STATE TRACK AND FIELD 2019

Iowa 3A boys' state track and field: Mount Vernon's Matt Vislisel propels discus to a championship

Future Air Force aerospace major caps a Mount Vernon discus sweep

Mount Vernon’s Matt Vislisel throws the discus during the second flight of the class 3A event during the 2019 Iowa High School Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, May 16, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Mount Vernon’s Matt Vislisel throws the discus during the second flight of the class 3A event during the 2019 Iowa High School Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, May 16, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — Matt Vislisel is off to the Air Force Academy soon, to major in something called aerospace propulsion mechanics.

He certainly knows something about the ability to launch.

The senior capped a Mount Vernon discus championship sweep Thursday, winning the Class 3A boys’ title with an effort of 174 feet, 1 inch Drake Stadium.

“I was second here last year, and it gave me a lot of drive to get in the weight room in the offseason and practice a lot,” Vislisel said.

“I wanted to throw in the 170s, so I can’t be too mad about this.”

Vislisel’s title came about two hours after schoolmate Lily Meester captured the 3A girls’ crown.

“That’s great,” he said. “Hopefully she can do it again next year and Cooper Becthold (the eighth-place boy) can be right there, too.”

Mount Vernon stands in a fifth-place tie in the 3A boys’ race with 11 points on opening day. Through five events, Mount Pleasant leads with 21 points. Pre-meet favorite Sergeant Bluff-Luton is second with 20, followed by Pella (16).

Benton Community junior Blake Osborn was the 400-meter runner-up, finishing in 49.17 seconds. He was closing on champion Jorma Schwedler of Sergeant Bluff-Luton (48.74), but just ran out of room.

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“I started a little slow, but I had to run my race,” Osborn said. “If I didn’t, I was going to (fade) with 150 (meters) to go.

“I had to stick with my plan.”

Clear Creek Amana’s crew of Tom Johnson, Kaden McAreavy, Jack Sexton and Nick O’Connor ran to third place in the 3,200-meter relay, in 8:05.58. Sergeant Bluff-Luton was the champion in 7:58.68.

“Coach (Ben Robison) puts us through hard workouts; he really kicks our butt early in the season,” McAreavy said. “But we back off late, in the championship phase.

“Today is the most nervous I’ve been. We performed well today. Running 8:05 ... I’m ecstatic. It’s really special.”

STATE TRACK & FIELD: CLASS 3A BOYS

Thursday’s Finals, At Des Moines (Drake Stadium)

Top-10 teams (through 5 events) — 1. Mount Pleasant 21, 2. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 20, 3. Pella 16, 4. Harlan 12, 5. (tie) Mount Vernon and Atlantic 11, 7. (tie) Humboldt, Algona and Fairfield 10, 10. Benton Community 8.5.

High jump — 1. Landon Kooiker (Fairfield), 6-7; 2. (tie) Ian Collins (Charles City) and Sam Beatty (Mount Pleasant), 6-7; 5. Keith Keahna (South Tama), 6-5; 6. C.J. Rickets (Vinton-Shellsburg), 6-5; T-8. Turner Schroeder (Benton Community), 6-3.

Discus — 1. Matt Vislisel (Mount Vernon), 174-1; 2. Nick DeJong (Pella), 163-5; 3. Derec Weyer (Harlan), 163-4; 7. Coal Flansburg (Solon), 155-3; 8. Cooper Becthold (Mount Vernon), 148-6.

3,200 — 1. Trey Engen (Algona), 9:34.96; 2. Cody Mertens (Mount Pleasant), 9:44.07; 3. Quinton Orr (Humboldt), 9:45.59; 7. Harrison Vanderlinden (Marion), 9:57.82; 8. Nick O’Connor (Clear Creek Amana), 9:58.55.

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3,200 relay — 1. Sergeant Bluff-Luton (Hannemann, Muller, Groves, Ritz), 7:58.68; 2. Pella, 8:03.68; 3. Clear Creek Amana, 8:05.58; 6. Center Point-Urbana, 8:10.71.

400 — 1. Jorma Schwedler (Sergeant Bluff-Luton), 48.74; 2. Blake Osborn (Benton Community), 49.17; 3. Tyler Moen (Atlantic), 49.55; 8. Mitchell Driscoll (Washington), 50.24.

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

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