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Solon boys 3rd at Denny Gruber

Linderbaum, Krutzfeldt, Ira, throwers relay and shuttle hurdle relay team 1st, Flansburg, Kober and 4x100 2nd, 800m sprint medley 3rd
Spartan Senior Tyler Linderbaum catapults the shot put during the Denny Gruber Coed Relays hosted at Spartan Stadium on Tuesday, April 17. Linderbaum, who already qualified for Drake, threw 55-2 1/2 to win the event. (photos by Jeff Hess)

SOLON– Coach Mark Sovers and his coaching staff always make the Denny Gruber Coed Relays exciting and this year, held at Spartan Stadium on Tuesday, April 17, was no different.
Marion championed the team podium with 108 points, Mount Vernon captured second with 104 team points and Solon finished the evening in the bronze podium position with a score of 97 team points. The rest of the field was occupied by Vinton-Shellsburg (93), Beckman (60), Regina (52), North Cedar (50) and Davenport Assumption (24).
“The Denny Gruber Relays are special to us and we understand what an honor and privilege it is to compete in them,” Coach Mark Sovers said. “Coach Gruber is what Solon Track and Field is all about and that is relationships and people. He is a great example for everyone in how you treat people determines the success you will experience. It is also a great way for us to say thank you to our seniors and their families and the positive impact they have left on our track program.”
During the field events, freshman Colton Hoffman leaped to 5-8 capturing four team points and fourth place in the high jump. Sophomore Payton Herdliska hurled himself 18-9 to capture seventh place in the long jump, followed by junior Ryan Geistkemper with a leap if 18-8.
Solon senior Tyler Linderbaum championed the shot put with a throw of 55-2 1/2, collecting 10 team points, and junior Rocky Lensing tossed the shot 49-8 1/2 garnering four team points for fourth place; senior Luke Schaeckenbach threw 47-2 1/4 for fifth place and junior Coal Flansburg captured eighth place with a toss of 45-4 3/4.
In the discus, Flansburg came in second, collecting eight team points for his toss of 158-7 and Linderbaum’s 153-11 landed him in third place, adding six more team points to Solon’s total; Lensing finished in 10th place with a throw of 125-11.
During Solon’s running events, the 800-meter sprint medley relay team of Kendrick Harris, Spencer Wegmann, Jackson Pipolo and Ben Krutzfeldt earned the team six points with their third-place finish in a time of 1:40.01. Solon sophomore Ethan Kober clocked a time of 11:07.90 to collect eight points for his second-place finish in the 3,200-meter run. Gaining a team point for Solon, the team of Brayton Bair, Tyler Bilskie, Ben DeValk and Brad Yeomans clocked a time of 9:38.82 in the 4x800, claiming seventh place. The Spartan shuttle hurdle relay team of Thomas Brandy, Geistkemper, A.J. Coons and Luke Ira won the event with a time of 1:03.02 adding 10 points to the Solon team total. In the 100-meter dash, freshman Eddie Richey ran to a seventh-place finish with a time of 12.07, adding a team point to Solon’s total and senior Matt Folkerts ran to 13th in 13.52.
Solon’s 1,600-meter distance medley relay team of Seamus Poynton, Mason Stahle, Dillon Hoit and Clay Gerdin claimed fourth-place honors and the associated four team points while the team of Luke Luu, Bo Janssen, Noelan Garbes and Westen Stiegelmeyer ran a 4:30.96 to finish ninth.
Krutzfeldt was first with a time of 55.32 in the 400-meter dash, and freshman David Bluder (1:03.19) and Cade Chapman (1:03.88) ran to 12th- and 13th-place, respectively. Spartans Jackson Ryan, Danny Knezevich, Brayden Rickertsen and Colton Hoffman turned in a time of 1:43.64 in the 4x200-meter relay for a ninth-place finish.
Ira won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.16. In the 800-meter run, DeValk (2:26.54) and senior Elijah McInnis (2:56.97) finished in ninth- and 13th-place, respectively. In the 200-meter dash, Pipolo ran a 24.90 to a fifth-place finish and junior Mason Stahle grabbed eighth-place with a time of 25.66. Thomas Brandt ran the 400-meter hurdles to a fifth-place finish with a time of 1:03.26. In the 1,600-meter run, Kober ran an eighth-place 5:15.99 and Bilskie finished in 5:20.78 for 10th place. Harris, Adam Bock, Spencer Wegmann and Ira captured silver status with a time of 44.99, adding eight points to the team total.
In the 4x100-meter throwers relay, the team of Hayes Diersen, Luke Schaeckenbach, Linderbaum and Flansburg ran to a champion finish in 47.91, not part of the team scoring.
The 4x400-meter relay combination of Brayton Bair, Brad Yeomans, Rickertsen and Jack Bell came in sixth-place with 3:52.05 and the team of Geistkemper, Hoit, Brandt and Krutzfeldt finished in 3:52.98 for an eighth-place.
“We are always excited to compete at our home meet and represent Coach Denny Gruber and our seniors. This tends to bring out the best in our performances,” Coach Sovers commented. “Really proud of our distance events and the way they are going out and competing each and every day.”
Coach Sovers said the 4x800-meter relay (Brayton Bair, Tyler Bilskie, Ben DeValk, Brad Yeomans) set a personal record by eight seconds; Ethan Kober in the 3,200-meter run set a personal record by 19 seconds; and the shuttle hurdle team of Brandt, Coons, Geistkemper and Ira set a personal record by 1.5 seconds.
“Our throws again went out and showed how consistent they can be about setting the tone for us at meets. Tyler Linderbaum set shot put and discus personal records, Rocky Lensing a personal record in the shot and Coal Flansburg with a personal record in the discus,” Coach Sovers added.
Drake qualifiers for the Spartans include: Luke Ira in the 110-meter hurdles, Tyler Linderbaum in the shot put, Coal Flansburg in the discus and the 4x100-meter relay team of Kendrick Harris, Adam Bock, Spencer Wegmann and Luke Ira.
Coach Sovers commented on how the throwers relay performance was indicative of how they help lead the team. “Our throwers work extremely hard and it is fun to see them go out and enjoy the opportunity to run. It was fun to see them be able to display what kind of special athletes they truly are and have fun competing,” he said.
Reflecting on the season to this point, Coach Sover added, “We feel like we have areas to continue to grow in the rest of the season and look forward to improving as the season moves forward. We take pride in the fact we are ahead of last year and have shown improvement over the year. We have some special people on our team and we look forward to some special performances on and off the track as we continue on our journey.”