MANCHESTER - With one of the smallest rosters he’s had in years, Anamosa track coach Justin Bader still knew his team was capable of making a run sending several events to the state level, but even he was amazed at what the Raiders accomplished at the class 3A qualifier meet in Manchester Friday, May 10.
“What a night,” said Bader, as his team earned berths to the state level in five different events (4x800, 4x400, distance medley, shuttle hurdle and 110 high hurdles).
“We knew what we had to do achieve our goals. We probably could have gotten a few more events to state, but it also could have cost in other races, so we wanted to make sure we qualified in what we knew could do some damage at state.”
Anamosa earned three automatic berths (finishing in the top-2 at the qualifier), opening with a stunning performance from the shuttle hurdle relay.
“No one knew this was coming, but we did,” said Bader, as the team of Cody Edson, Walker Marsh, Matthew Walton and Wyatt Bickford finished second turning in a time of 1-minute, 5.77-seconds.
“After we ran a 66 at the conference meet but got DQ’d, we had a 1:11 posted at the qualifier, but that was without Matthew and Wyatt. So, we surprised everyone getting the automatic qualifier in 65.77. Matthew ran an incredible leg (15.22) as did Cody (15.89). Wyatt had to hold off a Marion kid at the end, which he did.”
Anamosa’s final automatic state qualifier came in the 4x400, which to no one’s surprise placed second as Dylan Rickels, Nolan McLean, Nathan Keating and Zac McLean posted a season-best time of 3:29.53.
“The 4x400 was probably the best race of the night,” Bader said. “We came into the race seeded third behind Dubuque Wahlert and Mount Vernon and we finished second behind Mount Vernon.
“Nathan Keating gave us a great split (53.06). He is finally getting healthy and really helping us out in this race.”
Walton, who has missed most of the season with an injury, earned a berth to state in the 110-meter high hurdles taking second in the qualifier event after crossing the finish line with a time of 16.03.
“We haven’t seen or heard about Matthew most of the season, but boy did he ever have himself a night,” Bader said. “Not only did he finish second in the 110 hurdles but also ran a great shuttle hurdle leg.”
Rickels, Mitch Engelbart, Colton Borst and Zac McLean came through with a solid time of 8:19.64 in the 4x800, which placed third at the qualifier, but Bader was certain would earn a state berth when seedings were announced by the Iowa High School Athletic Association on Saturday.
“The night started with a very nice season-best time in the 4x800,” Bader said. “Colton ran a PR 2:06 split and Mitch ran a nice 2:06 as well.
“We knew what Zac and Dylan could do, so it was up to the other guys. Colton ran a little angry after the high jump didn’t go his way this year finishing in a tie for third at 5-feet, 8-inches.”
Another event Bader knew could have a chance at making state was the distance medley, and the team of Rickels, Zac McLean, Nolan McLean and Tristan Weers made Bader’s dreams come true.
“This was the race I was most worried about,” he said. “I couldn’t sleep for two nights leading up to this meet thinking about it.
“I knew Dylan and Zac would be fine, but our 200 guys had to run better. Both Nolan and Tristan did enough to get us through.”
The foursome posted a time of 3:43.66 to place fifth at the loaded qualifier meet, and will run at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
“We might have the smallest 3A roster in the state with just 28 guys,” Bader said. “But we are taking among the most to state in 15 guys. That just tells you how hard these guys work.
“Nothing was given this year, and the boys showed up and performed at a high level.”
Also scoring for the Anamosa boys at the class 3A qualifier meet hosted by West Delaware were: discus- Nolan McLean (5th) 142-9; 100- Ky Kaufmann (5th) 12.20 and Edson (7th) 12.26; 3200- Ben Moss (6th) 11:16.54 and Brady Lasack (8th) 11:20.42; 110 high hurdles- Edson (6th) 17.15; sprint medley relay- Kaufmann, Lasack, Weers, Jake Jess (7th) 1:46.06; 4x200 relay- Kaufmann, Keating, Weers, Borst (7th) 1:40.13; 800- Engelbart (8th) 2:13.44; 400 hurdles- Bickford (8th) 1:01.59; 4x100 relay- Edson, Marsh, Jess, Kaufmann (8th) 48.05; long jump- Lasack (8th) 17-3.