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First day of the 2024 Iowa State Track Meet is in the books for North Mahaska. The Warhawks competed in five events with Nataliya Linder and Andy Knockel picking up a fifth place finish in their respective events.

The Blue Oval at Drake Stadium was hot as a number of state records fell. Knockel ran to preliminary events while Linder was entered in the long jump. Emmerson Jedlicka ran the 3,000 meters and the boys’ 3,200-meter relay team finished 13th.

Jedlicka was the first on the track for North Mahaska facing a competitive field. Lili Denton of St. Albert won the event in 10 minutes 18.6 seconds. Jedlicka, a sophomore, clocked an 11:52.02 to finish 21st overall.

Emmerson Jedlicka placed 21st overall in the Class 1A 3,000 meters at state Thursday. Photos courtesy of Sean Strohmayer of Sigourney News-Review

Knockel just missed reaching finals in the 200 meters placing ninth in 22.54 seconds, just two hundreths of a second out of the eighth spot. The top six all broke the Iowa mark for 2024. Saint Ansgar’s Dylan Brumm edged him in 22.52. It was gratifying for Knockel who shaved nearly half a minute off his 2023 state run of 23.27.

About two and a half hours later Knockel took to the track in the 400 and captured fifth in 50.16. Ryce Reynolds of Mount Ayr set a new state mark finishing in 47.90. He will go into Saturdays finals with the fifth fastest time. If he could knock off another second, he could capture the school record currently held by Beau Freeborn, who clocked a 49.19 in 2013. He was hoping to double in the 200 and 400.

Andy Knockel just missed doubling at state in the 200 and 400 meters. He will compete in the 400 final on Saturday. Photos courtesy of Sean Strohmayer of Sigourney News-Review

The 3,200-meter team of Asher DeBoef, Nate Sampson, Ben Yang and Brayden Veiseth ran a season best 8:28.93. Sibley-Ocheyden set a new state mark in 7:58.47.

Linder, a freshman, faced a competitive field as expected. She jumped 16-feet 4-inches to place fifth overall. She was just 3.25 inches behind champion Ella Whitney of Wayne of Corydon, who jumped 16-7.25.

Linder and Knockel have each put the Warhawks in the team scoring. The girls are in 21st while the boys are 18th, each with four points.

Nataliya Linder jumped 16-4 to place fifth in the long jump.
Photos courtesy of Sean Strohmayer of Sigourney News-Review

Linder will return to action Friday at 5:40 p.m. in a 400-meter hurdle final. North Mahaska’s 1,600-meter relay teams will be in action under the lights on Friday hoping to reach Saturday’s final. The girls’ team of Kayla Readshaw, Alivia Schock, Linder and Aly Steil run at 7 p.m. North Mahaska will be in lane eight of the first of three heats with top eight times advancing to Saturday’s final.

The boys’ team of Lucas Nunnikhoven, Kaleb Stout, Sampson and Knockel will compete at 7:40 p.m. The boys will be in lane four in the second heat. The team has been setting school records in the event the past two outings.