With a varsity roster of just 15 athletes, the Creston boys track team held its own on its home track here Thursday at the Hawkeye 10 Conference Meet, placing fifth on a night that saw two 30-minute weather delays.
The Panthers scored 76 points — two more points than last year’s third-place team finish — while the top two teams from last year, Glenwood and Harlan, each scored 30 and 20 points less than last year, respectively.
That just points to the level of competition in the Hawkeye 10 Conference this year, Creston head coach Pat Schlapia said.
“This was a lot of state quality,” Schlapia said. “We’ve got a lot of this stuff in the top five, top 10 of state. The competition we faced was tough. We didn’t back down from anybody.”
The Panthers matched last year’s total of four gold medals at the conference meet, including a pair of repeat winners in senior Brandon Phipps and junior Jay Wolfe.
Wolfe repeated as Hawkeye 10 Conference champion in the 800 meters, breaking the conference meet record of 1:57.72 set in 2009 by Glenwood’s Kyle Wheeler.
Wolfe ran 1:57.57 to break the record by .15 seconds. He won the race by nearly six full seconds.
Phipps won his second straight conference title in the 1,600 meters with his time of 4:36.39. Sophomore teammate Cooper McDermott cruised to second place in 4:41.07.
“Brandon is still undefeated in the 1,600,” Schlapia said. “That’s his second straight meet in the 4:36 range. For Jay and Brandon, that sets up things well in those specialty events for them at next week’s State Qualifying Meet.”
Wolfe also claimed an individual gold medal in the 400 meters, running 51.19 to beat Glenwood’s Brady Wheeler by more than a full second. Bryce Briley took third place in 52.93 for the Panthers.
The night started off with Wolfe and Phipps teaming up with McDermott and Briley to win gold in the 4x800 relay, running 8:15.18 in windy conditions to win by four seconds over Harlan.
Aside from the Drake Relays, that quartet remains undefeated for the season.
“The guys were real consistent on their legs,” Schlapia said. “One thing that was nice, throughout the race, each one of the legs we were pushed. It was nice during those early stages that Harlan and St. Albert pushed us. It was good to see how the boys handled that.”
Maxx Walters was a double placewinner for the Panthers, finishing sixth in the 100 meters with his time of 11.95 and fourth in the 200 meters with a clocking of 24.24.
“He’s kind of been on a roll here lately,” Schlapia said. “He’s getting some points and hardware out of those sprints for us.”
Creston doubled up points in the discus competition as seniors Trevor Luther and Evan Nielsen finished fifth and seventh, respectively.
Luther, battling a back injury, threw 133-2, while Nielsen threw a 12-foot personal best of 129-1.
“I don’t remember the last time we had two people placing in the discus,” Schlapia said. “Evan Nielsen, his previous best was 117 and we were pumping him up to shoot for 120. Holy cow! Finishing seventh place he was able to get some points for us.”
Creston also scored points from a pair of relays.
The 4x400 relay team of Briley, Walters, Phipps and Wolfe took fourth place in 3:33.49, with Briley and Wolfe coming back on short rest from the distance medley and the 800 meters.
“Those guys showed a lot of heart,” Schlapia said. “Because our splits were 52s and 53s.”
Running the distance medley relay for just the second time this season, the Panthers took sixth in that event with a season best time of 3:54.73.
Members of that relay were Alex Tamerius, Seth Maitlen, McDermott and Briley.
“It was just a meet where we were very proud of all our athletes,” Schlapia said. “It was awesome being able to host the meet on our own track. Our team adjusted very well to the two delays. I appreciate the volunteers we had and also the crowd that stuck it out. Anyone who made an appearance, we really appreciate their support.”
Hawkeye 10 Conference Meet
Team standings — 1. Glenwood 126, 2. Harlan 101, 3. Lewis Central 94, 4. Council Bluffs St. Albert 84.5, 5. Creston 76, 6. Clarinda 59, 7. Denison-Schleswig 43, 8. Atlantic 36.5, 9. Shenandoah 31, 10. Kuemper Catholic 26, 11. Red Oak 22.
Discus — 1. Jacob Barents, LC, 169-0; 5. Trevor Luther, Creston, 133-2; 7. Evan Nielsen, Creston, 129-1.
Shot put — 1. Jacob Barents, LC, 55-2; 21. Seth Maitlen, Creston, 35-4; 22. Cody Tanner, Creston, 34-0.
High jump — 1. Alec Hayes, Atl, 6-3.
Long jump — 1. Jett Kettwick, Clar, 19-10.25; 15. Maxx Walters, Creston, 16-8.50.
3,200 meters — 1. Josh Sunberg, RO, 10:27.43; 19. Brody Frain, Creston, 12:30.72; 20. Tyler Peters, Creston, 13:26.40.
4 x 800 relay — 1. Creston (Bryce Briley, Cooper McDermott, Brandon Phipps, Jay Wolfe), 8:15.18.
Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Glenwood, 59.11.
100 meters — 1. Jake Rodgers, LC, 11.58; 6. Maxx Walters, Creston, 11.95; 15. Alex Tamerius, Creston, 12.72.
400 meters — 1. Jay Wolfe, Creston, 51.19; 3. Bryce Briley, Creston, 52.93.
4 x 200 relay — 1. Glenwood, 1:32.01; 10. Creston (Alex Tamerius, Trevor Luther, Chris Foster, Seth Maitlen), 1:41.29.
110 high hurdles — 1. Dane Kruse, Glen, 15.40.
1,600 meters — 1. Brandon Phipps, Creston, 4:36.39; 2. Cooper McDermott, Creston, 4:41.07.
200 meters — 1. Jake Rodgers, LC, 22.98; 4. Maxx Walters, Creston, 24.24; 13. Chris Foster, Creston, 25.81.
400 low hurdles — 1. Tucker Culjat, CBSA, 53.51; 13. Nick Walsh, Creston, 1:04.64; 18. Travis Purdy, Creston, 1:20.80.
1,600 medley relay — 1. Harlan, 3:42.00; 6. Creston (Alex Tamerius, Seth Maitlen, Cooper McDermott, Bryce Briley), 3:54.73.
800 meters — 1. Jay Wolfe, Creston, 1:57.57 (meet record); 14. Brody Frain, Creston, 2:27.53.
4 x 100 relay — 1. Lewis Central, 44.68; 9. Creston (Alex Tamerius, Trevor Luther, Chris Foster, Seth Maitlen), 48.18.
4 x 400 relay — 1. Harlan, 3:30.67; 4. Creston (Bryce Briley, Maxx Walters, Brandon Phipps, Jay Wolfe), 3:33.49.