DES MOINES – Clutch throws in his final attempts during prelims and the finals resulted in another state shot put championship for Collins-Maxwell-Baxter’s Zach Samson at the state coed track meet held Thursday through Saturday at Drake Stadium.
Samson defended his Class 2A state shot put championship in style Thursday. Samson’s last attempt of the finals went 56 feet, 5.5 inches, exactly matching what his older brother Danny got on his final attempt to win the 2009 2A title.
“I really didn’t plan to make it that dramatic,” Samson said. “But on my sixth throw I went out and said, ‘this is the last throw of my career and I might as well go do something special to end it.’ It felt good.”
Samson had already clinched the championship with a distance of 54-8 on his final preliminary throw, which just nudged the 54-6.25 Panorama’s Marcus Boldy reached on his opening throw of the finals. With the title in the bag heading into his last attempt of the finals, Samson was able to relax and give his best effort of the day, matching his brother and easily surpassing last year’s winning throw 53-0.75.
“When I came through the circle and it left my hand, I didn’t know how big it was going to be,” Samson said. “But it definitely felt the best of the day.”
Like last year, Danny was on hand to witness his brother’s championship. He was thrilled to see Zach match his best throw at state to repeat as champion.
“I’m really proud of him for everything he’s done,” Danny said. “He’s worked hard for what he’s got. From where he started to now, I couldn’t be happier with him. He’s grown so much.”
Danny’s state-winning mark was the school record until Zach broke it multiple times earlier this year, with a throw of 58-1 on April 17 at Huxley being his best. With the record and two state titles Zach has earned some bragging rights over big brother.
“I’ll do some rubbing in now that the season’s over,” Zach joked. “I just had to get this over before I do too much rubbing in.”
Zach’s teammate Patrick Girard also placed in the 2A shot put finals for CMB. He came in sixth with a throw of 51-4.5.
“I’m really proud of Patrick too,” CMB head coach Neil Seales said. “I think his throw was his third best of the year. He’s just a junior, so I’m glad he’s coming back.”
As a team, CMB tied with Dike-New Hartford for seventh in 2A with 27 points. Monticello easily won the title with 92 points and Burlington/Notre Dame came in second with a score of 45.
“Overall, we are very pleased with the efforts and performances we had at the state meet,” Seales said. “We had some injury adversity, but our guys really battled and demonstrated great heart and character. They have been a super group with which to work.”
Bryce Kemp placed in two individual events and also helped CMB earn points in the shuttle hurdle relay.
Kemp fell just short of matching Samson with a repeat championship in the 110-meter high hurdles.
After winning Friday’s preliminaries with an impressive time of 14.56 seconds, Kemp turned around and ran another strong race in Saturday’s finals. But it wasn’t as clean as he wanted it, slightly hurting his time and leaving just enough room for Woodward Academy’s Darius Scott-Crayton to sneak in front and take the title from him.
Scott-Crayton won in :14.51 and Kemp ended up second in :14.72.
“I think I hit about seven hurdles,” Kemp said. “Just getting over the hurdles clean I think would’ve helped a lot. I don’t think it was my best race and Darius ran a really good race. He’s a really good hurdler – I’ve run against him twice and it was tight the whole time. Today he was the better man.”
Kemp also took fifth in the long jump. Having just run in the shuttle hurdle prelims, Kemp was off for most of the event, but he got it together on his final attempt to deliver a quality jump of 20-11.
“Coming back from the (shuttle hurdle) I felt a little winded,” Kemp said. “It wasn’t the longest break, but it’s competition so you have to deal with it. I got a good one there at the end, but I think the shuttle hurdle took a little bit out of me. But it feels great to place.”
Kemp came in ninth last year with a jump of 20-6.
In the shuttle hurdle CMB ran a season-best time of :59.73 in Thursday’s prelims to earn the final qualifying spot in the finals. On Saturday, the team of Joey Nissen, Austin Moorman, Jordan Coughenour and Kemp clocked in at 1:00.49 to place seventh.
“It was better than we came in at,” Coughenour said. “It feels really good.”
The effort was especially sound, considering the team wasn’t put together until the qualifying meet a week ago.
“Joey and Austin ran it pretty much all year, but I ran it for the first time at the Cardinal Relays (in Newton) and then we put Bryce in for the qualifying meet,” Coughenour said. “That was our stacked team and it helped us a lot.”
Coughenour also ran in both the 400 low hurdles and open 400 individually for CMB. He placed 12th in the 400 lows with a time of :56.15 and came in 22nd in the open 400 after crossing the finish line in :53.16.
Other individual performances for CMB at state included Samson in the discus, Zach Huffaker in the long jump, Moorman in the 800 and Mark Deutsch in the 3,200.
Samson placed 14th with a throw of 140-7. Huffaker came in 11th with his best jump at 19-11.
Moorman took 23rd with a 2:04.79 showing and Deutsch finished 24th with a time of 10:58.17.
In the girls’ competition CMB competed in five events. The Raiders’ strongest effort came in the sprint medley as they finished one spot shy of placing.
Maddy Poage, Toni Spencer, Mackenzie Schmitz and Bridget Hurley clocked in at 1:54.25 in the sprint medley. That put them just a hair behind the 1:54.18 run by Garner-Hayfield/Ventura for the final spot to earn points.
“This was by far our best event,” CMB head girls’ track coach Jerry Meinerts said. “We went in with the 16th-fastest (qualifying) time and took a full three seconds off that time. That was just .07 from a state medal and .15 from setting a new school record. All four of these girls ran some great splits. Our girls were so excited, yet so bummed out about finishing in ninth place. We will try and get the school record next year as all four of these girls are returning.”
That same quartet also competed in the 4 X 100. Running in the order of Poage, Spencer, Hurley and Schmitz, CMB finished 17th in the Friday’s prelims with a :52.08 showing.
“Our best time before state was :53.01, so to go down to state and run almost one full second faster is a great accomplishment,” Meinerts said. “We had some pretty good handoffs; these girls have run this race for most of the season and they have some really good chemistry. For Maddy and Toni, it was their first-ever event at the state meet and they responded very well.”
Meinerts also said that with all four runners returning, the 4 X 100 team has a shot at the school record of :50.53 next year.
Hurley added an individual event as she ran in the open 400 at state for the second year in a row. Hurley came in 16th on Thursday with a time of 1:02.30 to beat the 21st-place time of 1:02.93 she ran at last year’s state meet.
“She ran a great race from start to finish and had a great kick there at the end to finish second in her heat,” Meinerts said. “This was her best time of the season and state is always a great place to run your fastest times.”
Sophomore Payge Jurgens, senior Abbie Haupert and freshman Mikayla Eslinger all competed in throwing events at state for the CMB girls.
Jurgens placed 18th in the shot put with a throw of 34-5.
“I’m really impressed with how much she has improved this year,” Meinerts said. “I’m excited to see what she can do the next two years.”
Haupert came in 19th and Eslinger took 22nd in the discus with respective throws of 110-1 and 100-8.
“Abbie was a three-time state qualifier in this event and throwing at Drake Stadium is a great way to end your senior season,” Meinerts said. “Mikayla has a ton of potential and we’re super excited to see what she can do these next three years.”
Cascade won the 2A girls’ team championship with 49 points and Hudson placed second with 47.
Final Class 2A team scores (top 10)
Girls: 1. Cascade 49 points, 2. Hudson 47, 3. Davis County 45.20, 4. Clayton Ridge 39, 5. Saint Ansgar 32, 6. Hinton 24.5, 7. Mount Vernon, Eagle Grove and Sibley-Ocheydan 24, 10. South Hardin 23.
Boys: 1. Monticello 92, 2. West Burlington/Notre Dame 45, 3. Sioux Center 41, 4. (tie) North Polk and Cascade 32, 6. Camanche 31, 7. (tie) CMB and Dike-New Hartford 27, 9. Panorama 26, 10. (tie) Hinton and Woodward Academy 21.
Individual results – CMB
Shot put – 18. Payge Jurgens, 34-5
Discus – 19. Abbie Haupert, 110-1; 22. Mikayla Eslinger, 100-8
400-meter dash – 16. Bridget Hurley, 1:02.30
Sprint medley relay – 9. CMB (Maddy Poage, Toni Spencer, Mackenzie Schmitz, Bridget Hurley), 1:54.25
4 X 100-meter relay – 17. CMB (Poage, Spencer, Hurley, Schmitz), :52.08
Shot put – 1. Zach Samson, 56-5.5, 6. Patrick Girard, 51-4.5
Discus – 14. Samson, 140-7
Long jump – 5. Bryce Kemp, 20-11; 11. Zach Huffaker, 19-11
3,200-meter run – 24. Mark Deutsch, 10:58.17
Shuttle hurdle relay – 7. CMB (Joey Nissen, Austin Moorman, Jordan Coughenour, Kemp), 1:00.49
400-meter dash – 22. Jordan Coughenour, :53.16
110-meter high hurdles – 2. Kemp, :14.72
400-meter low hurdles – 12. Coughenour, :56.15
800-meter run – 23. Moorman, 2:04.79