Area teams, warm weather headline Dodger Relays

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Fort Dodge Brycen Bell competes in last year's Dodger Relays on the J.H. Nitzke track.

The Fort Dodge boys track team will look to put their best foot forward during the 61st running of the Dodger Relays on Monday.

The meet begins with field events at 4:30 p.m. on the J.H. Nitzke track inside Dodger Stadium.

Head coach John McBride anticipates an entertaining evening of competition, fueled by a strong area flavor. Fort Dodge is the host school and in the Class A bracket, but St. Edmond will be in Class B alongside Messengerland programs Humboldt, Algona, Bishop Garrigan and Eagle Grove.

“It should be a really fun night,” McBride said. “The weather is supposed to be by far the best we’ve seen in a meet so far this spring, and we’re hoping for a big turnout (in the stands). Waukee is the team to beat (in Class A), but that Class B race should be very entertaining. There are a lot of quality teams in the mix from around the area.

“We moved some things around, and are going to try and score as many points as we can. We’re also going after a few individual events. We’re just looking forward to competing in front of our home crowd.”

Marshalltown, Mason City and Des Moines East round out the A field. The Warriors, Bobcats and Mohawks are all in the Dodgers’ division of the CIML.

Fort Dodge expects to be at full-strength with the exception of sophomore Tyler Schreier, a 2018 state qualifier. Schreier is working his way back from injury, and should return to action on Thursday.

The Dodgers won three events and placed second in two more at the Kenny Dean Bobcat Invitational in Marshalltown last Thursday. Asle Thorson took the high jump, while the 4×200 (Brycen Bell, Tysen Kershaw, Dayson Clayton and Thorson) and 4×400 (Bell, Kershaw, Clayton and Trey Kasperbauer) were victorious.

The 4×100 (Bell, Kershaw, Clayton and Sam Daniel) finished as a runner-up, as did the shuttle hurdle relay (Anthony Wagner, Lucas Williamson, Thorson and Kasperbauer). Wagner was third in both the 110 hurdles and 400 hurdles.

The Gaels fared well on Friday in Clarion, with Jed Tracy capturing both the 1600 and 3200; Charlie Shelly winning the 400; and Andrew Gibb crossing first in the 800. The sprint medley (Nick Bennett, Cael Kolacia, Sean Flattery and Shelly) and 4×400 (Gibb, Kolacia, Flattery and Shelly) earned gold as well.

McBride applauded the workers and volunteers who make the Dodger Relays “the best (regular-season) meet in the state year in and year out.”

“It’s second to none,” McBride said. “The turnout for help is always unbelievable. You can really say that about every home meet or event in every sport. It’s a Fort Dodge tradition, and we’re very fortunate.”

Temperatures are expected to be in the low-70s for the start of the meet Monday, with winds around 15 miles per hour.