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Iowa State Track and Field

East's Shelby Houlihan cruises to an easy win in the 4A 800 during the state track and field meet in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday, May 21, 2011. (Jim Lee/Sioux City Journal)

SIOUX CITY | The Iowa high school state track meet championships are playing out this week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as track and field athletes try to win titles in Des Moines.

Each year a new series of champions are crowned in varying events. Some win multiple events and seize statewide attention as the top performers.

Sioux City high school athletes have had some top performances over the years. Here is a list of some of the best ever from the city in a single meet.

(1) Morgan Taylor won three events at the boys state meet in 1921. Morgan won the 120 meter high hurdles, 220 meter low hurdles and long jump.

F. Morgan Taylor, became the first to medal in three straight Olympics in the 400-meter hurdles. The graduate of old Sioux City (Central) High won the gold medal in the 1924 games in London, claimed the bronze in Amsterdam in 1928 and the bronze again in Los Angeles in 1932.

(2) Owen Buckley of North High School as a senior in 1978 won the 100 meters, 200 meters and pole vault. (The latter event was discontinued in the 1980s at the high school level in Iowa.)  Buckley also claimed back-to-back crowns in the 100 meters in 1977 and 1978, before he went on to compete as a decathlete at the University of Kansas.

(3) East High School senior runner Shelby Houlihan in 2011 won four events, something that has only happened 43 times for girls in state history. Houlihan in Class 4A competition won the 400 meters, 800 meters, 1,500 meters and was on the 4x400 relay team.

Houlihan had a notable achievement in 2016, competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 5,000 meters, after a college career at Arizona State.

(4) Additionally the girls from Sioux City East had a bountiful 2009 state meet, when winning titles in two relays with times that still stand as all-time records at the state meet. The Sioux City East team set those records with a time of 3:48.39 in the 4x400 meter relay and with 4:00.39 in the distance (1,600 meter) medley relay.

The runners on the relays included Shelby Houlihan, Ellen Dougherty, Reyna Mikulicz and Emily McCarthy.

(5) The Bishop Heelan boys team won three relay events in the 2010 meet. With all those points, the Heelan team also won the Class 3A title.

Nate Berger, Matt Lord, Michael Malloy and Preston Ives were runners on the 4x400. Heelan also won the 4x200 and 1,600 meter medley relays.

EXTRA: It wasn't in one meet, but Doug Smith of Sioux City Central High won the mile run in three consecutive years, in 1966, 1967 and 1968.

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County and education reporter

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