Photo by Jeff Yoder | CCA state track photo gallery
Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – The Clear Creek Amana distance running crew had no doubt a breakthrough cross country season last fall would be the springboard for a strong 4x800 relay this spring.
That proved to be the case for the Clippers it just took a little time.
The Clear Creek Amana 4x800 relay team broke the school record for the second meet in a row on Thursday on its way to a third-place finish in 8:05.58 at the Class 3A state meet on a sunny afternoon at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
“We knew coming into the season that this was going to be one of our strongest events of the year,” Clear Creek Amana senior Kaden McAreavy said. “Cross country really helps a lot. Coach (Ben) Robison really puts us through hell and we just kind of put up with it and we come out and show the results at the state meet.”
Clear Creek Amana had its best showing ever at the state cross county meet last fall with a runner-up finish in 3A.
McAreavy, Jack Sexton and Nick O’Connor were all members of the cross country team and joined sophomore Tom Johnson on the third-place 4x800 relay on Thursday.
“It’s all about the coaching plan,” McAreavy said. “He kicks our butt early on the season and late on he calls it the championship phase and we have some built up energy and we can come out at compete.”
Two weeks ago few outside of Tiffin pegged the Clippers as a major player in the 4x800.
Clear Creek Amana entered the 3A, District 1 meet last week seeded third among eight teams but shaved 14 seconds off its top time this season to become the only team in 3A to break 8:08 on the year.
The 8:07.07 the Clippers clocked at the district meet was a school record and best in 3A this season.
“A few weeks ago we were definitely just trying to get back down to 8:15,” Johnson said. “We knew all year long we could be hitting these 8:05 it just wasn’t happening and we just blew it out these last few meets.”
The district meet was just the start for Clear Creek Amana which set a new school record for the second straight meet on Thursday on a day with temperatures in the low 90s.
Clear Creek Amana cut more than a second off its previous school-record time on Thursday finishing behind state champion Sergeant Bluff-Luton (7:58.68) and Pella.
“Our goal for the whole season was to break the school record and now we have done that twice,” Sexton said. “We had the goal of winning the race, we came in with the best time but we are all ecstatic with a third-place finish.”
Johnson had the Clippers in good position in fifth-place after the opening 800 and McAreavy remained in fifth after 400 meters of his second leg.
The lone senior on the squad then made a move over the 300 meter, moving the Clippers into third place.
“It’s a really hot day and I knew that going in so I just tried to not use as much energy in the first lap and still stay up there with those guys,” McAreavy said. “The last lap I just kicked it.”
Sexton and O’Connor never let that third-place spot slip away.
O’Connor anchored the Clippers to the third-place finish for his second medal of the day.
“I just love to compete with my teammates,” O’Connor said. “It’s not about winning or losing it’s about having fun and competing with your teammates.”
O’Connor started the day by earning the first state medal of his career with an eighth-place finish in the 3,200.
The junior finished in 9:58.55 in the 3,200, passing four runners over the final 400 meters to secure a medal.
“The last lap I just ran it through my head, medal, medal, medal,” O’Connor said. “I started kicking at 350 meters and passed four people and got the medal.”
Team scores – 1. Mount Pleasant 21; 2. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 20; 3. Pella 16; 4. Harlan 12; 5. Mount Vernon 11; 5. Atlantic 11; 7. Humboldt 10; 7. Algona 10; 7. Fairfield 10; 10. Benton Community 8.5
400 – 1. Jorma Schwedler (Sergeant-Bluff Luton) 48.74; 17. Kaden McAreavy (Clear Creek Amana) 52.98
3,200 – 1. Trey Engen (Algona) 9:34.96; 8. Nick O’Connor (Clear Creek Amana) 9:58.55; 10. Brandon Barker (Clear Creek Amana) 10:02.15
4x800 – 1. Sergeant-Bluff Luton 7:58.68; 3. Clear Creek Amana (Tom Johnson, Kaden McAreavy, Jack Sexton, Nick O’Connor) 8:05.58
High jump – 1. Landon Kooiker (Fairfield) 6-7
Discus – 1. Matt Vislisel (Mount Vernon) 174-1; 7. Coal Flansburg (Solon) 155-3; 9. Hayes Dierson (Solon) 148-2
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