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Muscatine's Tyler Olson, in the center of the pack at the Drake Relays last month, looks to become the school's first 800-meter state champion in 27 years Saturday morning at Drake Stadium.

The Muscatine area will be well represented at the Iowa co-ed state track and field meet beginning Thursday in Des Moines.

The area has 45 qualifications across classes 1A, 2A and 4A. 

Here are five things to watch when the action begins:

Olson chases another gold

Winning titles at the Drake Relays and state track and field meet topped Muscatine senior Tyler Olson's goals heading into the 2018 season.

One down. One to go. 

Olson ran the 800 meters in a season-best 1 minute, 56.55 seconds to win a white flag at last month's Drake Relays.

He didn't run as fast of a time as he would have preferred at last week's Class 4A district meet at North Scott after a quick turnaround from qualifying for state in the 400 and heads to Des Moines seeded sixth in the 800 with a 1:58.62 time. He's 13th in the 400 with a 50.65. 

He'll have a chance to become Muscatine's first 800-meter state champion in 27 years. 

Olson will also compete on Muscatine's 1,600 relay along with Owen Hazelwood, Isaac Heth and Noah Yahn. The group is seeded 11th with a 3:26.78 time. 

The Muskies' 800 sprint medley relay consisting of Tim Nimely, Aaron Webb, Hazelwood and Yahn as well as the distance medley relay that includes Webb, Yahn, Hazelwood and Tevin Tovar also will make the trip to Des Moines. 

From zero to four qualifications

The Muscatine girls track and field team departed from North Scott High School last Thursday after the 4A district meet with no guaranteed spots in the state meet. 

That all changed the next day, however, when the Muskies landed at-large bids in the high jump, 400 hurdles, 3,200 relay and shuttle hurdle relay. 

Maddie Beik will represent the Muskies in the high jump with the 14th seed after clearing 5 feet at districts.

Dirth will compete in the 400 hurdles, where she's seeded 24th (1:10.86), and will run on the 3,200 and shuttle hurdle relay teams.

Moriah Morter, Emmie Smith and Emma Maynard will join Dirth on the 3,200 relay, while Lexi Hirt, Beik and Hallie Hanssen will round out the shuttle hurdle team. 

"We had a successful season," Muscatine coach Tim Armstrong said. "We had quite a few kids who just barely missed qualifying, which I didn't realize until I looked at the final entrants. But we had four or five events where we were just outside the top 24, so we could have very easily qualified in eight or nine events. We believe we had quite a successful season, and hopefully we'll do well Thursday and Friday over there." 

Massner looks to make noise

Wapello senior Trenton Massner put himself on the map by qualifying for the Drake Relays last month in the high jump. 

Now he's heading to the state meet with top-five seeds in the high jump and the 400.

Massner is seeded third in the high jump at 6 feet, 3 inches and fifth in the 400 in 50.74. 

Joining Massner at the state meet from Wapello will be Keaton Mitchell in the discus, Aiden Houseman in the 1,600 and the Indians' 1,600, sprint medley and distance medley relay teams. Both the sprint and distance medley groups are seeded in the top seven. 

Sanders sisters seeded in top 10

Louisa-Muscatine's Kylee Sanders is the seventh seed in the long jump with a 16-8 3/4 qualifying mark, while older sister Hailey Sanders owns the eighth seed in the 400 hurdles at 1:08.60.

The duo provides the Falcons with their best opportunities of finishing in the top 10. 

Kylee Sanders will also run in the 400, where she's seeded 21st. Louisa-Muscatine's 1,600 relay will make the trip as well with the 22nd seed.

Ford, Drake lead Wilton girls

Linsey Ford and Kortney Drake head into the state meet with a good opportunity to place. 

Ford is seeded seventh in the 100 hurdles with a 16.00 time, while Drake is seeded ninth in the 400 in 1:01.97.

Joining the two in Des Moines will be Wilton's Chloe Wells, who is seeded 16th in the shot put with a 36-3 mark. 

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Sports Reporter