Two notable milestones left Vinton-Shellsburg fans reason to celebrate Day 1 of the 2018 State Track Meet.

Freshman CJ Rickels — the only 9th grader in the field of 24 — finished in sixth place in Class 3A with a jump of 6 feet, 3 inches in the high jump.

Rickel’s jump also represents a new personal best; it was two inches higher than his previous best, the 6″1″ he recorded in Decorah last week to qualify for State.

It also was good enough to give him bragging rights over his brothers, Dylan and Kelyn — but not yet, his father, Cal.

Dylan was 4th at State and Kelyn 8th, several years ago. Both of them had a highest jump of 6’2.’ CJ’s sister Addy jumped for Luther college, where her personal record was 5’4.’

Cal Rickels was a state champ in the high jump with a leap of 6’4.” He also cleared 6’6″ as a member of the Iowa State track team.

“CJ came so close to beating his dad’s high school record,” says his mom, Megan. “He had cleared 6’5″ but hit the bar with his hand on the way down.”


CJ’s brothers “were both there supporting him and were very excited and pumped for him when he did it,” says Megan.

Schminke sets VS record

In girls track events, Vikette junior Sarah Schminke set a new school record in the 200M dash, 26.33 seconds. That time breaks the the previous school record, which Schminke had shared with Payton Leonard.

And like Rickels, as an underclassman, Schminke will have another opportunity to set more records next season.

The athletes and coaches will remain in Des Moines through Saturday. VS will be represented in several events on Friday, and a few more on Saturday.