Prep Track and Field

Jeremy Fopma sparks Marion's late run to a 3A boys' state track repeat

Indians surge past Atlantic in the final 3 events

Marion's Jeremy Fopma (left) sprints to victory against Center Point-Urbana's Myles Bach during the class 3A 1,600-meter run at the 2018 Iowa High School Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, May 19, 2018. Fopma won in 4:17.66 while Bach was second in 4:20.30. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Marion's Jeremy Fopma (left) sprints to victory against Center Point-Urbana's Myles Bach during the class 3A 1,600-meter run at the 2018 Iowa High School Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, May 19, 2018. Fopma won in 4:17.66 while Bach was second in 4:20.30. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — Jeremy Fopma wasn’t going to let his last race get away. There was too much at stake.

“I knew our team needed the points,” the senior distance runner from Marion High School said. “I was coming down the stretch, and I was thinking about my family. They’ve always come to see me.

“I wanted this last race for them ... my family and my team.”

Fopma held off Myles Bach of Center Point-Urbana to win the Class 3A 1,600-meter run Saturday at the state track and field meet at Drake Stadium.

That ignited the Indians, who scored 31 points in the final three events to zip past Atlantic and win their second consecutive 3A team title. Marion finished with 69 points, Atlantic 63. Sergeant Bluff-Luton (48), Dubuque Wahlert (45.5) and Gilbert (40) rounded out the top five.

As teammates for three years and as rivals for one, Fopma usually played second fiddle to Bach. But not Saturday, when he held off three challenges on the final lap alone to win in 4:17.66. Bach was clocked in 4:20.30.

Marion trailed Atlantic by 15 points with three events to go. But Fopma and Harrison Vanderlinden went 1-6 in the 1,600, then the 400-meter relay team of Dawson Kirk, Grant Meth, Chris Mohwinkle, and JuCorey Higgins put the Indians in front for good by winning in 42.96 seconds.

“We talked about winning (the championship) all day,” Higgins said. “We worked on hitting our handoffs correctly.”

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Then it was up to the 1,600-meter relay to finish the deal. And they did it with a second-place finish to Atlantic. Both moved up a spot when Sergeant Bluff-Luton was disqualified.

“Jeremy gave us an extra boost there in the 1,600, and the rest of us did what we had to do,” Blair Brooks said.

Mohwinkle anchored the Indians to a second-place finish in the sprint medley relay to start the day.

Solon’s Luke Ira was the runner-up in the 110-meter hurdles.

“I ran a good race,” said Ira, who was timed in 14.82 seconds and finished behind Atlantic’s Gratt Reed. “I wanted to maintain under 15 (seconds).” 

STATE TRACK & FIELD: 3A BOYS

Teams (top 10) — 1. Marion 69, 2. Atlantic 63, 3. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 48, 4. Dubuque Wahlert 45.5, 5. Gilbert 40, 6. Dallas Center Grimes 38.33, 7. Mount Pleasant 37, 8. Glenwood 32, 9. Algona 30, 10. Boone 28.

Sprint medley relay — 1. Glenwood (Saddler, Lee, Watson, Kennedy), 1:33.11; 2. Marion, 1:33.30; 3. Nevada, 1:33.60; 4. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley, 1:33.95; 5. Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 1:34.68; 6. Boone, 1:34.78; 7. Atlantic, 1:34.89; 8. Dallas Center-Grimes, 1:35.01.

800 — 1. Chase Mullenix (Atlantic), 1:55.38; 2. Carter Huyser (Oskaloosa), 1:56.13; 3. Luke Hilby (Dubuque Wahlert), 1:56.83; 4. Joe Simon (Grinnell), 1:57.46; 5. Will DeHaan (DeWitt Central), 1:58.13; 6. Billy Rankin (Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley), 1:58.32; 7. Tony Schmitz (Pella), 1:58.50; 8. Alex Wade (Center Point-Urbana), 1:58.54.

Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Carlisle (Duah, Brunsen, Beck, Goodhue), 56.83; 2. Mount Pleasant, 56.87; 3. Pella, 58.63; 4. Dallas Center-Grimes, 58.99; 5. Gilbert, 58.99; 6. Boone, 59.81; 7. Benton Community, 1:00.75; 8. Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 1:02.98.

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100 — 1. Rancy Freeman (Dallas Center-Grimes), 10.88; 2. Jorma Schwedler (Sergeant Bluff-Luton), 10.93; 3. Joe Stein (Spirit Lake), 11.03; 5. Craig Garrison (Saydel), 11.13; 6. Nate Kennedy (Glenwood), 11.23; 7. Samonte Bawden (Algona), 11.31; 8. Rodrigue Sagbo (Waverly-Shell Rock), 11.52.

110 hurdles — 1. Gratt Reed (Atlantic), 14.31; 2. Luke Ira (Solon), 14.82; 3. Cole Burns (Mount Pleasant), 14.87; 4. Luke Heitz (Adel ADM), 15.01; 5. Alex Sharp (Gilbert), 15.12; 6. Seb Johanson (Clear Creek Amana), 15.19; 7. Max Goodlove (Carlisle), 15.21; 8. Jake Lowe (Mount Pleasant), 55.03.

200 — 1. Jorma Schwedler (Sergeant Bluff-Luton), 21.72; 2. Alden Kuntz (Dubuque Wahlert), 21.84; 3. Nate Kennedy (Glenwood), 21.89; 4. Samonte Bawden (Algona), 22.25; 5. Sean Madsen (Dallas Center-Grimes), 22.48; 6. Craig Garrison (Saydel), 22.49; 7. Cade Bertrand (Dallas Center-Grimes), 22.82; 8. Denny Pederson (Humboldt), 23.12.

1,600 — 1. Jeremy Fopma (Marion), 4:17.66; 2. Myles Bach (Center Point-Urbana), 4:20.30; 3. Andrew Kephart (Decorah), 4:23.00; 4. Trey Engen (Algona), 4:25.95; 5. Cody Mertens (Mount Pleasant), 4:29.15; 6. Harrison Vanderlinden (Marion), 4:29.33; 7. Nathan Mueller (Adel ADM), 4:30.08; 8. Mason McCaffery (Spirit Lake), 4:30.54.

400 relay — 1. Marion (Kirk, Meth, Mohwinkle, Higgins), 42.96; 2. Dallas Center-Grimes, 43.04; 3. West Burlington-Notre Dame, 43.72; 4. Dubuque Wahlert, 43.74; 5. Cedar Rapids Xavier, 44.25; 6. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley, 44.26; 7. Carlisle, 44.34; 8. Gilbert, 44.42.

1,600 relay — 1. Atlantic (Niklasen, Moen, Sonntag, Mullenix), 3:20.96; 2. Marion, 3:21.68; 3. Humboldt, 3:23.83; 4. Gilbert, 3:24.20; 5. Boone, 3:25.38; 6. North Polk, 3:27.99; 7. Oskaloosa, 3:30.34.

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

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