King double dips for the Dutch, wins second Drake Relays title

Apr. 26—DES MOINES — The Friday edition of the Drake Relays featured chilly temperatures, a rain-soaked Blue Oval with a weather delay to boot.

A year ago Pella's Hanson King was leaving the Drake Relays with a seventh place finish in the Discus and 15th place finish in the Shot Put. A year of hard work in the gym and in the circle led King to taking his throne as the first boys high schooler to sweep the throwing events since current NFL star tackle Tristan Wirfs did so 2017 and is just the second to do so in 32 years.

"It means a lot, I've been putting in a ton of work," King said. "I just joined track my sophomore year and I had no idea what exactly I was doing. It took a lot of time, it took a lot of work and effort in the weight room and in the ring."

King and Pella Christian's Trevor Veenstra went one-two in the Discus on Thursday and they were favorites to do so again at the Shot Put on Friday. It was a slow start for King as he scratched his first two throws and needed to put something on the board in his third throw to get to the finals. He did just that with a solid throw of 52-11.75 to crack the top nine and make the finals.

"I just had to take it really slow," King said of his third throw. "I don't really like doing that and I thought it would have went a lot further than it did. But it was good just knowing that I was in the finals and I had three more chances."

Veenstra improved on each of his first three throws finishing with a 57-2 to take the lead going into the finals.

In the finals, King would jump in front straight away with a big toss of 58-7 to take over the top spot. But before everyone could finish their fourth throws, a flash of lightning and a boom of thunder was accompanied by downpour causing the meet to go under a weather delay.

Fans and athletes had to evacuate Drake Stadium and instead of sitting and thinking about his lead or trying to stay loose, King laughed about getting to take a nap before coming back from the hour and a half delay.

Once the competition got going again it was everybody chasing King as some throws fell short and a couple of throws that would've taken the lead ended up being a scratch as King kept a keen eye on every throw.

"I was just trying to remain calm and stay loose," King said. "I didn't perform as I was hoping to when we got back out there. I was just remaining calm, being faithful and having peace in knowing that I put enough work in to get where I was."

Veenstra would be the last to throw but his final heave came up short and he would settle for another top three finish with his third throw of 57-2 giving him third place.

An elated King received his second Drake Relays white flag with a smile and will carry a lot of momentum into the upcoming postseason meets in May.

"I have a lot of confidence going forward," King said. "There's a lot of competition in Ben Kampman, Derek Weisskopf and Tory Wash. It's not going to come easy, but it's going to be good coming into state and I'm motivated for it."

The focus turned to the track as the girls 100 prelims got ready to go with Pella Christian being represented by Rachel Kacmarynski and Meredith Van Wyk. Kacmarynski was in the second of four heats and ran a time of 12.63. She would have to wait through two more heats before knowing her time would secure her a spot in the top eight and in the finals. Van Wyk ran a solid final 50 meters with her time of 12.80 putting her just outside the finals in 10th place.

Kacmarynski ran in the final later in the day against the fastest high school girls in Iowa. She would hold her own and improve her time by 0.27 seconds to take home sixth place in the loaded field. Kacmarynski was one of two freshmen to compete in the final.

She wasn't done there as she also ran with Van Wyk and teammates Amaia Agre and Bailey Vos in the Sprint Medley. The girls came in ranked 10th but would improve their finishing to fifth with a time of 1:49.77.

After the girls Sprint Medley it was the boys Distance Medley taking over in the rainfall. Pella sent the quartet Colin Kerndt, Bailey Shetterly, Harrison Mullens and Canaan Dunham to the track and they would end up taking 11th with a time of 3:37.61.

The Eagle ladies continued their busy day later that evening with Vos racing in the 400. Vos would draw lane one her section and would eventually take 10th with a time of 57.57.

Vos was suppose to come back for a fourth race on Friday in the 4x400 prelims but they were pushed back to Saturday due to the severe weather.

Saturday marks the final day of the Drake Relays with racing getting started at 8:10 a.m.

Friday Girls Results

100 Prelims: 6. Rachel Kacmarynski (Pella Christian, 12.63), 10. Meredith Van Wyk (Pella Christian, 12.80)

Sprint Medley Finals: 5. Pella Christian (Amaia Agre, Meredith Van Wyk, Rachel Kacmarynski, Bailey Vos, 1:49.77)

4x200 Finals: 9. Pella Christian (Claire Westerkamp, Rachel Kacmarynski, Bailey Vos, Meredith Van Wyk, 1:44.50)

100 Finals: 6. Rachel Kacmarynski (Pella Christian, 12.36)

400 Finals: 10. Bailey Vos (Pella Christian, 57.57)

Friday Boys Results

Shot Put Finals: 1. Hanson King (Pella, 58-7), 3. Trevor Veenstra (Pella Christian, 57-2)

Distance Medley Finals: 11. Pella (Colin Kerndt, Bailey Shetterly, Harrison Mullens, Canaan Dunham, 3:37.61)

Colin Peters can be reached at 641-672-2581, by email at or on Twitter @ColinPetersOH.