DES MOINES - The Glenwood boys track team didn’t repeat as Class 3A state champions at the Iowa State Track. But you’d be hard-pressed to a find a coach less disappointed with how his team performed than Glenwood boys coach Mark Starner.
“We make no excuses. We came to the meet to compete and we did that,” said Starner, whose team finished in a tie for seventh place in the team standings with Central Clinton. “We played the cards that we were dealt and did our best. That’s all we can do as coaches, asking our athletes to give us their best.
“For our seniors, we gave it everything we had. And to those that will return for next year, I’m sure they will have this meet on their calendar with hopes of higher placing.”
Decorah ran away with the boys team championship. Webster City was a distant runner up with 48 points.
Going into the state meet, Starner knew his team was going to be shorthanded as sophomore Jared Cook was sick and unable to travel with the team to Des Moines. Cook helped qualify the team’s 4 x 800-meter, sprint medley and the 4 x 400-meter relays. With his absence, the Rams were forced to alter their line up in several relays.
“Our initial goal going in to the meet was to place in the top ten and then possibly the top three to get into trophy contention,” Starner said. “We knew it would be tough to repeat as state champs, and unlikely unless everything was perfectly aligned. We were scoring points, but we left some points on the track in some possible scoring opportunities.”
Glenwood got the maximum scoring possibility on Friday morning when Grant May broke his own school record FIVE TIMES in six jumps to win his and the school’s first long jump gold medal. The junior shattered his own school-record of 21 feet, 8.5 inches with a 22 foot jump in the finals.
“His one scratch was less than inch over the board and had the likes of a plus-22 foot jump,” Starner said.
Derek Jones, who entered state with the second fastest time in the 400-meter low hurdles, lost out on a gold medal by a step to Raheem Black of Fort Dodge. Jones took home the silver in the 400-meter low hurdles. In the 400-meter run, Jones placed sixth in a tough race where first and seventh place were separated by just :00.6.
“One of the tightest finishes on the weekend,” Starner said. “Derek ran well, there was just a lot of outstanding sprinters in the field. He ran his season best time.”
Saturday morning belonged to Mark Abrams for Glenwood. The senior ran a personal-best in the 800-meters, placing sixth in 1:59.26. In the 1600-meters, Abrams claimed a fifth place medal.
“In both races, Mark did a great job of putting himself in position to have an opportunity to place,” Starner said.
Clayton Giesting cleared 50 feet in the shot put to qualify for the finals in the event. Giesting placed eighth to earn his first state medal. The senior had earlier placed 10th in the discus.
The Rams’ 4 x 400 relay team of James Fuller, Mark Abrams, Spencer Smith, and Jones reached the finals where they placed eighth.
On the girls side of the Class 3A portion, Glenwood placed 32nd with its three points coming from the 4x100-meter relay team.
While the Rams medaled in just the one event, Glenwood coach Brad Rasmussen was pleased with all of his team’s performances at state.
“While only one event cracked the top eight for medals at this year’s meet, we placed all our events just outside of winning medals,” Rasmussen said. “With all but two members returning to the team in 2013, the future looks bright for the girls’ track team. The senior leadership for this year’s track team was the kind that every coach hopes for. They will be missed, as they helped lay the foundation for a continued rise to the girls track program in Glenwood.”
The Rams’ 4x100 team of Reiny Ostrander, Kecia Caudill, Sarah Salerno, and Courtney Magnussen ran a 50.59 in the preliminaries to break the school record and qualify for Saturday’s finals. In the finals, the Rams ran a 50.76 against a strong head wind to place sixth overall.
The Rams’ shuttle hurdle relay team of Devin Jackson, Lexi Fisher, Ashley Konfrst and Mercedes Liparoto led of the state meet by just missing qualifying for the finals. The Rams finished 14th.
Kecia Caudill, a sophomore running at her first state meet, placed 11th in the 100-meters after entering state ranked 20th.
Cassie Kruse, a two-time state qualifier in the shot, placed 15th in the event this year with a top toss of 36 feet, .25 inches.
Lexi Fisher placed 12th in the 400-meter hurdles after entering state ranked 14th. Fisher was a four-time state qualifier in the event.
“This was an excellent way to end her career,” Rasmussen said of Fisher.
In the 110-meter hurdles, Mercedes Liparoto placed 16th.
Class 3A Boys Team Results
1. Decorah, 65. 2. Webster City, 48.3. 3. Spirit Lake Park, 45. 4. Marion, 44. 5. Fort Madison, 40. 6. Pella, 36. 7. (tie) Glenwood, Central Clinton, 29. 9. Centerville, 28. 10. Waverly-Shell Rock, 27.
Glenwood Boys State Place Winners
Long jump – first place, Grant May, 22’
Discus – 10th place, Clayton Giesting, 149’. 23rd place, Dan Gorman, 97’03”.
Shot put – 8th place, Giesting, 50’2”.
110m hurdles – 14th place, Mitch Bowden, 15.91.
400m run – seventh place, Derrick Jones, 49.69.
400m hurdles – second place, Jones, 53.36.
800m run – sixth place, Abrams, 1:59.26.
1600m run – 5th place, Abrams, 4:30.47.
4x100m relay – 20th Place, Glenwood (May, Levi Henderson, Sam Jameson, Rhett Turner), 45.22.
4x200m relay – 23rd place, Glenwood (Spencer Smith, Turner, Jameson, May), 1:34.67.
4x400m relay – 8th place, Glenwood (James Fuller, Abrams, Smith, Jones), 3:28.02.
4x800m relay – 13th place, Glenwood (Fuller, Jonah Strand, Jeff Reeve, Brady Wheeler), 8:22.63.
Shuttle hurdle relay – 15th place, Glenwood (Jameson, Dane Kruse, Kyle Bowden, Mitch Bowden), 1:01.57.
Distance medley relay – 9th place, Glenwood (Fuller, Turner, Jones, Abrams), 3:37.69.
Class 3A Girls Team Results
1. Wahlert Dubuque, 90. 2. Assumption, 80. 3. Solon, 59. 4. MOC-Floyd Valley, 46. 5. Waverly-Shell Rock, 42. 6. Mount Pleasant, 37. 7. Dallas Center-Grimes, 34. 8. Pella, 32. 9. Harlan, 27.5. 10. Decorah, 24. 32. Glenwood, 3.
State Place Winners
Shot put – 15th place, Cassie Kruse, 36.25”.
Long jump – 21st place, Sarah Salerno, 14’8”.
100m dash – 11th place, Kecia Caudill, 13.378.
100m hurdles – 16th place, Liparoto, 16.86.
400m hurdles – 12th place, Fisher, 1:08.41.
Shuttle hurdle relay – 14th place, Glenwood (Devin Jackson, Lexi Fisher, Ashley Konfrst, Mercedes Liparoto), 1:11.08.
4x100m relay – 6th place, Glenwood (Reiny Ostrander, Caudill, Salerno, Courtney Magnussen), 51.10.
4x200m relay – 15th place, Glenwood (Magnussen, Caudill, Carly Cooper, Chelsea Webster), 1:48.59.