Your Prep Sports Area Boys Track and Field Athletes to Watch This Season
Your Prep Sports
The track season officially gets underway for area teams this week.
That means the opening day of the 2023 State Track and Field meet is just eight weeks away.
The three-day state meet gets underway on May 18 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines leaving just seven weeks until district meets determine the state tournament qualifiers.
Between now and then the Your Prep Sports area once again figures to be home to some of the best track teams and most exciting individual performers in the state.
Here are 10 Your Prep Sports area track and field athletes to watch this season all the way through the state meet in May.
Senior, City High
One of the top distance runners in the state and best in City High history Washburn is seeking to put the finishing touches on a stellar prep campaign.
Washburn posted a pair of individual top-two finishes at the state meet last season highlighted by a state title in the Class 4A 3,200 in a time of 9:05.35.
A Northern Arizona recruit, Washburn was 4A state runner-up in the 1,600 in a time of 4:14.24 and was a member of the City High 4×800 relay team that placed fourth at the 4A state meet.
Junior, West High
One of the biggest breakthrough performers of the 2022 season, Jacobsen posted a pair of top-three performances at the 4A state meet last season.
Jacobsen finished third at the state meet in the 400 hurdles in a time of 53.82 as a sophomore and enters the season among the favorites to claim a state title in the event.
In addition to the third-place finish in the 400 hurdles Jacobsen ran the 400-meter leg on the West High distance medley team that finished runner-up at the state meet in 3:30.55.
Senior, City High
Schaeckenbach joins Washburn as one of the key pieces for City High which is attempting to build on its runner-up team finish at the 4A state meet last season.
A versatile athlete, Schaeckenbach was a four-event state qualifier last season posting top-four finishes in three individual events.
Schaeckenbach finished third in the 110 hurdles in a time of 14.98 at the 4A state meet and added fourth-place finishes in both the 400 hurdles and high jump.
This season Schaeckenbach is off to a stellar start, setting the City High school record in the high jump by clearing 6-10 ¼ at the University of Dubuque indoor meet.
Looking for a candidate for a big-time breakthrough in 2023?
Look no further than Bachus who showed late in the 2022 season he is capable of being among the best in Class 3A.
Bachus finished fourth in the 400 at the 3A state meet last season in a time of 49.74 and was a member of the Solon state-qualifying 4×400 relay team that missed qualifying for the finals by .22 seconds.
Solon coaches are expecting big things from Bachus this season both in open events and as a part of what should be a strong Spartan relay group.
Senior, West High
A four-event qualifier last season Janis will look to put the finishing touches on a strong career with a big senior season.
The leader of a talented West High sprinters group, Janis was a 4A state qualifier in both the 100 and 200 last season as well as helping the Trojans qualify for the state meet in the 4×100 and 4×200.
Janis headlines a group of three returning runners from the West High 4×100 team that finished sixth at the 4A state meet in 42.79.
Senior, Liberty High
A stellar junior season capped by a state title catapulted Lucas into the list of the top hurdlers in the state.
Lucas won the Class 4A 110 hurdle title in a time of 14.25 after posting the fastest time in the prelims.
This season Lucas will attempt to defend his 110 hurdle title after three of the top four finishers from last season were juniors.
Lucas also helped the Liberty High shuttle hurdle relay team qualify for the state meet last season.
Senior, Clear Creek Amana
A multi-year presence in the Clear Creek Amana lineup Schlemme figures to be critical piece for the Clippers in his senior season.
Last season Schlemme was a member of the Clipper shuttle hurdle relay team that placed sixth at the Class 3A state meet in a time of 1:02.82.
This season look for Schlemme to be a big part of the Clipper relay lineup in addition to his hurdling duties.
Senior, City High
Another of the foundational pieces for a City High team that figures to once again be in the 4A title conversation Smith was a four event qualifier a year ago as the Little Hawks finished runner-up at the state meet.
A middle-distance standout, Smith anchored the City High distance medley relay team to the 4A state title last season in a time of 3:28.69.
Smith was also a member of the City High 4×800 relay team that finished fourth and was a qualifier in the open 800 and the 4×400 relay.
Coming off a breakthrough sophomore year O’Neil continued his ascent toward the top of the small school distance ranks with a second consecutive state cross country medal this fall.
Now O’Neil will look to build on a strong sophomore track season in which he qualified for state in both the 3,200 and 1,600 earning a state medal in the 3,200.
O’Neil finished eighth in the 3,200 in a time of 10:08.25 at the 2A state meet last season and added a 13th place finish in the 1,600 in 4:40.04.
Senior, West Branch
A two-event state qualifier last season Palmer is one of several returning varsity stalwarts in what expects to be an experienced and competitive West Branch squad.
Palmer was a Class 2A state meet qualifier in both the open 800 and the distance medley relay last season.
Last season as a junior Palmer ran the 800 leg on the Bear distance medley relay team that finished 21st at the 2A state meet in a time 3:46.22 and added a 15th place finish in the 800 in a time of 2:03.89.
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