Herald Staff Report
Just to give context to the level of difficulty at Friday’s district meet at Dubuque Senior High School, Clinton boys track coach Tony Smith talked about Cody Collender’s performance in long jump. The senior had his best leap of the season — 20 feet, 10.25 inches.
“And he finished eighth in the meet,” Smith said. “It was loaded.”
He still qualified for the state meet with the 18th-best jump in the state, even though only the top two qualify automatically from each of the six districts.
Overall, though, Smith and his counterpart June Wilden of the girls team both said they were pleased with Friday’s results. The meet was originally scheduled for Thursday but was delayed because of rain.
“I think we were really blessed on the girls side to be placed in that regional,” Wilden said. “We had a great night. It was beautiful. I really felt like it was an advantage for our kids.”
Automatic qualifiers for the boys were Deshond Robinson, who placed first in the 400-meter run and second in the 200-meter run, and Jason Banker, winner of the 400-meter hurdles. For the girls, Erin Wenzel qualified in two individual events, winning the 400-meter run and placing second in the 800, while freshman Elle Tubbs was second in the high jump.
“We’re just trying to get guys to the next level,” Smith said. “This meet is quite different because you’re trying to qualify for the state meet. You’re not just running against competition in your meet. You’re running against the state of Iowa.”
Several other Kings and Queens will also take their talents to state. Officially, the boys qualified: Banker (400, 400-hurdles); Robinson (200, 400); Brady Ernst and Will Carr (high jump); Collender (long jump); Nathan Harden (shot put, discus); and the 1,600-, shuttle hurdle and distance medley relay teams.
For the girls: Wenzel (800, 400); Alayna Geronzin (discus); Tubbs (high jump); and the 3,200- and 800-medley relay teams.