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Natalie Leisen leaps to sixth place in the long jump at Cascade, April 1.

Western Dubuque won four relays and three individual events in a strong showing at the Cascade Early Bird Invitational, March 31, after finishing a solid third at the River Queen Relays, in Clinton, March 29.

“Both meets were a great start to the season,” said coach Josie Limmex. “Without the indoor season to help us see what our team had to offer, we knew we had the talents, just not the specifics.”

At Cascade, the Bobcats swept the distance races, with Elly Burds winning the 800-meter event in 2:29.95, Lauren Klein taking the 1,500 in 5:17.1, and Lily Boge topping the 3,000 in 11:22.85.

Western Dubuque took the top spot in the 4x100, the 4x200, the sprint medley and 4x800 along with a second in the distance medley.

The foursome of Ella Schindler, Sammy Recker, Meredith Bahl and Audrey Biermann won the sprint medley in 1:52.15, and the 4x200 in 1:49.51. Erica Ernzen, Ella Clark, Brynn Walters and Megan Sautter took the 4x100 in 54.57, Lauren Klein, Alyssa Klein, Gabby Kaiser and Elly Burds won the 4x800 in 10:08.32. Walters, Ava Ramler, Ashley Willenborg and Carly Mausser hit the line in the distance medley in 5:03.14.

Second-place finishers individually were: Erica Ernzen — long jump (15-2); Madison Maahs — shot put (32-4.5); Abigail Kluesner — discus (102-7); Ernzen — 100 (14.07); Boge — 1,500 ( 5:20.72).

Other place winners were: Natalie Ulrichs — fourth long jump (14-6); Natalie Leisen — sixth long jump (14-1); Walters — eighth long jump (13-8.5); Molly Sahm — third shot put (31-1.5); Maahs — third discus (99-3); Gracee Hermsen — fifth discus (88-10). Kylie Nauman — sixth 3,000 ( 13:32.27); Ulrichs — third 100 (14.5); Leisen — eighth 100 (15.06); Ava Goins — sixth 400 (1:11.81); Sautter — seventh 400 (1:12.05); Ella Clark — fourth 100-hurdles (18.95); Alyssa Klein — fifth 800 (2:34.27); Kaiser — fourth 800 (2:36.44); Ashley Willenborg — third 200 (29.62).

No team scores were kept at the meet.

At Clinton, Biermann won the 200 (26.08) and the 400 (58.94), while Lauren Klein topped the 1,500 in 5:20.15. Lauren Klein, Alyssa Klein, Kaiser and Burds won the 4x800 in 11:24.09.

The Bobcats finished third with 90 team points, trailing North Scott’s 98.5 and Dubuque Wahlert at 94. Anamosa (33.5) was fourth, Central DeWitt (29) fifth, Clinton (20) sixth and Davenport North (15) seventh.

Burds was second in the 800 (2:27.8), Boge second in the 3000 (11:24.31) and the sprint medley team of Schindler, Recker, Biermann and Bahl took silver in 1:58.44. Boge was third at 1,500 (5:26.49) and the Bobcats had three third-place relays — the distance medley team of Willenborg, Clark, Sautter and Mausser with a time of 5:19.89, the 4x200 team of Schindler, Recker, Erica Ernzen and Bahl in 1:55.65 and the 4x100 team of Erica Ernzen, Recker, Schindler and Biermann in 52.72.

The 4x400 team was fourth in 4:45.6 with Mallory Feldmann, Isabelle Ernzen, Kieryn McKenna and Willenborg. Bahl was fourth at 200 in 29.2, Allyssa Klein fifth at 800, finishing in 2:37.14, Ella Clark finished in 20.03 to take sixth in the 100-hurdles and Erica Ernzen was seventh in the 100 meters in 14.26.

In the field events, Bahl was fourth (4-4) in the high jump and Clark (4-0 was fifth. Erica Ernzen was third in the long jump 15-0.75 and Walters was sixth with a leap of 13-9.5. Maahs was third in the shot put (32-11) and fourth in the discus (92-11), while Kluesner (100-11) was third in the discus and Taryn Penney was fourth in the shot put (32-8.5).

As the Bobcats look to find their stride early in the season, Limmex looks for good things from her team.

“The positive culture is the icing on top of the cake to the talented group we have to compete this year,” Limmex said.