Drake Relays: Tristan Wirfs tops a stacked shot-put field

His clutch heave of 66-3 1/2 ranks No. 2 all-time in Iowa

Mount Vernon's Tristan Wirfs flexes his muscles after winning the boys shot put at the Drake Relays on Thursday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.  Wirfs won the event with a personal record of 66 feet, 3 1/2 inches. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Mount Vernon's Tristan Wirfs flexes his muscles after winning the boys shot put at the Drake Relays on Thursday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. Wirfs won the event with a personal record of 66 feet, 3 1/2 inches. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — For the first time all season, Tristan Wirfs found himself trailing at crunch time in the shot put.

“I was a little nervous,” he said. “I just knew I had to get something big out there.”

How about a personal best? How about a mark that moved him to No. 2 all-time in Iowa?

Yeah, that will do.

A senior at Mount Vernon, Wirfs repeated as the Drake Relays shot put champion Thursday afternoon at Drake Stadium.

His second-to-last heave of 66 feet, 3 1/2 inches sent him past Iowa City Regina’s Jared Brinkman (65-2 1/2).

Ordinarily, the throwing events are away from the track, away from the hubbub.

Not this day. Not these guys. And there was nothing ordinary about it.

For the first time in Drake Relays history, four high-school boys surpassed 60 feet.

It happened in the southeast corner of the stadium with fans lining the ropes around the competition, and four sections of the stands full of fans oohing and aahing with the longest throws.

“It’s crazy,” said Wirfs, who will play football at the University of Iowa. “I won it at 60-11 last year. You look at Quik Stats, at what everybody else is doing ... it’s crazy.”

Wirfs took the lead into the finals at 64-1 1/2, but Brinkman took the lead with his first throw of the finals.

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“I can’t be disappointed with a two-foot PR,” Brinkman said. “I knew that gave me a good lead, but I knew Tristan could pop one at any time.

“It was a crazy day for the throws. I was glad to be part of it.”


William Blaser of Western Dubuque (62-1 3/4) and Nick Phelps of Kingsley-Pierson/Woodbury Central (60-9) rounded out the 60-foot club. Jackson Coker of Cedar Rapids Kennedy was fifth at 58-10 3/4.

Wirfs is the season leader in the discus, which will be contested Friday morning.

“I won’t eat a big meal tonight,” he said. “Discus is more of a finesse event. It’s all muscle memory.”

Sam Schillinger of Cedar Falls outkicked Linn-Mar’s Ryan Murphy at the end of the 3,200-meter race. Schillinger’s 63.2-second final lap brought him home in 9:06.04; Murphy was clocked in 9:11.40.

“I’m a little disappointed,” said Murphy, who will be at the University of Arkansas next season. “My goal was to win the race. Sam just had a little more than me.”

Gable Sieperda of Central Lyon sprinted to the front of the pack right away, then Murphy chased him down with about 1,100 meters to go. Murphy and Schillinger were even heading into the final lap.

Murphy said he is “training a little different” that previous years.

“A little more mileage, and a little less racing,” he said. “I feel like I’ve got a lot more to grow.”

J’Von Harris of Oskaloosa cleared 6-9 on his second attempt to capture the high-jump competition.

Marion’s Blair Brooks was fifth at 6-5.

DRAKE RELAYS: BOYS’ RESULTS

At Des Moines

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Shot put — 1. Tristan Wirfs (Mount Vernon), 66-3 1/2; 2. Jared Brinkman (Iowa City Regina), 65-2 1/2; 3. William Blaser (Western Dubuque), 62-1 3/4; 4. Nick Phelps (KP-WC), 60-9; 5. Jackson Coker (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), 58-10 3/4; 6. Maddux Richardson (Marshalltown), 58-8 1/2; 7. Levi Duwa (Mid-Prairie), 57-9 1/2; 8. Caden Fenchel (Western Christian), 56-2 1/4.

High jump — 1. J’Von Harris (Oskaloosa), 6-9; 2. Cameron Cantrall (Spencer), 6-7; 3. Miles Rupiper (Carroll Kuemper), 6-7; 4. Cole Moeller (Calamus-Wheatland), 6-7; 5. Blair Brooks (Marion), 6-5; 6. Niko Gosnell (Lone Tree), 6-5; 7. Jacee Clark (Waterloo East), 6-5; 8. Jack Moore (Oskaloosa), 6-5.

3,200 — 1. Sam Schillinger (Cedar Falls), 9:06.04; 2. Ryan Murphy (Linn-Mar), 9:11.40; 3. Patrick Bose (Johnston), 9:16.93; 4. Gable Sieperda (Central Lyon), 9:17.25; 5. Camden Cox (Ankeny Centennial), 9:17.96; 6. Kolby Greiner (Iowa City West), 9:19.75; 7. Myles Bach (Marion), 9:20.85; 8. Ali Ali (Iowa City West), 9:20.90.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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