STATE TRACK: South Hardin sprinter scores pair of sixes

DES MOINES – Sarah Boomgarden was looking for a break from the sunlight.

And in turn, it allowed for a brief moment out of the spotlight.

Racking up a pair of medals in just more than an hour and three in less than a day’s span, the South Hardin sophomore’s chances to fly under the radar at Drake Stadium have been few and far between.

Boomgarden’s quick refuge in the shadows was more than enough to keep her mentally and physically prepared as the Tiger standout placed sixth in both the 100- and 200-meter finals in Class 2A at the Iowa Co-Ed State Track and Field Championships Saturday.

The runner-up high jumper covered the 100 meters in 13.33 seconds, before remerging on the blue oval 70 minutes later to clock 26.93 in the 200 – pushing her medal count to six in just two years.

“I stretched in the shade for a little while and just had to stay mentally focused,” Boomgarden said of her short break between races.

“You just have to go out a give it your all, because this could be your last race.”

After a stellar three-day outing at Drake, Saturday’s 200 almost certainly won’t be the final go-round there for the six-time medalist.

Though the weekend marked Boomgarden’s second straight three-medal haul at state, the sophomore says the feeling of earning a new one is special each time.

“It never gets old,” Boomgarden said.

“Everytime you win one it feels really great, even if you don’t get first it’s a really amazing feeling.”

And for the Tiger athlete, that feeling extends to the incredible competition and electric environment inside the blue oval.

“Running with all those really fast people is awesome because it gives you someone to keep up with when you’re not first,” said Boomgarden, one of five underclassmen in the 100-meter field and one of four in the 200.

“The energy and everything, it just makes you so much faster.”

With six of the top eight Class 2A finishers returning next year in the 100 field and five back in the 200 – Boomgarden will continue to have plenty of positive forces to keep her running at top speed. Whether it’s competing with an elite collection or runners or conserving some energy away from the sun.