Washington hosts talented field of athletes
The 54th annual Washington Relays for boys’ track teams will take place today, Friday, March 28 at Case Field in Washington. The field events are scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. with the races slated to commence at 4 p.m.
Teams that are scheduled to appear include Burlington, Cedar Rapids Prairie, Columbus Junction, Danville, Eddyville-Blakesburg, Fairfield, Fort Madison, Iowa City High, Keota, Maharishi, Mediapolis, Mid-Prairie, Monticello, Mt. Pleasant, Ottumwa, Pella, Wapello, Washington, West Burlington-Notre Dame and West Delaware. This will be the first outdoor event of the season for the Demons and Golden Hawks and the first of any kind of event this season for the Eagles and Wildcats.
“It’s always great to get outside. Our legs get better, we get longer strides and our lungs underneath us,” Washington head coach Steve Roth said.
The field events will include four discus throws, high jump that will begin at 5-4, four long jumps and four shot put throws.
The running events will include the 100-meter dash, 110-meter hurdles, 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 400-meter hurdles, 800-meter run, 1,600-meter run, 1,600-meter medley relay, 3,200-meter run, 4x100-meter relay, 4x200-meter relay, 4x400-meter relay, 4x800-meter relay, and the shuttle hurdle relay.
The field will be as competitive as ever on the track in the individual races. In the 110-meter hurdles, Hunter Pohlpeter of Fort Madison ran the ninth-fastest time in the state last year. Cedar Rapids Prairie senior Tristan Beyer had the third-fastest 400-meter dash time in the state last season. Iowa City High senior Ryan Dorman tied for the seventh-fastest time in the 800-meter run.
Nothing changes as far as the level of competition goes in the relay events. Iowa City High had a 4x100 team run the third-fastest time, a 4x800 team run the fourth-fastest and its 1600-meter medley relay the fourth-fastest time in the state last season. Cedar Rapids Prairie’s 4x110-meter hurdle relay was the seventh-fastest last season and its 4x400-meter relay was the third-fastest.
The competition in the field events will be just as tough. West Burlington-Notre Dame junior Jeff Giannettino recorded the best mark for high jumpers in the state last season at 6-10, followed closely by Monticello senior Cody Jamison who recorded the ninth-best jump. Jamison’s classmate Devonte Merrill registered the fourth-longest discus throw in the state last season as well.
“All the events will be super-competitive. When you go up against the best in the state it’s a great opportunity to get better at everything you do. I’m curious as to how our hand-offs will go,” Steve Roth commented.
The Demons have already been facing stiff competition in their indoor events and have been competing well, though. Tommy Peterson won the shot put contest at the Central College Indoor on March 21. The 4x200-meter relay team from Washington composed of Alex Coker, Jacob Henigan, Gage Redlinger and Carl Sivels took second place in Pella as well. Redlinger also finished fourth in the 200-meter dash at Central. Henigan placed tenth in the 400-meter dash and Sivels did the same in the 55-meter dash. Coker added first place in the long jump to his day at Central as well.
The Golden Hawks are also just a week removed from their last competition, also indoors at Central College. Jared Draper and Ryan Errthum finished fourth and sixth respectively in the 3,200-meter run. Austin Errthum finished fifth in the 200-meter dash. Zeb Schwartz and Draper placed sixth and eighth in the 800-meter run. Mid-Prairie had a 4x200 relay team of Eesaa Baylor, A. Errthum, Isaiahn Powell and Zach Schwartz finish ninth, a 4x400-meter relay team of A. Errthum, Ty Feigenspan, Za. Schwartz, and Evan Wild finish seventh and a 4x800-meter relay team of Feigenspan, Andrew Schwartz, Ze. Schwartz and Wild finish fourth.
How each individual and team finishes will remain to be seen, but what’s for sure is that the Demons, Eagles, Golden Hawks and Wildcats will be in the mix throughout the events.