STATE TRACK AND FIELD 2019

Iowa 4A boys' state track and field: Grant Kelchen fights off elimination 3 times to win high jump

Western Dubuque jumper clears 6-5, 6-7, 6-8 on his third attempt

Western Dubuque's Grant Kelchen celebrates after clearing 6'7
Western Dubuque's Grant Kelchen celebrates after clearing 6'7" during the 4A high jump at 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 — He wasn’t perfect. But when he had to be, Grant Kelchen was as clutch as could be.

Three times, Kelchen was a miss from elimination. Three times, he came through. And as a result, he was the last man standing. Or jumping, if you will.

As he had done at 6 feet, 5 inches, then again at 6-7, Kelchen cashed in at 6-8 on his final jump to win the Class 4A boys’ high jump championship Thursday afternoon at Drake Stadium.

“Nothing compares to this feeling right now,” said the senior from Western Dubuque. “I can’t explain it.

“We trained for this, It was a great time today to get what I came for.”

Four events are in the books in the 4A boys’ race (which was suspended at 8:40 p.m. with one heat remaining in the 400-meter race), and Ames is the leader with 20 points. Cedar Falls is second with 16, followed by Ankeny (13). Kelchen’s triumph puts Western Dubuque in a fifth-place tie with 10 points.

After Kelchen cleared the bar for the winner at 6-8, he hopped off the mat, sprinted across the track and leaped into the arms of Coach Tom Jasper at the railing.

It was Jasper that gave Kelchen his final advice before clearing his winner.

“He told me I can to get vertical on my jump,” Kelchen said.

Linn-Mar’s Dylan Dolezal passed three competitors in the late stages of the race to earn second place in the 3,200-meter run, finishing in 9:35.33. Tim Sindt of Ankeny was the champion in 9:28.90.

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“With about 400 meters left, it was like the switch flipped, and I just kept moving up,” Dolezal said. “I didn’t want to let my team down.”

To combat Thursday’s 95-degree heat, officials allowed 3,200-meter runners to take water cups from volunteer workers in the final four laps of the race.

“It helped a lot,” Dolezal said. “I splashed the water on my back, and it was a shock ... a good shock.”

Despite a career-best of 178-6, Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Cam Jones settled for silver in the discus. Logan Jones of Lewis Central was the winner at 185-10.

“It’s a PR, but I’m still disappointed,” said Jones, the Drake Relays champion. “Logan had a hell of a day. I guess I still have the white flag to cheer me up.”

STATE TRACK & FIELD: CLASS 4A BOYS

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

Top-10 teams (through 4 events) — 1. Ames 20, 2. Cedar Falls 16, 3. Ankeny 13, 4. Lewis Central 11.5, 5. (tie) Western Dubuque, Dubuque Hempstead and Waukee 10, 8. (tie) Cedar Rapids Kennedy, West Des Moines Dowling and Linn-Mar 8.

High jump — 1. Grant Kelchen (Western Dubuque), 6-8; 2. Bryce Albaugh (Cedar Falls), 6-7; 3. Japannah Kellogg (Ames), 6-7; T-7. Marcus Morgan (Iowa City West), 6-3.

Discus — 1. Logan Jones (Lewis Central), 185-10; 2. Cam Jones (Cedar Rapids Kennedy), 178-6; 3. Kaden Schilling (Cedar Rapids Prairie), 160-10.

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3,200 — 1. Tim Sindt (Ankeny), 9:28.90; 2. Dylan Dolezal (Linn-Mar), 9:35.33; 3. David Holesinger (Dubuque Hempstead), 9:38.47; 6. Kolby Greiner (Iowa City West), 9:54.91; 7. Paul Schneidermann (Cedar Rapids Washington), 9:55.95.

3,200 relay — 1. Ames (Warrick, G. Akok, Kohut-Jackson, A. Akok), 7:51.95; 2. Cedar Falls, 7:53.04; 3. Southeast Polk, 7:54.72; 5. Iowa City High, 7:55.33.

400 — Suspended.

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

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