Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – With a majority of his track career spent focusing on the short sprints Luke Meyers had never really enjoyed the 400.
That began to change this season for the Liberty High senior.
On Thursday it changed in a big way.
Meyers posted the best state meet finish of his career with a runner-up finish the 400 at the Class 4A State Meet at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
“It’s getting better,” Meyers said of the 400. “The more in shape I get the better it gets. It is growing on me a little bit.”
The runner-up finish in the 400 was the end to an impressive opening day for Meyers.
He did his work early in his preferred events, qualifying for the finals in both the 100 and 200.
Meyers clocked a 11.06 in the 100, the third fastest mark in prelims.
He had the fifth-fastest prelim time in the 200, his favorite event, at 22.3.
“It’s my favorite race because it’s a full sprint but it does take a little bit of pacing and skill,” Meyers said of the 200. “I thought I ran pretty well today in all my races.”
The 400 performance was the biggest surprise of the day for Meyers.
To start the season Meyers wasn’t sure he would even run the 400 at the state qualifying event this year.
He ran the eighth-fastest time in 4A this season at the Mississippi Valley Conference Divisional Meet on May 5 at 50.09 and won the 400 at the state qualifying meet last Thursday.
Meyers ran a career-best 49.58 to win the second of three heats on Thursday and then watched the final heat.
“My goal was to win my heat and chances are one of the eight behind me won’t beat me and I’ll place,” Meyers said. “Pulling out second was a complete shock to me so that felt great.”
Ankeny’s Tyrese Miller won the 400 title in 48.71 but the pack trailing Miller was quite a bit off the pace.
As Meyers watched the runners cross the finish line he and checked the Drake Stadium video board he couldn’t believe what he saw.
“I wasn’t really expecting to beat Tyrese, he was out there and I knew he was going to in the 47s but I didn’t know if I was going to be able to hold off that other group behind him,” Meyers said. “When the times came in and I saw 49.58 was second I was really excited after.”
McKane Finishes Fifth
West High senior Alex McKane has always thrived on competition.
That is part of what has helped turn McKane into one of the top distance runners in the state in what has been a historic year for distance running.
Fueled by a loaded field McKane placed fifth in the 3,200 at the Class 4A state meet on Thursday.
“I’ve always been more of a fan of going and getting eighth in a race and running a school record and competing and running a great team than go win a small meet and not run a great time,” McKane said. “It’s been awesome just to compete against these guys, it makes me work harder at practice every day.”
McKane finished fifth in a time of 9:20.57 on Thursday.
An Iowa State recruit, McKane went out quick on Thursday and ran behind leader Will Ryan of West Des Moines Dowling for much of the first six laps before falling back to fifth over the final 800.
“I knew that going out slow like last year wasn’t going to play to my advantage,” McKane said. “I wanted to go for it. At the end of the day I have nothing to lose. I just wanted to do the best I could for my team. The last 600 was pretty rough but I wouldn’t have done it any other way.”
City High junior Ford Washburn won the title in 9:05.35 while Jacob Mumey of Pleasant Valley was second in 9:13.85 and Ryan was third in 9:15.48.
Hayden Kuhn of Linn-Mar finished fourth in 9:17.19.
“It’s been awesome running against these guys,” McKane said. “They are great guys and it’s an awesome time coming out and competing with them and against them. It’s been a blast.”