Five area athletes compete for college track teams

 REGIONAL -- Five area student-athletes competed for college track and field teams in 2020, including two at the NCAA Division I level and another in Division II.
 Unfortunately, all outdoor track seasons were cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indoor seasons were nearly completed, but all NCAA Indoor Championship meets were cancelled.

GAGE CLAY
Iowa State University, so. • Walnut, IA • 2018 AHSTW graduate
2020 Indoor Track Season -- The former AHSTW state sprint champion competed in six indoor meets for Iowa State, helping the Cyclone men claim their first conference indoor team championship since 1994 at the Lied Recreational Center in Ames. Clay ran a 400-meter leg for ISU’s Big 12 champion distance medley relay team and was also part of its ninth-place 4x400 relay. He was also a member of Iowa State’s distance medley relay pool for the NCAA Indoor Championships, which were cancelled due to COVID-19. Clay clocked a personal-best 48.25 seconds in the 400-meter dash to place fourth at the Iowa State Classic and placed third in the 200-meter dash (22.21) at the Larry Wieczorek Invite. Clay is a Kinesiology major at ISU.

HEIDI HALL
University of Nebraska-Omaha, so. • Walnut, IA • 2018 AHSTW graduate
2020 Indoor Track Season -- A distance runner and biology major at UNO, Hall posted three career-best times during this year’s indoor campaign. She ran the team’s best 2020 time in the 3,000 meters (10:24.03) at the Jim Emmerich/Alumni Invitational January 25, and on the same day ran a career-best 18:34.37 in the 5,000. She also ran her best time in the mile (5:23.10) at the Jack Johnson Classic on Feb. 1.
Cross Country -- As a sophomore in 2019, Hall was UNO’s top performer at one meet and its number-two runner five times. She placed 23rd at the Summit League Championships in Fargo, ND, and 99th at NCAA Regionals in Stillwater, OK, clocking six-kilometer times of 22:30.7 and 22:30.9, respectively. Hall was also the Mavericks’ number-two runner at both of those meets as a freshman in 2018, finishing 36th at the conference meet in Omaha (23:20.01) and 204th at NCAA Regionals in Peoria, IL (23:49.9).

MARCUS KLEIN
Northwest Missouri State University, sr. • Harlan, IA • 2016 Harlan Community graduate
2020 Indoor Track Season -- Klein was one of eight Bearcats set to compete at the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships March 13-14 in Birmingham, AL. He qualified for nationals in the long jump based on a season-best mark of 7.45 meters that ranked 10th in the nation.
 Klein placed fifth in the long jump at the 2020 MIAA Indoor Track & Field Championships with a leap of 24 feet, 2.25 inches. Following the season, Klein received All-Region (Central) honors in the long jump from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
 Klein was also recognized for his work in the classroom as a member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll. He graduated from Northwest with a 3.98 GPA in Mathematics. The commencement ceremony is currently scheduled for August 8 in Maryville.
2019 Outdoor Track Season -- Klein capped his first outdoor season at NWMSU by earning second team All-American honors in the long jump, placing 11th at the 2019 NCAA Division II Track & Field Outdoor Championships in Kingsville, TX. His top jump at nationals was 24 feet, 7.25 inches. Earlier in the year, Klein set a school record in the long jump by soaring 25-5.25.
2019 Indoor Track Season -- Klein was the MIAA indoor champion in the long jump and also qualified for nationals in the event. He placed third in the heptathlon at the MIAA meet and ran a leg of the winning 4x400 relay.
Iowa Western Community College -- Klein earned juco All-American honors three times during his two-year stay at IWCC, capped by a second-place medal in the decathlon at the 2018 NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. He won the 100-meter dash, long jump and 400 as part of his second-place overall finish. Klein also placed sixth in the decathlon at outdoor nationals in 2017 and placed seventh in the heptathlon at 2018 indoor nationals.

GILLIAN STREIT
Central College, jr. • Manilla, IA • 2017 Harlan Community graduate
2020 Indoor Track Season -- The Dutch field event thrower and Athletic Training major did not compete this past winter due to classroom conflicts, but was looking forward to an outdoor season that was ultimately cancelled.
2018 & 2019 Seasons -- Streit’s career indoor bests include a mark of 36 feet, 10.5 inches in the shot put and 36-7.75 in the weight throw. Her career outdoor bests are 36-8.5 in the shot put and 145-2 in the discus - a 2019 mark which ranks third in school history. Streit placed first in the discus in 2018 to earn all-conference honors and was a 2019 national qualifier in the discus with her throw of 145-2. She finished 19th at the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships in Geneva, OH, throwing 126-10.

GREICHALY KASTER
Dordt College, fr. • Harlan, IA • 2019 Harlan Community graduate
2020 Indoor Track Season -- The Defenders’ freshman distance runner clocked her personal-best mile time (5:55.20) at the SDSU Indoor Classic February 14-15 in Brookings, SD. She placed 15th in the mile at the GPAC Championships February 21-22 in Mitchell, SD, logging a time of 5:59.09 to held Dordt finish third out of 10 teams.
2019 Cross Country -- Kaster was among the Defender women’s top seven runners most of the season before a case of mono prevented her from competing at the GPAC Championships (Nov. 9) and the NAIA National Championships (Nov. 22) in Vancouver, WA. Dordt placed second at the conference meet and 23rd out of 37 teams at nationals. Kaster’s best race of the season came Oct. 26 at the Valley Stampede in Cedar Rapids, when she finished 23rd out of 188 runners with a time of 19:43 to help the team place first.

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