The Waukee boys’ 4x110 meter shuttle hurdle relay team took first place at what is considered to be one of the premier track and field events in the country. Winning at the Drake Relays didn’t go as smoothly as they had initially planned, however.
The shuttle hurdle team usually consisted of Noah Larrison, Josh Brdicko, Scott Stanley and Jared Brdicko, but a slight change was needed on Saturday when the team competed in the race.
Noah Larrison went down with an injury on Friday night as he was competing in the 4x400 meter relay and was unable to compete in the shuttle hurdle relay with Waukee. Instead, the Warriors needed a little help from a sophomore, who was competing at the Drake Relays for the first time by the name of Kalen Renshaw.
The two alternates, including Renshaw, who had a chance to take Larrison’s place in the race got a text message from their coach Mark Stallman on Friday night, saying that he would tell them who was running on Saturday morning.
"We had to sleep on that," Renshaw said after the race.
Renshaw said that he was about to fall asleep when Stallman told him he would be running on Saturday morning.
"I was laying on the bench, not expecting to run this morning," Renshaw said. "But when I found out, it woke me up."
Waukee finished the finals in 56.40 seconds, which improved the shuttle hurdle team’s best time of the season, which was 56.76 seconds and the best in the state by one second before the Drake Relays. It also set a new Drake Stadium record.
Their time was also just 0.39 seconds behind the Drake Relays record, which was set in 2010 by Cedar Rapids Kennedy with a time of 56.09 seconds.
Des Moines Roosevelt came in second place with a time of 57.19 seconds while Sioux Center finished 0.57 seconds behind them for third place. Carroll rounded out the field in the shuttle hurdle finals with a time of 59.57 for fourth place.
The Warriors also had the best time in the preliminary heats, where they recorded a time of 56.96 seconds.
When Jared Brdicko took off as the anchor for the Warriors, he was running against Sydne Davis of Roosevelt, who Brdicko has run against before. The Warriors were already ahead when Brdicko sprinted for the finish line, hurdling down the stretch.
"I knew he would be close, but I just wanted to put some distance between us and just make it obvious that we had won," Brdicko said.
After the race was over, Brdicko called his experience at the Drake Relays "such a great experience."
"I’m so glad that we have gotten the experience of running at the Drake Relays," Brdicko said. "We’ve put a lot of hard work in and… coach Stallman has put a lot of time and effort into coaching us and it’s been a lot of fun."
Renshaw used the word "insane" to describe what the remainder of his career at Waukee might look like after getting the chance to compete at the Drake Relays as a sophomore.
"I think I can really prove a lot, especially between this year and next year," Renshaw said. "Summer practices, winter practices, just get over some hurdles and get a lot better for next year."