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Boys build momentum at CCA Invitational

Field events strong as ever

TIFFIN– It may have only been the second meet for the Solon boys track and field team this season, due to Mother Nature’s recent bipolar conflict, but the results following the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Boys Invitational held in Tiffin on Thursday, April 5, proved two things; the future looks bright for Solon track competitors and the field events are solid as ever.
Sophomore A.J. Coons placed fourth with a leap if 5-8 in the high jump.
Junior Ryan Geistkemper took fourth among 34 long jumpers with an 18-10 bound, junior Adam Bock took 10th with a jump of 18-8, and sophomore Payton Herdliska nabbed 11th place with 18-6 3/4.
Senior Tyler Linderbaum championed the shot put circle with a throw of 53-3, junior Rocky Lensing threw his way to third-place tie with 48-4, junior Kyle Puettmann grabbed eighth place with his 42-1 hurl, and Cade Tucker took 14th place with his toss of 40-9 in the 47-competitor deep field.
In the 46-competitor deep discus field, senior Luke Schaeckenbach took fifth, sophomore Hayes Diersen sixth, Linderbaum seventh, and Grant Kollar 13th-place with throws of 138-7, 135-3 1/2, 134-3 1/2 and 117-6 1/2 respectively.
expressed almost a giddiness speaking about the possibilities looming this season for the team’s field participants.
“We are very excited about the athletes we have in the field events and the possibilities that are ahead of them,” Coach Mark Sovers said about the possibilities looming this season for the team’s field participants. “As a team we always try to make field events a very important part of our identity because of the impact they have on the track meet from the very beginning.
“The throws (shot and discus) are two events that will help set the tone for us with the leadership that is returning from last year,” he added. “We have the ability to (accomplish) some very special things when it comes to the throwing events.”
The Solon sprint medley relay team A of Kendrick Harris, Spencer Wegmann, Jackson Pipolo and Ben Krutzfeldt finished in 1:40.92, second in heat two, good enough for eighth overall. The B team comprised of Luke Luu, Danny Knezevich, Jackson Ryan and Brayden Rickertsen finished second in the first heat with a time of 1:47.63, placing 15th overall among the 22 teams competing.
Competing against 26 other competitors in the 3,200-meter run, sophomore Ethan Kober battled the pack to finish 14th overall with a time of 11:26.40.
In the 4x800-meter relay, the Spartan freshmen team of Ben DeValk, Westen Stiegelmeyer, Brad Yeomans and Tyler Bilskie finished with a time of 10:02.60 in 13th place.
Thomas Brandt, Coons, Geistkemper and Luke Ira combined for the 440-meter shuttle hurdle relay good enough for eighth place in a field of 16 with a time of 1:04.73 taking first in the third heat race.
In the 100-meter dash, Luu ran to a 25th-place finish taking second in the second heat race with a time of 13.20, Matt Folkerts took 36th place with a seventh-place finish in his heat with a 13.76, and freshman Brock Reimers finished 46th with a seventh-place finish in heat two with a time of 15.83.
In the 1,600-meter distance medley relay, Solon team A comprised of Mason Stahle, Jack Bell, Dillon Hoit and Brayton Bair posted a time of 4:14.69 taking third in heat two for a 12th-place finish. Solon’s B team composed of Brady Stotler, Lucas Walker, Noelan Garbes and Bo Janssen placed sixth in the first heat with a time of 4:38.97 for 19th-place overall.
Sophomore Miles Fuller finished 19th in the 400-meter run after taking fourth in heat two with a time of 1:03.59. Freshman David Bluder ran to a first-place finish in his heat with a time of 1:04.24 for 23rd-place overall and freshman Cade Chapman ran a 1:05.32 taking fifth in the third heat race, placing 25th overall.
The 4x200 relay team of Bock, Pipolo, Coons and Spencer Wegmann took third in the second heat with a time of 1:35.99 finishing in 10th place while the team of Ryan, Rickertson, Knezevich and Colton Hoffman finished 17th after taking third in heat one with a time of 1:43.57; the field was filled with 23 teams.
Ira championed the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.53 taking first in heat three as Solon’s only competitor in the 20-member field.
In the 800-meter run, Spartan freshman Brad Yeomans grabbed 19th place, finishing first in the first heat race with a time of 2:23.73, Stiegelmeyer took ninth in the same heat, finishing 31st overall with a time of 2:38.68 and freshman Noelan Garbes took 10th in the same heat with a time of 2:41.26 for 32nd place.
Stahle took 11th place in the 200-meter dash, finishing fifth in heat five, posting a time of 25.93. Folkerts grabbed 27th place after finishing seventh in the fifth heat with a time of 27.98 in the field of 42 runners.
In the 400-meter hurdles, Brandt ran a 1:02.29 taking second in heat three and finishing in ninth place overall among 25 competitors.
In the 1,600-meter run, Solon ran Kober (5:21.89), Bilskie (5:25.52), DeValk (5:36.88) and Elijah McInnis (6:35.61) to take 22nd, 25th, 35th and 43rd places.
Harris, Bock, Spencer Wegmann and Ira combined to run the 4x100-meter relay in a time of 45.02 for fifth place and the sophomore team of Stotler, Fuller, Lucas Walker and Herdliska united to finish in 21st place with a time of 52.35.
With a field of 23 teams, the Spartan team of Brandt, Geistkemper, Hoit and Krutzfeldt posted a 3:49.32 taking fourth in the third heat to finish in 10th place in the 4x400-meter relay.
“There is no doubt we were all not satisfied with our season last year. This year we went back to what has made us successful, believing in the process. Our team is really focused on competing each time out and enjoying each moment,” Coach Sovers said. “At Clear Creek Amana, we competed at a higher level and looked stronger finishing races. That is what will provide opportunities for us to be successful this year.”
Each meet is an opportunity to learn something as an athlete and a person, he noted.
“This year, our goal is to invest in one another and the success our teammate may experience,” he said. “Each meet we have opportunities to make it come alive.”
The Spartans’ track and field schedule showed Solon competing at Iowa Valley in Marengo on Tuesday, April 11, however Mother Nature refused to approve. They compete with the girls team in the North Davenport Coed Meet at Brady Street Stadium, in Davenport, on Thursday, April 12, starting at 4 p.m. The rescheduled track and field meet at Iowa City West High School is scheduled for Saturday, April 12, starting at 10:30 a.m., then the junior varsity boys track team competes at Marion High School’s track, in Marion, on Monday, April 16, at 4:30 p.m. The girls’ and boys’ track and field teams host the Denny Gruber Coed Invitational at Spartan Stadium on Tuesday, April 17, starting at 4:15 p.m. Friday, April 20, the boys are on the road again visiting West Liberty High School, in West Liberty, with events starting at 4:30 p.m.
“When you have the opportunity to compete against very good competition, like what will be at Brady Street on Thursday, you are provided the chance to see what you are doing well and most importantly it highlights the areas we need to grow in,” Coach Sovers said.
“So far this track season, we have had the opportunity to put into practice the idea we may not be in charge of our current circumstances but we are in charge of the choice we make to respond,” he added. “Our response matters, is what we have been able to talk about and then put into practice early this spring. What an opportunity to practice and emphasize a skill that matters.”