Men’s track wraps up thrilling weekend at Drake

The 112th annual Drake Relays took place last weekend in Des Moines. The Cedar Falls boys kicked off their weekend with a fourth place finish in the long jump after senior Trey Campbell’s best leap of 22.5’ feet. 

Friday morning, the Tigers were successful in another field event. Junior and school record holder Jacob Kieler put on a show for the crowd inside the Drake Fieldhouse when he cleared 6’9” four different times in a back and forth jump off with North Polk’s and Iowa State commit Jack Noble. 

“Obviously Drake is the toughest competition of the year, and being able to go in there and come out having battled for the title of best in the state is a great feeling,” Kieler said. 

Noble went on to beat Kieler in the jump off after Kieler failed to clear 6’8 on his 17th jump of the afternoon. 

The boys 4×200 took 8th place in 1:30.48, beating 9th place by just .01 seconds on Friday afternoon. Friday night, the boys 4×400 finished 5th in the 1st round with their time of 3:24.34. The quartet of Derek Woods, Jordan Townsend, Ben Roussell and Cayden Schellhorn entered the night with the state lead in the 4×400 with their time of 3:23.1 a week prior. The Tigers started championship Saturday off with a 9th place finish in the boys 4×800 with their team of Woods, Roussell, Colin Johnson and Brayden Burnett. The foursome beat their season best with a time of 8:09.46. 

Mitchell Darst, Zander White, Schellhorn and Campbell also qualified for the 4×100 finals with a 6th place finish in 43.09, which was anchored by Campbell’s 10.32 split time. They followed up the first round by placing 8th in the finals in a time of 43.54. 

The Drake Relays ended as any other meet would with the boys 4×400 on the track. The Cedar Falls boys quartet of three juniors and freshman Townsend defeated Mason City a week prior at home by .05 seconds, which locked them in as the number one qualifier heading to the blue oval at the Drake Relays. The race remained even through the first three runners when Cedar Falls’ Schellhorn and Mason City’s Kaden Tyler put together arguably the closest and most thrilling lap all weekend. 

The runners remained neck and neck until Schellhorn took a half step lead over Tyler. As they approached the final five meters, Tyler threw his body toward the finish line, passing Schellhorn and claiming the boys 4×400 final and the finale of the Drake Relays by .04 seconds. 

“It’s not the finish we wanted, but with Mason City being a 4A school, we’re gonna get another shot at them at State,” Woods said. 

The Tigers will look to defend their 2021 state championship title on May 19-21 inside of Drake Stadium on the blue oval.

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