The tough part for Albia High School’s Drew Winke was the events were only five minutes apart.
On the other hand, there was little room to complain.
Winke ran “unattached” at the Central College high school indoor meet Friday at the Kuyper Athletic Complex, picking up a top-10 finish in the 60-meter dash (7.50 seconds) out of 207 listed competitors. He followed that up with an 11th-place performance in the 60-meter hurdles (9.23), with little time to recover.
“I was still pretty out of breath for the hurdles races. I think if I’d had more recovery time, my time would’ve been a lot lower,” Winke said. “I wanted to come up here and get as much work with the hurdles and the blocks as I could.”
Winke wasn’t the only area athlete to have a strong meet. Fairfield’s Landon Kooiker finished fourth in the high jump by clearing 5 feet, 8 inches, a new event this year.
In addition to that result, Hunter Drish finished 10th in the long jump (18-11 1/4), while Steeler Higdon was 12th in the shot put (40-7 1/2), which consisted of eight flights during a meet that took just over seven hours to complete.
“In the past I’ve loaded up a lot on indoor meets, but our guys aren’t in sprinter shape yet, and I want them healthy in May,” said Fairfield coach Brian Dunlap, whose team was competing for the first time in a week. “We had a lot of young kids out there and saw a lot of PRs. Our kids have worked hard and our younger ones are stepping up.”
Winke knows what success looks like. He was part of two Albia relay teams that won Class 2A state championships last season, but he is the only runner remaining from the 4x100 and 4x400 teams that took titles.
He’s also trying to do his part in breaking in a new quartet of shuttle hurdle relays runners, as that event also qualified for state a year ago.
“We’ve got a lot of underclassmen, but I think over the next couple years, we’re still going to be pretty good,” Winke said. “This is the first year I’ve done the hurdles, so I need to get more experience with them. I want to get to the point where it feels easy to go over them.”
Caden Jones had a strong day on the track for Fairfield, finishing 13th in the 200 (24.70), among the best finishes of the meet for Fairfield. The Trojans also received a 10th-place finish out of their 4x800 relay of Mark Diers, Alex Forrest, Dalton Rippey and Max Sullivan (9:26.37).
While the Trojans have good quarter-mile runners, Dunlap said, the field events have an opportunity to score points most nights.
“Kooiker’s upside is tremendous. He’s got a lot of jumping ability. Getting a 5-8 is a good place to start, but he’ll only get better,” he said. “Hunter only got one mark down, so we’ll have to work on that. Still, he’s off to a good start as well.”
Both Albia and Fairfield begin the outdoor portion of the season Thursday. Albia hosts is invitational, while Fairfield will be among several teams at Washington.
“I’m ready to get outside,” Dunlap said. “I’m eager to put together our 17 events that will get us through the season. We just have to make sure we stay healthy.”
Chad Drury can be reached at email@example.com, and on Twitter @ChadDrury.
Central College high school indoor meet
at Kuyper Athletic Complex, Pella
High jump — 4. Landon Kooiker (Fairfield), 5-8. Long jump — 10. Hunter Drish (FF), 18-11 1/4; 19. Ashton Lankford (FF); 49. Payton Cline (FF); 51. Damonte Miller-Scott (FF). Shot put — 12. Steeler Higdon (FF), 40-7 1/2; 24. Tristan Waugh (FF); 41. Gage Hook (FF); 62. Aidan Pohren (FF); 65. Konnor Burkhart (FF).
60-meter dash (final) — 10. Drew Winke (Albia, unattached), 7.50. 60-meter hurdles (final) — 11. Winke (Albia, unattached), 9.23. 200 — 13. Caden Jones (FF), 24.70; 33. Kosta Papazogolou (FF), 25.54; 70. Tyler Palmer (FF), 26.55; 106. Tanner Mellot (FF), 27.71; 127. Ethan Waugh (FF), 28.55. 400 — 28. Mark Diers (FF), 59.14; 29. Alex Forrest (FF), 59.27; 59. Nathan Mathis (FF), 1:05.67. 800 — 29. Dalton Rippey (FF), 2:24.52; 56. Bryan Wilkins (FF), 2:39.04; 57. Aiden Daugherty (FF), 2:39.08; 63. Shane Morrissey (FF), 2:41.65. 1,600 — 33. Daugherty (FF), 5:42.65; 45. Morrissey (FF), 6:04.80. 3,200 — 25. Wilkins (FF), 12:25.22.
4x200 — 9. Fairfield (Kosta Papazogolou, Caden Jones, Max Sullivan, Hunter Drish), 1:41.18; 17. Fairfield (Damonte Miller-Scott, Ashton Lankford, Tyler Palmer, Connor Ryan), 1:47.38; 23. Fairfield (Payton Cline, Landon Schafer, Jonah Cooper, Ethan Waugh), 1:48.86. 4x400 — 26. Fairfield (Mark Diers, Schafer, Cline, Alex Forrest), 4:11.31. 4x800 — 10. Fairfield (Diers, Forrest, Dalton Rippey, Sullivan), 9:26.37.