City High senior Brook Price is a fast learner. He ran just his second 3,200 meters in freezing temperatures at the Forwald Relays and ran it well enough (9:35.59) to qualify for the Drake Relays.
So what does he do Thursday but shatter that personal best with a time of 9:21.92 in placing fourth at the Drake Relays.
“I’m very happy,” Price said after the race. “I’m a competitor. I like to win, but hopefully at state I can run up to the front. I can’t be too disappointed.”
Thomas Pollard of Gilbert upset Josh Evans of Linn-Mar to win the event. Pleasant Valley’s Caleb Drake, who won the 1,600 at the Forwald Relays last week, was third.
“Those guys are veterans of the race and I’m still learning what it’s all about and I was just trying to stay with them and see what I could do,” Price said.
Price was in seventh place for the first five laps with the field bunched. But he moved to sixth with two laps left and into fifth on the last lap.
“I saw the guy in front of me and I knew at that point I probably couldn’t win, but I had the idea of a personal victory and that’s what I tried to do,” he said. “I always like to finish my races as crazy as I can so I have no regrets.”
Price will run on City’s medley relay today and the 4×800 on Saturday.
West’s Isaac Jensen held the lead briefly with about 1,200 meters left but was unable to keep up the torrid pace. He finished 16th in 9:40.45. Teammate Daniel Gardarsson was 19th in 9:52.37.
* SPARTAN CONTINUES TO ROLL: Solon junior Dalton Ferguson made a late push to get into the shot put field. He threw a personal best 53 feet, 5 inches at Solon’s home meet just two days before the cutoff to qualify for Drake and made it in.
“I just, like, came up in the wind up and threw my foot up and said, ‘This is going to be a good one,’ ” Ferguson said. “I could feel the power in my thighs. I pushed off with my left and I knew it was going to be a good one.”
He came in seeded eighth based on that throw and finished seventh with another personal best throw of 53-101/2. Top-seeded Shaquille Wells of Urbandale won with a toss of 59-71/2.
“I just wanted to have fun,” Ferguson said. “Not everyone in the world gets to go to the Drake Relays. I just knew I had a chance to place in the finals and just win it, so I just wanted to have some fun.”
Athletes had near perfect weather with temperatures in the 60s, little wind and sunshine. But Ferguson said that was only part of his recent improvement.
“I feel like I prepare myself better, and the lifting … we’re getting more and more to the point where the weight is getting reduced and you get more and more explosive,” Ferguson said. “I really feel like the lifting, and the weather is helping.”
* AROUND THE TRACK: None of the area girls discus contestants made the finals. Solon’s Kara Misel was the top finisher at 12th with a throw of 122-5.
West’s Jeremy Morgan cleared 6-1 in the boys high jump to tie for 13th. Jeff Giannettino of West Burlington/Notre Dame won with a jump of 6-8.
The top area finisher in the girls 3,000 was City High’s Ellen Carman, who was 12th in 10:30.29. Solon’s Lauren Benzing was 13th, and West’s Ashlynn Yokom was 15th. Benzing cut six seconds off her seed time in finishing in 10:32.12.
* IOWA RESULTS: Adrianne Alexia was second in the women’s unseeded 800 in 2:08.60. Freshman Kaitlyn Nelson was fifth in 2:09.96. Iowa’s 4×1,600 relay of Lauren Scott, Lisa Gordon, Mareike Schrulle and Brooke Gambrall was fourth in 19:41.15. Iowa State won in 19:16.69.