CAMANCHE — The final leg of the track season is right around the corner.
Camanche won the Indian Relays on Monday with 141 points even though many of the Indians were setting their focus on preparing for conference, district and, if fortunate enough, state track meets.
Most were looking to get a first-place finish, certainly, but more were just looking to improve times and setting the bar for what the postseason brings.
Take Camanche sprinter Derek Harksen, for example.
Harksen won all individual events in which he appeared and had a strong anchor in the 1,600 relay. For him, however, there's a lot more to accomplish.
"I guess it means we have to get in better shape and get our times down," Harksen said. "You want them to be at the lowest they can be, and I guess a meet like this is a build-up to districts."
Harksen built momentum by winning the 200 in 22.73 seconds, then posted a time of 49.88 seconds to win the 400-meter dash. In the 1,600 relay, Camanche crossed the line in 3:33.26, well ahead of second-place finisher Bellevue, which came in seven seconds later.
"I'm just happy he's stayed healthy this year," Camanche coach Mark Metzger said. "He's been hurt in past years, and last year was an 'on-off' year for him, but I'm just really happy that he's doing well, and we're excited about what he can do."
Harksen holds the Class 2A fastest time in the 200 (22.14), which he got at the Clinton boys meet last month. The Camanche senior, who was one of 11 seniors honored during the meet, matched his personal best time of 49.88 seconds in the 400. He first ran 49.88 back during the same Clinton meet.
Both of his 200 and 400 times are still best in Class 2A, and his 400 time is good for fifth best in the entire state. (Clinton's Deshond Robinson has the second fastest.)