5 Boys Track and Field Athletes to Watch


Jeff Yoder Photo / iagameday.smugmug.com

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

Track and field season officially begins for area athletes this week with the first outdoor meets of the season.

The goal for every athlete and team is to end the season at the state meet that runs May 17-19 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.

Here are five area athletes to keep an eye on between the now and the state meet in May.

Kolby Greiner

Junior, West High

One of the top young distance runners in the state Greiner was a key contributor last spring as a sophomore during a resurgent season for West High.

With West High back on the map as a state contender Greiner hopes to help push the Trojans back to the top of Class 4A with his own breakthrough season.

Greiner picked up medals in a pair of individual events in his first trip to the state meet a year ago finishing third in the 3,200 in a career-best time of 9:13.35 and adding a seventh-place finish in the 1,500 in 4:21.06.

He will look to improve on those performances this season as West High seeks to build on its ninth-place team finish.

Zach Jones

Senior, City High

Jones burst onto the scene last season when he qualified for the state meet in four events and left Des Moines with a pair of top-four finishes.  

A versatile athlete capable of scoring points in just about any event, Jones was a member of a Little Hawk foursome that qualified for the state meet in the sprint medley, 4x100 and 4x400 relays.

In his lone individual event at the state meet Jones just missed a spot in the finals of the 400 meters but helped City High to a third-place finish in the 4x400 and a fourth-place time in the 4x100.

Austin West

Senior, West High

In his first season as a hurdler West came up just shy of a state title finishing runner-up in the 400 hurdles in a time of 53.09.

West wants a state title in that event this season as a senior and hopes that will help West High take a step closer to a Class 4A team title.

An Iowa recruit that projects as a decathlete at the next level, West was a member of the 4x400 relay team that placed sixth at state last season and ran the 400-meter leg on the Trojans sprint medley team that place sixth.

Tyler Linderbaum

Senior, Solon

Already a two-time state medalist Linderbaum has his sights set on capping his prep career with state shot put title this spring.

Linderbaum has improved in each of his first two trips to state.

He was seventh in Class 3A as a sophomore before finishing third last spring with a mark of 53-11 1/4 .

An Iowa football recruit and two-time state medalist as a wrestler, Linderbaum is one of the top all-around athletes in the state.

Seb Johanson

Senior, Clear Creek Amana

Expectations at Clear Creek Amana are as high as they have been in years and one of the reasons is the experience of seniors like Johanson.

A two-time state qualifier in the shuttle hurdle relay, Johnanson was part of a Clipper squad that finished 11th at the state meet a year ago.

He was runner-up in the 60 hurdles and placed fifth in the long jump at the WAMAC indoor meet earlier this month.