ADM boys track finishes second at state behind five first-place finishes
The ADM boys track team picked up the school's first team state trophy in track and field last weekend.
The Tigers' second place finish of 75 points was propelled by five first place finishes.
Senior Nate Mueller contributed to three of those first-place finishes, earning what distance runners call “the triple” by winning the 800-meter, 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs.
Head Coach Jesse Hunt said those three wins are a tribute to Mueller’s hard work and dedication to be his best when it matters most.
“When you see [Mueller] having that kind of success and you see him competing at that high level everyone else wants to raise their level to be able to match his effort and passion for what he’s competing for,” Hunt said.
Mueller's three state titles followed two wins in the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter events at the Drake Relays.
Hunt said the biggest thing heading into the state meet was how hard Mueller would need to run on a shorter schedule with having to run the anchor of the 4x800 not long after running the 3,200.
Despite the short recovery time, Hunt said Mueller ran an impressive leg to help bring the 4x800-meter team to a second-place finish and then turned around and had a strong day Saturday.
Mueller almost broke the school record in the 800 meter, running 1:54.83, and Hunt said he also crushed his final lap of the 1,600-meter run.
“You watch him and you quickly realize he’s very, very in tune with his times and where he’s at in the race and what he’s trying to accomplish,” Hunt said. “You rarely, rarely see that in a runner.”
Mueller wasn't the only ADM athlete to bring a track title home over the weekend.
Freshman Brevin Doll placed first in the 200-meter dash and also helped the sprint medley relay team to a first-place finish.
Hunt said he knew early on Doll had a lot of talent and would be a special runner.
Doll set a personal record in the 200 four straight times at conference, districts, the state preliminaries and finally the finals for a final time of 22.19.
“It’s pretty impressive any time you have an athlete do that but also just impressive as a freshman to be able to handle that moment and not think about the pressure but just go out there and compete,” Hunt said.
Doll said the upperclassmen on the team, especially those on his sprint medley team, helped him adjust to the high school level of track.
Those on his relay team, which include seniors Austin Younger and Ethan Juergens and junior Owen Higgins, gave him a good first-year experience and helped show him what to expect.
“They gave us a taste of what it’s like to have success and I want to get back there soon,” Doll said.
The sprint medley relay was the final event that won first for ADM, and it was the first time in 30 years ADM has won a relay title at state.
Juergens said it was an amazing feeling to be able to bring a state relay title back to the school.
“It just felt great to do it with a group of guys that we’ve been grinding and training for it all season so it just felt really, really good to do it with them,” Juergens said.
Hunt said the win for the sprint medley relay team was a culmination of hard work and belief in each other to be able to compete at the top level.
The sprint medley relay isn’t at the Drake Relays, so teams don’t practice or run it much throughout the season until after Drake.
Hunt said the relay team ran it once in late April then again at districts and finally at state, which turned out to be a school record-breaking relay.
When teams only run a relay a number of times, it can be hard to see where improvements are made besides a drop in times, but Younger and Juergens both saw the development.
“Throughout the season we’ve just been really working on trying to stick our handoffs and make sure if we get handoffs down then we’re pretty confident in winning state with that,” Younger said.
Younger added that the difference between winning first and coming in second was whether or not the team had strong handoffs.
Once ADM got that win, Doll said that feeling in the moment was pure happiness and he just wanted to celebrate with his team.
While Younger and Juergens graduate, Doll has more goals for next season.
“We came just short of that team first-place trophy so probably regrouping and getting that team trophy,” Doll said.