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Spartans take first at home meet

Bo Black anchors the shuttle hurdle relay team, competing with Luke Ira, Trevor Nelson and Streeter McIlravy, to take first in the event on Tuesday, April 19. (photo by Jeff Hess)

SOLON– Tuesday, April 19, was Tanner Wymer’s birthday.
The Solon boys and girls track and field teams did what they could to honor him, first by wishing him a happy birthday, complete with balloons, then by championing the home track meet in both boys and girls competition.
The Denny Gruber Coed Relays honored Tanner and the Wymer clan, who have been in the hearts and minds of everyone in Solon an accident in January that claimed the Solon senior, and made it clear Tanner was still in the community. From the No. 78 written on several competitors’ arms, to the black #78 Wymerstrong T-shirts worn by the girls team, to the ever-present Wymerstrong round logo adorning the back of the boys track team’s orange T-shirts, the meet was dedicated to Tanner Wymer.
The evening’s program also paid homage to Tanner, his family, and the athletics they loved and supported with the dedication of a bench, located between the throwers’ area and the football field– Tanner’s passions. The bench bears pictures of Tanner, a quote attributed to Tanner– “It isn’t dying you need to be afraid of, it’s never having lived in the first place,” and four words– courage, compassion, persistence and loyalty.
The dedication was held at dusk during the meet, the lights of Spartan Stadium were extinguished, a moment of silence was held, and Chinese lanterns– small hot air balloons– were released into the chilly night sky, and “Happy Birthday” was sung in Tanner’s honor by family, friends and the community.
A fitting tribute, punctuated by the boys track and field team’s performance, taking first among the teams present.
In the field events, Matt Roeder sprung into first in the high jump with Streeter McIlravy taking second; in the long jump, Halston Durr leaped to second and Luke Ira bounded to third; and in the discus, Tyler Linderbaum threw his way to first and Jacob Coons hurled his way to second.
In the track events, the Spartan team of Jake Schaeckenbach, Ben Krutzfeldt, Adam Smith and Graeson Dall grabbed second in the 4x800 relay; in the 440-meter shuttle hurdle relays, Solon’s team of Ira, Trevor Nelson, McIlravy and Bo Black scrambled their way to first; Nate Christensen continued his 100-meter success taking first; Ira grabbed first once again in the 110-meter hurdles; Christensen showed dominance taking first in the 200-meter run; Solon’s 1,600-meter medley relay team of Keegan Hess, Coons, Grant Goldsberry and Smith ran to second; Dall championed the 800-meter run; and the Spartans’ 4x100-meter relay team of Black, Roeder, Brandan Childs and Christensen raced to first.
Four meet records were broken during the competition– Solon’s 4x100 relay team of Black, Roeder, Childs and Christensen set a new meet record with their 44:07 time besting the 44:26 previously run by Mount Vernon in 2015.
When asked about the importance of this senior night and honoring Tanner Wymer, coach Mark Sovers responded by email saying, “The credit goes to the athletes and their ability to come together and invest in each other. It was an extra-special night to be part of and have the opportunity to reflect on the impact our seniors have had on our program, as well as remembering the impact their teammate Tanner Wymer had on everyone. It was a great example of how sharing a strong purpose together can bring about positive outcomes.”
Sovers also added, when asked about the dedication ceremony and how the other coaches responded, “ We communicated with (the other coaches) the timing of the events in relationship to the meet. The big thing that struck me the most was the response of everyone during the events. All the coaches and their teams were into the moment and the emotions of the night and allowed everything happen, as it should. To us, it was reflection of the respect even people outside of Solon have for Coach Wymer and his family.”
A few notable mentions from the evening, that made it especially poignant, were Katie Misel claiming first in both the shot put and the discus - Tanner’s events, Jackson Walker winning the throwers relay in resounding fashion- completing the last two legs of the relay in the missing man formation to honor Tanner, and, as a culmination of sorts, just before exiting the field, the boy’s team came together on the Spartan logo and broke it down to the cry of “Wymerstrong” before exiting the field as champions; one more time with Tanner in their hearts.
“The meeting at the end was to add closure to a meet that had a significant impact on so many people,” Coach Sovers commented. “One of the things that have always had an impact on people is the strong sense of community you feel in Solon. We want to be intentional about trying to capture this through everything we do. Powerful things can happen when people come together on and off the track and that is what Tuesday night was all about.”
So many positive things can come out of a young man’s life; it seemed somehow fitting, as many people left following the meet, turned the key to start their car, their radio displays lit to 103.7, and the verse from the Cole Swindell song “You Should Be Here” wafted from the speakers.
“...You’d be loving this, you’d be freaking out, you’d be smiling, yeah I know you’d be all about what’s going on right here right now...”

Spartans stats, as reported by Kauder Racing, LLC:
Team standings: 1: Solon 148, 2: Vinton-Shellsburg 123, 3: Mount Vernon 117, 4: Regina 60, 5: North Cedar 47, 6: Assumption 38, 7: Beckman 20
High jump: 1:Roeder 6-0, 2: McIlravey 6-0, 5: Adam Bock 5-4
Long jump: 2: Durr 20-9 1/4 , 3: Ira 20-8 1/4, 6: Christensen 20-0 ¼
Shot put: 6: Linderbaum 44-7, 8: Schaeckenbach 41-9, 9: Ben Wilkerson 41-4, 10: Walker 40-7
Discus: 1: Linerbaum 143-3, 2: Coons 138-5, 4: Jackson Walker 133-3
4x800: 2: Solon A : Schaeckenbach, Krutzfedlt, Smith, Dall 8:27.00, 7: Solon B : Keegan Holub, Marcus Ortiz, Tanner Larkey, Cole Paisely 9:28.66
3200-meter: 5: Simon Duster 11:19.32
440-meter Shuttle Hurdle: 1: Solon A : Ira, Nelson, McIlravy, Black 1:02.93
100-meter: 1: Christensen 11.40, 7: Hess 12.22, 11: Spencer Wegmann 12.52
400-meter: 4: Austin Kennedy 53.21, 6: Trevor McGill 53.89
4x200: 5: Solon A : Childs, Durr, Trevor Nelson, Roeder 1:39.08
110 Hurdle: 1: Ira 15.67, 5: Hanus 17.58
1600-meter: 9: Carl Richey 5:40.61
200-meter: 1: Christensen 22.99, 4: Roeder 23.29
400 hurdle: 6: Schaeckenbach 1:02.22, 7: Hanus 1:02.28
1600 Medley: 2: Solon A: Hess, Coons, Goldsberry, Smith 3:58.48
800-meter: 1: Dall 2:03.01, 6: Cole Paisely 2:16.75, 7: Larkey 2:27.89
4x100: 1: Solon A: Black, Roeder, Childs, Christensen 44.07, 8: Solon B: Isaac Vang, Matt Folkerts, Payton Bandy, Wegmann 48.31
4x400: 5: Solon A: Kennedy, Goldsberry, McGill, Schaeckenbach 3:39.42, 8: Solon B: Kendrick Harris, Greg Brandt, Smith, Krutzfeldt 3:48.94