DES MOINES - Devin Howard was already happy, but he kicked the smile up a notch when he found out he had pulled off the sprinting double by the skin of his teeth.
The South Hamilton sophomore qualified for the Class 2A 100-meter dash finals convincingly yesterday afternoon during Day 1 of the 2012 Iowa Co-ed State Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium, and two hours later he added a spot in the 200 final by snagging the eighth and final position. Both races will go off Saturday afternoon from the blue oval.
"It feels great right now and I have nothing to lose (on Saturday)," Howard said. "I'm just going to go out and try my hardest one more time."
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
South Hamilton sophomore Devin Howard starts fast in the Class 2A 100-meter dash yesterday at the state track meet in Des Moines.
A quality start out of the blocks put Howard at the front of his 100 preliminary heat from the beginning and he never relented. He was first to the finish line in 11.63 seconds - good enough for third overall behind class leader Jake Floen of Unity Christian (11.42) and Andy Sierra of Louisa-Muscatine (11.51).
I'm happy about the 100," Howard said. "I had a good start and then I just stayed strong in the wind. I came in here and expected to be in the top eight, and now I'll come here Saturday and do my best to try to win it."
The strong headwind got the better of Howard as he turned the corner in the 200, and it pushed him back to third in his heat in 23.19. It wasn't until 30 minutes later when Howard learned he'd qualified for the finals by several thousandths of a second.
"I didn't have my best time in the 200, but I'll take it," he said. "I hit that corner and the wind hit me, and that was a little tougher than in the 100."
Floen also enters the 200 final as the top seed (22.62).
The South Hamilton girls' team put its 4x800 relay on the track, and the result was a 16th-place finish in 10:12.99. Kayla Monthei opened the relay with a strong leg of 2:31.70, and Alyson Fisher - one of only two seniors on the team - finished it off with a quartet-best split of 2:28.90 on the anchor.
Allyson Ervin and Meghan Fisher ran the second and third legs.
"We really ran pretty well and that was good for us," South Hamilton girls' coach Jim Klein said. "I figured we'd be about where we ended up, so I wasn't disappointed at all."
Jesup secured the 4x800 title in 9:40.25.
The Hawks will be back on the track today for four more events. For the boys, Triston Twedt will take part in the 400 low hurdles final and later they'll compete in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. Shannon Hoyle will represent the girls' team in the 100 hurdles.