Astor takes over for FD boys

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: Fort Dodge boys track and field returning letterwinners are, front row (left to right): Tanner Teske, Hunter Richardson, Zeke Pineda, Shawn Robert and Carmelo Hughes. Back: Talen Warland, Ty Adams, Connor Carver, Jacob Marxen and Kyron Wilson.

Kevin Astor has been coaching in the Fort Dodge School district for over 30 years.

Now, for the second time in his career, he will be back at the helm of a Dodger track and field program.

Astor is at the helm some two decades after serving as the school’s girls head coach.

Recently, Astor has been an assistant football coach and was the boys assistant track coach last season, helping with distance runners.

Astor wants to create a program where the team is competitive, yet they are having fun while working.

“Track is a sport that can help you in every other (season),” Astor said. “We want to have fun, but we are still going to work hard.

“Track makes you feel incredible. It is also tough because everyone sees you competing. You’re very visible out there.”

The Dodgers had three state qualifiers last season and return two. Jonny Astor, Kevin’s son, placed 15th in the Class 4A discus last spring before graduating.

Sophomore Angel Gervacio was ninth in the 100-meter wheelchair race.

Senior Connor Carver, who will play football at Bemidji State University, was 15th in the 110-meter 4A hurdles as a junior.

Carver got off to a strong start in the indoor season last week, placing seventh in the 60-meter hurdles at the IATC State Indoor event in Ames.

“Connor had a great indoor season,” Astor said. “He is a big, strong kid who will get better as the season goes on.”

Other returning competitors for the Dodgers are seniors Kyron Wilson, Carmello Hughes and Talen Warland. Juniors Ty Adams and Malaki Pettigrew, along with sophomores Hunter Richardson, Shawn Roberts and Jordan Lessmeier, will be key for Fort Dodge as well.

Freshmen Noah Daniel and state wrestling champion Dreshaun Ross look to make key impacts immediately for the Dodgers.

Roberts, Adams, sophomore Tanner Teske and classmate Brady Major will run 800s and maybe some 1600s.

“We have about 40 athletes who are good, high quality kids,” Astor said. “We are really inexperienced in field events and some of the distance events.

“We have good sprinters and middle-distance kids.”

The Dodgers start their season on March 28 at Nevada. They also head to Des Moines East and Marshalltown before hosting the Dodger Relays on April 10.

Fort Dodge will be in action at Clear Lake, Greene County, Waukee, Mason City and South Central Calhoun as well this spring.

The first-ever Iowa Alliance Conference Meet is in Waterloo next month.

“We have some new meets and some of the same,” Astor said. “We will run at some smaller meets, but those will be competitive.”

Astor will be assisted by Andy Kavanaugh and former Dodger state champion Nik Moser, the school’s football coach.



Seniors — Connor Carver, Carmello Hughes, Jacob Marxen, Kyron Wilson.

Juniors — Ty Adams, Grant Behrens, Val Hensley, Justin Krog, Drayton Miller, Dmarion Myers-Zimmerman, Malaki Pettigrew, Zeke Pineda.

Sophomores — Aiden Behrends, Joseph Dawson, Angel Gervacio, TyReese Hill, Jordan Lessmeier, Brady Major, Hunter Richardson, Shawn Roberts II, Aiden Scott, Krue Simonson, Tanner Teske.

Freshmen — Noah Daniel, Drew Essman, Luke Fierke, Owen Gruver, Hunter Kasperbauer, John Phan, Dreshaun Ross, Kian Sumpter, Braxton Swanson.


March 28 — at Nevada.

April 1 — at Des Moines East; 6 — at Marshalltown; 10 — Dodger Relays; 14 — at Clear Lake; 17 — at Greene County; 20 — at Waukee; 24 — at Mason City; 28 — at SCC; 29 — Drake Relays.

May 4 — at Waterloo (Iowa Alliance Conference Meet).


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