Johnston’s Jared Seay has soared to towering heights at Drake Stadium. But he’s happier when his feet are earthbound on the track.
Seay has competed in the Drake Relays’ high jump and the state meet three times apiece. He won the Class 4-A state title last spring.
His sprinting efforts in Saturday’s Jim Duncan Invitational brought him greater joy.
“I love running here more than high jumping,” Seay said. “It’s a perfect track.”
Seay ran on Johnston’s first-place 4×100 relay and took second in the 200. He also won the high jump with a leap of 6-6.
The stadium’s track, which is named for Duncan, the legendary voice of the Drake Relays, brought smiles to other athletes as well.
• Johnston’s Ellie Roquet cleared 5-4 to set a high jump record.
• Roosevelt’s Briyana Carter ran to a new mark in the 100 at 12:27.
• Waukee’s boys’ 4×800 relay set a meet record in 8:03.77 and the girls’ team set the 4×400 best in 4:03.02.
The meet included all 19 CIML schools as well as college teams. No team scoring was kept.
Ankeny Centennial’s Ryan Van Baale, a freshman, won the boys’ 100 in 11.40. He shrugged off jitters to take first in his initial varsity race at Drake.
“I have always been nervous when I run races,” Van Baale said. “I’m just hoping I get used to it.”
A year ago, Van Baale ran on a middle school relay at the Drake Relays. He returned to run in a national meet during the summer.
His goal is to reach the state finals this season.
“I’ve always had speed, but I’ve made significant progress to where I’m at now,” Van Baale said.
Waukee finished first in seven of 13 relays.
The boys won the 4×200, 4×800 and shuttle hurdle relays. The girls took the 4×200, 4×400, sprint medley and shuttle hurdle.
“It’s always an honor being on one of our relays,” said senior Gabi Gaines, who ran on the 4×400 and sprint medley. “We go hard in practice and work on our handoffs so they’re as clean as possible.”
Roosevelt’s Ashley Brown won the 400. She said she tried several sports earlier in her athletic career, but track became her specialty.
“I was pretty good at volleyball, not too good at basketball,” Brown said. “Running was what I was best at.”