FD underclassmen head to state track

Sophs Daniel, Eckley make the cut

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: Fort Dodge sophomore Dalton Eckley clears the high jump bar inside Dodger Stadium.

DES MOINES — Head coach Kevin Astor views the upcoming state track and field meet as the perfect opportunity to lay some new building blocks for the Fort Dodge track program.

The Dodgers qualified in three events for the Class 4A meet here inside Drake Stadium for the action that begins on Thursday.

Sophomore Noah Daniel will run in the preliminary round for the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash, while Dalton Eckley — also a sophomore — competes in the high jump.

“It’s so important to get kids down to state,” said Astor, a former Dodger standout himself. “Noah and Dalton are already leaders for us, and can continue to lead by example here.

“Hopefully, the younger kids like them will see this and realize they can achieve (becoming a) state (qualifier).”

Daniel runs the 200 prelims on Thursday at 4:40 p.m. and will return to the track roughly two hours later for the 100 prelims.

Eckley also competes on Thursday at 2 p.m.

At districts, Daniel ran the 18th-best 200 time at 22.50 and the 22nd-fastest time in the 100 at 11.09. Eckley cleared the 6-foot mark to qualify at districts, and is one of 13 to enter having done so at that meet.

“Noah has improved so much in the last two weeks,” Astor said. “He was battling some nagging injuries and has finally gotten healthy. He comes from good bloodlines, as his older brothers were all excellent athletes.

“Dalton is a kid who two weeks ago wasn’t even thinking about state. He just had a heck of a day last Thursday to qualify and I’m so proud of him because he’s also gotten so much better. He’s a wonderful kid. This is going to be a great experience for both Dalton and Noah.”


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