Washington's 4x200 relay team wins Southeast Conference title
When Austin Witt decided to go out for track and field during his senior year of high school, he only planned to high jump.
He never thought he’d be a conference champion in the 4x200 relay.
“Originally, I was supposed to mainly high jump,” said Witt, who is out for track this season for the first time since his freshman year. “Over the summer I was doing a lot of lifting, and when we tested our vertical jump I did pretty good. So they were like, ‘Oh, why don’t you come out and try high jump?’ A lot of my teammates were just trying to convince me to come out for track, and I was like, ‘I might as well just try it.’ It’s been really fun this year.”
Injuries to a couple of Washington’s sprinters thrust Witt into a different role than he expected. And on Tuesday night he anchored the Demons’ 4x200 relay team to a conference title.
“Just to know we’re the top in the conference is a huge confidence booster,” Witt said.
The quartet of Carl Sivels, Gage Redligner, Kyle Roder and Witt won in a season-best time of 1:35.28.
“Carl looked really good getting out of the blocks,” Washington head boys’ track and field coach Steve Roth said. “I put a lot of pressure on Carl, because if we don’t get out well, we don’t chase very well. Carl got out really well, Gage kept us in the lead, Roder extended it, and then Witt relaxed and ran. He runs very well when he’s out in front. We have two seniors who are conference champs, Austin and Kyle, and I’m happy for them.”
The 4x200 relay was the only event Washington won at Tuesday’s meet. But the Demons had a lot of personal- and season-best times and throws at the conference meet.
“That’s all you can ask,” Roth said. “We weren’t even running for times. We were running for places. Bu the weather cooperated and they ran very, very well. My kids left it all on the track. I have no complaints.”
Washington’s 4x800 relay team of Austin Latcham, Justin Hoffman, Alan Sanchez and Noah Lebsack took second place in a season-best time of 8:41.65, and the 4x400 squad of Redlinger, Jacob Hennigan, Lebsack and Alex Coker ran a season-best time of 3:34.85 to finish third.
Lebsack took third place in the 400-meter dash in a personal-best time of 53.42 seconds, and Coker ran a personal-best time of 54.21 seconds to finish fourth. Witt and Roder both ran personal-best times in the 200-meter dash, as Witt finished fifth in 24.49 seconds and Roder was seventh in 24.62 seconds. Latcham ran a personal-best time of 5:00.04 to place third in the 1,600-meter run.
Redlinger ran a personal-best time of 57.98 seconds to take fourth place in the 400-meter hurdles, and Hennigan was fifth with a personal-best time of 59.64 seconds. Hennigan also finished fourth in the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.96 seconds.
Sophomore Tommy Peterson, who had a personal-best shot put throw of 48 feet, 3.5 inches at the Brookhart-Crew Relays in Fairfield on Monday, did even better on Tuesday night. He threw 48 feet, 10.5 inches to take third place.
“He’s got so much confidence in himself now and he knows what to do,” Roth said of Peterson. “I know he got third, but he was throwing against Drake Relays qualifiers.”
Latcham finished sixth in the discus competition with a throw of 116 feet, 3.5 inches, and freshman Michael Ellingson cleared 5 feet, 4 inches to take sixth place in the high jump competition.
Sanchez finished fifth in the 800-meter run in 2:13.24, and sophomore Curtis Vest was sixth in the 3,200-meter run in 11:52.33.
Washington’s 4x100 relay team of Sivels, Redlinger, Witt and Coker struggled with its handoffs and finished third in 46.63 seconds. The 1,600 medley relay team of Tanner Knupp, Garrett Covington, Roder and Hoffman came in third in 3:56.63, and the shuttle hurdle relay squad of Alex Gonzalez, Jack Giardino, Jeff Knupp and Logan Moeller was fourth in 1:08.11.
Washington finished in last place with 50 points. Fort Madison won the conference title with 110 points.
“We were right there in five or six events,” Roth said, “but our [conference] is tougher than nails. It wasn’t for a lack of effort. Our focus and concentration was great. We ran well, and that’s all you can ask.”
Roth was also pleased with the volunteers who came out to help run the meet even though it was moved up by two days.
Southeast Conference meet
April 30, 2013
Team scores — 1. Fort Madison 110, 2. Mt. Pleasant 89, 3. Fairfield 69, 4. Keokuk 54, 5. Washington 50.
High jump — 6. Michael Ellingson (W) 5-4, 7. Austin Witt (W) 5-2.
Shot put — 3. Tommy Peterson (W) 48-10.5.
Discus — 6. Austin Latcham (W) 116-3.5, 7. Tama Leutele (W) 111-11.
100-meter dash — 5. Carl Sivels (W) 12.18, 6. Jose Tapia (W) 12.22.
200-meter dash — 5. Austin Witt (W) 24.49, 7. Kyle Roder (W) 24.62.
400-meter dash — 3. Noah Lebsack (W) 53.42, 4. Alex Coker (W) 54.21.
800-meter run — 5. Alan Sanchez (W) 2:13.24.
1,600-meter run — 3. Austin Latcham (W) 5:00.04, 8. Michael Ellingson (W) 5:33.48.
3,200-meter run — 6. Curtis Vest (W) 11:52.33, 8. Jiovanni Tapia (W) 13:42.86.
110-meter hurdles — 4. Jacob Hennigan (W) 15.96.
400-meter hurdles — 4. Gage Redlinger (W) 57.98, 5. Jacob Hennigan (W) 59.64.
4x100 — 3. Washington (Carl Sivels, Gage Redlinger, Austin Witt, Alex Coker) 46.63.
4x200 — 1. Washington (Carl Sivels, Gage Redlinger, Kyle Roder, Austin Witt) 1:35.28.
4x400 — 3. Washington (Gage Redlinger, Jacob Hennigan, Noah Lebsack, Alex Coker) 3:34.85.
4x800 — 2. Washington (Austin Latcham, Justin Hoffman, Alan Sanchez, Noah Lebsack) 8:41.65.
1,600 medley — 3. Washington (Tanner Knupp, Garrett Covington, Kyle Roder, Justin Hoffman) 3:56.63.
Shuttle hurdle — 4. Washington (Alex Gonzalez, Jack Giardino, Jeff Knupp, Logan Moeller) 1:08.11.