Trojan track teams run in Ottumwa
OTTUMWA — With only a few days left to punch his ticket to the Drake Relays, Fairfield senior Jonny Swanson all but assured himself a spot Tuesday while competing at the Don Newell Relays in Ottumwa.
Swanson darted up and over the 110-meter highs’ 10 hurdles in his fastest time yet to help elevate his case for the Drake Relays, scheduled April 25-27 in Des Moines. Swanson won the event in 14.83 and was nearly one second ahead of the hurdling field by the time he crossed the finish line.
“Swanson had a great night. He was sitting around 24th in the state [in the 110-highs] prior to the meet. It’s unofficial, but I would say he qualified with that time,” said Fairfield head coach Brian Dunlap.
The top 32 high hurdlers in the state qualify for Drake, and right now the highest posted qualifying time is 15.43.
Swanson also won the 400-meter low hurdles in 57.81 — another personal best — to pace the Trojans to 74 points and a fifth-place finish in the seven-team field.
Daniel Schwarz, who should also be joining Swanson at Drake in the high jump, cleared 6-feet, 4-inches in the event Tuesday to finish first. According to Dunlap, Schwarz had “a few good attempts” at 6-feet, 7-inches even though he didn’t clear the high mark.
The all-senior 4x400 consisting of Swanson, Dillon Fry, Josiah Wilbur and Justin Hammes also earned gold for the Trojans, combining for a four-second victory in 3:40.12.
Also for Fairfield, freshman Zach Martin finished third in the 400-meter dash (54.91) and fourth in the 800 (2:12.80). The young distance medley relay team of Jacob Unkrich, Jordan Reid, Narendra Martin and Zane Richmond placed third in 3:57.75. Nick Jackson, Austin Francisco, Schwarz and Swanson had their best time of the year in the shuttle hurdle relay but settled for fourth place in the stacked field.
Malfunctioning technology made times and places still unofficial by Tuesday evening. Dunlap, who was only able to base his impressions on what he saw, was happy with his team’s results.
“It was a pretty tight, balanced field. I think we were probably within 30 points of the winners, and the kids competed well,” said Dunlap.
Centerville won the meet title with 105 points and Des Moines East came in second with 103.
Weather permitting, Fairfield is back in action Thursday at Eddyville before taking a trip to Burlington for Friday’s Grayhound Relays.
Howard wins twice for girls
OTTUMWA — Sydney Howard returned to the lineup Tuesday for the Don Newell Relays in Ottumwa and picked up a pair of victories in the sprints.
Howard, who sat out last week’s Pen City Relays, cruised to a winning time of 12.74 in the 100-meter dash and later won the 200-dash in 27.01 seconds.
The defending Class 3A state champion in both races accounted for the Trojans’ only two victories Tuesday as they scored 79 points and finished fourth out of seven teams. Iowa City West won the team title with 172 points, Oskaloosa was second with 93 and Indianola scored 92 for third place.
Although the Trojans finished well behind champion West, Fairfield head coach Ron Hunerdosse said he was pleased to see his team beat host Ottumwa, which finished four points behind Fairfield in fifth place.
“We haven’t beaten Ottumwa for a while, so that was a positive,” the long-time coach said.
Fairfield junior Marisa Repp placed second in both the 400-meter low hurdles (1:11.14) and high jump (4’ 10”). Senior teammate Sidney Baumann added a second-place finish in the discus, topping out at 112-feet, 5-inches.
Sophomore Mackenzie McClure earned bronze in the 100-meter dash with a 13.66-second finish. The 4x800 of Jessica Lamb, Taylor Ferrel, Hannah Sobaski and Sesali Martin ran its fastest time of the year, finishing third in 10:24.
Madison Roberts, a sophomore, was fourth in the discus. She eclipsed 90 feet for the first time with a mark of 92-feet, 4-inches.
Some of the meet’s highlights, Hunerdosse added, didn’t even come from place winners.
“Some of the best highlights came from girls who didn’t place. Sage Richmond broke 13 minutes in the 3000-meter run, and that’s been one of her goals. Molly Ryan also looked really impressive in the 100-hurdles,” he said.
The Trojans are at Mid-Prairie on Thursday.