State Track and Field 2021: Bulldogs place fifth or higher in three events

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The 800 sprint medley relay of Wyatt Powell (left), Cullen McShane, Colin Moses and Karter Decker placed fifth with a time of 1:36.18, breaking the school record—again. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Wyatt Powell takes off in the first leg of the sprint medley relay. Head coach Kyle Kirkestue said good handoffs were one of the keys to the team's success in the event.

Karter Decker crosses the finish line in the sprint medley relay. The Bulldogs had the time to beat heading into the final heat.

Senior Jacob Trudo had a throw of 41 feet, 7.75 inches in the shot put, placing him 21st at the state meet.

Sophomore Karter Decker (left) and junior Cullen McShane run in the 100 meter dash prelims. McShane placed 11th, just short of advancing to the finals. Decker qualified fifth in the 100 and fifth in the 200 meter dash. In the Saturday final, he placed third in both events.

Karter Decker competed in all three sprint events at state, including a 14th place effort in the 400 meter dash.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

Members of the MFL MarMac boys track and field team placed fifth or better in three of five events in Class 1A at last week’s Iowa High School State Track and Field Meet in Des Moines, capping off the district’s best season in recent history.

 

“I’m really proud of the guys this year, coming back after last season was cut short,” said head coach Kyle Kirkestue. “They showed a lot of perseverance and toughness.”

 

Senior Jacob Trudo was the Bulldogs’ lone field competitor, and he tossed a throw of 41 feet, 7.75 inches in the shot put on the opening day of the meet, May 20. The effort placed him 21st.

 

“Conditions were not the best,” said Kirkestue, “but he threw the best he could and was grateful for the opportunity to compete and end his career at state.”

 

Trudo improved in the event throughout the season, starting first with 39s, then eventually hitting over 45 feet at the state qualifying meet. That was his personal best by 1.5 feet.

 

“He put in a lot of time and effort,” Kirkestue said.

 

Another event on Thursday was the 100 meter dash prelims, which included two Bulldogs, sophomore Karter Decker and junior Cullen McShane. Decker came in fifth with a time of 11.34, advancing him to the finals, but McShane fell just short, crossing the line 11th at 11.51.

 

“It was a wet track, and he didn’t have as great a start,” Kirkestue said of McShane. “But he ran his race, and now he’s really motivated to get back down there next year.”

 

Decker also ran in the 200 meter dash prelims on Thursday, qualifying fifth in that race with a time of 22.99—an effort that sent him to the Saturday final.

 

He wrapped the night in the 400 meter dash final, placing 14th with a time of 52.06. 

 

“He placed the same as he was seeded,” said Kirkestue, who was proud of the sprinter’s success considering the gauntlet of races that day.

 

“Competing in three separate events in one day is difficult to do. You’re up against 24 of the best athletes and you have to be on your game. There’s a lot of adrenaline and you have to be on that next level,” the coach shared. “But Karter persevered through and showed his toughness.”

 

After an off day on Friday, MFL MarMac was back on the track Saturday, May 22, starting with the 800 sprint medley relay. An event Kirkestue termed the “lifeblood” of the team, the Bulldogs didn’t disappoint. Wyatt Powell, McShane, Colin Moses and Decker turned in a fifth place time of 1:36.18. That was a new school record—the fourth time it’s been broken this season, according to Kirkestue.

 

“Everyone shaved five-tenths of a second off their split times. Our time was the one to beat going into the final heat,” he said.

 

What made the difference? Kirkestue credited great handoffs and a stellar final 400-meter leg by Decker.

 

“We were in third place then, but he settled in. On turn four, he started making his move,” Kirkestue said.

 

Decker ran in the 100 and 200 meter dash finals later that afternoon, placing third in both events with respective times of 11.30 and 22.55. 

 

“It was sunny and barely any wind—great conditions to run,” said Kirkestue. “Those are almost anyone’s race.”

 

Decker had a great start in the 100, beating almost all the other runners out of the blocks.

 

“At the 50- to 60-yard mark, he really closed in,” Kirkestue explained.

 

His 11.30 time was just shy of the second place 11.29 mark by Grundy Center’s Logan Knaack. Beau Flander from English Valleys won the race with a time of 11.12.

 

In the 200, Kirkestue said Decker was motivated by fellow competitor Trevor Sauerbrei, of Wapsie Valley, who was the 400 meter dash champion.

 

“He was not going to let Sauerbrei win,” Kirkestue noted. “Down the stretch, Karter closed in,” then finished one spot ahead. Kase Becker from St. Edmond, Fort Dodge had the winning time of 22.31.

 

Kirkestue called Decker one of the best sprinters MFL MarMac has ever had, and sees only good things ahead for the sophomore.

 

“He’s only going to get faster,” said the coach. 

 

“MFL MarMac boys track, as a whole, is on the rise,” he added. “We’ll see if we can get more guys down there next year.”

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