
"I like it when I have to race," said Jenks. "It kind of pushes me."
She'd rather be tested than win in a cakewalk. "You feel like you're giving it your all, but you're really not," she said about easy wins. "You have so much more to give."
Holdiman had the lead with about 150 meters left in the 1500 when Jenks began her kick, preferring not to wait until the homestretch.
"I wanted to get up and go," she said. "I let my body do what it wanted to do."
A.D. DICKINSON RELAYS
Shot put - Kate Birchmier, Davis County, 41-7
High jump - Maddie Rouw, Waukee, 5-2
Long jump - McKennan Cronbaugh, Iowa City West, 18-6
3000 - Stephanie Jenks, Linn-Mar, 10:16.27
4x200 relay - Jefferson (Lucy Schneekloth, Morgan Meese,
Taylor Jacobson, Rachel Broghammer) 1:46.60
4x800 - Iowa City West 9:53.21
1500 - Stephanie Jenks, Linn-Mar, 4:41.94
400 - Alisha Jones, Davenport North, 56.58
60 hurdles - Kellie Wong, Ankeny, 9.42
60 - McKennan Cronbaugh, Iowa City West, 7.71
200 - Rose Ripslinger, Davenport Assumption, 26.41
800 - Haley Manning, Woodward-Granger, 2:19.94
4x400 relay - Jefferson (Taylor Jacobson, Lucy Schneekloth,
Hunter Konigsfeld, Rachel Broghammer) 4:09.76
1st - Stephanie Jenks, 3000, 10:16.27
1st - Stephanie Jenks, 1500, 4:41.94
2nd - Sara Strauel, high jump, 5-0
4th - Maleta Montague, 60 hurdles, 9.60
6th - Amber Decker, 1500, 4:53.92
8th - 4x800 relay 10:35.89
5th - Alyssa Averhoff, 3000, 11:10.22
5th - Katie Wampole, 1500, 4:53.58
6th - Allison Culver, 3000, 11:16.62
6th - Katie Wampole, 800, 2:24.36
1st - 4x200 relay 1:46.60
1st - 4x400 relay 4:09.76
3rd - Madison Ranschau, 60 hurdles, 9.46
7th - Lucy Schneekloth, 60, 8.14
8th - Taylor Jacobson, 60 hurdles, 9.80
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