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Like mother, like daughter: Calamus-Wheatland's Noelle Steines shares Drake Relays title with mother

The sophomore won her first Drake Relays white flag by winning the 1500m with a time of 4 minutes, 35.22 seconds.

CALAMUS, Iowa — April 29 is a day seared into the minds of runners across the state, and it's also the day Calamus-Wheatland's Noelle Steines cemented her name in the Drake Relays' history books. 

The sophomore won her first Drake Relays' white flag by winning the 1500-meter with a time of 4:35:22.

"I'm always gonna be happy about what happened April 29," Steines said. "Like, that's gonna be a huge day for me. No feeling tops that. You lose some, you win some, and those that you win, it makes it even more memorable."

"I think I was jumping higher and higher as she got to the finish line because I knew she was like she was doing it like I didn't know how it was going to end," said Noelle's mother Jessica Steines. "But she was doing all the right things and so yeah, I was just ecstatic."

 Like mother, like daughter. Noelle's mom Jessica is familiar with the Blue Oval herself. She won the 800-meter for Marshalltown in 1999 and the 1500m in 2004 for Iowa State at the Blue Oval. 

"It was great. Like, I remember my dad, he is my biggest fan, he came down and hugged me. It's almost like the pinnacle. You work so hard," added Jessica. "I think I remember, like going around the track, and I probably even did a full lap. You don't do a full lap anymore, but I did a full lap." 

A white flag, the coach-athlete, mom-daughter duo now share together. 

"It's amazing. It's so cool. Like I can't wait to see what she does in the future," said Jessica. 

"It's cool that we're starting our own like, special thing. Everybody has their own special story and this is ours, and I love it so much," added Noelle. 

For the Steines pair, this win meant far more than just crossing the finish line. Noelle dislocated her right kneecap this fall, one of the lowest points of her young career.

"She was like, why do things happen? Why do things happen to people? I think you can see now why because it makes you appreciate everything," said Jessica. "It's running, it's not your life. That's kind of something big we learned when she got injured with her patella like running is not what makes you, you."

From not knowing if Noelle would be able to run again, to winning at the Blue Oval in less than a year, the journey has been a long one.

"If I could tell my August self that she would flip out. It's awesome that I overcame something like that and came back from it. I could confidently say that I'm thankful for my injury happening. Like, I think it all happens for a reason and it made me want it more," added Noelle. 

A white flag, and a victory lap that's now a Steines family affair. 

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