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Raiders claim two individual titles at state

Collins-Maxwell-Baxter’s Bryce Kemp (center) clears the last hurdle of Class 2A 110-meter high hurdles finals at the same time as Clarke’s Logan Weers (left) and Emmetsburg’s Cody Henderson (right) Saturday at the state coed track meet in Des Moines. Kemp leaned past Henderson and Weers at the finish line, winning the state title in 14.96 seconds while Henderson finished second in 15 seconds flat and Weers won the bronze in :15.08. Photo by Joe RandlemanBuy Photo
Collins-Maxwell-Baxter’s Bryce Kemp (center) clears the last hurdle of Class 2A 110-meter high hurdles finals at the same time as Clarke’s Logan Weers (left) and Emmetsburg’s Cody Henderson (right) Saturday at the state coed track meet in Des Moines. Kemp leaned past Henderson and Weers at the finish line, winning the state title in 14.96 seconds while Henderson finished second in 15 seconds flat and Weers won the bronze in :15.08. Photo by Joe Randleman
North Polk’s Clay Cory leaps over a hurdle during the final heat of the Class 2A boys’ 400-meter low hurdles race Friday at the state coed track meet. Cory ended up winning the silver medal in the event with an outstanding time of 54.34 seconds at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. Photo by Joe RandlemanBuy Photo
North Polk’s Clay Cory leaps over a hurdle during the final heat of the Class 2A boys’ 400-meter low hurdles race Friday at the state coed track meet. Cory ended up winning the silver medal in the event with an outstanding time of 54.34 seconds at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. Photo by Joe Randleman
Ballard’s Michael Wulfekuhle hands the baton off to Michael Wuestenberg during the Class 3A boys’ distance medley relay at the state coed track meet Friday. Photo by Joe RandlemanBuy Photo
Ballard’s Michael Wulfekuhle hands the baton off to Michael Wuestenberg during the Class 3A boys’ distance medley relay at the state coed track meet Friday. Photo by Joe Randleman
CMB’s Zach Samson joined his older brother Danny in claiming a Class 2A state championship in the shot put last Thursday at the state coed track meet. Samson’s winning throw was 53 feet, 0.75 inches. Photo by Joe RandlemanBuy Photo
CMB’s Zach Samson joined his older brother Danny in claiming a Class 2A state championship in the shot put last Thursday at the state coed track meet. Samson’s winning throw was 53 feet, 0.75 inches. Photo by Joe Randleman
North Polk’s Ryley Sandberg begins his anchor leg after taking the baton from Reed Smith in the final exchange of the 2A boys’ distance medley race Friday at the state coed track meet. North Polk finished fifth in the event with a time of 3:38.49. Photo by Joe RandlemanBuy Photo
North Polk’s Ryley Sandberg begins his anchor leg after taking the baton from Reed Smith in the final exchange of the 2A boys’ distance medley race Friday at the state coed track meet. North Polk finished fifth in the event with a time of 3:38.49. Photo by Joe Randleman

NP’s Cory places second in 400 hurdles

DES MOINES – Winning state championships in the 110-meter high hurdles and shot put is becoming a habit for the for the Collins-Maxwell-Baxter boys’ track team.

A year after Josh Zieser brought home the gold for CMB in the 110 highs talented sophomore Bryce Kemp captured the Class 2A state championship in event Saturday. Meanwhile junior thrower Zach Samson followed in the footsteps of his older brother Danny by winning his first title in the shot put on Thursday.

“We are obviously thrilled with Bryce and Zach’s achievements,” CMB head coach Neil Seales said. “As we look at them winning state titles in two events that we had recent championships in the comment elements I see in them are that Josh and Danny were the same type of talented, yet extremely hard-working, coachable and committed athletes that Bryce and Zach are. It is really great to see Bryce and Zach have this level of success.”

Kemp entered the state meet with the second-fastest qualifying time behind Clarke’s Logan Weers at 14.98 seconds. He was No. 2 again in the prelims on Friday, running a :15.26 to trail only the :15.11 run by Emmetsburg’s Cody Henderson.

In Saturday’s finals Kemp came on when it mattered most. He hit all the hurdles in stride and took advantage of his 6-foot, 5-inch frame to lean across the finish line just ahead of Henderson and Weers

“It must have been a photo finish,” Kemp said. “It seemed like there were two or three people right there.”

When the final times went up on the scoreboard Kemp had run a time of :14.96. That was just enough to edge Henderson – who clocked in at 15 seconds flat – and Weers, who ran a :15.08.

“I sort of had a sense that I won with my lean,” Kemp said. “Then I looked up at the scoreboard and saw my name first.”

Kemp took his dramatic victory in stride, acting like he’d been there before despite having no prior state experience. He hadn’t even run the 110 highs until this season.

“Coach was just hey, let’s try them out and threw me in,” Kemp said. “I won a meet and they kept working me and had Josh come back to work with me on my form. Having a past state champ come back to help me really helped out.”

Kemp did have the advantage of having competed in the long jump, shuttle hurdle relay and 200 on Thursday. Getting all his other state events out of the way right off the bat helped him maintain his focus when it came time to run the 110 highs.

“Running all those other events helped get all the butterflies out,” Kemp said. “Then it was just like another meet to me; just come in, compete and do my best.”

Kemp just missed placing in the long jump after coming in ninth in the prelims with a jump of 20 feet, six inches. He ran a :23.56 in the 200 prelims to place 20th and he anchored the shuttle hurdle to a 14th-place preliminary time of 1:01.26.

Jordan Coughenour, Joey Nissen and Austin Moorman ran the first three legs of the shuttle hurdle for CMB.

Samson didn’t reach his peak performance level on Thursday, but he overcame the pressure of being the top-seeded thrower to get the job done and join his brother in bagging a state title in the shot put.

Samson had been chasing his brother’s school record throw of 56-5.5 when Danny won the 2A crown at state his senior year in 2009. Zach hit 56-5 twice this year, but couldn’t get that one more inch needed to take the record.

At state Zach’s best throw was 53-0.75 in his first attempt during the prelims. That was enough to just outdistance the 52-9 thrown by Mount Vernon’s Robbie Peters to give Zach a championship after he placed fifth in 2A a year ago.

“Another state champion is a good thing to have,” Zach said after bringing one home for both his family and his school. “It (the 53-0.75) was a good throw and it was a fun day to be out here.”

Zach credited both his brother, who was on hand to see him win, and Seales for helping him take that next step and win a state title.

“Danny likes to help me out when he can and makes sure I work on technique and eat right,” Zach said. “Coach Seales is one of the best coaches in the state. I couldn’t do it without him.”

Now Zach’s quest is to repeat as champion and get his brother’s elusive school record next season.

“He’ll get it next year for sure,” Danny said. “I’m really proud of him.”

Another Raider – Patrick Girard – also competed in the 2A shot put. Girard finished 12th in the prelims with a throw of 47-11.5.

Zach also competed in the discus on Friday, but he had an off day in placing 19th in the prelims with a throw of 131-10. Teammate Clayton Weltha took 16th in 2A discus with a throw of 140-9 in his first trip to state.

As a team CMB finished in a five-way tie for ninth place in 2A with 20 points. Monticello blew away the rest of the 2A field to win the team championship with 96 points.

North Polk finished just one point behind CMB in the team standings, placing 14th with 19 points – the most in school history at the state meet.

The Comets endured an up and down three days. They placed in four events and set a state record in the shuttle hurdle prelims, but were denied a state title during Saturday’s shuttle hurdle finals after being disqualified.

“It was a bittersweet weekend as a whole, but I was very pleased and couldn’t be more proud of our guys,” North Polk head coach Bill Capaldo said. “We had some great races and our guys fought hard and competed at a high level. I saw so much courage, character and class with this team and regardless of the results that’s what makes me most proud of this team.”

The Comet shuttle hurdle team of Clay Cory, Jordan Nathan, Austin Williams and Russell Greene came into the meet seeded fourth in 2A with a time of :59.78. In Thursday’s preliminaries they shattered that time, running a :58.17 to top CMB’s old 2A record of :58.20 set at the 2011 state meet.

“Honestly, we didn’t even think about the record – we thought it was too fast,” Cory said. “When we saw we got it we went pretty crazy.”

The Comet quartet was poised to do even better on Saturday. And they did, running a :58.13.

But it was ruled that one of North Polk’s runners started his leg of the race early and the Comets were disqualified, leaving them with a record, but no state title.

“The North Polk boys haven’t won a state championship (in awhile) and I wanted that state championship under my belt,” Greene said. “It’s kind of tough. But we’ll always remember that record.”

Greene later came in seventh in the 2A 110 high finals with a time of :15.56. During the prelims he ran a :15.43 to win his heat and Nathan took fourth in the same heat, finishing in :15.88 to fall just a little short of advancing to the finals.

Cory turned in the most successful individual showing for North Polk in the 400 low hurdles on Friday. He ran an outstanding :54.34 to win the silver medal, coming up a hair short of the gold as old rival Triston Twedt of South Hamilton won in :54.02.

“Running in lane six, I’m really happy I got second,” Cory said. “I’ve been battling Triston all year long and he got me today. But I’m pretty happy to get second.”

The 4 X 800 and distance medley relays also placed for North Polk. The Comets made up a ton of ground from their qualifying spots in each event, moving up seven places in the 4 X 800 and five in the medley.

On Thursday the Comet 4 X 800 team of Nathaniel Long, Dillon McBee, Reed Smith and Ryley Sandberg placed fourth after qualifying 11th.

Sandberg was motivated by the presence of his grandfather Jerry Plagge, who is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was cleared for a 36-hour pass by the May Clinic in Rochester, Minn. to come watch his grandson at state. With his strong anchor leg the Comet 4 X 800 team finished with a season-best time of 8:10.22.

“We switched up our order and had our normal anchor – Nathaniel – leadoff so we could get out a little faster,” Sandberg said. “I thought we did a great job competing with the teams next to us and we got fourth, which is right about where we wanted and we got a season-best time.”

On Friday Matthew Cox and Greene joined Smith and Sandberg to complete the distance medley in 3:38.49 and place fifth. Sandberg had another tremendous anchor leg and Smith had an excellent :49.89 400 split to help the Comets come close to the school-record mark of 3:35.16 set in 2011.

“We came in 10th with a 3:43 and ran a 3:38 and got fifth,” Sandberg said. “That’s really great to come in and run that much faster. Granted, the weather was a lot better than (the state qualifying meet) at Ogden, but it still means a lot.”

North Polk’s 4 X 200 team of Cox, Williams, Long and Cory placed 14th on Friday with a time of 1:33.40 after qualifying 20th in 1:34.82. The Comets also ran the 4 X 400, but they were disqualified.

Long and McBee ran individually in the 800 on Saturday. Long placed 12th with a time of 2:00.58 and McBee turned in a personal-best time of 2:05.10 to finish 22nd.

Ballard competed in two events in Class 3A. The Bomber shuttle hurdle team ran in the Thursday prelims and the distance medley quartet ran on Friday.

Michael Wulfekuhle, Mason Edwards, Jacob Bernholtz and Caleb Schafbuch teamed up to complete the shuttle hurdle in 1:01.63 and place 14th in the prelims. That time was just shy of their season-best time of 1:01.30.

The Bomber distance medley team placed 13th. Zach Thompson, Isaiah Johnson, Wulfekuhle and Michael Wuestenberg teamed up to run a time of 3:41.31 and easily beat their qualifying time of 3:44.47.

Final boys’ team scores

Class 2A: 1. Monticello 96, 2. OA-BCIG 49, 3. Beckman Catholic 42, 4. KP-WC 35, 6. Cascade 29, 6. Camanche 26, 7. South Hamilton 23, 8. West Liberty 22, 9. (tie) CMB, Okoboji, Emmetsburg, Albia and West Burlington 20, 14. North Polk 19, 15. (tie) Mount Vernon and Council Bluffs St. Albert 16, 17. (tie) Colfax-Mingo and Cherokee 15, 19. Mid-Prairie 14, 20. Mount Ayr 12, 21. Dike-New Hartford 11.5, 22. West Fork 11, 23. (tie) Forest City and Garner-Hayfield/Ventura 10, 25. (tie) Fort Dodge. St. Edmond and Northeast Goose Lake 9, 27. (tie) Iowa City Regina and Bondurant-Farrar 8, 29. (tie) Pella Christian, West Marshall, Clarke and Ridgeview 6, 33. (tie) Eddyville-Blakesburg, Mediapolis and South Central Calhoun 5, 37. (tie) Nodaway Valley, Sumner-Fredericksburg, New Hampton and West Central 4, 41. (tie) Clayton Ridge, Clarion-Goldfield, St. Ansgar, Western Christian, Sioux Center, South Winneshiek, Hudson and Denver 3, 49. (tie) Aplington-Parkersburg, South O’Brien and Hampton-Dumont 2, 52. Roland-Story 1.5, 53. (tie) Tipton and Des Moines Christian 1.

Individual results

Class 3A – Ballard

Shuttle hurdle relay – 14. Ballard (Michael Wulfekuhle, Mason Edwards, Jacob Bernholtz, Caleb Schafbuch), 1:01.63

Distance medley relay – 13. Ballard (Zach Thompson, Isaiah Johnson, Wulfekuhle, Michael Wuestenberg), 3:41.31.

Class 2A – CMB and North Polk

Shot put – 1. Zach Samson (CMB), 53-0.75; 12. Patrick Girard (CMB), 47-11.5

Discus – 16. Clayton Weltha (CMB), 140-9; 19. Samson (CMB), 131-10

Long jump – 9. Bryce Kemp (CMB), 20-6

4 X 800-meter relay – 4. North Polk (Nathaniel Long, Dillon McBee, Reed Smith, Ryley Sandberg), 8:10.22

Shuttle hurdle relay – North Polk (Clay Cory, Jordan Nathan, Austin Williams, Russell Greene), DQ*; 14. CMB (Jordan Coughenour, Joey Nissen, Austin Moorman, Kemp), 1:01.26

4 X 200-meter relay – 14. North Polk (Matthew Cox, Williams, Long, Cory), 1:33.40

110-meter high hurdles – 1. Kemp (CMB), :14.96; 7. Greene (NP), :15.56; 12. Nathan (NP), :15.88

200-meter dash – 20. Kemp (CMB), :23.56

400-meter low hurdles – 2. Cory (NP), :54.34

Distance medley relay – 5. North Polk (Cox, Greene, Smith, Sandberg), 3:38.49

800-meter run – 12. Long (NP), 2:00.58; 22. McBee (NP), 2:05.10

4 X 400-meter relay – North Polk (Long, Sandberg, Smith, Cory), DQ.

*North Polk set a 2A state record in the prelims with a time of :58.17.

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