Jay Welp had outstanding Cross Country and Track seasons for the Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn Eagles last year as a junior, finishing 7th in the State Cross Country meet. I noticed, however, that his name has not been listed in the Eagle results this Cross Country season, and it turns out that Welp is still running, but he is competing for BCLUW in this, his senior season.
BCLUW is located in central Iowa, just north of Marshalltown. The initials stand for the small towns of Beaman, Conrad, Liscomb, Union and Whitten, and the high school is located in Conrad. Those of you who are old enough may remember the great girls' basketball teams of Union-Whitten in the late 1960s, featuring Denise Long.
Jay Welp attended school in the BCLUW school district from kindergarten through the 4th grade, and watching the BCLUW team finish second at the State Cross Country Meet last year "planted a seed that really grew," says his mom, Jana Welp.
After thinking it over and discussing it with his family, Jay made the difficult - and gutsy - decision to transfer to the BCLUW school district for his senior year of high school. He intends to run in college, and moving back to Conrad enables him to run everyday in practice with a teammate, Levi Storjohann, who is as fast as he is, pushing both of them to get better. BCLUW's Conference, the North Iowa Cedar League , also boasts four of the Top 10 ranked runners in Class 1A, and Welp really felt that running for the Comets of BCLUW was the best thing for him, personally, to bring him to the next level of running and prepare him for the challenge of running at the collegiate level.
The BCLUW Comets are currently ranked #6 in the state in Class 1A, and Welp and teammate Storjohann have been alternating the first and second spots on the team. Last week, running in the Conference meet, amid a talented field of former state qualifiers, Jay Welp placed first in 15 minutes, 53 seconds and Storjohann was second in 15:56, to carry the Comets' high hopes into the postseason.
BCLUW and Jay Welp competed in the Class 1A District in Marshalltown on Thursday, and both Welp and his team came through with first place finishes, with BCLUW scoring 68 points to best second-place Dike-New Hartford by 11 points, and Welp earning an individual gold medal with his time of 16:30. Junior teammate Levi Storjohann was right behind him, finishing second in 16:33.