O'Connor Helps Clippers Win First District Title


Photo by Jeff Yoder / CCA district gallerySolon district gallery

Your Prep Sports

VAN HORNE – Clear Creek Amana didn’t have a staggering performance from an individual on Friday its district track and field meet.

No Clear Creek Amana athlete won multiple individual titles didn’t pile up loads of relay championships either.

None of that stopped the Clippers from making program history.

Clear Creek Amana won four events and added a pair of runner-up finishes on its way to the first district team title in program history at the Class 3A, District 1 meet at Benton Community High School in Van Horne.

“We’ve got depth, which is good,” Clear Creek Amana coach Ben Robison said. “If you take Nick O’Connor out of the mix, we don’t have a “freak” like a lot of 3A schools do. We’re consistent in most of the stuff and we’ve got depth right now.”

O’Connor did his best to fit into the freak category on Friday night.

The junior won the 1,600 finished second to teammate Brandon Barker in the 3,200 and anchored the Clipper 4x800 relay team to a title as Clear Creek Amana finished with 110 points to emerge from a tight field to win the team title.  

“Nick O’Connor is an animal,” Robison said. “If he’s not one of the top distance runners in Eastern Iowa in 3A, then I don’t know who is.”

Solon had four individual titles and a pair of runner-up finishes on its way to a runner-up team finish with 104 points.

Vinton-Shellsburg and Benton Community each had 101 points and Cedar Rapids Xavier was fifth with 99 as the top six teams were separated by just 13.5 points.

When the dust settled it was Clear Creek Amana that was at the top of the heap for the first time in history.

The Clippers added a title in the 4x200 relay and got a runner-up finish from Alex Figueoa in the 100 while securing the team title.

“Our sprinters actually quietly had a good night and we just nickel and dimed all night to get points,” Robison said. “We came out with the team title.”

The Clear Creek Amana distance crew led by O’Connor played a big role in the title.

O’Connor won the 1,600 in 4:38.14 while Barker won the 3,200 in 10:05.60 with O’Connor right on his heels at 10:05.9.

“I had an advantage that nobody else had because I had a teammate right there with me,” Barker said. “He really helped me know how I needed to pace myself right there at the end and I wouldn’t have been able to get the win without him.”

The Clippers got a big boost from its 4x800 team that came in seeded third more than eight seconds behind leader Grinnell.

The foursome of Tom Johnson, Kaden McAreavy, Jack Sexton and O’Connor took more than 14 seconds of their top time this season winning in a school-record time of 8:07.07.

“We came in ranked third, but not having a doubt in our mind that we could win at all so that was the main goal,” O’Connor said. “Overall, just like to help the team score as many points as possible because we knew coming in here that we had a good chance at getting a district title or one of those top three finishes.”

Solon swept the throwing events and got a title from Jace Andregg in the long jump on its way to a runner-up finish.

Rocky Lensing won the shot put with a mark of 52-11 and Solon went 1-2 in the discus with Coal Flansburg winning with a season-best toss 164-4 ½ and Hayes Dierson placing second.

Andregg won the long jump with a leap of 20-0 ½ and the Spartans also got a runner-up finish from Thomas Brandt in the 400 hurdles and the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams were both third.

“Everything that we ran tonight was a season’s best which was exactly where you want it, on the biggest stage, at the right time, so you can accomplish those things that you want to.” Solon coach Mark Sovers said. “They kind of outran their seeds, which was awesome. Great effort by those guys tonight. I’m very proud of them.”

Adam Bock won the 100 title for Solon in a time of 11.52 and the Spartans had six individual automatic qualifiers.

Bock was also the anchor on the 4x100 and 4x200 that will await at-large state meet berths.

“I felt the best I’ve felt all year,” Bock said. “I think it mostly that comes from working hard in the weight room all year and then kind of backing down for district track, so you can really run your PRs. That was a career best, I’ve had a PR in almost every meet lately.”

Class 3A, District 1 Meet

At Benton Community High School in Van Horne

Team scores – 1. Clear Creek Amana 110; 2. Solon 104; 3. Vinton-Shellsburg 101; 4. Benton Community 101; 5. Cedar Rapids Xavier 99; 6. Center Point-Urbana 96.5; 7. Grinnell 65.5; 8. South Tama 60

Individual Results (Automatic qualifiers; Area placewinners)

100 – 1. Adam Bock (SOL) 11.52; 2. Alex Figueroa (CCA) 11.54

200 – 1. Blake Osborn (BC) 22.57; 2. Drake Crawford (ST) 22.94; 4. Alex Figueroa (CCA) 23.40; 7. Jack Bell (SOL) 23.79

400 – 1. Blake Osborn (BC) 50.37; 2. Keith Keahna (ST) 52.20; 3. Kaden McAreavy (CCA) 54.71; 5. Brayden Rickertson (SOL) 54.12

800 – 1. Nathan Skala (CRX) 1:57.71; 2. Joe Simon (GRI) 1:59.59; 6. Tom Johnson (CCA) 2:06.70; 7. Gavin Zillyette (CCA) 2:06.95

1,600 – 1. Nick O’Connor (CCA) 4:38.14; 2. Matthew Cunningham (GRI) 4:40.13; 4. Jack Sexton (CCA) 4:47.99

3,200 – 1. Brandon Barker (CCA) 10:05.69; 2. Nick O’Connor (CCA) 10:05.90

110 hurdles – 1. Carson Hennings (CRX) 15.42; 2. Charlie Dudley (V-S) 15.56; 4. Harrison Rosenberg (CCA) 15.94; 6. Thomas Brandt (SOL) 16.35

400 hurdles – 1. Charlie Dudley (V-S) 56.67; 2. Thomas Brandt (SOL) 57.00; 4. Quentin Gisleson (CCA) 58.05

Shot Put – 1. Rocky Lensing (SOL) 52-11; 2. Nick Takes (CPU) 48.9.5; 5. Kyle Puettman (SOL) 43.8.75;  

Discus – 1. Coal Flansburg (SOL) 164-4.5; 2. Hayes Dierson (SOL) 150-1.5; 5. TJ Bollers (CCA) 137-11.5;

High jump – 1. Keith Keahna (ST) 6-7; 2. CJ Rickels (V-S) 6-3); 4. Colton Hoffman (SOL) 5-8

Long jump – 1. Jace Andregg (SOL) 20-0.5; 2. Payton Vest (ST) 20-0; 6. Ben Swails (CCA) 19-1; 7. Eddie Richey (SOL) 18-6

4x100 – 1. Cedar Rapids Xavier 44.22; 2. Vinton-Shellsburg 44.45; 3. Solon (Jace Andregg, Jackson Pipolo, AJ Coons, Adam Bock) 44.48

4x200 – 1. Clear Creek Amana (Zach Kabbage, Gage Freeman, Trever Stockman, Alex Figueroa) 1:32.88; 2. Vinton-Shellsburg 1:33.61; 3. Solon (Jace Andregg, Jackson Pipolo, AJ Coons, Adam Bock) 1:33.88

4x400 – 1. Benton Community 3:29.31; 2. Grinnell 3:30.21; 7. Clear Creek Amana (Kaden McAreavy, Tom Johnson, Jack Sexton, Quentin Gisleson) 3:40.18; 8. Solon (Brayden Rickertson, Brad Yeomans, Aidan Dall, Bo Janssen) 3:43.17

4x800 – 1. Clear Creek Amana (Tom Johnson, Kaden McAreavy, Jack Sexton, Nick O’Connor) 8:07.07; 2. Center Point-Urbana 8:08.67; 7. Solon (Ben Devalk, Tyler Bilskie, Brayton Blair, Bo Janssen) 9:13.33

Shuttle hurdle relay – 1. Benton Community 1:01.37; 2. Vinton-Shellsburg 1:02.44; 3. Clear Creek Amana (Harrison Rosenberg, Zaid Rachman, Ben Swails, Trever Stockman) 1:02.57; 5. Solon (Mason Stahle, Brady Jeworrek, Jackson Ryan, Thomas Brandt) 1:05.86

Sprint medley relay – 1. Benton Community 1:33.93; 2. Cedar Rapids Xavier 1:35.73; 4. Solon (Adam Bock, Colton Hoffman, Jack Bell, Brayden Rickertson) 1:38.63; 7. Clear Creek Amana (Nate Beckmann, Mason Stanfield, Andrew Swails, Griffin Butler) 1:43.83

Distance medley relay – 1. Center Point-Urbana 3:40.15; 2. Grinnell 3:40.57 4. Clear Creek Amana (TJ Bollers, Ben Swails, Gavin Zillyette, Quentin Gisleson) 3:49.72; 5. Solon (Ryan Geistkemper, Lucas Walker, Aidan Dall, Brad Yeomans) 4:00.46

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