DES MOINES – A few extra jumps at the Iowa State Track and Field Championships were well worth it for Cassie Van Beek.

The Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley athlete was locked in a tight duel with OA-BCIG sophomore Sydney Durbin in the 2A girls high jump competition Friday inside Drake Stadium.

Van Beek, twice a place winner in the 3A high jump, came away as the state champion after a jump off was needed to determine the winner.

Van Beek is the first state champion in the girls history for the combined BHRV program,

“It’s crazy, I never honestly thought I would ever be a state champion here,” said Van Beek. “A lot of the girls had jumped 5-6 and I hadn’t even gotten that this year. The weather conditions weren’t great this year, it ended up in my favor.”

Van Beek and Durbin, last year’s champ as a freshman, were the only two competitors to clear 5-4, both doing so on their third and final attempts.

After each jumper missed three times at 5-5 the winner would be determined by a jump off, a single jump at a height. Each missed 5-5 again and after the bar was lowered back to 5-4, Van Beek cleared it and Durbin missed, giving the title to Van Beek.

“That is crazy, I never thought my last jump (in high school) would get me a state championship,” said Van Beek. “I’m kind of sad that it’s over, but I’m happy with where it left me.”

Van Beek, third as a sophomore and fifth last year, had good attempts at 5-5, but ultimately it was the final jump at 5-4 that was the difference.

“I don’t know why I couldn’t get over it,” she said. “I could feel it was a good jump, either the back of my leg or my calf hit it.”

Durbin, meanwhile, was one of several from Northwest Iowa that picked up second place finishes on day two of the state track meet.

Western Christian’s foursome of Taylor Rus, Bailey Nelson, Emily VanGinkel and Erika Feenstra ran second in the 4x200 in 1:45.31.

Unity Christian teammates Anmarie Stuit and Mikayla Turek finished fifth and seventh, respectively in the 400 hurdles and the pair combined with Madison Blankespoor and Jordan Bos on a fifth-place distance medley relay team.

Cherokee senior Olivia Dagel, a University of South Dakota recruit, was fifth in the discus with a 123-2 effort.

Western Christian junior Cori DeJong, a former state champ in the high jump, was fourth, one of the seven that cleared 5-2.

Spencer senior Brandi Botcher settled for second this season in the 3A girls shot put with a best of 41-4.25. Botcher, last year’s state champ, recorded her best throw on her fifth of six attempts.

Creston senior Hannah Hood won with a best of 42-4.5 also on her fifth of six attempts.


Sports reporter

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