116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — As gold beckoned, his body nearly rebelled.
Williamsburg 800-meter relay anchor Owen Douglas swiftly closed in on a championship Friday in the Class 2A boys’ state track and field meet at Drake Stadium — and a late surge through pain ensured victory.
“To be fair, the legs were tightening up,” said Douglas, who helped the triumphant Raiders beat second-place West Sioux by one-hundredth of a second. “But it’s the blue oval. You can’t let anything hold you back, so I just let her go, got my boys a ‘dub,’ and we’re winning now.”
They sure were — after sweating, a lot.
Douglas’ final push capped a season-best 1:30.29 finish with a robust kick.
Rayce Heitman, Carson Huedepohl and Clayten Steckly also provided strong legs to set the stage for the narrow victory.
“We’ve been here for the Drake Relays,” said Steckly, who handed the baton to Douglas for the final 200 meters. “We knew what the energy was going to be like.”
Douglas knew he’d won when he crossed the finish line. Not intuitively, though. He knew the time to beat, looked up at the scoreboard and celebrated.
“I made sure to know what the time to beat was,” Douglas said. “I knew coming in we were going to win it.”
Earlier, Williamsburg high jumper Derek Weisskopf also attained gold with a top leap of 6-7. After no other competitor could match that mark, the Iowa football commit raised the bar to 6-9 1/4.
But why that height, specifically?
“I wanted to beat my PR,” said Weisskopf, who narrowly missed doing that on his second jump. “And after that I was gonna aim for 7 (feet).”
He still ended his day on an exhilarating high.
“I’ve always wanted to have a state championship in any sport,” said Weisskopf, who took fourth in the high jump last year. “It feels amazing.”
Jesup’s Carson Lienau nearly swept the shot put and discus events for the second straight year, but South Hamilton’s Austin Busch beat his top mark with his final throw.
“It sucks, it really does, but I’m happy for Busch,” said Lienau, who will compete for Northern Iowa in the future. “He finally got one. He deserved one. He really did. If you’re going to lose to someone, you’re going to lose to Busch. I’m really happy that he was the one who won it.”
Other area boys’ top-eight finishers in 2A on Friday:
- Cash Woody of West Branch and Cain Brown of Mid-Prairie finished third and fourth, respectively in the high jump. Woody leaped 6-6 and Brown cleared 6-4.
- Blake Reichter of North Fayette Valley finished fourth in the discus with a personal-best throw of 155-5.
- Cascade took fifth in the 800-meter relay and Union Community placed eighth.
- Caden Schmidt of Tipton claimed sixth in the 400 hurdles in a personal-record time of 55.77 seconds.
- Jesup and Tipton finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the distance medley relay.
Friday’s results: Class 2A boys
Top 10 teams (through 10 events): 1. Des Moines Christian 28, 2. Jesup 23, 3. Spirit Lake 22 1/2, 4. Williamsburg 20, 5. South Hamilton 18, 6. Grundy Center 16, T-7. West Sioux 15, T-7. Tipton 15, T-7. Underwood 15, T-10. Clarinda 13, T-10. Sioux Central 13
Distance medley relay: 1. Des Moines Christian (Ducharme, King Phillips, Houg) 3:32.98; 2. Belmond-Klemme 3:36.22; 3. Underwood 3:36.29; 6. Jesup 3:39.4; 7. Tipton 3:39.74.
800-meter relay: 1. Williamsburg (Heitman, Huedepohl, Steckly, Douglas) 1:30.29; 2. West Sioux 1:31.30; 3. Underwood 1:31.62; 5. Cascade 1:31.86; 8. Union Community 1:33.09.
400-meter hurdles: 1. Jaden Damiano (Iowa Falls-Alden) 53.74; 2. Gage Huyser (Pella) 54.43; 3. Tristan Rheingans (Central Dewitt) 55.26; 6. Gavin Zillyette (Clear Creek-Amana) 56.21; 8. Keyon Gisleson (Clear Creek-Amana) 56.39.
High jump: 1. Derek Weisskopf (Williamsburg) 6-07; 2. Dakota Carlson (Forest City) 6-06; 3. Cash Woody (West Branch) 6-06; 4. Cain Brown (Mid-Prairie) 6-04.
Discus: 1. Austin Busch (South Hamilton) 169-02; 2. Carson Lienau (Jesup) 168-02; 3. Spencer Kessel (Louisa-Muscatine) 160-00; 4. Blake Reichter (North Fayette Valley) 155-05.