Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Even for the most team-centered track teams state qualifying meets can take on an individual feel.
With spots at the state meet on the line the feeling didn’t change for West High at the Class 4A, District 5 meet at City High on Thursday and neither did the result.
West High used its team-first approach and balanced lineup to hold off Cedar Rapids Kennedy for the team title and to qualify 12 entries in 10 events for the state meet that opens May 18 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
“I think all year long we have approached it with the mentality of lets do this together and the district meet is no different,” West High coach T.J. Craig said. “Yes, they have their individual events but I think they all want to win as a team and that keeps them all tied in and they want to do it together.”
A week after winning its first Mississippi Valley Conference divisional title since 2014 West High added a district title to its season accomplishments on Thursday and in the process showed it was capable of pushing for another title next week in Des Moines.
West High rolled up 176 points to finish 16 in front of last year’s third place finisher at state Cedar Rapids Kennedy while defending 4A state champion Cedar Rapids Prairie was third with 126 points.
“We really wanted to win it,” West High junior Austin West said. “Getting a banner is a great thing and going into state with some confidence we knew if we could win this we could really wreak havoc at the state meet.”
The team emphasis was evident in the district lineup for West High on Thursday as the Trojans captured a trio of relay titles.
Senior Derek Nugent, junior Austin West and sophomore Gabe Caruthers all ran legs on the winning 4×400, and distance medley teams while West and Caruthers were also on the victorious sprint medley squad.
“We are trying to qualifying individuals but we have relays that are really important to us so those kind of keep us connected,” West said. “Those are something that we really enjoy.”
Caruthers, West and Nugent gave a brief glimpse into the individual talent on the West High roster with impressive performances in their lone solo performances.
Nugent shaved more than a second off his previous career-best time in winning the 800 in 1:55.52.
“It’s totally team-based in our mind,” West High senior Derek Nugent said. “We have goals of qualifying people and scoring as many points as we can and winning and we were able to do those both today.”
Caruthers blazed to the 200 title in 21.97 and West won the 400 hurdles by more than a second in a time of 54.69.
All three winning times would have ranked in the top six in Class 4A entering the day and all three athletes could likely reached the state meet in other individual events.
Instead they helped West High earn auto bids to state in three relays.
“Honestly that is what we have talked about since day one is if we are going to do this lets do it together,” Craig said. “I have said to them I don’t remember the times I ran in high school but I remember the times I had with the people I was running with. That’s what’s most important to these guys and that’s what makes it fun as a coach.”
Nugent, Caruthers and West joined Chris Low to win the 4×400 in 3:20.75, nearly two seconds faster than their previous best time.
The sprint medley foursome of Caruthers, West, Trumell Roberts and Kimball Henstrom took a full second off their top time while winning in 1:32.74.
Nugent anchored the distance medley team of West, Cartuthers and Dillon Doyle to a win in 3:32.96.
“We are really happy,” Nugent said. “We wanted to be district champs and we are super excited to take as many guys as we can down to the state meet and score as many points as we can next weekend.”
West High finished first and second in both the 1,600 and 3,200 as sophomore Kolby Greiner swept the distance events, edging teammate Ali Ali in both.
Greiner won the 1,600 in 4:27.76 and the 3,200 in 9:28.71.
“Those two guys put a real charge into our team,” Craig said. “They gave us some big points in the 3,200 18 points and I think that got our guys excited and then it just came down to the 4×100 and 4×400 and just getting the stick around.”
Max Hill earned an automatic state berth with a runner-up finish in the 110 hurdles.
Jonathan Gannon was third in the discus and Alex Kleinow was third in the shot put both with distances that should be good for additional qualifier spots.
“I am absolutely thrilled with it,” Craig said. “These guys are putting it out there for each other and that’s fun as a coach.”
Class 4A, District 5
At City High
Team scores – 1. West High 176; 2. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 160; 3. Cedar Rapids Prairie 126; 4. City High 93; 5. Ottumwa 67; 6. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 44; 7. Newton 32; 8. Burlington 25.
(Automatic state qualifiers; Area place winners)
100 – 1. Josue Bokoyo (CRJ) 11.1; 2. Tim Kelly (CRK) 11.21; 7. Trumell Roberts (ICW) 11.63; 8. Kimball Henstrom (ICW) 11.82.
200 – 1. Gabe Caruthers (ICW) 21.97; 2. Sam Yeaway (OTT) 22.41.
400 – 1. Sam Yeaway (OTT) 49.65; 2. Zach Jones (ICH) 50.0; 4. Lucas Firmstone (ICH) 51.2; 5. Ethan McAreavy (ICW) 51.65; 6. Nate Jelinek (ICW) 51.81.
800 – 1. Derek Nugent (ICW) 1:55.52; 2. Jim McMillan (ICH) 1:57.78; 4. JP Rethwisch (ICH) 2:00.38; 6. Kyle Sulwer (ICW) 2:03.43.
1,600 – 1. Kolby Greiner (ICW) 4:27.76; 2. Ali Ali (ICW) 4:28.39; 5. Michael Berg (ICH) 4:32.07; 7. Michael Taylor (ICH) 4:35.65.
3,200 – 1. Kolby Greiner (ICW) 9:28.71; 2. Ali Ali (ICW) 9:34.27; 3. Michael Berg (ICH) 9:43.11; 6. Ry Threlkeld-Wiegand (ICH) 9:54.55.
110 hurdles – 1. Joah Banks (CRP) 14.22; 2. Max Hill (ICW) 14.78; 4. Rex Thompson (ICH) 15.3; 7. Cole Mabry (ICW) 15.86.
400 hurdles – 1. Austin West (ICW) 54.69; 2. Mike Jasa (CRP) 56.09; 3. Max Hill (ICW) 56.11; 6. Max DePrenger (ICH) 59.39; 8. Noah Kabat (ICH) 59.84.
Sprint medley – 1. West High (Kimball Henstrom, Trumell Roberts, Gabe Caruthers, Austin West) 1:32.74; 2. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 1:33.16; 3. City High (Vance Dillon, Rajay Rodney, Jack Roggeveen, Zach Jones) 1:34.08.
Distance medley – 1. West High (Austin West, Dillon Doyle, Gabe Caruthers, Derek Nugent) 3:32.96; 2. Cedar Rapids Prairie 3:35.99; 6. City High (Vance Dillon, Rajay Rodney, Jack Roggeveen, Daniel Brown) 3:44.32.
Shuttle hurdle – 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie 58.0; 2. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 58.63; 3. West High (Cole Mabry, Max Hill, Caden Fedeler, Javonte Williams) 59.28; 5. City High (Rex Thompson, Malik Kimber, Max DePrenger, Oisin Leopold) 59.95.
4×100 – 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie 42.95; 2. City High (Zach Jones, Jack Roggeveen, Rajay Rodney, Vance Dillon) 42.97; 6. West High (Kimball Henstrom, Trumell Roberts, Matthew Huff, Devlin Lockman) 44.27.
4×200 – 1. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 1:27.55; 2. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 1:30.8; 6. West High (Devlin Lockman, Dillon Doyle, Jackson Steburg, Jared Sams-Merriwether) 1:34.44; 8. City High (Vance Dillon, Rajay Rodney, Griffin Moore, Jimmy Momberg) 1:35.45.
4×400 – 1. West High (Derek Nugent, Chris Low, Austin West, Gabe Caruthers) 3:20.75; 2. City High (Daniel Brown, Zach Jones, Lucas Firmstone, Jack Roggeveen) 3:21.67.
4×800 – 1. City High (Jim McMillan, Jimmy Momberg, JP Rethwisch, Daniel Brown) 8:02.38; 2. Cedar Rapids Prairie 8:02.41; 4. West High (Kyle Sulwer, Ethan Goers, Ethan McAreavy, Nate Jelinek) 8:15.16.
High jump – 1. Malik Haynes (CRK) 6-5; 2. Jared Sams-Merriwether (ICW) 6-3; 4. Dillon Doyle (ICW) 6-0.
Long jump – 1. Marty Borseth (CRP) 23-1; 2. Terrell Jordan Jr. (CRK) 21-10 ½; 6. Ryan Gudenkauf (ICW) 19-10; 8. Cole Mabry (ICW) 19-7.
Shot put – 1. Jackson Coker (CRK) 60-2 ½; 2. Sam Pape (CRK) 51-0 ½; 3. Alex Kleinow (ICW) 49-10 ¼; 4. Landon Green (ICW) 49-6 ¾; 6. Quinton Runge (ICH) 46-8 ¼.
Discus – 1. Jackson Coker (CRK) 175-10; 2. Cam Jones (CRK) 154-11; 3. Jonathan Gannon (ICW) 154-4.