ELDORA - South Tama County coach George Kuhter had a feeling the North Iowa Cedar League West Division boys' track and field meet would come down to depth late in the meet.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, Kuhter was exactly right.
East Marshall won three relays, scored 14 points in the 800-meter run and soared past South Tama in the team race as the Mustangs claimed their first conference championship since going back-to-back in 1999-2000.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
East Marshall senior Zach Rubenbauer prepares to hand the baton off to teammate Josh Benzing during the Mustangs’ winning 4x800 relay at the NICL West track and field meet. The Mustangs won three relays on the night and won their first NICL West meet since 2000.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
South Hardin senior Bryce Zeisneiss throws in the shot put at the NICL West Division track and field meet Thursday in Eldora. Zeisneiss ended up second in the event but won his fourth straight NICL West title in the discus earlier in the night.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
Ben Terrones, who was named the boy's athlete of the meet, won the 800 and also was a part of the Mustangs' winning 4x800 and 4x400 relay teams. East Marshall had 10 top-three finishes on the night and were just a little deeper than the Trojans in the end.
"East Marshall has a really good," said Kuhter. "I have been watching them all year and they were my sleeper pick for this thing. They were just a little deeper than us in the 800 tonight. That was the difference in the meet. They scored 14 points and we scored just one."
Terrones' winning time in the 800 was 2 minutes, 5.99 seconds but his teammate Josh Benzing also scored four points with a fourth-place finish in 2:09.78. Terrones also was second in the 1,600-meter run.
"I didn't expect that," Terrones said of winning the athlete of the meet. "I definitely have worked hard this year, but I couldn't have gotten that award without my teammates and without the help of God. I pray before every race and it paid off for me tonight."
East Marshall finished 13 points ahead of South Tama County (84), while AGWSR was four points back of the Trojans with 80 points. Host South Hardin was fourth with 77 and BCLUW ended up fifth with 75. West Marshall took sixth 10 points back, and Gladbrook-Reinbeck (53) and Grundy Center (27) rounded out the field of eight teams.
"The 800 was a crucial event tonight for sure," said East Marshall coach Ryan Hull. "We had a feeling we could double up in the event."
Hull was not surprised his Mustangs hit the tape in the 4x400 or the 4x800 but said the winning 4x200 squad entered the meet with the fourth best time. He also admitted that West Marshall getting disqualified in the event helped his team's cause but credited the guys for running hard.
"We thought we could move up in some relays," said Hull. "West Marshall has a really good 4x200 team so them dropping the baton obviously helped us. But the guys stepped up too and got things done for us."
Dylan Kalinay was a part of three wins for South Tama. He won the 100 in 11.68 and hit the line first in the 110 high hurdles with a time of 15.65. He also anchored the Trojans' winning 4x100 team that also included Tyler Blocker, Zach Morris and Robert Tyynissmaa. That group hit the line in 45.13. Kalinay also took second in the 200. It was the second straight 110 hurdles title for the Trojan senior.
"It feels great to be able to go full speed and be pain free again," said Kalinay, who recently returned from a hip injury. "It felt good to come out on top again in the hurdles."
Rose won two distance races for the Tigers. He hit the line first in the 1,600 with a time of 4:46.52 and won the gold medal in the 3,200 in 10:17.36. Rose also anchored the Tigers to a new NICL record in the distance medley relay. That group also included Jordin Wilkie, Sam Shindelar and Bobby Hatton and their record time was 3:44.81. That was the only boys record set Thursday.
"It feels good. You put a lot of hard work in and it's fun to have it pay off in the end," said Rose, who will run at Northwestern College next season. "I just want to thank my coaches and God and I tried to give it all I had and leave it up to Him."
Rose's teammate Bryce Zeisneiss recently returned from an injury in time to win his fourth straight discus title. He did not hit a personal-best mark but still wound up with a winning throw of 145 feet, 7 inches. He also took second to AGWSR's Clay Meinders in the shot put with a toss of 47-2 1/2, beating Gladbrook-Reinbeck's Zach Pierce by one-half inch.
"It feels great to be back throwing again. It hasn't hit me yet but a lot of people have come up to me and said congrats," said Zeisneiss of his fourth discus title. "That feels good. My goal was to get top three and to go out with a bang. I think I did that."
AGWSR was just four points out of second place. The Cougars got two wins and two runner-up finishes from Austin Heitland and Meinders claimed a conference title in the shot put.
Heitland won the 200 and 400 and came up just short in the 100 and 800. He bested West Marshall's Elijah Streeter in the 400 by just .04 seconds with a time of 51.15. He won the 200 with a time of 23.24, also beating Kalinay by 4-hundredths of a second.
Meinders' top throw in the shot put was a scratch on his first throw, but the Cougar junior still managed to reach his second best mark of the season with a toss of 53-2. He also finished fourth in the long jump in his first-ever varsity meet. Evan Janssen also gave the Cougars first-place points in the high jump with a leap of 5-10.
Meinders got a little redemption in the shot put after coming up short against Pierce last season. He made sure that he came home with a gold medal this year.
"Last year was a goof up by me," said Meinders of his second-place finish last year. "My main goal was to not let that happen again. I had a really bad night last year. I finished strong last year and I have been consistent this year so things are going well so far."
BCLUW was just two points out of fourth place. The Comets were highlighted by Luke Asche's win in the 400 hurdles and a victory in the shuttle hurdle relay.
That foursome included Asche, Conner Ubben, Taylor Sams and Will Garber and they finished with a time of 1:02.18. Garber also was second to Kalinay in the 110 high hurdles. Cole Silver also was second to Rose in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600.
West Marshall's lone win came from Nick Juel in the long jump. The Trojan senior recorded a personal-best jump of 21-0 3/4 on his first attempt and then did not jump again.
The Trojans also took second in the 4x100 and 4x400 and Duncan Ferch was third in both the 200 and the 100. The 4x100 included Blake Young, Juel, Devin Chesler and Ferch and the 4x400 featured Juel, Jake Thompson, Sam Sheer and Streeter.
"It was a disappointing night for us," said Trojan coach Troy Clark. "We thought we'd fare better in the relays and we dropped the baton in the 4x200 for the second straight meet. We have to figure that one out here soon."
Gladbrook-Reinbeck's best finishes came from Pierce, who was second in the discus, and Eric Stoakes, who was second in the 400 hurdles. The 4x800 team also was second.
Grundy Center's top finisher was Jordan Stoner, who ended up third in the 110 high hurdles.