BELLE PLAINE — Conner Maston set a new personal best in winning the high jump and he also anchored the sprint medley relay team to a victory and the Lynnville-Sully boys’ track and field team placed third at the Belle Plaine Boys Invitational on Thursday.
Grundy Center won the large-school side of the meet easily, but the Hawks trailed Class 3A South Tama County by just three points.
Lynnville-Sully scored 77 points after registering eight top-three finishes.
Class 2A Grundy Center won the meet with 174 points. The rest of the eight-team field included South Tama (80), Lynnville-Sully (77), 2A Alburnett (74), North Mahaska (71), Iowa Valley (52), BGM (48) and Sigourney (6).
“Grundy Center is just so deep and in a different league compared to many programs,” L-S head boys track and field coach Darin Arkema said. “Edging out a talented 2A team in Alburnett and certainly being the top SICL team in Class A ahead of North Mahaska, Iowa Valley, BGM, and Sigourney made us feel good about the night.”
Maston’s winning leap in the high jump was marked in a personal-best 6 feet, 3 1/4 inches, which currently sits fifth in 1A and 21st in Iowa.
Last season, a mark of 6-4 qualified for the Drake Relays.
“Conner winning the high jump was outstanding considering how tricky the conditions were to get your steps and approach correct,” Arkema said. Not to mention what the wind was doing to the body once he got up into the air.”
The athletes faced very windy conditions throughout the night, but that didn’t slow down the Hawks.
The winning sprint medley relay team featured Isaac Ver Ploeg, Kyle Squires, Caleb Rea and Maston and they won the race in 1 minute, 40.59 seconds, which currently ranks sixth in 1A.
Bryce Richards finished in the top three in two sprinting events. He was the runner-up in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.9 seconds and his time of 24.42 in the 200 put him third.
The 4x200 relay team also was second. The foursome of Ver Ploeg, Squires, Rea and Maston was clocked in 1:37.31.
The other individual runner-up finish came from Zach Morningstar. He was second in the 3,200 with a time of 11:25.14.
Morningstar also registered a top-five finish in the 800. Hendrick Lowry placed third in the event in 2:17.65 and Morningstar was close behind in fourth in 2:18.13.
“Bryce was terrific in the short sprints, Hendrick showed his versatility and Zach gave an outstanding effort in the 3,200 to battle through the conditions for eight laps,” Arkema said.
Lowry also finished fourth in the 400 with a time of 55.77.
The final top-five individual finishes came in the shot put. Squires placed third with a throw of 40-5 and Dawson James placed fifth with a heave of 39-5 1/2.
“All of the athletes had to contend with some very strong wind tonight,” Arkema said. “That impacts every event and can be a tough mental and physical challenge to overcome.
“You’ve got to just focus on effort and competing the best you can and not be as focused on a certain time, distance or jump. Very proud of how our team took that message to heart and remained determined to compete and not look for excuses.”