BONDURANT — The Newton boys track and field team might want to take a U-Haul truck to the state meet next week. The typical Chevy Suburban just won’t be big enough.
The Cardinals registered six wins, five runner-up finishes and locked down 13 tickets into the state meet. It was a huge night on the oval for a squad expecting to do big things inside Drake Stadium starting on Thursday.
“We are here for the glory. We are not here to mess around. We are here to win,” Derek Beiner said.
Beiner, like several of his teammates, will be busy at the state meet.
Newton’s six wins resulted in a second-place team finish. The Cardinals scored 136 points and only defending Class 3A state champion Pella (214) scored more.
Nate Maki and Jackson Mace-Maynard won two individual events. Mace-Maynard also anchored the distance medley relay to a victory.
But it was the race Mace-Maynard didn’t win that he talked about the most.
“That was my worst race in the past two years. It was horrible,” Mace-Maynard said about the 3,200-meter run. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter but I did want to win all four races I was in.”
Mace-Maynard’s night started with a runner-up finish in the 3,200. He crossed the finish line in 10 minutes, 9.02 seconds. He didn’t expect to need to run a crazy time to get in the top two. But the performance in that race was below Mace-Maynard’s standards.
“I give that race a D- and it’s only not an F because I still qualified,” Mace-Maynard said. “I didn’t even put spikes on for the race. I wasn’t expecting to run a crazy time.”
Mace-Maynard will save the crazy times for the blue oval. He won the 800 in 1:59.16 and then scored a victory in the 1,600 in 4:32.24.
It was a fast state qualifier for the 800 as Treycen Garton finished fifth but still advanced to state because his time of 2:03.08 was one of the fastest eight at-large times in the state.
The top two finishers in each event in 3A advance to state and the next best eight times, marks and distances also secure spots.
The Cardinals locked up 11 automatic berths on Thursday on a windy night at Bondurant-Farrar High School.
Keith Moko is heading to his first state meet in both the long jump and high jump.
He won the long jump with an impressive career-best leap of 21 feet, 10 1/2 inches. He grabbed a runner-up finish in the high jump with a mark of 6-3.
“I kept saying I wanted to come out and surprise myself. And I did that,” Moko said. “The most disappointing part about the night is that I feel like I should have won the high jump. The winner had a good day. He PRed by 2 feet.”
Maki locked down the other two individual wins. He was the fastest guy on the track in both the 100 and 200, winning the races in 11.53 second and 22.85 seconds, respectively.
Maki also advanced to state with his 4x200 relay team after a second-place finish.
“I felt pretty good. I wish the wind was different, but I can’t control that stuff,” Maki said. “I knew it was a day I probably wasn’t going to PR because of the wind so I mainly was just trying to go out and win.”
Derek Beiner, Cody Klein, Jared Smith and Garton will join Maki and Mace-Maynard in multiple events on the track at the state meet.
The distance medley relay team was the final win for the Cardinals. The foursome of Curtis Payne, Garton, Klein and Mace-Maynard finished in 3:41.96.
After the meet, Garton, Beiner and Klein hinted that there will be changes to a few of the relay teams at the state meet.
“I think we made the right decisions for tonight,” Garton said. “I do think there will be different orders and maybe different guys running in the events at state. But we did what we had to do tonight to get in.”
Beiner and Klein went as far as to say they will switch places on the distance medley relay team and Christian Ergenbright is likely going to be one of the 200 legs, too.
Ergenbright missed the state qualifying meet because he was on a family vacation.
Beiner ran on the 4x200 relay team on Thursday instead of running with the distance medley crew. But that’s all part of the plan for Newton as the squad tries to score as many points as possible at the state meet.
“I was very happy with how the 4x200 ran. Maki is the key element to that relay. Period,” Beiner said. “He got us a huge lead after the first leg. He’s so good out of the blocks.”
The 4x200 relay team finished second in a season-best time of 1:32.20. The foursome included Maki, Payne, Reilly Trease and Beiner.
The relays that don’t expect to change are the 4x400 and 4x800. Those will include Garton, Beiner, Klein and Smith.
The 4x800 relay team opened the night with a runner-up finish. The order went Beiner, Klein, Smith and Garton and they finished in 8:19.55.
The 4x400 team of Klein, Garton, Smith and Beiner secured a state spot with a season-best time of 3:27.83 and a second-place finish.
“I don’t know my splits, but the races felt good,” Klein said. “I was happy with the way I finished each run. It just felt different tonight.”
Klein understands the decisions that may be made for the state meet. And he’s perfectly OK with his senior teammate taking his spot on a relay.
“Derek is a senior and deserves to be on that team,” Klein said. “He’s got faster splits and will likely be on the distance medley. I don’t care personally what I run. I’m just excited to be part of the state meet.”
The two at-large qualifiers were Garton in the 800 and the shuttle hurdle relay team.
The shuttle hurdle team placed fourth in the state qualifier and ran a season-best time of 1:04.71 with Payne, Trease, Reese Hammons and Cole Swank.
The lone third-place finish for Newton came from Nate Davies in the discus, but his best toss of 132 feet, 1 inch was not good enough for an at-large state berth.
Dallas King placed fourth in the shot put with a throw of 47-10 1/4.
After Pella (214) and Newton (136), the eight-team field included Carlisle (116), Grinnell (66), South Tama County (65), Bondurant-Farrar (55), Oskaloosa (46) and Knoxville (37).