DES MOINES — Roster turnover in high school athletics is inevitable.
But for the Wilton track team, the turnover that’s about to happen as this track season comes to an end has a particularly familiar feel to it.
The torch is being passed, and the new face of the girls track program looks a lot like the old one.
On Thursday, the Drake sisters — one a senior, the other a freshman — both competed in the Class 2A girls 400-meter dash.
Even though the Beavers have to say goodbye to Kortney Drake, who finished 12th in the 400 with a time of 1:01.36, they get to bring back her younger sister Kelsey, who also competed in the girls long jump and finished in 17th with a jump of 16-00.50.
The elder Drake made sure to give her younger sister something to shoot for in the 400, as Kelsey finished two spots behind Kortney in the final standings, coming in at 1:01.76.
But that wasn’t all that’s expected of the younger Drake sister.
“Practices have been good because we push each other,” said Kortney. “... I want her to beat my time from freshman year because that’s my fastest. So, I hope the best for her.”
They didn't get to race in the same heat at state, though, however. Something they were hoping for.
“Oh, yeah, we were hoping for that,” Kelsey said, while she and her sister shared a laugh at the mere thought of running against each other at state.
For Kelsey, she’s been envisioning this the past three years while she’s been coming to Drake University to watch her sister at state.
“I absolutely love (running the same race at state). It’s fun because I’ve always — for the last three years — came and watched. It’s a lot better (competing) with her,” Kelsey said.
While there’s undoubtedly some friendly competition between them, there’s also been a graciousness expressed by each sister regarding what the presence of the other has meant.
“It’s been kind of a dream because it’s my last year of high school so it’s even more memorable that (Kelsey) is here for my last one with me,” Kortney said.
“(Kortney) is an amazing role model. I want to be as successful as she (has been),” said Kelsey.
And they also recognize how important this day was not just for them, but for their family.
“I know our parents are really proud of us,” Kortney said.
And even though Kelsey gets to continue her high school track career, you can still pick up on the younger Drake deferring to her older sister once in a while.
When asked about their family, and after Kortney expressed certainly about their parents’ pride in them, she paused to see if her younger sister would add anything.
“I think Kortney summed it up pretty good,” Kelsey said.