ALLEMAN - A couple Ballard freshmen had a big day and North Polk was rewarded for gutsy performances late in the boys’ competition at the Class 3A state qualifying track meet in Alleman May 11.
Ballard only scored 63 points, placing sixth out of eight teams. But the Bombers made the most of those points, moving on to state in an impressive seven events.
Freshman Noah Kohut-Jackson brought home gold in the 3,200-meter run and earned his first-career trip to state in the process. He did it against perhaps the toughest field of any 3A qualifying meet in the state.
Kohut-Jackson ran behind Dallas Center-Grimes’ Jacob Waymire and Brian Miner and Nevada’s Malachi Hornbuckle in a pack at the front for most of the race. Kohut-Jackson was put an early disadvantage against the other three runners after tripping during the first two laps.
“I was like, oh no, what am I going to do?” Kohut-Jackson said after his early mishap. “I got up and just tried to run hard.”
After rebounding to stay up in that lead pack, Kohut-Jackson blew by everyone on the final lap. He ended up finishing in nine minutes, 56.84 seconds — the third-fastest time among all 3A qualifiers.
“When I started the race the pace was a little harder than I had run before, so I was kind of panicking a little bit, but then I got up on them and realized that the pace was slowing a little bit,” Kohut-Jackson said. “They were grinding it really hard. But I just went in, (decided) to go for it and see what I had left on the kick. I just knew I had to kick it in and so I knew I was just going to give everything I had and just leave it on the track.”
Waymire ran a 10:00.28, Hornbuckle a 10:05.78 and Miner a 10:09.59.
Another freshman — Nic Edwards — stepped up big time in the shuttle hurdle relay to advance Ballard to state.
Edwards ran the second leg after Isaac Schafbuch and he shaved around one second off his split to get Ballard in great position to place behind Boone.
“Speed between the hurdles is what I’ve been having trouble with throughout the year,” Edwards said. “It’s good having the leaders on my team. (They are) always telling me in practice to just finish the last two hurdles. I just love having leaders like them that will push me in practice to make me better every day.”
Taylor Roberts and Sam Upah took care of the rest as Ballard finished in 1:00.04, ranking fourth among all 3A qualifying teams.
“We’ve been working hard all season for this,” Schafbuch said. “It really came together for us right there. It was a lot of hard work.”
Boone won the race in :58.87.
Roberts and Upah each qualified for state individually in one event.
Roberts placed third in the high jump after turning in a season-best jump of six feet, two inches. That was enough to get him in with the 13th-best qualifying jump.
Upah qualified on time in the 110 high hurdles after placing fourth at :15.49. Boone’s Lantz Reed and Devan Baldus were first and second at Alleman with respective times of :14.50 and :15.11 and Gilbert’s Alex Sharp took third in :15.24.
Like Roberts in the high jump, Upah’s time is rated 13th among 3A qualifiers in the event.
Hunter Wright made it to state in two sprinting events for Ballard. Skyler Noftsger also qualified in the long jump for the Bombers.
Wright placed second in the 100 with an excellent qualifying time of :11.17. DCG’s Rancy Freeman won with a strong :10.97 showing.
Wright’s 100 time is rated seventh among all 3A qualifying times.
In the 200, Wright clocked in at :23.10 to place sixth in a loaded field at Alleman. Freeman (:22.58), Reed (:22.69), Iowa Falls-Alden’s Tyjon Rose (:22.72), Gilbert’s Cody Dvorak (:22.99) and Webster City’s Payton Kannuan (:23.08) were the top-five finishers in the race.
The Alleman boys’ 200 field was so strong that Wright’s time was good enough for the 15th-fastest qualifying mark in 3A.
Noftsger is headed to Des Moines after jumping 20-11.5 to place third at Alleman. DCG’s Trey Washington won with a jump of 22-5-75 and Gilbert’s Steven Lawrence jumped 21-0.25 as the automatic state qualifiers in the event.
Noftsger’s jump ranks 15th among 3A qualifiers.
The tough competition prevented North Polk from getting any automatic state qualifiers through on its home track. The Comets placed eighth in the team standings with 53.5 points.
But North Polk did ended getting three events to qualify for state based on time/distance.
“In my 12 years of coaching track I haven’t seen a better qualifying meet — the talent and competition Thursday night was incredible,” North Polk head boys’ track coach Bill Capaldo said. “Our young guys set 11 season bests and battled all night. Couldn’t be prouder of this group. We knew it would be tough and we were hoping for a few more events to state.”
The Comet 4 X 800 relay team moved on after a third-place showing at the qualifying meet. John Peterson, Will McCormick, Flint Vernon and Wes Lesher teamed to run a time of 8:33.53, which ranks 22nd among 3A qualifying teams.
Lesher also qualified individually in the open 800. His time of 2:03.91 ranked fourth at the qualifying meet behind Iowa Falls-Alden’s Landon Boomsma (1:58.70), Gilbert’s Keegan Sturdy (2:02.41) and Boone’s Tyler Casotti (2:03.75).
Lesher is rated 14th out of the 3A boys’ 800 state qualifiers.
Quinten Sommers also made his way to Des Moines in the 400 low hurdles. Sommers completed the race in :57.60 to place fifth at the qualifying meet and he ranked 18th among 3A qualifiers.
DCG ended up winning the team championship with 161 points. Gilbert was second with a score of 140.
Final boys’ team scores: 1. DCG 161 points, 2. Gilbert 140, 3. Boone 106, 4. Iowa Falls-Alden 92, 5. Nevada 65, 6. Ballard 63, 7. Webster City 56.5, 8. North Polk 53.5.
Individual results - Ballard and North Polk
Shot put - 6. Jeff Lamp (NP), 43-1.5; 8. Mark Cox (NP), 42-9.
Discus - 7. Lamp (NP), 118-1; 9. Eddie Burt (NP), 110-1.
Long jump - 3. Skyler Noftsger (B), 20-11.5; 8. Michael Williams (NP), 19-0.5; 10. Ben Hokel (B), 16-9.25; 11. Ryan Fausch (NP), 16-5.25.
High jump - 3. Taylor Roberts (B), 6-2.
Sprint medley relay - 5. North Polk (Ben Rupe, Sutton Sears, Reid Summers, Grant Croat), 1:38.58; 8. Ballard (Hunter Wright, Noah Rosing, Noftsger, Ben Meyer), 1:41.64.
3,200-meter run - 1. Noah Kohut-Jackson (B), 9:56.84; 7. Jacob Wilcox (NP), 10:35.27; 11. Cody Meiners (NP), 11:29.03; 14. Riley Neel (B), 12:25.08.
4 X 800-meter relay - 3. North Polk (John Peterson, Will McCormick, Flint Vernon, Wes Lesher), 8:33.53; 7. Ballard (Erik Ledet, Ryan Ledet, Dylan Hockey, Jonah Olson), 9:29.90..
Shuttle hurdle relay - 2. Ballard (Isaac Schafbuch, Nic Edwards, Taylor Roberts, Sam Upah), 1:00.04; 6. North Polk (Sutton Sears, Purmon Greene, Colten Parkins, Quinten Sommers), 1:04.25.
100-meter dash - 2. Wright (B), :11.17; 7. Blaine Hermann (B), :11.63; 12. Fausch (NP), :12.60.
Distance medley relay - 4. North Polk (Summers, Sears, Croat, Peterson), 4:00.04.
400-meter dash - 6. Chris Banwart (NP), :56.22; 7. Vernon (NP), :56.30; 11. Hokel (B), :58.75; 12. Aaron Whiteing (NP), :59.72.
4 X 200-meter relay - 6. North Polk (Williams, Sears, Clark Hood, Summers), 1:37.81; 7. Ballard (Hermann, Hayden Lankford, Reece Huen, Aaron Kinshaw), 1:41.90.
110-meter high hurdles - 4. Upah (B), :15.49; 9. Roberts (B), :16.06; 10. Sommers (NP), :16.07; 13. Greene (NP), :19.04.
800-meter run - 4. Lesher (NP), 2:03.91; 7. McCormick (NP), 2:11.77; 8. Kaleb Odden (B), 2:12.54; 13. R. Ledet, 2:18.97.
200-meter dash - 6. Wright (B), :23.10; 10. Rosing (B), :24.19; 13. Jake Johnson (NP), :25.26.
400-meter low hurdles - 5. Sommers, :57.60; 6. Schafbuch (B), :59.49; 11. Parkins (NP), 1:06.57; 13. Edwards (B), 1:11.06.
1,600-meter run - 6. Wilcox (NP), 4:48.70; 7. Kohut-Jackson (B), 4:50.83; 13. E. Ledet (B), 5:13.89; 14. Kirk Leach (NP), 5:32.53.
4 X 100-meter relay - 6. Ballard (Wright, Roberts, Noftsger, Rosing), :44.87; 8. North Polk (Rupe, Mason Russell, Chandler Twedt, Hood), :48.31.
4 X 400-meter relay - 6. North Polk (Croat, Williams, Sommers, Lesher), 3:37.10; 8. Ballard (Kegan Odden, Brooks Fleischmann, Meyer, Blake Henga), 3:50.39.