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State track meet brings out personal bests for Solon boys

Ira, Linderbaum 2nd
Tyler Linderbaum’s best throw in the Class 3A shot put. It (59-01 1/4) came in the preliminary round, and held as the best throw overall until the last round in the finals, when Algona’s Dominick Etherington launched one 61-0 3/4  to take first. Linderbaum was second.

DES MOINES– The Solon boys track and field team found success against tough statewide competition, again.
“We were really pleased with our team performance at the state track meet. Our goal from the beginning of the year has always been to go out and compete as the best version of ourselves each time we have the opportunity. When you can do it during championship season it is very satisfying,” said Coach Mark Sovers.
Luke Ira captured the silver position on the podium, taking second in the 110-meter hurdles finals, running a 14.82 following a 14.89 in qualifying time, second-fastest in Class 3A only to Gratt Reed’s 14.31. Reed hails from Atlantic.
The 4x100-meter team of Kendrick Harris, Adam Bock, Spencer Wegmann and Luke Ira ran to a 10th-place finish in the preliminaries with a time of 44:29 but did not make the finals. The squad finished the season 10th-ranked in the state in the 2018 season.
In the 3A 4x200-meter relay, the 1:34.01 time of the Solon quartet comprised of Jackson Pipolo, Kendrick Harris, Adam Bock and Spencer Wegmann took 19th place in the state.
In the 4x100-meter relays, the Spartans’ team of Kendrick Harris, Adam Bock, Spencer Wegmann and Luke Ira combined for a 44:29 time and a 10th-place finish in the state without making it out of the preliminaries.
Solon’s Tyler Linderbaum grabbed silver with an 18.01-meter hurl in State 3A 12-pound shot while Luke Schaeckenbach took 20th with his 14.43-meter toss.
Linderbaum again found a podium finish as the third-best in the State 3A discus finals with his 50.64-meter throw, bested only by Mount Vernon Mustang Matt Vislisel’s 51.58-meters in the 1.6 kilogram discus and West Delaware’s Harrison Goebel’s 51.73-meters. Linderbaum sat one position above teammate Coal Flansburg’s fourth-place 49.65-meter toss.
A 6.19-meter leap in the high jump perched Ira as 14th-best in the state.
Although the state rankings are a barometer of comparison, Coach Sovers and crew have dwelled on positive personal performances, building to positive results all season, not just championship season.
“Tyler Linderbaum had six throws in the shot put which were better than his personal best on the year. Luke Ira was able to run his personal record in the finals of the high hurdles and the 4x200 relay ran a personal best in the finals. The 4x100 and sprint medley relays were close to their personal records on the year,” he said. “All of this was a result of investing in each other and truly being happy for your teammate and their success. When you do the things you need to do, you can experience the things you want to experience when you want to experience them.”
Coach Sovers talked about the legacy he felt this season’s group of seniors provided. “Anytime you are involved with something you want to have a positive impact and leave a legacy. The seniors definitely did that, their legacy will be the power of relationships and their ability to invest in each other. They were truly happy for each other no matter who was having success at any given time. They responded for and with each other no matter the circumstances. Track can sometimes be viewed as an individual sport, but they showed everyone you can truly experience success and joy when you do it for others.”
Now it’s time for review, and assess the changing of the guard.
“There is a time when you step back and reflect on everything you accomplished together. The day-to-day interactions is what we miss the most. It is exciting to see them grow throughout the season and watch them find joy in what they are doing in the moment,” Sovers said. “The relationships will still be there, they will just look a little different. We enjoy every moment of the season and never take anything for granted.”
He was also quick to point toward the future and the growth of the underclassmen moving up. “Every experience they have between now and the start of next season will impact them individually and our journey next year. We want them to share their gifts and talents with others. We also want them to take some time to celebrate the feel good moments and appreciate what they accomplished throughout the year and not let anything take that away from them.”
Coach Sovers has been building track and field teams for years, cultivating the positives and capitalizing on them and the success they grow. “We are excited for our future and every year is a little different than the one before,” he said. “We have very good leadership coming back in our upperclassmen who will be ready to step into new roles on and off the track. We will have a good balance throughout the lineup with the lower classmen running the middle distance and distance events this year.”