Prep Track and Field

Sigourney's Barthelman sisters chasing more track glory

State-qualifying meets are Thursday, and Sigourney is the defending 1A girls' state champion

Sigourney’s Summer Barthelman raises her arms after winning the Class 1A 400-meter hurdles at the 2017 state track and field meet. Barthelman and her sister Autum led the Savages to the 1A girls’ team title. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Sigourney’s Summer Barthelman raises her arms after winning the Class 1A 400-meter hurdles at the 2017 state track and field meet. Barthelman and her sister Autum led the Savages to the 1A girls’ team title. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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SIGOURNEY — The high school track and field season has reached the final curve of the final lap, and Summer Barthelman is doggedly chasing a rival in front of her.

Last year’s version of herself.

“It’s been frustrating,” the junior said of her recovery from an emergency appendectomy about a month ago. “I feel perfectly fine, but I’m not performing as well as before. I’m trying to get better, but it’s a struggle.”

State-qualifying meets — girls’ regionals and boys’ districts — are Thursday throughout the state in all four classes, with field events beginning at 4 p.m. and running events at 4:30. Sigourney is the defending Class 1A girls’ state champion, and the Barthelman sisters (Autum and Summer) are the Savages’ headliners.

“They add that spark, they get the team going,” Coach Jeni Harter said. “Verbally, athletically, everybody looks up to them. They are in that role-model position in all sports.”

All sports, all year. Cross country in the fall, basketball in the winter, track and field in the spring, softball in the summer.

“We played all the sports growing up, since we were 4 or 5,” said Autum, a senior. “Our parents were both into sports, and having a sister at home, it gave me somebody to play catch with whenever I wanted.”

Track and field greatness is in the Barthelmans’ blood. Their mother, Heather (Eiben) Barthelman, was a hurdler when Sigourney won three consecutive state titles from 1990 to 1992.

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“Her dad made a box with all the articles and medals during her career,” Autum said. “Now, he comes to a lot of our meets.”

The next generation is making its own mark. Last year at state, Autum won the 100-meter hurdles and was second in the 100-meter dash. Summer claimed the 400 hurdles and placed fourth in the long jump. Both were on the victorious shuttle hurdle relay and the fifth-place 400-meter relay.

That all added up to 48 points, which put the Savages over the top in the 1A race, two points ahead of Mapleton MVAO.

“I really didn’t think about a state title before we went out there,” Harter said. “But my husband (assistant coach Andy Harter) knew we had a chance. I get a lot more nervous about that stuff than he does.”

Despite all the track success, Autum’s career in the sport will end next week. She will play softball at Kirkwood Community College.

“Softball is my favorite, but I love track,” she said. “I get excited for track season. But I don’t want to do it for the next four years.”

All the key members from last year’s title team returned this season, and all was running smoothly until Summer felt a stomach ache at practice.

“She powered through it,” Harter said.

She started vomiting that night, and by the next morning, “I was bugging my parents to take me to the emergency room,” she said.

The appendix was removed, and recovery has been slower than Summer hoped.

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“Her long jump has been affected most; she’s missing that core strength,” Harter said.

If you’re wondering about background of their Barthelman girls’ names ...

“It’s not that cool of a story, really,” Summer said. “My parents were driving to the hospital before Autum was born, and the leaves were falling, so dad (Troy Barthelman) said, ‘How about Autum?’”

Summer came a year later. The youngest sister, Rain, is in seventh grade.

The Savages compete in a 1A state-qualifier Thursday at Wayland. Harter said that Autum will compete in the same events in the postseason as last year. Summer will take a shot at the 400 hurdles and two relays, with her fourth event to be determined.

Thursday's area track & field state-qualifying meets

(Field events begin at 4 p.m., running events at 4:30)

CLASS 4A

(Top 2 from each site qualify in each event, plus the next 12 best efforts statewide)

At Iowa City High — Burlington, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Dubuque Hempstead, Dubuque Senior, Iowa City High, Iowa City West, Ottumwa, Western Dubuque.

At Linn-Mar — Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Washington, Linn-Mar, Marshalltown, Waterloo East, Waterloo West.

CLASS 3A

(Top 2 from each site qualify in each event, plus the next 8 best efforts statewide)

At Decorah — Center Point-Urbana, Charles City, Crestwood, Decorah, Independence, Vinton-Shellsburg, Waverly-Shell Rock, West Delaware.

At Mount Pleasant — Davenport Assumption, Fairfield, Fort Madison, Iowa City Liberty, Keokuk, Mount Pleasant, Washington, West Burlington-Notre Dame.

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At Pella — Benton Community, Chariton, Clear Creek Amana, Grinnell, Knoxville, Oskaloosa, Pella, South Tama.

At Solon — Anamosa, Cedar Rapids Xavier, DeWitt Central, Dubuque Wahlert, Maquoketa, Marion, Mount Vernon, Solon.

CLASS 2A

(Top 2 from each site qualify in each event, plus the next 8 best efforts statewide)

At Dike — Aplington-Parkersburg, Dike-New Hartford, Dyersville Beckman, East Marshall, Iowa City Regina, Jesup, Monticello, South Hardin, Union Community, Waterloo Columbus, West Marshall, Williamsburg.

At Eddyville — Albia, Centerville, Central Lee, Columbus Community, Davis County, Eddyville EBF, Mediapolis, Mid-Prairie, Monroe PCM, Pekin, Pella Christian, Van Buren.

At Osage — Central Springs, Denver, Forest City, Garner GHV, Hampton-Dumont, Lake Mills, New Hampton, North Fayette Valley, Oelwein, Osage, Sumner-Fredericksburg, Waukon.

At Tipton — Bellevue, Camanche, Cascade, Durant, Louisa-Muscatine, North Cedar, Northeast, Tipton, Wapello, West Branch, West Liberty, Wilton.

CLASS 1A

(Winner from each site qualifies in each event, plus the next 14 best efforts statewide)

At Brooklyn — Baxter, Belle Plaine, BGM, Collins-Maxwell, Colo-Nesco, Conrad BCLUW, Garwin GMG, HLV, Iowa Valley, Lynnville-Sully, Meskwaki, Montezuma, North Mahaska, North Tama.

At Edgewood — Alburnett, Bellevue Marquette, Central City, Clayton Ridge, Clinton Prince of Peace, Easton Valley, Edgewood-Colesburg, Elkader Central, Lansing Kee, Maquoketa Valley, MFL MarMac, Midland, North Linn, Postville.

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At Nashua — Belmond-Klemme, Latimer CAL, Mason City Newman, Nashua-Plainfield, North Butler, North Iowa, Northwood-Kensett, Riceville, Rockford, Saint Ansgar, South Winneshiek, Turkey Valley, West Fork, West Hancock.

At Wayland — Calamus-Wheatland, Cardinal, Danville, English Valleys, Highland, Iowa Mennonite, Keota, Lisbon, Lone Tree, New London, Sigourney, Springville, Tri-County, WACO, Winfield-Mount Union.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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