Boys state track notebook: D-NH D-med places 5th

Jake Ryder

DES MOINES – After just missing out on top-8 finishes in some relays on day one, Dike-New Hartford's boys distance medley relay team broke through on Friday at the 2018 Iowa State Track and Field Championship in Des Moines.
Tyler Miller, Grant Bixby, Parker Kiewiet and Ryan Moore ran 3:37.09 for fifth place in the Class 2A distance medley championship.
"We've been focusing on this race," Moore said. "We knew we had to do something different to get this medal."
Moore's anchor leg helped the Wolverines stay in the top 5 in a crowded finish with four teams from third to sixth place finishing within a second of each other.
More importantly for Moore, the distance medley gave senior Tyler Miller a chance to step out onto the Blue Oval and earn his first state medal.
"He's been working hard every day on the track to get down here, and he's finally done it," Moore said. "Miller had to push us every day to do our best.
"It took a couple meets to get this group going but once we got going, everything was clicking well and everything went perfect just like today. They got me in a good position and I just went with it."
Dike-New Hartford freshman Dane Fuller added a tie for eighth place in the 2A boys high jump as part of a tiebreaker of nine jumpers whose best clear was 6-foot-1.
"Our first day wasn't too great," Miller admitted, "but the second day we knew what we were going up against and we went out there and competed."
BCLUW's Jack Garber wants to be No. 1.
That attitude motivated everything Garber accomplished on Friday, scoring his first state medal of the weekend with a sixth-place finish in the 1A 400 hurdles in 55.77 and running the best time of the 1A 110 prelims in 14.83 to qualify for Saturday's final.
This sets up what is sure to be a busy Saturday for Garber and the BCLUW boys track team as Garber will compete in the sprint medley to start the day, followed by the shuttle hurdle finals roughly two and a half hours later and then the high hurdle finale an hour after that.
Garber was a heavy favorite to reach the high hurdle prelims, but that's not enough for the junior.
"What pushed me the hardest is I'm not No. 1," Garber said. "That makes me a little angry, you know? ... It's exciting to always be in lane 4 because everyone expects you to win, and yeah, I'm really focused on this, I wanted to make finals and run hard then."
Garber's run in the 400 hurdles and Saturday's sprint medley is also a chance to fulfill his desire to not limit himself on the track.
"I've really tried to develop into more than just a hurdler," Garber said, "and with the 400 hurdles there's a heck of a lot more than the hurdling."
BCLUW will also have a 4x100 relay team competing on Saturday. Ben Paper, Connor Thompson, Logan Mann and Troy Dolphin ran 44.63 to qualify sixth for Saturday's 1A final.
Grundy Center coach Chris Conger said the Spartans could never quite put together the 4x400 relay team they wanted until around the conference meet.
That's when Will Grames, Adam Kaufman, Jensen Clapp and Caleb Kuiper put together a now historic team.
The Spartan quartet set a new school record in the 4x400 prelims on Friday, running 3:30.17 for fifth place and a spot in Saturday afternoon's 1A 4x400 championship.
"We've battled some injuries, battled other issues, but once we got this foursome together, we knew it'd have the potential to be pretty good," Conger said. "Adam and Jensen had just got done running the distance medley so both weren't 100 percent but gave a great effort and were able to make the finals."
Kaufman, Grames and Kuiper will run together with Austin Knaack in the sprint medley finals to start on Saturday, and Grames will run again in the 1A 200 finals less than three hours later. But he'll get two hours of preparation time to see what they can do in the final 1A race of the day.
"We are capable of running better tomorrow," Conger said. "I've told the guys they can try to get three-twenty-something. ... We don't want to set too high of a bar place-wise, but we're focusing time-wise on the 3:30 mark."
Drew Rathe had a busy day on Friday, starting with a 15th place finish in the high jump, followed by a 19th-place run in the 400 hurdles finals in 59.15 and an 18th-place run as part of the distance medley relay team along with Knaack, Kaufman and Clapp in 3:45.06.
"There's that high of excitement when you make it in all four events at state," Conger said, "but then you have the challenge of practicing four events and you can't really completely focus on one over the other and you have to play a juggling act. He'd probably say he was disappointed in the high jump, 400 hurdles he'd be OK with and the team D-Med he was happy about, so it was a good day for him overall but it's a juggling act."
AGWSR: Liam Stubbe placed 11th in the 400 hurdles final in 56.41. ... Luke Starr, Chase Harms, Stubbe and Stahl teamed up for a 19th-place run in the distance medley race in 3:45.30.
BCLUW: The 4x200 team of Logan Mann, Greg Schmitt, Connor Thompson and Troy Dolphin ran 14th in 1:33.68 in the final on Friday. ... In the 4x400 prelims, Thompson, Schmitt, Neifer Ralston and Mann placed 22nd in 3:37.83.
Grundy Center: Rathe's teammate, Sawyer Bowen, placed 17th in the high jump after both cleared 5-foot-9, with Rathe placing higher based on when he cleared 5-9.

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