Who will be the All-Iowa boys track athlete of the year? These 10 candidates have emerged

Joe Randleman
Des Moines Register

The 2022 Iowa high school state track meet is almost here.

The state meet takes place from Thursday, May 19 through Saturday, May 21, at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. Despite poor weather conditions plaguing the state during the month of April, there have been several outstanding performances throughout the state.

This is a look at the top candidates for the Des Moines Register's All-Iowa boys track athlete of the year. The field includes performers from all four classes competing in sprinting, distance, throwing and jumping events.

MORE: How Sam Spore became Iowa wheelchair track star after adoption from Uganda

Here are the top 10 candidates heading into this week's state qualifying meets:

Southeast Polk's Abu Sama competes in the long jump during the Drake Relays, on Thursday, April 28, 2022, at Drake Stadium, in Des Moines.

Abu Sama

School: Southeast Polk

Class: Junior

Sama is the top long jumper in the state. He has a peak distance of 24 feet, 10 inches and won the Drake Relays with a jump of 23-11, falling less than an inch short of the Relays record set back in 1984. He is also an elite sprinter. He's helped the Rams run the fastest 4x100 and 4x200-meter relay times in the state at 41.82 seconds and 1:28.11, respectively.

Tyrese Miller

School: Ankeny

Class: Senior

Miller is a brilliant sprinter for Ankeny. He won the 100 dash at the Drake Relays in 10.88 seconds and the open 400 in 47.91. He also helped Ankeny take second at the Relays in the 4x100 (42.60) and third in the 4x400 (3:23.49).

Walker Whalen

School: Indianola

Class: Senior

Wahlen won the discus at the Drake Relays with an impressive throw of 191-5. His distance was over 10 feet farther than the rest of the field. He has topped 200 feet during the season. His best mark of 202-10 is 19 feet ahead of everyone else in Iowa.

Dallas Center-Grimes' Aidan Ramsey wins the boys 3200m run, during the Drake Relays, on Thursday, April 28, 2022, at Drake Stadium, in Des Moines.

Aidan Ramsey

School: Dallas Center-Grimes

Class: Senior

Ramsey is the heavy favorite to win both the 3,200 and 1,600 in Class 3A when the state meet rolls around. He took first in the 3,200 at the Drake Relays with a meet-record time of 8:58.27, and he won the 1,600 in 4:15.96.

Cole Becker

School: Lisbon

Class: Senior

Becker is a tremendous jumper and hurdler in Class 1A. He leads 1A in both the 110 high hurdles (14.26) and 400 hurdles (53.49). His 24-5.25 jump in the long jump is second in the state behind Sama.

Wyatt Willand

School: Northwood-Kensett

Class: Senior

Willand has the top wheelchair race times in the state for the 100, 200, 400 and 800. He leads the 100 in 17.35, the 200 in 30.90, the 400 in 1:00.32 and the 800 in 2:00.89. Willand's times are far ahead of the rest of the state in all four races.

Spirit Lake's Jack Latham celebrates after winning a Class 2A state title in the 110-meter hurdles during the 2021 Iowa high school state track meet at Drake Stadium in Des Moines on Saturday, May 22, 2021.

Jack Latham

School: Spirit Lake

Class: Senior

Latham has the state's best time in the 110 hurdles at 13.96. He also leads Class 2A in the 100 and 200 with respective times of 10.68 and 21.68, with teammate Qai Hussey close behind. The duo has helped Spirit Lake run the fastest 4x100, 4x200 and distance medley times in 2A and Latham also has his team atop 2A in the shuttle hurdle.

Qai Hussey

School: Spirit Lake

Class: Senior

In addition to teaming with Latham in the 4x100, 4x200 and distance medley during the season, Hussey also has helped Spirit Lake run the fastest sprint medley time in 2A at 1:33.67. Individually, Hussey leads 2A and is second in the state behind Miller in the open 400 with a time of 48.08. His 100 and 200 times of 21.78 and 10.88 are third and tied for seventh, respectively, in the state.

Ford Washburn

School: Iowa City High

Class: Junior

Washburn is the top distance runner in Class 4A. His 1,600 time of 4:13.24 leads the state and he is second to Ramsay in the 3,200 with an 8:59.60 showing. Washburn has also helped City High run the fifth-best 4x800 time in the state at 7:57.70.

From left, Harlan's Aidan Hall, Iowa City Liberty's Luke Meyers and Cedar Rapids Washington's Miles Thompson compete in the boys' 100 meter final during the Drake Relays, Friday, April 29, 2022, at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

Miles Thompson

School: Cedar Rapids Washington

Class: Junior

Thompson owns the fastest 100 time in the state at 10.56 seconds. He placed second to Miller at the Drake Relays in 10.95. Thompson also ranks fourth in the 200 at 21.94. He alsohas Cedar Rapids Washington ranked third in the 4x200 (1:29.36) and fourth in the 4x100 (42.59).