Turkey Valley's Jalyssa Blazek wins gold in 800, 1500 at State

DES MOINES - Excellent competition and weather that ranged from incredibly hot to cold could not prevent Turkey Valley senior Jalyssa Blazek from winning gold at the 2022 Class 1A State Girls’ Track Meet, held at Drake Stadium in Des Moines from May 19-21.
Blazek tallied first place in the 800 meters (2:15.83) and the 1500 (4:46.63) on Saturday to earn Turkey Valley’s first two gold medals in running events at the State Meet.  In 1988, Trojan Laura Kriener won a gold medal in the shot put. 
On Thursday, Blazek also competed in the 100 dash (18th preliminary, 13.77). On Friday, she anchored the distance medley relay for the Trojans, which placed 11th in 4:27.27. The distance medley team included: Kara Reicks, Josie Weber, Kourtney Schmidt and Blazek. Jacqlyn Schmitt finished 14th in the discus with a toss of 89 feet, six inches.
As a team, Turkey Valley finished 11th in the Class 1A girls’ standings with 20 points. Nashua-Plainfield won the team title with 59 points and Madrid was second with 54.
After narrowly missing gold in previous years at the State Track Meet and the State Cross Country Meet, Blazek was ecstatic to grab first in the 800 and 1500 on Saturday at the Blue Oval (Drake Stadium).
“I am so proud (to win two events),” Blazek said with a big smile. “This was a big week for me and I knew that coming in. I knew I would need to work hard on all four laps (of the 1500). Nothing was coming easy.
“The 1500 was a new race for me. This year was the first time I had run in competitively. I didn’t want to set the bar too high for the 1500 but I did want to win the 800. After winning the 800, I got hungrier and I was excited to run again. 
“After being able to take down some of the best competitors in the 800, I knew they would be running in the mile (1500). That was a good confidence boost for me to have that win in the 800,” Blazek said.
She added that running in the 100 meter dash preliminaries on Thursday helped her.
“One advantage my coach (Dalton Hackman) pointed out was that most of the other girls in the 800 and 1500 had not run in the 100 or 200. When it comes to the last lap (in the 1500), it’s down to 100 or 200 meters. So that gave me an advantage.
“Coming into State, I try not to think too much about the events and I let my body feel its way through the race. So keeping a clear mind set and getting in the zone gets me ready to run.
“I know this sounds cheesy but all of my hopes and dreams have come true. I’m so astonished that my hard work has paid off this well. I’ve had some good years in the past but this is a great one,” Blazek noted.

Cresco Times

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