DES MOINES — Three area high school boys walked out of Drake Stadium Friday and Saturday with 2014 Drake Relays medals. Two relay teams broke school records running on the blue track at Drake Stadium.
Lynnville-Sully senior Meliek Meyer came to Friday morning’s qualifying session on a mission. Meyer had been on the “blue” a year ago in the high school boys’ 100-meter dash preliminaries. He came up .04 of a second from making the finals.
Meyer left nothing to chance, running second in his heat at 11.14 seconds. His Hawk classmate, Bailey Samson, and Collins-Maxwell/Baxter senior Bryce Kemp were in the second heat, running fifth (11.50) and seventh (11.63). Neither moved on into the finals.
“I knew I was going to qualify, so I brought it down a bit at the end of the heat race. To qualify for the final after last year’s disappointment was tremendous,” Meyer said. “I went into the final thinking ‘just go get it.’”
West Des Moines Dowling Catholic’s Rico Gafford won the 100-meter dash final in 10.62 seconds. It came down to a photo-finish for second between Meyer and Bryson Runge of Iowa City City High, both ran 10.84 seconds.
“It was a quick race. Rico is so fast. It was a lot of fun,” Meyer said of the final. “I think I could have finished it better. All I was thinking about before the race was don’t false start.
“Finally, got here — the finals, and a top-three finish at Drake. Next for me is qualifying for state and state a championship.”
On Friday morning at Drake Stadium, CMB senior Zach Samson battled the field in the high school boys’ shot put event, which he placed fourth in a year ago. Samson has a state-leading 58 feet, 1 inch throw this season but wasn’t able to match that at the Drake Relays.
What Zach Samson was able to do at the 2014 Drake Relays was claim the third-place medal on his final throw of the finals. It was 53’5 1/2”. Dalton Ferguson of Solon won the gold with a throw of 55’4 1/2”.
CMB senior Jordan Coughenour took on the field in the high school boys’ 400-meter hurdles on Saturday. Coughenour ran his best time of the season in claiming fourth place in 54.86 seconds.
Kemp just missed the finals of the 110-meter high hurdles on Friday. Kemp ran his heat race in 15.03 seconds, which put him ninth overall. He was 23rd overall in the 100-meter dash preliminaries.
Also on Friday morning, Prairie City-Monroe senior Lexi Kain ran in the 100-meter high hurdle preliminaries. She was fifth in her heat at 16.30 seconds, which landed her 21st overall.
Kain came back in the afternoon to anchor the PCM girls’ 4x200-meter relay to a school-record time of 1 minute, 46.53 seconds, finishing 14th overall. Freshman Jayci Vos led off the race for the Mustangs then came junior Mackenzie Clarke and sophomore Ashley Van Gorp. The older PCM record was 1:47.63.
“Breaking the school record here at Drake Relays is tremendous. We had a good race,” Kain said. “We can only improve on this as the season goes on. I’m very proud of my teammates.”
Vos, Clarke and Kain combined with Emily Hugen Friday evening in the 4x100-meter relay preliminary races. The Mustang foursome ran the race in 51.88 seconds and finished 53rd.
Pella Christian’s girls ran the 4x100-meter relay race in 53 seconds for 76th in the preliminaries. On the relay team were Kathryn Van Tuyl, Sarah Meyer, Taylor Bolt and Leah Breon.
Lynnville-Sully’s Bailiee Samson, Sage Ehresman, Caden Doll and Meyer combined for a school-record time of 44.08 seconds in the boys’ 4x100-meter relay preliminaries Friday evening. The Hawk foursome entered the Drake Relays 42nd and finished 23rd overall.