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Spartans 11th at WaMaC Conference Super Meet

Linderbaum, Walker, Flansburg, Coons and Ira lead Spartans
Thomas Brandt runs the anchor leg of the 1,600-meter distance medley relay at Clear Creek Amana High School during the Pacha Cood Relays on Thursday, April 27. Brandt ran the shuttle hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles for the Spartans at the May 4 WaMaC Super Meet. (photo by Jeff Hess)

EPWORTH– “(The) teams in the WaMaC are some of the best in the state and will make a statement at the state meet,” Coach Mark Sovers said when asked for his perspective of the Solon Spartans’ track and field team’s 11th-place finish at the WaMaC Conference Coed Super Meet held at Western Dubuque High School, in Epworth, on Thursday, May 4.
“We were focused on our performance and continuing to grow together as a team. We have looked to our throwers to be leaders all year long and they did just that on Thursday double placing in both the shot and the disc. The super meet allowed us to reflect and then put together a plan to continue to grow,” Sovers added.
The boys’ standings at the close of the meet had Western Dubuque, the host, atop the scoreboard with 134.5 team points, followed by Mount Vernon (104), Marion (96), Vinton Shellsburg (65), Central DeWitt (64), Anamosa (55), Center Point-Urbana (52), Williamsburg (37), Benton (35.5), and Clear Creek Amana (24) rounded out the top 10. Just outside the top 10 were the Spartans (22), followed by Dyersville Beckman (20.5), West Delaware (18.5), South Tama (8) and Independence (5).
With 15 teams competing, the field was expansive and ripe with competition. The field events reflected the depth. In the high jump, A.J. Coons tied for 10th place with a leap of 5-6. Luke Ira and Ryan Geistkemper competed in the long jump and placed 10th and 17th with leaps of 19-7 1/2 and 18-0. The shot put saw Tyler Linderbaum throw 53-6 to capture third place and Coal Flansburg capture sixth place with his toss of 50-6, and Jackson Walker and Jake Coons matched their performances in the discus with their third- and sixth-place performances of 155-0 and 145-9, respectively. Linderbaum and Flansburg captured six and three team points as did Walker and Coons for the Spartans. Over 80 percent of the team’s points for the evening were scored in the field events.
The track events saw the team of Kendrick Harris, Spencer Wegmann, Jake Coons and Austin Kennedy finish in 11th place in the sprint medley relay with at time of 1:42.19. Carl Richey ran to a 12th-place finish with a time of 11:16.94 in the 3,200-meter run. Thomas Brandt, Bo Black, A.J. Coons and Ira ran a 1:06.77 in the 440-meter shuttle hurdles to finish 11th.
In the 100-meter dash Harris ran a 12:10 for a 16th-place finish, filling in for the injured Hunter Kula, and Matt Folkerts finished 23rd with a 12.50. The 1,600-meter distance medley relay team of Peyton Stahle, Jackson Pipolo, Trevor McGill and Richey finished in 10th place with a time of 4:05.73. In the 400-meter dash, Jack Bell finished 23rd with his 58.61 and Dillon Hoit’s time of 1:00.31 was good for 25th. In the 4x200-meter relay, the team of Spencer Wegmann, Adam Bock, Kennedy and Jake Coons finished 11th with at time of 1:37.19.
Ira captured fifth place in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.27, scoring Solon’s final four team points for the Spartans at the meet. Elijah McInnis ran a 2:49.58 in the 800-meter run finishing 25th in the field. In the 200-meter dash, Jake Coons finished in 11th place with a time of 23.56 and Mason Stahle ran to 30th with his 26.10. Tackling the grueling 400-meter hurdles was Thomas Brandt, who finished 16th with his time of 1:03.95. Tanner Larkey completed the 1,600-meter run in 23rd position posting a time of 5:28.98. Harris, Wegmann, Black and Ira combined for the 4x100-meter relay to post a 45.80 to finish ninth. And rounding out the evening’s track events were Kennedy, McGill, Bell and Ryan Geistkemper with a 3:50.00 in the 4x400-meter relay capturing 13th place.
Solon has been relying heavily on the successes of the field events, but has had a hard time fielding distance runners.
“Our middle distance runners had some very big goals heading into the year led by our 4x8 relay,” Coach Sovers commented. “The circumstances we find ourselves in did not allow the goals to be achieved but the importance of the relay has not. We continue to challenge each other to step into different roles and this includes middle distance.”
Coach Sovers was asked about the challenges he has faced this season and if he had something up his sleeve for the push at the end of the season, Coach Sovers remarked, “We have experienced several different trials this season. With any trial comes the opportunity to find out something new about yourself and grow because of it. We are excited for the end of the year and to find out what the season challenges will set us up for during championship season.”
The correspondence turned to talk of the future, specifically in reference to the middle school program and its preparation of the younger athletes for the transition to high school competition. Coach Sovers pointed out, “No one ever experiences success without collaboration. The process is in place and the more good people you have involved the more you will set the program up for success in the future. We value the things Coach Scheely, Coach Kampman (and) Coach Colton Dall do (for) our young athletes. Our athletes are fortunate to have good people to be around throughout the process. Our team has done a great job of valuing everyone on our team and helping each other grow and focus on what is important. This is what I give them a lot of credit for this year and it will serve them well in the future.”
When asked about the junior varsity (JV) conference meet slated for May 8, Coach Sovers stated, “The JV conference meet is important to us and the journey we are on. By competing Monday it will only help set them up for success on Thursday at the district meet. With the right frame of mind, only good things can come from competing and competing against the best.”
The Spartans competed in the JV WaMaC Coed Conference Meet at Thomas Park in Marion on Monday, May 8. They travel to the 3A district coed meet on Thursday, May 11, again at Thomas Park, 335 Marion Blvd. in Marion, to compete starting at 4:30 p.m. And, for those who qualify, the state coed meet is slated to start Thursday, May 18, starting at 9 a.m. and closes on Saturday, May 20, held at Drake Stadium, 2719 Forest Ave. in Des Moines.

Solon Spartans’ standings from the WaMaC Super Meet as reported by Kauder Racing from Thursday, May 4:
High jump: 10 (tie). AJ Coons 5-6.
Long jump: 10. Luke Ira 19-7 ½, 17. Ryan Geistkemper 18-0.
Shot put: 3. Tyler Linderbaum 53-6, 6. Coal Flansburg 50-6.
Discus: 3. Jackson Walker 155-0, 6. Jake Coons 145-9.
Sprint medley relay: 11. Kendrick Harris, Spencer Wegmann, Jake Coons, Austin Kennedy 1:42.19.
3,200-meter: 12. Carl Richey 11:16.94.
Shuttle hurdles: 11. Thomas Brandt, Bo Black, AJ Coons, Luke Ira 1:06.77.
100-meter: 16. Kendrick Harris 12.10, 23. Matt Folkerts 12.50.
Distance Medley Relay: 10. Peyton Stahle, Jackson Pipolo, Trevor McGill, Carl Richey 4:05.73.
400-meter: 23. Jack Bell 58.61, 25. Dillon Hoit 1:00.31.
4x200: 11. Spencer Wegmann, Adam Bock, Austin Kennedy, Jake Coons 1:37.19.
110-m hurdles: 5. Luke Ira 15.27.
800-meter: 25. Elijah McInnis 2:49.58.
200-meter: 11. Jake Coons 23.56, 30. Mason Stahle 26.10.
400-m hurdles: 16. Thomas Brandt 1:03.95.
1,600-meter: 23. Tanner Larkey 5:28.98.
4x100: 9. Kendrick Harris, Spencer Wegmann, Bo Black, Luke Ira 45.80.
4x400: 13. Austin Kennedy, Trevor McGill, Jack Bell, Ryan Geistkemper 3:50.00.