Chandler Diercks said he was determined to grin and bear it. And when it was over, the Clear Lake sophomore was grinning from ear to ear. He had won the Class 3A long jump at the State Track Meet.
Diercks, who finished second at State last year and was runner-up at this year’s Drake Relays, entered the State competition with a strained hamstring. Due to the injury, he said his strategy for the event was to simply run through the pit if he felt his steps were off. That way he wouldn’t waste his strength on a jump that wouldn’t count.
After running through the pit on his first attempt, Diercks jumped 20’ 7” on his second jump in his Friday afternoon flight. He entered the finals with the best jump in the 3A field and added to his standing by jumping 22’ 6.5” on his second jump in the finals.
Diercks admitted his hamstring was giving him some pain, but said he felt he had to “man up and jump.” With the gold medal around his neck, Diercks knew the effort was worth it.
Clear Lake’s Connor Nosbisch also had an outstanding performance at the State Meet. Nosbisch, a junior, entered the State Meet with a time placing him 14th in the field of 24 participating in the 110 meter hurdles. Friday Nosbisch ran a 15.05 to reach the Saturday finals of the event. He placed fifth with a time of 15.22.
“I am very proud of our state track participants,” said Clear Lake boys track Coach AJ Feuerbach. “Chandler needed to hit the big jump and the pressure was on; he got what he needed and won a championship. Connor ran a fantastic pre-lim and qualified for the final eight. He got a hard earned 5th place. His time would have gotten him first, second, or third in any of the other three classes. Class 3A was toughest field, hands down, for the 110 meter high hurdles. For all the terrible weather this spring, it was a beautiful weekend and our kids represented Clear Lake well. We have them back next year and we hope to get more events to the blue oval next year.”