Le Mars boys track wins MRAC title, girls place third
COUNCIL BLUFFS ó Led by nine first place events, the Le Mars Community boys track and field team claimed the Missouri River Activities Conference championship on Thursday at the Gale Wickersham Athletic Complex. It is the teamís first conference title since joining the MRAC. The team placed second last year in their first MRAC conference meet. While Le Mars had joined the league the previous year, no conference meet was held in 2020 due to the cancellation of the season because of COVID-19.
ďOur athletes competed really well,Ē Le Mars Head Coach Caleb Van Otterloo said. ďThere were multiple season bests against an outstanding field of competitors.Ē
Brandon Vander Sluis had two of the teamís nine event wins including a conference record shot put distance of 59-06. That broke the previous mark of 56-11 set by Bishop Heelanís Justin Baker in 2011.
Vander Sluis wasnít quite able to knock Bakerís name off the discus record. Bakerís 2010 throw of 173-05 will last another year as Vander Sluis finished with a best throw of 164-09 to win that event.
The Bulldogs had another double winner in Sione Fifita as he took the top marks in the 200 meter dash and the high jump.
In the high jump, four competitors were able to finish with a height of at least six feet, but Fifita was the only one to reach 6-01 as he came away with the win.
Fifita helped the Bulldogs go 1-2 in the 200 meter dash as he took the top spot followed by teammate Cael Kass. Fifita finished the half lap in 22.74 seconds while Kass was next with a time of 23.11.
Fifita also claimed gold as part of the 4x100 team which finished in a time of 43.39, just ahead of the runner-up time of 43.80 from Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln. Joining Fifita in that race were Ryan Sadoski, David Leusink and Kass.
The only event Fifita competed in which he didnít get a gold in was the 100 meter dash, but he finished in second place in that race. The junior sprinted to a time of 11.55 which trailed only Heelanís Aiden Kuehl who won in 11.38.
Le Mars won the sprint medley with a time of 1:35.93 from Matt Vondrak, Beau Wadle, Reece Spieler and Kass as they were not quite a second faster than runner-up Sergeant Bluff-Luton.
The Bulldogs got another relay win in the shuttle hurdle as they beat out Sioux City East by about half a second. Ryan Sadoski, David Leusink, Konnor Calhoun and Riley Sadoski finished off the race in 1:03.24.
Calhoun and Spieler had the top two times in the 400 meter hurdles. Calhoun won the race in 56.83 seconds, about a second in front of Spielerís time of 57.81.
The two also had solid finishes in the 110 meter hurdles. Spieler won that event in a time of 15.84, just in front of Sioux City Northís Lorcan Christensen who finished next in 15.91. Calhoun took the third place spot with a time of 16.03.
Kass took silver in the 400 meter dash with a time of 50.60 as the next-best time didnít cross the finish line until after the 53-second mark. Gabe Nash of North had the winning time of 49.79.
Alex Allen placed third in the 800 with a time of 2:03.09 in a race which featured a photo finish between North teammates William Lohr and Yemane Kifle. Their times were each 1:58.80 with Lohr claiming the win when extended out to the thousandths of a second at 1:58.793 to 1:58.798.
Le Mars took third in the 4x200 as Ryan Sadoski, Wadle, Leusink and Matt Vondrak finished in 1:34.21. Heelan won in 1:32.57.
Le Mars finished the night with a third place 4x400 relay which included Spieler, Allen, Calhoun and Teagen Kasel. They combined for a time of 3:39.71. North won with a time of 3:28.08.
Team scores: Le Mars 169, Sioux City North 146, Bishop Heelan 107, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 90, Sioux City East 90, Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln 54, Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson 42, Sioux City West 41.
The Le Mars girls finished third in the team standings out of the eight conference schools. Sioux City East claimed their third straight conference title while Sioux City West took second, their highest ever conference finish since the first MRAC track meet was held in 2001.
Le Mars cruised to a win of nearly eight seconds in the shuttle hurdle relay. Savannah Manley, Liberty Larson, Aubree Leusink and Lilly McNaughton combined for the winning time of 1:11.19.
The Bulldogs had two of the top three discus throwers at the meet. Jacee Tindall of Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln was the winning thrower with a distance of 102-11 with the two Le Mars girls placing in the next two spots. Hailey Mulder was second with a toss of 100-06 and Libby Leraas spun the disc a distance of 94-06. Leraas added another bronze in the shot put with a distance of 30-08.50 as Tindall swept the throwing events for CBAL with a shot put distance of 33-07.25.
Le Mars placed second in the sprint medley relay with a time of 1:55.07 from Allie Kruse, Stella Hector, Jenna Allen and Madi Huls. West was about two seconds faster in claiming the win.
The same four, in a different order, added another silver in the 4x200. The group finished in a time of 1:49.69 as they trailed only the 1:48.34 time from Sioux City East.
The Bulldogs went back to the same quartet for the 4x100 and placed second once more with a time of 52.17. East won the race with a time of 50.54.
Le Mars had two of the top four in the 100 meter hurdles. McNaughton took second with a time of 16.76 which was just behind the winning time of 16.42 from Westís Kyrie Olorundami. Manley was fourth in 17.54.
Sienna Kass took second in the 800 with a time of 2:35.14 as Eastís Kaia Downs won the race with a time of 2:30.88.
Huls finished fourth in the 100 meter dash with a time of 13.14 as West took the top two spots with Holly Duax and Lily Juhnke. Duax led the way with a time of 12.12.
Team scores: Sioux City East 135, Sioux City West 123, Le Mars 108, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 106, Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln 81, Sioux City North 78, Bishop Heelan 73, Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson 25.