Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – A state title, 10 big team points and a pair of backflips to cap it all off.
City High had it all in another strong day at the Class 4A State Track and Field Meet at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
City High won the distance medley relay, scored in three events and increased its lead into 4A team race to 11.5 points with a big day on Friday.
Senior Jovan Harris put the exclamation point on the day with a couple of celebratory back flips on the Drake Stadium infield turf.
“Before we ran I said if we win this I am definitely hitting a back flip because we will be state championship,” Harris said. “I had to hit a back flip after winning that.”
Harris and the Little Hawks are only halfway home to the celebration they really want.
City High got individual top-six finishes from Matt Schaeckenbach in the 400 hurdles and TaeShon McDaniels in the shot put to push its 4A leading team point total to 43.5 after 10 events.
Linn-Mar is second with 32 points and West Des Moines Dowling is third with 29 points entering the final day of competition on Saturday.
“It feels great to finally call myself an actual state champion but we are still just starting,” Harris said. “We still want to go win the whole thing. We are just taking it one event at a time.”
City High gave its title hopes a shot in the arm with a dramatic win in the distance medley.
The Drake Relays winning foursome of Sam Rew, Ronnie Major, Harris and Smith entered with the fastest time in the state this season.
City High had the 10th fastest state qualifying meet time putting the Little Hawks in the second of three heats where.
Smith closed with a 1:54 on the 800-meter anchor as City High won the second heat in 3:28.69.
“1:54 I am happy with that,” Smith said. “I am happy with 1:54 but we got the win and that’s what matters.”
Then City High waited.
The time for City High on Friday was faster than the 3:28.7 that City High ran in winning the Drake Relays.
No other team in the state had run under 3:31.09 this season.
“It was tough to watch,” Rew said. “We ran a good time so was confident with it. We hadn’t seen any of those teams run that time this whole year yet but there is always a chance that some team comes up and runs a crazy fast time so it was a little scary. It was three and a half minutes of just praying.”
Rew and Major had City High off to a strong start in the distance medley.
Harris gave the Little Hawks lead with a strong 400-meter leg and Smith took care of the rest with his 1:54 anchor leg.
“I know Sam and I are going to do our jobs but once they get the stick its over,” Major said. “They are just freak athletes. They are insane.”
Even then City High had to sweat it out.
Cross-town rival West High made a run at the winning 3:28.69 finishing runner-up in 3:30.55.
“It was stressful,” Harris said. “I was looking at the clock and I knew it was going to be close and as soon as they passed 3:28 I knew it was us.”
The distance medley title was the highlight of another strong day for City High.
Schaeckenbach finished third in the 400 hurdles in a season-best time of 54.33 while McDaniels was sixth in the shot put with a mark of 52-0.
“Every little point matters,” Harris said. “If it is half a point or 10 points, no matter what it is because it’s going to be close at the end so every point counts.”
Class 4A State Track and Field Meet
At Drake Stadium
Team scores (Top 10; area teams) – 1. City High 43.5; 2. Linn-Mar 32; 3. West Des Moines Dowling 29; 4. Cedar Falls 22; 5. North Scott 20; 5. Indianola 20; 7. West High 18; 7. Ankeny 18; 9. Southeast Polk 17.5; 10. Dubuque Senior 16; 10. Sioux City North 16; 10. Pleasant Valley 16; 15. Liberty High 10
State champions; area participants
400 hurdles – 1. Matthew Kruse (Dubuque Senior) 52.8; 3. Aidan Jacobsen (West High) 53.81; 4. Matt Schaeckenbach (City High) 54.33; 14. Clayton Bopp (West High) 57.32; 15. Maxwell Thompson (Liberty High) 57.36
Distance medley relay – 1. City High (Sam Rew, Ronnie Major, Jovan Harris, Ammon Smith) 3:28.69; 2. West High (Todd Rent, Izaiah Loveless, Aidan Jacobsen, Alex McKane) 3:30.55; 10. Liberty High (Jalen Wieck, Carter Meyers, Jeremiah Madlock, Gavin Keeney) 3:35.58
4×200 – 1. West Des Moines Dowling 1:27.5; 10. West High (Nate Gudenkauf, Izaiah Loveless, Todd Rent, Christian Janis) 1:30.12; 11. Liberty High (Wyatt Williams, Ben O’Connor, Lucas Meyer, Luke Meyers) 1:30.44; 19. City High (Sam Rew, Mike Rew, Deon Brown, Drew Larson) 1:33.09
Long jump – 1. Abu Sama (Southeast Polk) 24-2 ¾; 9. Aidan Jacobsen (West High) 20-9 ½; 21. Kylin Crittenden (West High) 19-6 ½
Shot put – 1. Nolan Recker (Muscatine) 59-9 ¾; 6. TaeShon McDaniels (City High) 52-0;