Breaking Down the Boys District Track and Field Meets

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

Class 4A District 2

When: Thursday, 4 p.m.

Where: City High

Teams: City High, West High, Ottumwa, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Western Dubuque, Dubuque Senior, Dubuque Hempstead, Burlington

Who Qualifies: The top two finishers in each event earn automatic berths to the state meet along with the next 12 best performances from all six 4A meets

Team Title Chase: West High enters as the favorite with its top competition coming from Western Dubuque, Cedar Rapids Prairie and City High.  

Athlete to Watch: Austin West will look to take the first step in putting the finishing touches on what has already been an impressive senior season. West owns the top performances in the state this season in the long jump (23-3) and 400 hurdles (51.96) and is a key performer on West High relay teams.

Event to Watch: The 800 meter field could feature as many as five competitors with sub-2 minute times separated by less than a second. City High has the top two times entering competition with junior Daniel Brown (1:58.63) and senior JP Rethwisch (1:58.64) separated by less than a second.

Don’t Miss This: It’s almost always worth sticking around for the 4x400 relay but this field makes it a necessity. The top four teams are separated by just more than second with only two automatic spots up for grabs. Cedar Rapids Prairie enters with the top time at 3:22.64 while West High has clocked a 3:23.08 and City High a 3:23.66.  

Breakdown: West High will be seeking a second consecutive district title after edging Cedar Rapids Kennedy by 16 points at Raffensberger Track at City High last season. The Trojans have the top qualifying mark in six events including both throwing events where Landon Green has the top mark in the shot put (56-11) and Jonathan Gannon the best toss in the discus (174-8).

City High has the second best qualifying time in in both the 4x800 and distance medley relay.

Class 3A District 4

When: Thursday, 4 p.m.

Where: Mount Pleasant

Teams: Liberty High, Davenport Assumption, Fairfield, Fort Madison, Keokuk, Mount Pleasant, Washington, West Burlington-Notre Dame

Who Qualifies: The top two finishers in each event earn automatic berths to the state meet along with the next eight best performances from all eight 3A meets

Team Title Chase: Host Mount Pleasant has the top qualifying time in 12 events and is a heavy favorite to claim the district title.

Athlete to Watch: Liberty High sophomore Drake Woody should contend for a pair of district titles with the second best qualifying time in both the 400 (52.89) and 400 hurdles (57.6).

Event to Watch: The Liberty High 4x400 relay team figures to push for one of the two automatic qualifying spots. The Lightning enter with the third best time at 3:38.33 while Mount Pleasant has the top time at 3:37.41 followed by West Burlington/Notre Dame at 3:37.94.

Don’t Miss This: The top four teams in the sprint medley relay are separated by .63 with West Burlington/Notre Dame, Liberty High, Washington and Mount Pleasant expected to battle for two automatic spots.

Liberty High has the second fastest time at 1:38.14 trailing only West Burlington/Notre Dame (1:37.99).

Breakdown: The first ever district meet for Liberty High should end with a handful of automatic qualifiers.

Liberty has top-three qualifying marks in nine events including five relays.

Peter Woodward has the second best time in the 3,200 at 10:20.78 while Bo Gryp has the third best time in the 800.

Class 3A District 7

When: Thursday, 4 p.m.

Where: Pella

Teams: Clear Creek Amana, Benton Community, Chariton, Grinnell, Knoxville, Oskaloosa, Pella, South Tama

Who Qualifies: The top two finishers in each event earn automatic berths to the state meet along with the next eight best performances from all eight 3A meets

Team Title Chase: Give host Pella a slight edge but Benton Community and Clear Creek Amana are capable of putting pressure on the Dutch.

Athlete to Watch: Clear Creek Amana senior Seb Johanson enters with the top time in the 110 hurdles (15.04) and the second best long jump mark (20-7 ¾) and has a strong shot at being a four-event auto qualifier. Johanson has run on the Clippers’ 4x100 and shuttle hurdle relays that each enter with the second-best marks.

Event to Watch: The 4x100 projects as a possible photo finish as Benton Community, Clear Creek Amana and Oskaloosa enter with times separated by .07. Benton owns the top time at 45.0 while Clear Creek Amana and Oskaloosa have each clocked a 45.07.

Don’t Miss This: Clear Creek Amana sophomore Nick Gerard has become state title contender in the long jump and enters with the seventh best jump in the state and third best in Class 3A this spring at 22-4 ½.

Breakdown: Clear Creek Amana is primed for its best district performance under head coach Ben Robison with top two qualifying marks in eight events.

Jack Sexton has the second-best time in the 1,600 to go with Gerard and Johanson in the long jump and Johanson in the 110 hurdles.

Relays will be key for the Clippers with four teams entering with the second best qualifying time and the distance medley owning the top time.

Class 3A District 8

When: Thursday, 4 p.m.

Where: Solon

Teams: Solon, Anamosa, Central DeWitt, Maquoketa, Marion, Mount Vernon, Dubuque Wahlert, Cedar Rapids Xavier

Who Qualifies: The top two finishers in each event earn automatic berths to the state meet along with the next eight best performances from all eight 3A meets

Team Title Chase: Marion and Dubuque Wahlert are the favorites in a balanced field with Mount Vernon, Solon and Cedar Rapids Xavier trying to push their way into the conversation.

Athlete to Watch: Solon senior Luke Ira placed seventh at the Drake Relays last month in the 110 hurdles and his season-best time of 14.9 is tops among district competitors, 10th in the state and third in Class 3A.

Event to Watch: The shot put should be among the most entertaining events of the evening with three throwers with marks of better than 53 feet this season.

Solon senior Tyler Linderbaum has the top toss at 57-1 ½ while Cedar Rapids Xavier senior Ethan Brown (55-0 ½) and sophomore Josh Volk (53-11 ½) aren’t far off.

Don’t Miss This: Marion senior Blair Brooks is a state title contender in both the long jump and high jump and has the top qualifying marks that are top-four marks in the state this spring in both.  Brooks also anchors the Marion 4x200 and 4x400 relays that enter with the top qualifying time.

Breakdown: A strong field figures to produce some excellent performances and an entertaining evening at Spartan Stadium

Led by Brooks and senior distance ace Jeremy Fopma, Marion enters with the top qualifying time in eight events.

Dubuque Wahlert has the top mark in six events including three relays and has the top two qualifiers in both the 100 and 200.

Solon will be led by its throwers. Linderbaum has the top qualifying mark in the shot and junior Coal Flansburg enters as the leader in the discus (169-3).

Class 2A District 1

When: Thursday, 4 p.m.

Where: Dike-New Hartford

Teams: Regina, Aplington-Parkersburg, Dyersville Beckman, Waterloo Columbus, Dike-New Hartford, East Marshall, Jesup, Monticello, South Hardin, Union, West Marshall, Williamsburg

Who Qualifies: The top two finishers in each event earn automatic berths to the state meet along with the next eight best performances from all eight 2A meets

Team Title Chase: With the top qualifying mark in eight events Dyersville Beckman earns the favorite nod.

Athlete to Watch: Regina junior Luke Stein will be seeking a sweep of the throwing events. Stein has the top mark in the discus at 153-0 and ranks second behind East Marshall’s Justin Ridout in the shot put with a toss of 53-8.

Event to Watch: The shortest event of the evening should be a good one as Gage Hazen-Fabor (11.07) of Williamsburg and Evan Wulfekuhle (11.09) of Dyersville Beckman each have top-five Class 2A times in the 100 and expect to duel for the top spot.

Don’t Miss This: Dyersville Beckman enters with the second fastest 4x400 time in Class 2A this season at 3:27.79 but will get pushed by Dike-New Hartford which enters with a top-five time of its own at 3:29.3.

Breakdown: On the strength of its sprint relay teams Dyersville Beckman appears to be the class of the field. The Blazers own the top times in the 4x100, 4x200, 4x400 and sprint medley.

Regina will be led by its throws group highlighted by Stein. Nathan Meyer has the fourth best qualifying time in the 3,200 and Ryan Bonthius has the third best mark in the 800.

Class 2A District 6

When: Thursday, 4 p.m.

Where: Tipton

Teams: West Branch, Bellevue, Camanche, Cascade, Durant, Louisa-Muscatine, North Cedar, Northeast, Tipton, Wapello, West Liberty, Wilton

Who Qualifies: The top two finishers in each event earn automatic berths to the state meet along with the next eight best performances from all eight 2A meets

Team Title Chase: Coming off a runner-up finish at the River Valley Conference meet West Liberty is the favorite in a field made up of 10 RVC squads. 

Athlete to Watch: West Liberty senior Tanner Iske won the Drake Relays 100 and is a heavy favorite to sweep the 100 and 200 events. Iske has the top 100 time in the state at 10.68.

Event to Watch: West Branch enters with the fourth fastest time in the sprint medley relay but is less than a second off the second-best time held by Wapello. The Sprint Medley could be among the best chances for the Bears to earn automatic qualifier status in a relay.

Don’t Miss This: Check out the West Liberty sprint relay teams. The Comets lead Class 2A in the shuttle hurdle (59.26) and 4x200 (1:31.1) and have the third fastest time in 2A in the 4x100 (43.7).

Breakdown: With 10 of the 13 RVC squads in the field this will look a lot like a replay of last week’s River Valley Conference meet.

West Branch has a pair of relays with top-five qualifying times with its 4x800 and sprint medley squads each fourth.

Ben Thompson has the fifth best time in the 800 at 2:05.79.