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Morrison’s Brandon Belt (third from left) tries to hold off Camanche’s Derek Harksen (second from right) during the final 75 meters of the 200-meter dash Tuesday during the Class B portion of the Gateway Classic boys track and field meet at Bill Holsclaw Track in Clinton. Harksen’s late charge edged Belt, who earlier won the 100 meters, by five-hundredths of a second and was one of his four victories that helped the Indians win the team title. Maquoketa’s Josh Kirk (second from left) finished third, Preston’s Jason Feddersen (right) placed fourth and Fulton Unity Christian’s Jonathan Rasmussen (left) took sixth.

Jon Gremmels/Clinton Herald
Herald Sports Editor

Derek Harksen couldn’t have done much better.

Harksen, a sophomore, had his feet in four victories Tuesday to lead the Indians to the Class B team title at the 92nd annual Gateway Classic boys track and field meet at Clinton High’s Bill Holsclaw Track.

“Harksen had a big night,” Camanche coach Mark Metzger said, stating the obvious.

“It’s my best meet so far,” Harksen said.

He won the 400-meter dash, edged Morrison’s Brandon Belt in the 200 and anchored Camanche victories in the 400 and 1,600 relays.

The Indians also got a 1-2 finish from Alex Dean and Cody Mensinger in the discus as they piled up 117 points. Maquoketa was second with 94, while Northeast took third with 84.

“We showed some depth in a lot of areas,” Metzger said. “We were a little short-handed, too. We had four guys who left with choir to go to New York tonight.

“We had good performances in the throws, Alex had a PR (personal record) in the discus, and also in the shot.”

And then there was Harksen.

He kicked off his night by winning the 400 in 50.13 seconds, finishing almost a second ahead of runner-up Jason Feddersen of Preston.

Next, he put on a late charge to overtake Belt, who earlier had won the 100 meters, and win the 200 in 22.40 seconds, just five-hundredths of a second ahead of Belt.

“I knew I had to stay with him,” Harksen said. “He gives me great competition. I felt good coming around the curve. We bumped a bit.”

Harksen sealed the victory by anchoring victories in the final two relays.

He joined Aaron Shum, Brandon Jewell and Mike Osaro to finish the 400 in 44.97, .35 ahead of runner-up Maquoketa.

“I had great teammates who gave me a lead going into the anchor,” he said.

His teammates gave him a wide margin by the time he got the baton in the 1,600 relay as the Indians’ foursome of Mensinger, Devin Norman, Dean and Harksen won by almost 3 seconds in 3:35.60.

“I like having that kind of lead,” he said. “It takes a little pressure off.”

Maquoketa’s second-place performance included first-place finishes from Cole Wentworth in the shot put (45-10), the shuttle hurdle relay unit (1:00.22), the 3,200 relay squad (8:42.54) and Quinn Coates in the 110 high hurdles (16.62).

Matt Bowman had a part in two of Northeast’s three wins.

He came back from a second-place finish to teammate Eli Kaczinski in the 3,200 and won the 1,600 in 4:39.55 and anchored the winning 1,600 medley relay unit.

“I was still tired from the two-mile, where I didn’t have the race I wanted,” Bowman said. “I was kind of down a bit, so I knew I had to come back and do something big in the mile.”

Bowman was challenged early in the race by Morrison’s Derek Nichols but wound up beating him by 8 seconds.

“That came as a surprise,” Bowman said of seeing Nichols in front. “I thought he might be a rat and going out (to set a fast pace). It didn’t really bother me.”

Clinton’s junior varsity placed fourth, getting wins in the 800 relay (1:35.61) and from Austin Houzenga in the 400 hurdles (59.04) and Brady Ernst in the high jump (6-2).

The other winners were Fulton Unity Christian’s Jonathan Rasmussen in the long jump (19-0) and Morrison’s Evan Sipes in the 800 (2:04.92).

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