The final turn brought Sydne Davis a victorious vision.
“When I was coming down the home stretch, I could see the clock,” the Roosevelt junior said. “I was getting closer and closer. It kind of pushed me, I guess.”
Davis went on to win Friday’s Class 4-A 400-meter hurdles in 53.42 seconds, scoring an upset at the state boys’ track and field meet.
Jack Bergstrom of Johnston, the reigning Drake Relays champion, was runner-up. CIML athletes took the first five spots.
Bergstrom ran 53.71 seconds in the previous heat, then collapsed.
“I’ll take second,” Bergstrom said. “I was sick at districts, and (at) conference I was taken off in an ambulance because of dehydration.
“I kept vomiting before all my races.”
Davis briefly lifted Roosevelt to 10th in the team standings, but schools from the Mississippi Valley Conference began to separate from the pack.
Derek Jacobus won the long jump, helping Cedar Rapids Kennedy take the second-day lead with 37 points.
Linn-Mar of Marion was next with 31 points, after sweeping the distance medley and 4×200 relays. Iowa City West (28 points) and Iowa City High (24) also remained in contention.
“This motivates everybody else,” sophomore Tristan Freese said after helping Linn-Mar win the 4×200 in 1:27.52. “We think of not just each other, but of all the guys in the stands you’re scoring points for.”
Josh Evans, who won the 3,200 meters on Thursday, anchored the Lions to a 3:29.94 in the medley. He’ll be a contender in today’s 800 and 1,600.
“It’s awesome getting to run against the best teams in the state every single meet of the year,” Evans said of his MVC rivals. “It definitely prepares us and gets us ready.”
Manson-Northwest Webster leads Class 1-A with 46 points, followed by AGWSR of Ackley’s 33.
Monticello is atop the Class 2-A standings with 56 points. Fort Madison is leading Class 3-A with 27.
Davis set the pace for CIML athletes. He was trying to make amends after a disappointing sixth-place showing at last month’s Relays.
“I kind of wanted to redeem myself,” Davis said. “I was just really happy it was finally over.”
Bergstrom also seemed relieved.
“Drake was really the big one,” he said. “I almost scratched this race … I was not feeling good at all.”
Shaquille Wells of Urbandale completed a Drake-State sweep in the shot put. The senior won Friday with a throw of 59-7½.
Wells’ best toss came on his second attempt, then he watched as others struggled.
“I pretty much knew (I would win) when all the kids started getting down on themselves,” Wells said, “because they weren’t throwing how they wanted.”
Even Wells was less than thrilled. He was hoping to go beyond 60 feet.
“I was still happy with it,” he said. “I was just hoping to hit my goal.”
* Triston Twedt made a bit of small-school history when he won the Class 2-A 400 hurdles, becoming the first-ever individual champion for South Hamilton of Jewell.
* Jeff Giannettino of West Burlington-Notre Dame won the Class 2-A high jump with a leap of 6-9, but missed a chance to become the 10th Iowan to clear 7 feet.
“I would have liked to get that,” said Giannettino, a sophomore, “but there’s always next year.”