Demons clock season-best times in four races at Mid-Prairie
WELLMAN — The Washington boys’ track and field team ran four season- or personal-best times at Tuesday’s Hawk Co-Ed Relays at Mid-Prairie.
“My team ran outstanding,” Demon head coach Steve Roth said. “I was very thrilled with the way we competed. We did a lot of good things.”
The quartet of Austin Latcham, Alan Sanchez, Justin Hoffman and Noah Lebsack won the 4x800 relay in a season-best time of 8:42.07, edging Mid-Prairie’s squad by less than three-tenths of a second.
“Coach [Derick] Ball has done an outstanding job with those four guys,” Roth said. “They’re all buying into what he’s doing. I’m very proud of all of those guys. They all competed. They still want to run better times, but they’re competing. I think they’re going to have some very quality races at the end [of the season].”
Latcham led off the 4x800 relay with a 2:08 split, and then he came back later in the night with a personal-best time of 5:01.74 to finish sixth in the 1,600-meter run.
“He’s running more races and different types of races, and he’s learning as he goes,” Roth said of Latcham. “He just runs a little better each time.”
Lebsack also had an outstanding evening for the Demons. After running a 2:04 anchor leg of the 4x800 relay, he ran a 53-second 400-meter split as the quartet of Garrett Covington, Tanner Knupp, Lebsack and Hoffman took third place in the 1,600 medley relay in 4:01.18. Finally, he ran a 52-second split in the 4x400 relay, where the team of Gage Redlinger, Jacob Hennigan, Kyle Roder and Lebsack finished third in 3:44.16.
“Noah has a little case of pneumonia, I just found out, and he still went out and ran a 2:04 [split],” Roth said. “He had an excellent night.”
Hennigan also had a big night for Washington. Besides running in the Demons’ third-place 4x400 relay, he also finished second in the 400-meter hurdles in a personal-best time of 59.67 seconds and he was third in the 110-meter high hurdles in 16.04 seconds.
“He’s very smooth,” Roth said of Hennigan. “He runs his hurdles very smooth. His issue with the 400 hurdles is he hasn’t run them enough to get his steps down. We haven’t had time to get outdoors and work on it. But he’s really picked it up and is running well.”
Hennigan also led off Washington’s shuttle hurdle relay. The quartet of Hennigan, Redlinger, Jack Giardino and Roder won the race in a season-best time of 1:05.31.
Washington’s 4x100 relay team of Carl Sivels, Redlinger, Roder and Austin Witt just missed a season-best time, finishing fourth in 45.91 seconds.
“The 4x100 was an excellent race for us until the third to fourth [runners] handoff,” Roth said. “We went 11 flat, 11 flat and 10.9, and then we couldn’t connect. They didn’t drop it, but they had to slow way down. We were leading the whole thing until then.
“I’ve said all along we’re one handoff away from being really good and going to the Drake Relays [in the 4x100 relay]. But it takes a lot of time to get that handoff perfect, and we haven’t had much time to work on it. If we ever get some time where we can get outside and spend some time on it, it’s going to be a nice race. We just haven’t gotten all four guys on the same page. The kids I’ve ran have done an excellent job, but we haven’t gotten everything to click.”
Washington’s 4x200 relay team of Covington, Knupp, Roder and Witt finished fifth in 1:39.57. Freshman Jose Tapia took fourth place in the 100-meter dash in 12.03 seconds, and Witt finished fifth in the 200-meter dash in 24.81 seconds.
Sophomore Tommy Peterson took third place in the shot put competition with a throw of 45 feet, 10.5 inches. Freshman Michael Ellingson and Witt placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in the high jump competition. Ellingson cleared 5-4, while Witt cleared 5-2.
Washington finished fourth in the team standings with 68 points. Mt. Pleasant scored 135 points to run away with the team title. Williamsburg and the host Golden Hawks tied for second place with 74 points.
The Demons will run at home tomorrow night. Originally scheduled to be a girls’ meet, now boys’ teams from Clear Creek-Amana, Fort Madison, Williamsburg and host Washington will run at the Washington Invite, which will start at 5 p.m.