STATE TRACK: Davis nabs third medal in shot put

DES MOINES – Jennifer Davis has been spinning in shot put circles since the seventh grade.

And excelling on the state shot put circuit since her freshman season.

But just because she’s been there, done that – the junior never gets tired of pushing herself.

Saving her best throw of the day for last, the Trojan placed fourth with a heave 40 feet, 3 1/4 inches to claim her third straight top-five finish during the Class 2A afternoon portion of the Iowa Co-Ed State Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium Thursday.

“No matter what, even if it’s your last throw it can be your best,” said Davis, who accomplished both her goals for the day – eclipsing 40 feet and reaching the finals.

Coming off a runner-up finish in 2012, and a fourth place tally the year before, making the finals still brings the same excitement for Davis.

“I’ve been here three years, but it was really exciting to get to the finals again,” Davis said.

East Marshall’s Paige Miller also excelled in another return trip to the blue oval placing sixth in the 3,000-meter run in 11 minutes, 9.74 seconds.

While it wasn’t her first go-round on the big stage, Miller finds the same nerves spring up inside Drake Stadium.

“I found myself super nervous, I don’t know why,” the Mustang senior said after her third consecutive top-10 finish in the event.

“It’s still just amazing to get to run here and it’s such an honor.”

Finishing second in the her heat, South Hardin’s Sarah Boomgarden turned in the sixth fastest 200 prelim time of 26.50, though she had her own nerves to combat entering the meet.

“Getting fourth in districts (in the 200) I was pretty nervous about making it,” Boomgarden said.

The sophomore made the most of the opportunity turning in a season-best time.

“It was probably my best race of the season and the start felt better than it usually has.”

Boomgarden also advanced with the seventh fastest prelim time in the 100 clocking 13.01 seconds. The finals for each are Saturday.

Tigers’ junior Claire Damon tallied 11th in the 3,000 in 11:40.67, while East Marshall’s 4×800 quartet of Haley Fye, Madisen Hinegardner, Kristen Amendt and Miller took 10th in 10:10.86.

Fye, a freshman, was cut off by another runner early on her opening leg, but steadily moved her way back toward the front.

“I didn’t get as good of a start as I wanted but I finished strong,” Fye said. “I was way back but just tried to power to the front.”

South Hardin’s Kayla Prosser rounded out the girls 2A portion with a 20th-place finish in the long jump leaping 15 feet, 6 1/4 inches.