Solon Throwers Add to Medal Count, Tradition
By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – Another chapter was added to the Solon throwing legacy on Friday with two more state medals.
Before the 2017 state track and field meet could come to a close junior Tyler Linderbaum and sophomore Coal Flansburg were already thinking about writing a different end to the next chapter.
Linderbaum finished third and Flansburg seventh in the Class 3A shot put on Friday but both left Drake Stadium in Des Moines with an eye on the future.
“It’s motivation for next year to try to win it all,” Linderbaum said. “A top three finish is good but I’m always trying to get better and better.”
Mount Vernon senior Tristan Wirfs became the first athlete in 40 years to win both the shot put and discus in back-to-back years, claiming the title with a throw of 63-4 ½.
Algona junior Dominick Etherington was second with a throw of 55-10 ¾ while Linderbaum finished third with a toss of 53-11 ¼.
Flansburg was seventh with a toss of 50-8 ½.
“When you bring back people like Coal and Tyler on top of them being very good athletes you look forward to what they can accomplish because you know they are going to work,” Solon coach Mark Sovers said. “Those are the kind of people you want involved in your program.”
The third-place finish was a four-spot jump for Linderbaum who finished seventh in his state debut last season as a sophomore.
This year it was Flansburg who finished seventh as a sophomore in his first trip to state.
The 50-8 ½ Flansburg threw on Friday was seven inches further than Linderbaum’s seventh place throw from a year ago.
“It’s really motivation just to know that I can throw a lot farther than I did today,” Flansburg said. “I know there is a lot more left in the tank, I didn’t perform my best today but I’m excited to come back next year.”
The medals for Linderbaum and Flansburg capped another strong state meet for Solon throwers.
Solon qualified two athletes in both events and three of the four earned state medals as senior Jackson Walker was seventh in the discus on Thursday.
“We have a great coach,” Linderbaum said. “Coach Wymer is a great coach and he helps us strive for our best and he really helped us a lot to get in the position that we are in right now.”
Friday marked the sixth straight season Solon has earned a medal in a throwing event.
The Spartans have had two state champions during that stretch and had earned multiple medals half of those seasons.
“There is no doubt about it, they know the tradition of the throws and they take pride in carrying that forward,” Sovers said. “They invest so much time it’s fun to see their investment come through.”
Solon freshman Gabbi Bullard earned a medal at her first state meet appearance.
Bullard finished seventh in the 3A 400 hurdles in a time of 1:07.22.