With 2016 wrapped up, it’s time once again to look back at the past year’s accomplishments in area sports.
North Union had its share of highlights, but one name stands above the others in Riley Bauer.
Bauer wins two individual state titles.
As a sophomore in the spring, Riley Bauer won the first state title in any sport in the short existence of North Union High School-a combination of Armstrong-Ringsted, Sentral and North Kossuth.
He won the 1600-meter run at the Class 1A State Track and Field Meet with a time of 4 minutes, 25.98 seconds-four seconds ahead of his closest competitor. Bauer also finished third in the 3200-meter run for a second state medal. Bauer also anchored the Warriors’ 15th-place distance medley relay that included Derek Thompson, Elliott Hagebock and Trent Pedersen.
In the fall, Bauer dominated the Class 1A State Cross Country Meet for the school’s second state title. His 5-kilometer time of 16 minutes, 9.7 seconds was well ahead of the second-place finisher by nearly 23 seconds.
Bauer looks for more success on the track and the cross-country courses in 2017.
Oleson finishes second in state golf
North Union junior Parker Oleson nearly pulled off a victory at the Class 1A State Boys Golf Tournament in Marshalltown in May.
He finished second by two strokes with his two-day total of 145. Oleson also will look for more success on the golf course in 2017.
North Union softball returns to state
While success has followed the North Union Softball Team throughout the school’s brief existence, getting to the state tournament has been a challenge.
The Warriors’ crucial moment came in the 2A regional semifinal game against Okoboji. Trailing 2-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, North Union took advantage of a hit-by-pitch, a walk and a wild pitch to put runners in scoring position. Shaylee Hanning’s squeeze bunt allowed Maddie Rolling to score. A bad throw to the catcher allowed Bre Anderson to score the go-ahead run for a 3-2 victory.
The Warriors went on to trounce Panorama in the regional final to earn their second consecutive trip to the state tournament, where they would finish sixth.
Warrior girls track earns four medals
North Union sent a host of runners to the Class 1A Girls State Meet and came away with four medals.
Senior Makayla Hardman and junior Kyarsten Mullen competed in four state qualifying events apiece to lead the squad.
The Warriors’ top finish came in the 4×100-meter relay as Hardman, Olivia Marlow, Alexis Valvick and Mullen ran a time of 51.60 seconds to place fifth.
Hardman finished seventh in the 100-meter dash finals in 13.309 seconds.
The 4×200-meter relay team of Hardman, Sarah Rolling, Marlow and Mullen placed eighth in 1:48.96.
The shuttle hurdle relay team of Mullen, Emma Engelby, Maddie Rolling and Sarah Rolling also placed eighth in 1:13.47.
Also running at state, the sprint medley team of Valvick, Mullen, Hardman and Marlow placed ninth in 1:53.62.
Rolling scores 1,000th point
Sarah Rolling became the first North Union player to score 1,000 points. The Warrior senior reached the Milestone with a 24-point effort while her team avenged a loss to Lake mills with a 63-57 victory. She would end her career with 1,036 points after scoring 128 as a freshman, 227 as a sophomore, 373 as a junior and 308 as a senior.
The Warriors would finish with an 18-5 overall record and tied for Top of the Iowa West Conference standings with a 13-3 mark.