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Spartans take third at WaMaC Super Meet

Consistency keeps Solon in contention until final event
Nate “Nato” Christensen bursts from the blocks to lead off the shuttle hurdle relay, with Lee Hanus holding the blocks, as Bo Black waits for his leg of the event on Thursday, May 5, at the WaMaC Super Meet held in Tiffin at Clear Creek Amana High School. Christensen, Streeter McIlravy, Black and Luke Ira finished third in the relay. (photo by Jeff Hess)

TIFFIN– The Spartans’ boys track and field team traveled to Clear Creek Amana High School in Tiffin, on Thursday, May 5, to face the first of three potential crucibles in as many weeks. The WaMaC Super Meet saw 15 teams from the conference battling for bragging rights and the top three positions were decided in the final three events of the evening.
Vinton-Shellsburg, Mount Vernon and Solon were vying for the top spots right up until the lights went dark on Clear Creek Amana’s track. As the bus pulled away, Vinton-Shellsburg won the event with 99 team points, Mount Vernon scored 95, taking second, and Solon rounded out the top three with 93.
Matt Roeder started the scoring for the Spartans with a leap of 6-2 in the high jump, the field rich with the talent of eight jumpers capable of leaping 6-0 or greater. As one of those eight jumpers, his teammate Streeter McIlravy added team points, finishing fourth.
In the long jump, Halston Durr flew 20-11 1/2 to take second and Spencer Lawson hurled himself 20-5 landing in fifth in a field filled with competition able to clear the 20-0 mark.
Coal Flansburg heaved his way to fifth with a throw of 48-6 and Tyler Linderbaum’s throw of 47-3 captured the last team point in the shot put with his eighth-place finish.
Jacob Coons finished sixth in the discus with a toss of 133-7 and Tyler Linderbaum’s sixth place hurl (133-4) netted more team points.
In the 4x800-meter relay, the team of Graeson Dall, Ben Krutzfeldt, Adam Smith and Jake Schaeckenbach finished second in 8:12.52, setting a new school record.
Nate Christensen started working his magic for the evening running with Streeter McIlravy, Bo Black and Luke Ira in the 440-meter shuttle hurdle relay, grabbing third place with their team effort of 1:00.64. Christensen also ran in the 100-meter dash (finishing fourth with a 11.23), the 200-meter dash (finishing fifth in 22.85) and teamed again with Bo Black, Roeder and Brandan Childs to capture third in the 4x100 with a time of 44.02.
Graeson Dall finished seventh in the 400-meter run, and second in the 800-meter.
The third-place finish by Childs, Austin Kennedy, Coons and Roeder in the 4x200-meter relay in 1:33.33 also padded the team point total.
Ira and McIlravy added to the team points with their third- (15.34) and eighth-place finishes (16.26) respectively in the 110-meter hurdles.
The combination of Grant Goldsberry, Trevor Nelson, Austin Kennedy and Schaeckenbach ran a 3:48.42 in the 1,600-meter distance medley relay, good for fifth-place.
The consistent scoring kept things close; close enough to throw a blanket over the three teams vying for the top of the mountain. The meet was decided in the final event where the Solon quartet of Kennedy, Trevor McGill, Goldsberry and Schaeckenbach ran a 3:38.15 in the 4x400-meter relay. In the talent-rich, 15-team deep field– with four teams capable of 3:30s or less– it was only good enough, on this particular evening, for a ninth-place finish.
When asked to share the emotions he and the team felt during the final events, Coach Mark Sovers commented via email, “We were ahead by four points over Vinton-Shellsburg and three points over Mount Vernon going into the 4x400 relay. We felt a sense of satisfaction and could reflect back on our performances throughout the meet with no regrets. When you set goals and then go on the journey together to help them come to reality, there was a sense of excitement and satisfaction of watching them unfold in front of you.”
When asked if he felt pressure hosting the 3A District Championships at Spartan Stadium, Sovers responded, “We are excited about the district track meet being at Solon. It is a great opportunity to represent the school and the community and show everyone what makes our community special. Plus it is always a positive to be at home competing in familiar surroundings.”
When pressed for predictions Sovers demurred. “We are excited for the opportunity ahead at the district track meet,” he said. “Our goals always begin with understanding the role each person plays on our team and executing that role to the best of our ability. When everyone can do this you put yourself in position to experience team success. Our goal is to give the kind of effort it will take to have the opportunity to be district champions. The process you go through to help this become reality is the most important thing.”
With such a competitive conference, the Spartans have their work cut out for them on Thursday, May 12, at 4 p.m., when the 3A District Championships start. If the Spartans can dip into their stable of consistent performers, the Spartan boys may visit Drake Stadium, starting on Thursday, May 19, vying for another state championship.
“We are excited to build off the momentum and excitement of championship season. We believe our best is ahead of us and we look forward to that happening on our home track,” Sovers concluded.