Prep Track and Field

For Cedar Rapids Kennedy, an MVC boys' track divisional title worth flipping over

Cougars' third straight crown draws a coach's cartwheel

Cedar Rapids Kennedy Cougars
Cedar Rapids Kennedy Cougars

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Kennedy Cougars assembled in a joyful huddle near the finish line, awaiting Coach Curt Pakkebier.

“Hurry up, old man,” a voice rang out.

“You’re calling me an old man?” Pakkebier shot back. “Can an old man do this?”

Then came a cartwheel. Or a round-off, maybe. A PE teacher, Pakkebier wasn’t sure.

“I don’t know what it was,” he said. “Excitement, I guess.”

Cedar Rapids Kennedy scored 139 points to edge Linn-Mar (132.5) and Iowa City West (130) for the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division boys’ track and field championship Thursday night at John Wall Field. It was the Cougars’ third straight divisional crown.

“It’s huge,” Pakkebier said. “Success breeds success here. You talk to the younger kids about being a part of a winning program, but first you’ve got to win to have a winning program.”

The pivotal race was the shuttle hurdle relay, in which the Cougars held off Linn-Mar for the second time in less than a week. The Drake Relays champions, Makhi Harris, Brody Lovell, Will Stecker and Drew Bartels ran in 58.45 seconds; the Lions were clocked in 58.72.

“We knew (Linn-Mar) would be hungry after we beat them at Drake,” Bartels said. “We thought they might switch their order around, so we did what they do ... put the best guy at the end.”

That’s Bartels, who, according to teammate Will Stecker, “wasn’t even our best JV guy last year. We knew he had the form and he had the speed. He just didn’t have the strength yet. Now he does.”

“I really hit the weight room hard,” Bartels said. “I got better at my craft.”

Lovell led a 1-2 finish in the high jump — “I sure wasn’t expecting 18 points there,” Pakkebier said — clearing 6 feet, 2 inches. Cam Jones won the discus at 170-0, and the Cougars captured the 800-meter relay in 1:31.11.

Linn-Mar’s Trent Davis was named the meet’s outstanding performer, claiming the 110-meter high hurdles (14.26) and the 400-meter lows (a career-best 54.40) before anchoring the Lions to the 1,600-meter relay win.

Davis fought back a challenge from Iowa City Liberty’s Drake Woody in the 400 hurdles.

“He’s an awesome competitor,” Davis said. “I kind of changed my strategy today, I got out as hard as I could, then I felt really good when I hit the curve.”

Iowa City West’s Gabe Caruthers was a double-winner (100 and 400), and Dubuque Hempstead’s David Holesinger claimed the 800 and 1,600 and anchored the Mustangs’ winning 3,200 relay.

BOYS’ TRACK & FIELD: MVC VALLEY DIVISION MEET

At John Wall Field

Teams — 1. C.R. Kennedy 139, 2. Linn-Mar 132.5, 3. Iowa City West 130, 4. Dubuque Hempstead 91, 5. Dubuque Wahlert 89, 6. Iowa City Liberty 56, 7. Waterloo West 54, 8. C.R. Jefferson 40.5.

Shot put — 1. Landon Green (ICW), 55-2 1/2; 2. Aiden DeWitt (DH), 50-2; 3. Cleo Gehrls (LM), 50-1 1/2; Discus — 1. Cam Jones (CRK), 170-0; 2. Mitchell Miller (DW), 153-3; 3. Landon Green (ICW), 143-3; High jump — 1. Brody Lovell (CRK), 6-2; 2. Paul Cory (CRK), 6-0; 3. Marcus Morgan (ICW), 5-10; Long jump — 1. Deyton Love (WW), 22-6; 2. Drew Bartels (CRK), 21-6 1/2; 3. Jaquel Davis (ICL), 21-6.

Sprint medley relay — 1. Dubuque Wahlert (McDermott, Adams, Kuntz, Belken), 1:33.79; 3. Linn-Mar, 1:35.17; 3. Iowa City West, 1:37.30; 3,200 — 1. Kolby Greiner (ICW), 9:35.35; 2. Ben Hermiston (DH), 9:37.45; 3. Dylan Dolezal (LM), 9:41.52; 3,200 relay — 1. Dubuque Hempstead (Westermeyer, Maloney, Schatz, Holesinger), 8:11.83; 2. Iowa City West, 8:16.79; 3. Dubuque Wahlert, 8:27.87; Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. C.R. Kennedy (Harris, Lovell, Stecker, Bartels), 58.45; 2. Linn-Mar, 58.72; 3. Dubuque Hempstead, 1:06.95; 100 — 1. Gabe Caruthers (ICW), 10.96; 2. Cairron Hendred (CRK), 11.05; 3. Coy Sarsfield (LM), 11.22; Distance medley relay — 1. Dubuque Hempstead (Spahn, Arthofer, McGrath, Hermiston), 3:40.53; 2. Iowa City Liberty, 3:43.87; 3. Iowa City West, 3:44.60; 400 — 1. Gabe Caruthers (ICW), 49.26; 2. Drake Woody (ICL), 50.90. 3. Trey Martin (LM), 51.10; 800 relay — 1. C.R. Kennedy (Ocheltree, Cory, Parker, Hendred), 1:31.11; 2. Linn-Mar, 1:32.14; 3. Dubuque Wahlert, 1:32.63; 110 hurdles — 1. Trent Davis (LM), 14.26; 2. Deyton Love (WW), 14.61; 3. Drew Bartels (CRK), 14.69; 800 — 1. David Holesinger (DH), 2:01.47; 2. Carter Oberfoell (DW), 2:01.51; 3. Trent Long (LM), 2:03.19; 200 — 1. Alden Kuntz (DW), 22.09; 2. Gabe Caruthers (ICW), 22.09; 3. Connor Belken (DW), 22.50; 400 hurdles — 1. Trent Davis (LM), 54.40; 2. Drake Woody (ICL), 54.65; 3. Deyton Love (WW), 55.83; 1,600 — 1. David Holesinger (DH), 4:24.92; 2. Kolby Greiner (ICW), 4:29.23; 3. Dylan Dolezal (LM), 4:35.70; 400 relay — 1. Linn-Mar (Sarsfield, Hess, Vega, Williams), 43.47; 2. C.R. Kennedy, 44.30; 3. Iowa City West, 44.53; 1,600 relay — 1. Linn-Mar (Martin, Shelby, Aucutt, Davis), 3:26.47; 2. C.R. Kennedy, 3:27.60; 3. Dubuque Wahlert, 3:28.01.

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

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