DES MOINES — When the track season began, just being in Drake Stadium for the Iowa track and field state meet seemed a long was off for Camanche coach Mark Metzger. But there he was on a sunny Saturday afternoon trackside as one of his athletes was being honored.
An aortic dissection on March 3 put Metzger's life in jeopardy, not to mention putting the track season on hold for him.
Fortunately, he received prompt medical attention that might have saved his life. He still was sidelined for much of the track season, with Steve Dougherty filling in.
And Saturday he was front and center at Drake Stadium as Camanche senior Drake Sachsenmier was honored as the top wheelchair athlete at the state meet. Another Camanche senior, Derek Harksen, picked up two more state titles Saturday, giving him three for the three-day event.
"A couple of months ago I didn't know if I'd be standing in Drake Stadium, let alone have the opportunity to see Derek win three golds and Drake win four," Metzger said. "It's been an awesome experience."
Sachsenmier earned titles in the shot put, 100-meter dash, 200 and 400 on Saturday. Harksen won Class 2A titles in the 100 and 200, two days after claiming the 2A title in the 400.
"It's been great," Metzger said. "It's been fun to watch Drake over the past four years, and of course Derek Harksen has had a great weekend, as well, so it's been a lot of fun."