With 6 members of the Wayne Falcons and Lady Falcons qualifying for state competition at Drake Stadium May 16-18, Mother nature didn’t get the memo that perfect competition weather was desired for the 3-day event.
Kicking off the competition on Thursday was freshman Dayton Jacobsen ready for the long jump event. With temperatures reaching a sweltering 93 degrees, it would make for a long wait before Jacobsen would begin his jumps in the 2nd flight.
He recorded his longest distance of 20’11.75 during his 2nd trip down to the pit, which was a good enough leap to guarantee him a spot in the finals, thus medaling as well.
In the finals, Jacobsen was unable to exceed his furthest recorded distance. His jump would land him in 7th place overall to medal his first year at state.
“I just couldn’t get my shoes and spikes to really grip the runway,” said Jacobsen. “That is what I needed.”
The next competitor of the day had a tough schedule ahead. Qualifying in the long jump, 100m dash and 200m dash, freshman Reese Brown would be competing in all 3 events within a few hours of one another.
Up first would be the 200m dash for Brown where she would record a time of 27.56 to record a new personal best record in the event. This time would land her 17th overall.
Immediately following the 200m dash she was set to compete in the long jump event. With her longest leap of 14’9 she would place 23rd overall.
The 100m dash was next up for the freshman, where she would finish her day with her top placement sitting in 15th. Brown recorded a time of 13:19.
“I’m really just happy to be here,” said Brown. “I have goals now to return again and do even better.”
The heat didn’t subside until after Wayne competitors were finished for the day when storms would come through and case some evening events to be postponed.
Competitors woke up Friday morning to the announcement the storms would be delaying the start time for events one hour for the day. Temperatures registered in the mid 60’s with all grassy areas turned into water and mud puddles around the stadium area.
Freshman Emily Jones was the 1st competitor of the day set to compete. Jones would be throwing the discus in the 1st flight of the day in Class 1A competition.
Even with the usage of towels to keep the disc dry, several struggled to keep straight throws in the correct path. Jones was able to record her longest throw the 1st trip up with a distance of 110’11. That distance landed her in 12th overall following a finals round she just missed.
As the temperatures began to warm up once again, the 4x200m relay team of junior Shayden Arnold, Jacobsen, senior Hunter Cobb and junior Chasen Kiefer would be up for the 1st relay of the 2 events they qualified for.
Arnold would take his place in the blocks, coming out strong before reaching Jacobsen for his 2nd leg of the relay. Cobb would be waiting at the start line to take the handoff from Jacobsen before running the 3rd leg of the relay.
As Cobb reached Kiefer, it was off to the races and he would cross the finish line with a time of 1:33:97 to record their best time of the year. The time would place them in 15th overall after all 3 heats competed.
“We knocked almost a whole second off our time from districts so that’s good,” said Kiefer. “I don’t think we broke the school record on this one, but it was good.”
The boys would be up again early Saturday morning as all events were moved up 1 hour early in an attempt to beat the bad weather expected for the afternoon.
With a scheduled start time of 8:50 a.m., this would be the final Wayne event at state competition for the 2019 track season.
Unfortunately as it happens all too easily, the boys wouldn’t be finishing the race as the baton would be dropped during a handoff disqualifying them from the 800m sprint medley relay.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better team,” said 1st time state competitor Arnold. “It was exciting to keep cutting our times at every meet and breaking the school record in the sprint medley relay as well as running our best time in the 4x200 at state. These boys sure made state fun and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it with anybody else. It was a memorable experience and I want to thank our coaches, the community and everyone that cheered us on and for their support.”
“I’m really proud of these four boys for the great season they had,” said head coach Joe Nekvinda. “They just kept working hard all year to get in better shape and improve their technique. When the weather finally improved they dropped their relay times by huge margins to break one school record in the sprint medley and came very close in two others (the 4x200 and the 4x100).”
“Dayton worked hard to become consistent with his jumps and ended up with a state medal and the best long jump at Wayne since Tork Hook won state in the 80’s,” Nekvinda continued. “And he’s only a freshman. We had two very successful events and the third ended in disappointment. The best part was getting experience in that environment for three underclassmen that will be more confident when they return.”
“We will greatly miss senior Hunter Cobb, but we will have the opportunity for someone to step up into his spot next year,” Nekvinda stated.