Prep Track and Field

Marion's Blair Brooks settles for another state track silver

Marion star battling through a knee injury

DES MOINES — It’s not an excuse. It’s a fact.

Blair Brooks is hurting.

“I’ve been battling a knee injury,” he disclosed after a runner-up finish in the Class 3A boys’ long jump at the state track and field meet Friday afternoon at Drake Stadium. “I can’t jump on it the way I want. I need some rest.”

It’s a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, originally sustained during football season. He tweaked it again during the high-jump competition Thursday (he was second in that, too). He gutted it out Friday, but he wasn’t at his best.

Brooks’ effort of 22 feet, 5 inches trailed that of Gilbert’s Ajay Reed, who won it at 23-0. And he wasn’t happy about it, discarding his medal into his backpack with disdain.

“I’m very disappointed. I couldn’t do it for the team,” he said, saying that the possibility of surgery “is up to Iowa,” where he’ll play football.

Brooks anchored Marion’s 800-meter relay to fifth place.

Last year’s 3A champion, Marion trails Atlantic by one point (31-30) with nine events to go. Gilbert is third with 26, followed by Sergeant Bluff-Luton (25).

Solon’s Tyler Linderbaum led the shot-put competition until the very end, when Algona’s Dominick Etherington unloaded a bomb of more than 61 feet. Linderbaum settled for second at 59-1 1/4.

“It sucks,” Linderbaum said. “At the end, I had to throw farther to beat him, and I didn’t.

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“I was more consistent than I’ve been all year, but I didn’t get the job done when I had to.”

Vinton-Shellsburg’s Cole Overton was third in the shot put. Decorah was third in the distance medley relay.

STATE TRACK & FIELD: 3A BOYS

Teams (top 10, through 10 events) — 1. Atlantic 31, 2. Marion 30, 3. Gilbert 26, 4. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 25, 5. Dubuque Wahlert 21.5, 6. Solon 19, 7. (tie) Algona, Boone and Mount Pleasant 18, 10. Pella 16.

Long jump — 1. Ajay Reed (Gilbert), 23-0; 2. Blair Brooks (Marion), 22-5; 3. Keegan Rich (Mount Pleasant), 22-3 1/2; 4. Nick Foss (Harlan), 22-2 1/2; 5. Nick Gerard (Clear Creek Amana), 21-3 3/4; 6. Danny McDermott (Dubuque Wahlert), 21-2; 7. Keyontre Clark (Sioux City Heelan), 20-10 3/4; 8. Sam Abraham (Nevada), 20-8.

Shot put — 1. Dominick Etherington (Algona), 61-0 3/4; 2. Tyler Linderbaum (Solon), 59-1 1/4; 3. Cole Overton (Vinton-Shellsburg), 53-10 1/2; 4. Elijah Barnes (Fort Madison), 53-7 3/4; 5. Nick DeJong (Pella), 53-5 3/4; 6. Josh Volk (Cedar Rapids Xavier), 53-4; 7. Mason Huerter (Pella), 53-3 1/2; 8. Jacob Comer (Dallas Center-Grimes), 52-2.

800 relay — 1. Nevada (Sellberg, Strottman, Perez, Nelson), 1:29.66; 2. Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 1:29.78; 3. Dallas Center-Grimes, 1:29.82; 4. Benton Community, 1:30.62; 5. Marion, 1:30.98; 6. Atlantic, 1:31.44; 7. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley, 1:31.74; 8. Glenwood, 1:32.02.

400 hurdles — 1. Avery Van Zee (Pella), 53.07; 2. Gratt Reed (Atlantic), 53.24; 3. Bret Price (Boone), 53.84; 4. Austin Chase (Algona), 54.29; 5. Alex Sharp (Gilbert), 54.52; 6. Will Greder (Gilbert), 54.61; 7. Devin Smith (Center Point-Urbana), 54.72; 8. Quinten Sommers (North Polk), 55.73.

Distance medley relay — 1. Atlantic (Moen, Sonntag, Niklasen, Mullenix), 3:32.53; 2. Dubuque Wahlert, 3:33.72; 3. Decorah, 3:34.29; 4. DeWitt Central, 3:34.65; 5. Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 3:35.25; 6. Algona, 3:35.43; 7. Spirit Lake, 3:35.44; 8. Benton Community, 3:36.29.

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

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