It was a home town feel for the Van Meter boys’ track team as they hosted a 2018 district qualifying meet Thursday evening.
It took a spot in the top two of each event to guarantee a chance at the coveted state meet. For the Bulldog boys, they wowed the hometown crowd with eight events punching their ticket to the blue oval.
Five of the eight top two finishes for the Bulldog boys did so by earning season best finishes. Senior Anthony Lowman followed up a solid conference golf outing by punching his ticket to the state track meet in the 200 meter dash. Lowman was one of those individuals who earned a season best time in the process clocking in with a time of 22.64 seconds, nearly a full second faster than his prior best.
“I felt it was a strong race overall,” mentioned Lowman. “I just stuck to my strengths and didn’t let anything distract me.”
After falling short of the big dance a season prior, fellow senior Jack Trudo found redemption in the 3200 meter run by placing second out of 16 runners to advance with a time of 10:20.71.
“It feels really good to finally qualify for the state tournament after I fell short last year,” began Trudo. “It proves that all the hard work I’ve done over the summer has paid off and that all the help from my coaches has paid off as well.”
Sam Thompson knows a thing or two about running at the state meet after qualifying in the 110 meter hurdles last season. Thursday night the senior officially made himself a repeat offender qualifying for the state meet in the 110 meter hurdles for the second straight season. Thompson clocked in with a season best time of 15.32 seconds.
“Starts are real important but I don’t feel I started the best however I feel I found that next level towards the end,” said Thompson.
In the heat prior to Thompson’s, at least three runners knocked down at least two hurdles but it was nothing but smooth sailing for Thompson in the end.
“You can’t over think it, you’ve just got to go out there and run,” began Thompson. “I know I could have run better but overall I’m happy with it.”
Speaking of athletes who are familiar with the state meet stage, veteran Van Meter shot put specialist Connor Guess punched his repeat ticket to the blue oval after a toss of 49’-07.50”. The senior tandem of Owen Jones and Marshall Smith tied for second place in the high jump event by reaching a height of 5’-10”.
Three relay events guaranteed their spots at the state track meet as well. The Bulldog boys placed first in the 4x100 meter relay event with the group of Zach Drummond, Sam Thompson, Anthony Lowman, and Carson Rhodes. The fierce foursome claimed the district crown by breaking their season best mark in the event with a time of 43.93 seconds.
Thompson and Lowman were joined by the duo of Owen Jones and Noah Hale to compete in the 4x110 meter shuttle hurdle relay event. Combined, the group would pick up a second place finish and head to state with a season best time of 1:00.97. Finally, the same foursome that took the 4x100 meter crown nearly preformed the same outcome in the 800 sprint medley relay event. The likes of Drummond, Lowman, Thompson, and Rhodes collectively brought a season best to the table with a time of 1:35.69 which has now officially set them on a path to the state tournament.
All together, the top two in each event and top eight performances overall in each event will be headed to the blue oval and the full list of results from across the state should be released soon.