The Cedar Falls boys head into the State Track meet as the defending champions, but not one of the favorites to win the 4A team title this weekend. Tiger Coach Jeff Hartman says the way the numbers break down, Cedar Falls is likely looking at a top five finish.
“It’s gonna be really tough, I scored it out the other day, and based on districts I had us in fifth place. The top two teams I think are Iowa City West and Lin-Mar,” Hartman says. He says the Tigers are realistically a long-shot to win.
Hartman says that if all of the Tigers take care of their own business, the final result will work itself out. He says the focus is on everyone doing the best they can in each of their events and if everyone runs their best and throws their best, then the results will take care of themselves.
Cedar Falls does have an ace in their pocket in the form of James Harrington, a two-time top performer at the Drake Relays. But Hartman says that every one of his qualifiers is looking to do their best this weekend, not just Harrington. He says every kid on the team is hungry to get a medal.
Sophomore Ross Pierschbacher is qualified in the shotput and says that the throwing events might be where Cedar Falls can make up some ground on the other top teams. He says with him and his teammate, they believe they can put up some points in the field events.
The Hudson girls are hoping to finally break through in the team race at the state track meet. The Pirates have finished in 2nd place in 2A each of the past three years, including finishing just 2 points away from a title a year ago. Coach Keith Harms says his athletes are tired of the bridesmaid role.
“Their theme this year is unfinished business…I think they’re pretty relaxed this year,” Harms says. Harms says that Hudson is not as strong in the relays this year, which means that multiple qualifiers Marissa Evers and Jenna Brandhorst will have to carry the Pirates.
He calls them the workhorses and says they have the potential to win if both girls are in the top three. Harms says that Western Christian and West Branch have a good chance to compete for the 2A title, but he thinks that Cascade will be the champion.
Harms says that when Cascade won Hudson’s home meet early in the season, that served as a bit of a wake up call for his team. “I think it fired them up, it was actually the first time that we lost the Hudson Relays in quite a few years. From that point on I think we won all the rest of our meets goings out,” Harms says.
By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls