NEWTON — Setting the pace in front of the pack were Newton’s Jacob Thomas and Christian Laube. None of the other runners really pressured the Cardinal duo in the 1,600-meter race Thursday at H.A. Lynn Stadium.
Thomas and Laube staged a final sprint to the finish line to go 1-2 at the 2014 Cardinal Invitational. Thomas held off his teammate to win in 4 minutes, 57.12 seconds. Laube was right there for second in 4:57.28.
Just as smooth were performances Deonne Harris in the 110-meter high hurdles and Jarom Williams in the long jump for the Cardinals. Harris seemed to be in a race by himself as he pulled away from the field for a winning time of 15.04 seconds.
Williams did not win the long jump in his first home meet of the season. He missed the gold medal by a quarter of an inch. Williams made his leap of 20 feet, 4 3/4 inches, but right behind him on the same pass, Will Whiton of Perry went 20’5”, which held up as the winning distance.
“But it was my personal best and I’m No. 2 in the (Class 4A) district. I’m looking to go to state this year,” Williams said. “Having a new coach this year has helped. He changed up my steps a little bit on my approach. That has made me more confident in my approach and it is a huge difference.”
Newton was third as a team with 93 points on the day. Marshalltown won the team title with 134 points and Oskaloosa was second at 121 points. There were six teams competing at the meet.
Williams claimed a gold medal on the track, winning the 200-meter dash in 23.32 seconds. Harris placed sixth in the 400-meter hurdles in 1:01.84 and Jake Bennett was seventh in the race at 1:02.57.
Harris and Williams combined with J.T. Thongvanh and Levi Michener for second place in the 4x110-meter shuttle hurdle relay race in 1:02.50. Oskaloosa won the race in 1:02.16. Thongvanh ran third in the 100-meter dash in 11.77 seconds.
Laube opened the track meet placing third in the 3,200-meter race in 10:12. Mason Bowes had a strong day in the throwing events, taking third in the shot put at 38’11” and ninth in the discus at 91’6”.
The Cardinal foursome of Thomas, Thongvanh, Michener and Williams posted a third-place time of 3:55.11 in the 1,600-meter sprint medley relay. Also placing third was Newton’s 4x800-meter relay team of Sean Cook, Justin Simms, Bennett and Thomas in 9:04.26.
Newton’s 4x400-meter relay team of Earl Kimmel, Bennett, Simms and Cook placed fifth in 3:51.35. Kimmel was eighth in the 400-meter dash in 56.94.
The Cardinal boys are at Norwalk on Monday.