Diercks and Mathews claim State championships
A pair of State titles and a runner-up finish headlined the Iowa State Track Meet for local athletes. Clear Lake junior Chandler Diercks defended his Class 3A State long jump title in record-setting fashion, and Garner-Hayfield/Ventura’s Emily Mathews won the Class 2A 100 meter hurdles in a photo finish. Clear Lake’s Connor Nosbisch also capped his senior track season with a runner-up finish in the Class 3A 100 hurdles.
Diercks also built upon a highly successful season which also included winning the long jump at the prestigious Drake Relays. The CLHS junior was called for a foul on his first jump, but landed a measurable leap of 22’ 8.25 inches on his second attempt. He broke the Class 3A record mark on his final attempt, traveling 23’ 4.25 inches. Diercks, who was runner-up in the long jump his freshman season, demonstrated his consistency with additional jumps of 23’ 2.5” and 23’ 3.5” in the finals.
Mathews made no secret about the fact that a State title was her focus this year after finishing as runner-up last season in the Class 2A 100 meter hurdles. The GHV senior celebrated Saturday as she won in 15.45 seconds. She edged runner-up Kenzie Keune, of Sioux Central, by 0.08. Mathews also competed in the 400 meter hurdles, finishing 12th in 1:08.45.
“Emily put so much hard work into her hurdling career and she deserved to complete her career with such a great race,” said Coach Dyan Childress
Clear Lake’s Connor Nosbisch stayed even with State Champion and record holder Connor Ham, of Solon, hurdle by hurdle in a highly competitive Class 3A 110 hurdle race. Ham crossed the finish line in 14.16, just ahead of Nosbisch in 14.83. The Clear Lake senior set a personal record running in the preliminaries, clocking a 14.74. Ham’s effort helped Solon to the 3A team title.
Dasi Larson, of GHV, also capped her senior season with a good performance at State. She earned a third place finish in the Class 2A shot put with a throw of 41’ 6”. Larson won the event last season with a toss of 41’ 7.25”. This year’s winner, Kate Birchmier, of Davis County, set a new 2A record with a toss of 43’ 4.25”.
Clear Lake placements
Although they finished out of the top placements, most of Clear Lake’s 11 athletes competing at the State Meet recorded personal bests and school records, according to Coach AJ Feuerbach.
“We were thrilled to have that many kids compete down at the state meet. All of the competitors gave their all and we set school records in the 110 highs, Shuttle Hurdle Relay, 4x100 relay, and we think possibly the 4x200.
Clear Lake’s Shuttle Hurdle team with Parker Truesdell, Alex Vander Ploeg, Chase Bacon and Nosbisch won its heat, but just missed the finals. The Lions finished 10th overall in 1:00.01.
The 4x100 was run by Zach Tatum, Jake Harle, MaKean Bang and Diercks. That group was ninth in 44.0.
The 4x200 with Nosbisch, Bang, Harle and Diercks was 11th in 1:32.05.
Harle and Diercks also competed in the 200 meter dash. Harle was 12th in the 24-runner field in 23.07 and Diercks was 15th in 23.16.
Clear Lake’s Distance Medley relay was 13th in 3:40.67 with Tatum, Bang, Dustin King and Alex Webb.
Vander Ploeg also competed in the high jump and finished in a tie for 16th. He cleared 5’ 10”. Tamarik Lee was also a first time qualifier in the discus and placed 22nd with a throw of 127’ 8”.
“It was a great way to wrap up a fantastic track season, even though the weather was far from fantastic. I am a very proud coach and we are excited for next year and thank our seniors for being great track guys for four years,” said Coach Feuerbach.
The GHV girls Sprint Medley Relay team finished eighth in Class 2A. Tiara VanGerpen, Mackenzie VanGerpen, Taylor Vossberg and Maddie Tusha were second in their heat and eighth overall in a time of 1:54.18.
Tusha also ran the 400 meters, finishing ninth in 1:00.35, and was a member of the Cardinals’ 4x100 relay which placed 15th in 51.939. Sola Stephenson, Vossberg and Mackenzie VanGerpen joined Tusha on the relay.
Tiara VanGerpen, Stephenson, Courtney Prescott and Tusha ran the 4x400 and placed 18th in 4:14.03.
“I am so proud of how they performed,” said Childress. “They came away with not only season bests, but also made some marks in the record book.”
On the boys side, Joel Toppin and Chase Smith finished 14th and 22nd respectively in the 3200 meter run Thursday. Toppin crossed the finish in 10:00.03 and Smith ran a 10:33.33. Toppin was also 11th in the 1600 in a time of 4:34.19.
The Cardinals’ boys Shuttle Hurdle team of Sam Cataldo, Spencer Shaw, J.J. Loschen and Zac Scholl was 13th in 1:00.86.
Nic Tusha earned a 16th place finish in the Class 2A shot put with a toss of 47’ 7”.
Braden Meints finished in a tie for 19th in the high jump, clearing 5’10”.