Kingsley-Pierson/Woodbury Central's Kiana Phelps winds up in the girls discus throw at the Drake Relays. By Matthew Putney
KINGSLEY, Iowa | Kiana Phelps has faced track competition older than herself before.
Phelps had a successful spring as a freshman competing in the discus for Kingsley-Pierson/Woodbury Central. She had entered the Drake Relays with the state's top throw at 143-5 3/4, then set a Drake Relays record with a 153-4 effort.
Three weeks later, Phelps hurled the discus 150-4 to place first at the Class 2A state meet.
So, today’s action at the USATF World Youth Track and Field Trials should be no different. Phelps, who will be a sophomore this fall at Kingsley-Pierson High School, will compete in the 16-17 age group in action at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Ill.
Phelps is seeded third with a qualifying effort of 156-9.25. This was recorded at the Kingsley-Pierson/Woodbury Central Invitational on May 2 in Kingsley.
“Marks during the regular season are used to qualify for the world youth trials,” said her father, Scott Phelps, who as a Kingsley-Pierson senior in 1986, set a Class 1A state meet discus record (185-4) that still stands.
“If she was competing against girls her age, I think she could make the USA team. It will be tough, as some of the girls are 17-year-old juniors and Kiana is still 15. She is looking forward to the competition.”
The top two finishers will qualify for Team USA (sponsored by the U.S. Olympic Committee) and will compete against other countries July 10-14 in Donestk, Ukraine.
Phelps will use this competition to prepare herself for the 15-16 national meet July 22-28 at Greensboro, N.C., is no stranger to discus action at USATF meets. As a 12-year-old, she placed second (100-7) and two years later in the 14-year old-division at Wichita, Kan., placed second (127-5).
“Kiana is the No. 1-ranked freshman and sophomore discus thrower in the nation,” said Scott Phelps. “No one has thrown harder than her. The competition will be good for her.”
Colton Phelps, another of Scott Phelps’ children, went 163-6 while placing third in the discus at the Class 2A state meet. The K-P/WC junior had a 13th-place 149-6 discus effort at the Drake Relays.
Kiana Phelps entered this week’s softball action batting .338 with two home runs and 21 RBI for a 8-16 squad at Kingsley-Pierson. A catcher, Phelps hit the first grand slam of her softball career in a 9-6 win at Ridge View June 10 and narrowly missed another home run later in that game.