Three meet records fell here Thursday on a perfect night for track and field at the Panther Relays.
Creston junior Jay Wolfe was a part of two of those meet records, while the Mount Ayr distance medley relay team claimed the other record.
The buildup to Thursday created a highly-anticipated showdown in the 4x800 relay between Creston, Harlan and Mount Ayr. All three teams had run 8:28.00 or better this season and had a Drake Relays qualifying time on their minds on the final day for qualifications.
The race was as exciting as promised, as all three teams broke the previous meet record in the event.
Wolfe’s 1:56 anchor leg was the difference, as Creston pulled away for the win in 8:09.07, ahead of Mount Ayr’s 8:12.11 and Harlan’s 8:13.78.
The 8:09.07 run by Bryce Briley, Cooper McDermott, Brandon Phipps and Wolfe also broke the school record, set at last year’s State Qualifying Meet.
Unofficially, as of 12:01 a.m. today, that time also gives the Panthers the 16th and final qualifying spot for the Drake Relays in the event.
“Getting under 8:10, that was a big boost,” Creston head coach Pat Schlapia said. “Not only setting a school record, but setting a meet record. Holy cow. That relay is on a roll right now. I don’t see that stopping anytime soon.”
Wolfe came back later in the evening to break the meet record in the 800 meter run, set in 2002 by former school record holder Nathan Brotherton.
The current school record holder Wolfe ran 1:57.97, bettering his time for Drake Relays qualifying.
As of 12:01 a.m. today, that time placed Wolfe 13th out of 16 qualifying spots for the Drake Relays, unofficially putting him into the competition.
“It was his race. Jay was out there,” Schlapia said. “When he came off that last corner, you could see him taking a couple of quick glances up at the clock. For Drake qualifying, every tenth of a second was going to be important.”
The Panthers finished with four total gold medals on the night.
Joining Wolfe and the 4x800 relay as gold medalists were seniors Maxx Walters in the 200 meter dash and Phipps in the 1600.
For the third straight meet, Phipps and McDermott went first and second in the 1,600. Phipps ran 4:40.45, while McDermott crossed in 4:45.62.
Walters won a tightly-contested 200 meter dash in 23.70, a new personal best.
“He’s finding himself doing pretty well with these sprints,” Schlapia said about Walters. “That was a tight race. Heck, that’s a career best for him. He’s really been doing well in that 100 and 200. He’s been our leader on the team for that.”
Phipps and Walters were two of the six Panther seniors honored during a senior parents’ night presentation. Other seniors on the Creston team are Alex Chapman, Evan Nielsen, Trevor Luther and manager Jon Birchard.
Luther set a new career best in the discus throw in placing second with a toss of 145-1. That vaults him up to 40th in the state in all classes.
“He had a 133-5 as a career and season best and he blew that away,” Schlapia said. “That really jumped him up a lot on the charts. All four throws were career bests. He was really pumped up.”
Mount Ayr broke the other meet record on the night, winning the distance medley relay in 3:40.49, breaking the old record by .04 seconds.
Members of that relay team were Jacob Sobotka, Erik Freed, Kyle Dolecheck and Noah Larsen.
It was that same quartet that placed second in the 4x800 relay and that capped off the night by winning the Dick Skarda 4x400 Relay. Unofficially, Mount Ayr’s 4x400 relay time of 3:28.35 from Tuesday’s Chariton meet holds up as the 20th qualifier out of 24 in to the Drake Relays.
Mount Ayr junior Joe Ricker won the discus competition with a throw of 147-2.
Team standings — 1. Harlan 104.50, 2. Clarinda 98, 3. Mount Ayr 82.50, 4. Creston 74, 5. Earlham 71, 6. Shenandoah 53.50, 7. Atlantic 36.50, 8. Lamoni 30, 9. Red Oak 26.
Discus — 1. Joe Ricker, MA, 147-2; 2. Trevor Luther, Creston, 145-1; 10. Evan Nielsen, Creston, 117-3; 17. Lincoln Lutrick, MA, 107-4.
Shot put — 1. Jeremy Deemer, Lam, 46-3; 8. Joe Ricker, MA, 39-9; 9. Jed McCreary, MA, 38-11.50; 13. Seth Maitlen, Creston, 36-4; 17. Cody Tanner, Creston, 34-4.
High jump — 1. Alec Hayes, Atl, 6-2; 1. Noah Bix, Clar, 6-2; 7. Tristan Ackley, MA, 5-4; 9. Chris Foster, Creston, 5-2.
Long jump — 1. William Ansong, Lam, 19-4; 4. Nick Wurster, MA, 18-9; 8. Seth Maitlen, Creston, 17-8.75; 11. Chris Foster, Creston, 16-4.25.
3,200 meters — 1. Josh Sunberg, RO, 10:13.12.
4 x 800 relay — 1. Creston (Bryce Briley, Cooper McDermott, Brandon Phipps, Jay Wolfe), 8:09.07 (meet record and school record); 2. Mount Ayr (Erik Freed, Jacob Sobotka, Kyle Dolecheck, Noah Larsen), 8:12.11.
Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Harlan, 1:01.98; 4. Mount Ayr (Cal Daughton, Mitchell Jennett, Trevor Anderson, Grant Staats), 1:08.58.
100 meters — 1. Kyle Holmes, Clar, 11.70; 4. Cody Stackhouse, MA, 12.02; 4. Maxx Walters, Creston, 12.02; 6. Lincoln Martin, MA, 12.14; 14. Alex Tamerius, Creston, 12.74.
400 meters — 1. Logan Roberts, Shen, 52.53; 2. Bryce Briley, Creston, 54.69; 3. Rhett Murphy, MA, 55.00; 11. Nick Walsh, Creston, 58.61.
4 x 200 relay — 1. Harlan, 1:36.43; 6. Mount Ayr (Lincoln Martin, Cal Daughton, Tristen Benn, Joey Walker), 1:40.50.
110 high hurdles — 1. Connor Clayton, Har, 15.39; 2. Grant Staats, MA, 16.90.
1,600 meters — 1. Brandon Phipps, Creston, 4:40.45; 2. Cooper McDermott, Creston, 4:45.62; 13. Tristan Ackley, MA, 5:44.19.
200 meters — 1. Maxx Walters, Creston, 23.70; 5. Lincoln Martin, MA, 24.70; 12. Nick Wurster, MA, 25.79; 13. Trevor Luther, Creston, 25.85.
400 low hurdles — 1. Brendan Holmes, Atl, 57.57; 8. Nick Walsh, Creston, 1:05.41.
1,600 medley relay — 1. Mount Ayr (Jacob Sobotka, Erik Freed, Kyle Dolecheck, Noah Larsen), 3:40.49 (meet record); 6. Creston (Alex Tamerius, Trevor Luther, Evan Nielsen, Brody Frain), 4:18.30.
800 meters — 1. Jay Wolfe, Creston, 1:57.97 (meet record); 4. Trevor Anderson, MA, 2:14.38.
4 x 100 relay — 1. Mount Ayr (Grant Staats, Cody Stackhouse, Erik Freed, Jacob Sobotka), 45.47.
4 x 400 relay — 1. Mount Ayr (Kyle Dolecheck, Noah Larsen, Erik Freed, Jacob Sobotka), 3:33.30; 3. Creston (Bryce Briley, Maxx Walters, Brandon Phipps, Jay Wolfe).
Discus — Cody Tanner, 102-5.
Long jump — Alex Chapman, 14-7.
100 meters — Alex Chapman, 12.45; Elijah Johnson, 16.01.
200 meters — Brody Frain, 28.19.
400 meter hurdles — Travis Purdy, 1:19.82.
4 x 100 relay — Creston (Nathan Cox, Elijah Johnson, Cody Tanner, Alex Chapman), 59.36.
4 x 400 relay — Creston (Travis Purdy, Alex Chapman, Brody Frain, Nick Walsh), 4:37.56.