GLENWOOD — The Creston boys track team won three gold medals here Tuesday night at the Ram Relays and also took a big step forward in Drake Relays qualifying in a pair of events.
Creston finished sixth overall in the team standings with 62 points, just seven points behind fifth-place Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln. Glenwood ran away with the team title, scoring 163 team points.
The Panthers took first place in the 4x800 relay, the 1,600 meters and the 800 meter run, with the 4x800 relay and junior Jay Wolfe improving their chances at qualifying for the Drake Relays.
The 4x800 relay team of Bryce Briley, Cooper McDermott, Brandon Phipps and Wolfe set the tone for the rest of the meet by taking 10 seconds off its time from last week, pulling away from Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson for a 4-second win in 8:18.51.
“We’ve got some goals for that relay and one of them is we want to be in the hunt for the Drake Relays,” head coach Pat Schlapia said. “That was a total team effort. It ended up being TJ and us and those first two guys were maintaining those positions for us. With Brandon running that third leg in 2:04, he was able to close ground on the TJ kid.”
Wolfe anchored the relay in 1:57.00, bringing the Panthers home with the third-fastest time in school history.
It also moved the Panthers into 12th place for Drake Relays qualifying. The top 16 relay teams in the state, all classes, qualify for Drake.
With a week and a half remaining in the qualification period, Schlapia said he’ll feel much more comfortable if the relay team can take a few more seconds off.
“We’re tickled to death with that time, but we’re still not running our best yet,” he said. “That moved us up on the charts very well, but I think we still need to cut it down even more to be on the safe side.”
Wolfe bounced back with an impressive performance in the open 800 meters, solidifying himself as a Drake Relays contender.
The Creston school-record holder in the event ran 1:58.94, winning by 8 seconds, and running sub-2:00 for the first time in his career at a regular season meet.
That time moves him into fifth place in the state for Drake Relays qualifications, with the top 16 times gaining entry into the prestigious meet.
“That was another event that really had the crowd going,” Schlapia said. “He opened up with a 56.71 and closed with a 62. He was saying afterward, he was worried he may have taken off too fast. Jay is still finding out about himself.”
Phipps won the other gold medal for the Panthers, winning the 1,600 meters in a new personal best time of 4:39.32. McDermott took third in the event, running 4:48.70.
“Brandon and Cooper really ran well together,” Schlapia said. “Those two stepped it up another notch. Just like with the 4x8, they’re very happy about that, but not satisfied.”
Creston had a two placewinners in the 400 meter dash, as well. Junior Bryce Briley took third in 54.79, while senior Maxx Walters finished fourth in 54.95.
Senior Trevor Luther claimed fourth place in the discus, matching his career best throw of 133-5.
“He’s throwing very confidently right now,” Schlapia said. “He was sixth out of the prelims and was able to pass up two guys in the finals with that 133-5. That’s what you call stepping up and throwing with pressure.”
Also earning points for the Panthers in the field events was Chris Foster, who finished fifth in the high jump by clearing 5-6.
The 4x400 relay team of Briley, Walters, Phipps and Wolfe took fifth place with a season-best time of 3:38.16.
Schlapia also praised the efforts of freshmen Brody Frain and Tyler Peters, who stepped outside of their comfort zones by running the 3,200 meters for the Panthers.
“My hats off to those two boys, because those boys showed a lot of pride by filling in a couple of spots for us,” he said. “You feel proud about them stepping up and filling in.”
Creston returns to action Friday at the Cardinal Relays in Clarinda, with field events and running events scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.
Team standings — 1. Glenwood 163, 2. Lewis Central 83, 3. Council Bluffs St. Albert 79, 4. Harlan 77.5, 5. Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln 69, 6. Creston 62, 7. Clarinda 59, 8. Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson 40, 9. Red Oak 34.5, 10. Atlantic 34.
Discus — 1. Colton Tracy, AL, 167-2; 4. Trevor Luther, Creston, 133-5; 17. Evan Nielsen, Creston, 100-5.
Shot put — 1. Jacob Barents, LC, 52-8; 12. Seth Maitlen, Creston, 36-10; 24. Evan Nielsen, Creston, 32-3.
High jump — 1. Noah Bix, Clar, 6-0; 5. Chris Foster, Creston, 5-6.
Long jump — 1. Brian Rew, LC, 19-9.
3,200 meters — 1. Freg Hug, CBSA, 10:41.86; 14. Brody Frain, Creston, 12:06.84; 16. Tyler Peters, Creston, 13:33.89.
4 x 800 relay — 1. Creston (Bryce Briley, Cooper McDermott, Brandon Phipps, Jay Wolfe), 8:18.51.
Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Glenwood, 1:00.43.
100 meters — 1. Jake Rodgers, LC, 11.16; 10. Seth Maitlen, Creston, 12:36; 19. Alex Tamerius, Creston, 12.77.
400 meters — 1. James Fuller, Glen, 49.56; 3. Bryce Briley, Creston, 54.79; 4. Maxx Walters, Creston, 54.95.
4 x 200 relay — 1. Glenwood, 1:34.02; 10. Creston (Alex Tamerius, Trevor Luther, Chris Foster, Seth Maitlen), 1:42.79.
1,600 meters — 1. Brandon Phipps, Creston, 4:39.32; 3. Cooper McDermott, Creston, 4:48.70.
110 high hurdles — 1. Dane Kruse, Glen, 15.21.
200 meters — 1. Jake Rodgers, LC, 23.25; 7. Maxx Walters, Creston, 24.36; 12. Alex Tamerius, Creston, 25.96.
400 low hurdles — 1. Tucker Culjat, CBSA, 56.40.
1,600 medley relay — 1. Glenwood, 3:49.98; 12. Creston (Evan Nielsen, Cody Tanner, Brody Frain, Nick Walsh), 4:22.89.
800 meters — 1. Jay Wolfe, Creston, 1:58.94; 13. Cooper McDermott, Creston, 2:16.68.
4 x 100 relay — 1. Glenwood, 45.47; 10. Creston (Alex Tamerius, Trevor Luther, Chris Foster, Seth Maitlen), 48.78.
4 x 400 relay — 1. Glenwood, 3:25.89; 5. Creston (Bryce Briley, Maxx Walters, Brandon Phipps, Jay Wolfe), 3:38.16.