ELITE 8: Lynx boys pile up state bids

Whitmore smashes school record, joins LaSourd as 4-event qualifier; Hay to represent WCHS?girls in long jump

WCHS junior Garrett Whitmore won the 400-meter low hurdles in 54.87 seconds, a new school record, at Friday's Class 3A State Qualifying Meet in Charles City. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

CHARLES CITY — Chad Hisler didn’t hide his focus on the team championship banner in the days leading up to Friday’s Class 3A State Qualifying Meet. It was important to the Webster City boys’ track and field head coach, and he made sure it was important to his athletes as well.

That the Lynx came up one point short in their quest was agonizing. But the eight events — one of which has two WCHS entrants — they advanced to this week’s state meet helped immensely to soften the blow.

“We were so close,” Hisler said after WCHS scored 117 points, just behind Decorah with 118. “But we competed very well and had a lot of personal bests.”

There was one smashed school record as well.

Still relatively new to the hurdles, Lynx junior sprinter Garrett Whitmore looked like a natural as he decimated the field in the 400-meter low hurdles with a winning and school-record time of 54.87 seconds. It bettered the previous mark of 55.21, set by Andrew May in 2012, and gives Whitmore a top-five time in 3A entering the state meet.

WCHS senior Max Harfst used a sprint down the straightaway to win the 800-meter run at Friday's Class 3A State Qualifying Meet in Charles City. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

“He usually doesn’t run his absolute best unless there’s someone who is really pushing him, but this time he got out and flew,” Hisler said. “I knew right away he was going to have a legitimate shot at (the school record). It’s going to be fun to see what he can do against all those fast guys at state.”

Whitmore and fellow junior sprinter Lincoln LaSourd will both run in four events at state. They’ll battle one another in the 100 after LaSourd placed second on Friday in 11.31 seconds and Whitmore was added as a wildcard entry after a fourth-place result in 11.51. LaSourd also advanced to state in the 200 (23.03).

“Getting both guys in the 100 was great because that was a debate before the meet,” Hisler said. “But we knew Lincoln and Garrett were fast enough to do it.”

Whitmore ran the first leg, LaSourd the anchor on both of the Lynx gold-medal sprint relays, and Carson Struchen and Trey Mathis joined them. The quartet won the 4×100 in 44.11 seconds and the 4×200 in 1:32.58.

Max Harfst once again lowered his personal-best time in the 800 — it now stands at 1:59.55 — and he needed that performance to reach the finish line first ahead of runner-up Sam Kepford (1:59.64) of Waverly-Shell Rock.

WCHS junior Ashlyn Hay competes in the long jump at Friday’s Class 3A state qualifier in Charles City. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

Harfst’s hope of competing in two events at state was dashed early in the meet when the Lynx 4×800 relay was disqualified. Harfst turned in a 1:58 anchor leg and the team’s time would have easily pushed it through.

The shuttle hurdle foursome of Mathis, Kasey Porter, Malachi Montes and Kaiyu Levongkhom will head to Des Moines following a season’s best time of 1:03.13. It was only good enough for fifth on Friday, but advanced via a wildcard.

Austin Lampman, a senior, was one of the pleasant surprises. He found an extra gear in the shot put and turned in a career-best heave of 47 feet, 61⁄2 inches to place third and advance on a wildcard.

Hay advances in long jump

It was a tense Friday night for WCHS junior Ashlyn Hay, but she was able to exhale Saturday afternoon.

A top-five long jumper in 3A during the regular season, Hay’s best leap of 15-11 at Friday’s state qualifier left her outside of the top two and put her in the pool of potential wildcard entries.

Luckily, she survived to jump again.

“It was a huge sense of relief for Ashlyn” WCHS girls’ coach Clint Howard said. “Ashlyn struggled to get on the board and then had to jump conservatively to get into the finals.”

Class 3A State Qualifiers

Webster City Boys

Shot Put — Austin Lampman 47-61⁄2 (3rd at SQM, seeded 21st at state).

100 Meters — Lincoln LaSourd 11.31 (2nd at SQM, seeded 7th at state); Garrett Whitmore 11.51 (4th at SQM, seeded 14th at state).

200 Meters — Lincoln LaSourd 23.03 (3rd at SQM, seeded 17th at state).

400 Low Hurdles — Garrett Whitmore 54.87 — SCHOOL RECORD (1st at SQM, seeded 4th at state).

800 Meters — Max Harfst 1:59.55 (1st at SQM, seeded 4th at state).

4×100 Relay — Garrett Whitmore, Trey Mathis, Carson Struchen, Lincoln LaSourd 44.11 (1st at SQM, seeded 7th at state).

4×200 Relay — Garrett Whitmore, Carson Struchen, Trey Mathis, Lincoln LaSourd 1:32.58 (1st at SQM, seeded 9th at state).

Shuttle Hurdle Relay — Kasey Porter, Malachi Montes, Kaiyu Levongkhom, Trey Mathis 1:03.13 (5th at SQM, seeded 22nd at state).

Webster City Girls

Long Jump — Ashlyn Hay 15-11 (3rd at SQM, seeded 17th at state).