Schwarz, newcomers lead Fairfield boys in Iowa City
IOWA CITY — After weeks of snowed-out practices and cancelled school days, Fairfield boys’ track and field coach Brian Dunlap was just happy to put spikes to the rubber for a change Thursday.
The Trojan boys, competing against many of the top teams in the state at the Demon Indoor on the University of Iowa Campus, opened the season with a trio of top-20 finishes at the unscored meet.
“Overall it was nice to put the spikes on, be on the track and see where we are,” Dunlap said. “We learned a lot from the meet and will continue to improve, but Thursday was a good start.”
Newcomers, ranging from freshmen all the way up to a few “new” seniors, were the highlight of the night for Dunlap.
One of those newcomers, Daniel Schwarz, returned to the high jump pit after a year-long hiatus and showed he can still leap at a state-caliber level. The school record holder in the event, Schwarz finished second overall Thursday with a clearance of 6-feet, 2-inches. Jeff Giannettino of West Burlington set the new meet record with a leap of 6-feet, 7-inches.
“He jumped well considering it was his first attempt in a couple years. That’s a good start,” Dunlap said. “He’s been in the gym every night practicing, and I think he’ll keep moving up from here.”
Schwarz set the high jump school record at 6-feet, 5-inches two seasons ago as a sophomore.
Another highlight came in the distance races, where newcomers Brandon Taglauer and Zach Martin impressed in the mile and open-800, respectively. Taglauer, a senior, finished 34th in his race with a time of 5:01. Martin was 24th in the 800 — his first varsity race ever — with a 2:18.36 finish.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a freshman run the 800 that fast indoors in his first race. I was impressed,” Dunlap said of Martin. “He went out and led his heat from the very start. He ran it to win it.”
Dunlap also said Fairfield senior Aaron Gevock, who hadn’t competed on the track since his freshman season coming into Thursday, provided a big boost in his races.
Gevock ran a 2:16 800 split in the sprint medley to anchor the all-senior team of Mason Carnahan, Justin Hammes and Dillon Fry to an 18th-place time of 4:02.35. He also finished the opening leg of the 4x800 in 2:18, helping the team of Zane Richmond, Riley Hammel and Alex Love to a 28th-place finish in 9:22.
“I thought our newcomer distance kids ran fantastic. Three guys who weren’t on the roster last year showed they can make an instant impact for us,” Dunlap said.
Junior Austin Francisco also gave Fairfield a lift in the 60-meter hurdles, placing ninth overall in the preliminaries at 8.65 seconds. Senior Jonny Swanson, a returning state qualifier in the 110-highs, settled for 31st place in the 60-hurdles. (9.43)
Love was clocked at 2:18.45 in the 800 to finish 26th, and Fry finished 38th out of 105 runners in the 200 with a time of 25.26 seconds. A newcomer to the sprints, Carnahan led the Trojans in the 60-meter dash with a 7.66-second time.
“Outside of those guys, we saw some promise from the younger kids, as well,” added Dunlap.
Freshman Jordan Reid finished 69th in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.88 seconds, and sophomore Alex Christensen ran a solid leg on the 45th-place 4x400 (4:00), which also included upperclassmen Josiah Wilbur, Hammel and Swanson. Richmond, a sophomore, ran the mile in 5:24 to finish 57th in the 81-runner field.
Next up for Fairfield is the Central Indoor in Pella next Friday. Competition starts at 2 p.m.
Demon Indoor @ Iowa City
High Jump — 2. Daniel Schwarz (6’2”)
60-hurdles — 16. Austin Francisco (8.65), 31. Jonny Swanson (9.43)
60-dash — 53. Mason Carnahan (7.66), 59. Justin Hammes (7.72), 92. Nick Jackson (8.21)
4x800-relay — 28. Fairfield (Gevock, Richmond, Hammel, Love, 9:22.87)
200-dash — 38. Dillon Fry (25.26), 64. Jonathan Hoehne (25.81), 69. Jordan Reid (25.88)
800-run — 24. Zach Martin (2:18.36), 26. Alex Love (2:18.45)
1600-run — 34. Brandon Taglauer (5:01.45), 57. Zane Richmond (5:24.91)
Sprint Medley — 18. Fairfield (Carnahan, Hammes, Fry, Gevock, 4:02.35)
4x400-relay — 45. Fairfield ‘A’ (Wilbur, Christensen, Hammel, Swanson, 4:00.06), 60. Fairfield ‘B’ (Hoehne, Jackson, Reid, Taglauer, 4:10.78)