Demons battle through adversity at Indian Relays
WAPELLO — Even though the Washington boys’ track team was competing with two of its best sprinters during Tuesday’s Wapello Indian Relays, the Demons still took third place at the meet.
“[Alex] Coker tweaked his hammy in the first jump of the long jump, so I sent him home, and Carl [Sivels] has a tweaked hammy, so he didn’t run,” Washington head coach Steve Roth said. “So I switched things around as the night went on, and they responded very well.”
Roth replaced Coker and Sivels in the 4x200 relay, and the quartet of Austin Witt, Gage Redlinger, Kyle Roder and Garrett Covington barely missed a beat, placing fourth in 1:35.98. With Coker and Sivels in the event, the Demons’ best time this season had been 1:35.11.
“We had two guys out of the 4x200 and we still went 1:35, so that shows the depth we’ve got,” Roth said.
Without Coker and Sivels, Washington’s 4x100 relay team of Jose Tapia, Redlinger, Roder and Witt took sixth place in 46.03 seconds.
The Demons won both the 4x800 and 4x400 relays. The quartet of Austin Latcham, Alan Sanchez, Justin Hoffman and Noah Lebsack won the 4x800 relay in 8:46.81.
“That’s our lowest time [in the 4x800] in two years,” Roth said.
Washington’s 4x400 relay team of Redlinger, Spencer Woods, Roder and Lebsack won the night’s final race in 3:42.80.
The two relay races marked an outstanding night for Washington’s distance runners. Hoffman took fourth place in the open 800 in 2:11.94, and Latcham was sixth in 2:16.33. Sophomore Curtis Vest finished sixth in the 3,200-meter run in 12:01.24.
“Coach [Derick] Ball really pounded the distance guys on Monday in preparation for this meet,” Roth said. “They needed to condition. To come back and run what they did last night was outstanding.”
Washington’s 1,600 medley relay team of Covington, Tanner Knupp, Lebsack and Sanchez finished in 4:02.08 — its best time of the season — and took third. The shuttle hurdle relay squad of Jacob Hennigan, Logan Moeller, Redlinger and Jack Giardino finished third in 1:06.94.
Hennigan, a sophomore, also had a big night for the Demons. He took second place in the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.72 seconds and then finished second in the 400-meter hurdles in 1:00.66 despite running it for the first time in his career.
“He just gets stronger each meet,” Roth said of Hennigan. “He feels more nad more comfortable. He’s attacking the hurdles and he really has a lot of push at the end. For a sophomore, that’s outstanding.”
Sophomore Tommy Peterson took second place in the shot put competition with a throw of 45 feet, 2 inches.
Witt, a senior who is out for track for the first time since his freshman season, competed in four events on Tuesday night. He ran in the Demons’ 4x100 and 4x200 relays, and he took sixth place in the 200-meter dash in 24.36 seconds. He also cleared 5 feet, 2 inches in the high jump.
“He’s run one race a night, and he came out and ran three races,” Roth said of Witt.
But because of injuries and illnesses, the Demons have had people like Witt stepping in all season.
“Between fighting the injuries and adversities that we’ve had, the other kids have gotten a chance to compete and have stepped up,” Roth said. “Other kids are getting a chance to run, and they’re making the most of it.”