DEWITT — Clinton coach Tony Smith saw things a bit differently than the athletes on his Clinton High boys track and field team.
The River Kings placed second behind host Central DeWitt at the Saber Quad on Tuesday at Birney Field. That was fine with Smith, especially considering the 40-degree temperature and another meet coming up in just two days.
“The boys were not happy, but I say, look at the conditions, it’s more of a glorified workout for us,” Smith said after the Kings finished with 75 points, seven behind the Sabers. “The boys get frustrated more than I do.”
Smith said he might have treated the meet a bit differently had it been warmer.
“If the weather was good, we might have tried to stack some things to qualify for the Drake Relays,” he said.
But, Clinton also has a big meet Thursday when it heads to Davenport for the Ira Dunsworth Invitational, and Smith wants his athletes fresh for that.
The River Kings came away with a pair of first-place finishes.
Jason Banker won the 400-meter hurdles in 57.96 seconds, and Nathan Harden won the discus with a throw of 128 feet, 4 inches.
“Harden had a nice night,” Smith said. “He came within 1 inch of winning the shot put, and his throw was really good in the disc.”
Harden’s runner-up finish in the shot put was one of nine second-place finishes for the Kings. The final one came when Deshond Robinson came from well back and passed runners from Pleasant Valley and North Scott on the anchor leg of 1,600-meter relay.
Central DeWitt led the way with nine victories. The Sabers were especially strong in the relays, winning four of six.
The Sabers got individual wins from Jake Thumann in the 200, Remington Meggers in the 400, Mitch Green in the 800, Kyle Marti in the 1,600 and Drew Dieckmann in the high jump.