DES MOINES — The South Central Calhoun boys have their sights set on a trophy this week in the Class 2A state track meet.
With 13 events qualified, the Titans have the numbers. Now, they’ll need to prove themselves against the best of the best inside Drake Stadium.
Chase McAlister, a junior, is entered in the 400, 800, 4×400 and sprint medley relays. He posted the third-fastest 800 time at districts and the seventh-best 400.
“Going into state this year I have high expectations,” said McAlister, who is also a standout for the SCC football, wrestling and baseball teams. “I know how to handle myself in a big situation. Being at state won’t be such a shocking moment for me because I’ve been in big situations before. I’m able to treat track meets like just another meet most of the time and don’t get myself worked up.
“Competing in other sports has taught me to stay mentally tough and that’s what I need in track.”
McAlister, who has scored a medal in his prior state experiences, has set a lofty goal for himself and his team.
“I want to come away with four medals,” he said. “With as many events as we have going to state, we’ve talked about placing in the Top-3. In my opinion, that’s a realistic goal that we can accomplish.”
Joining McAlister in individual events will be Spencer Moon (800, 1600, 3200), Josh Van Hulzen (110 hurdles) and Colton Bahr (high jump). The Titans are also in the 4×100, 4×200, 4×400, distance medley, shuttle hurdle and sprint medley relays.
Jared Birks, Tanner Macke, Nic Englin, Mason Merkley, Hunter Muhlbauer, Keagen Meyer, and Josh Henkenius are all part of various relays for South Central Calhoun.
“I think we’ve had a great year despite the Iowa weather,” SCC head coach Bryan Case said. “Our kids have been focused and their efforts paid off (at districts).
“Qualifying 13 events is pretty good, but we need to take it to another level if we want to perform well at state.”
Southeast Valley’s Nolan Johnson and Kiersten Fisher are on opposite ends of the spectrum, as Johnson is concluding his career and Fisher is just getting started.
Johnson, a senior, will run in the 400-meter dash and is part of the 4×400 relay with Nyles Johnson, Mason Ackerson and Patrick Breitsprecher.
A future Iowa Central baseball player, Johnson is seeded eighth in the 400 after a district time of 51.42. He also posted a 50.84 during the regular season.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to run at state again,” Johnson said. “I have not gotten a medal there yet, so to be able to secure a medal to end my track season and career is something I would really love to do and would mean a lot.”
Fisher, a freshman who placed second at Drake Relays in the high jump, qualified in the 100, 200, 100 hurdles and high jump. She had the fifth-quickest 100 hurdle time at districts and tied for the sixth-best high jump.
“I just want to go down to Drake and compete the best I personally can,” Fisher said. “I’m really excited to be competing at state and go against better competition.”
The Jaguars will also run in the 4×100 and 4×200 relays with Katara Jondle, Tessa Berg, Karissa Hiesterman, Kanyon Pepples and Morgan Farnham comprising those.
Pocahontas Area’s Jill Vonnahme had the fifth-best 3000 time at districts. The future University of Northern Iowa runner is also entered in the 1500 and as part of the distance medley relay.
For the Indian boys, the 4×100 of Christian Davidson, Ryan Anderson, state wrestling champion Shea Ruffridge and Chase Boeve are seeded ninth with a time of 44.45.