Prep track and field: Davis County sweeps team titles at Centerville

Apr. 9—CENTERVILLE — Some of the names may have changed. Some of the talent from previous years may have graduated.

Still, the winning tradition continues for the Davis County girls track and field program. The four-time reigning South Central Conference champions earned their third consecutive team title to open the outdoor season on Thursday, completing their part of a Mustang championship sweep at the Centerville Co-Ed Relays racking up 170.5 points with five wins including three relay triumphs at Paul Johnson Field.

"We had kids that were again producing career bests. Everyone's getting better each week," Davis County head girls track coach Derek Robison said. "Everyone's having fun and competing hard. That's all you can ask."

While the Mustang girls brought home a trophy for the third straight meet, winning convincingly by 43.5 over Wayne, the Mustang boys celebrated their first team title of the outdoor season. Davis County secured six wins, including three relays and three individual races, to finish with 151 points beating Keokuk by 29.

"This was a fun meet for us. We really ran well," Mustang junior Charlie Warren said. "We set the tone right from the start in the sprint medley. That's one of the races we've really got a lot of high hopes for this season."

Both the Davis County girls and boys used the opening sprint medley relay to take the lead over the field in the race for the team titles at Centerville. Sydney Utt, Dani Piper, Cassidy VanLaningham and Isabelle Carnahan won the opening girls race in 1:56.06 while Hank Bulechek, Owen Bell, Blaine Meyer and Warren won the opening boys race in 1:36.32.

"The sprint medley is definitely a race we feel we can get to state this season," Warren said. "It really helped set the mood for us."

Aaron Cook, Jerronn Bennett, Cameron Hubbartt and Mark Shirley gave the Davis County boys two wins in two of the first three races claiming the 4x800 relay in 8:46.94. Bulechek, Kole Drummond, Bell and Meyer would later add a third win for the Mustang boys in the 4x200 relay, edging Wayne by less than half-a-second in time of 1:35.37.

Warren secured one of the three wins in individual races for the Davis County boys, finishing first in the 400-meter dash in 51.44 seconds. Meyer took the boys 200 in 22.94 while Gavin Walker earned a victory in the field for the Mustangs, reaching 127 feet and one inch to pick up 10 more team points with a winning discus throw.

"I'm actually ahead of where I wanted to be at this time of the year. Last year at this time, I was probably only throwing in the 110s," Walker said. "I'm really confident in how I'm doing. I'm trying to put Bloomfield back on the map. We've had a few great throwers in the past, but it's been a few years. We were really good in all of our activities back in the day. We're trying to get that competitive spirit back."

The Davis County girls, meanwhile, got contributions from several athletes to clinch their third straight team title. Piper, in her first season of varsity track and field, led off a winning run in the girls distance medley with Addison McClure, Hallie Husted and Kallee Nebel producing a time of 4:51.06.

The Lady Mustangs finished off the winning night by claiming the closing 4x400 relay. Warren, VanLaningham, Piper and Carnahan closed out the night with a run of 4:19.52.

"We've definitely got a lot more freshmen on the team this year and a lot of girls that are stepping into some big roles," VanLaningham said. "We've been tinkering with some things. The freshmen are really stepping up. They were successful in eighth grade. I think they came into this season prepared, so I'm not surprised by their success. I think they're doing exactly how everybody thought they were going to."

The Centerville girls finished seventh overall in their home meet with 40 points, edging Appanoose County rival Moravia by 6.5. Alaina Arnevik pulled off a thrilling win in the girls high jump for the Redettes, edging Mount Ayr sophomore Aubree Shields by clearing 5-3 on her third and final attempt setting a new personal-best mark in the process.

"My previous high mark was five feet even. I cleared that last year," Arnevik said. "I had to clear 5-1 and 5-2 for the first time just stay alive. It surprised me each time I kept making it over each time the bar went up. It was a big surprise when I got over at 5-3. I was just aiming for five feet again. I was hoping for 5-1 or 5-2 at some point this year, so making it over 5-3 is great."

The Centerville boys also got a win in the field on the way to an eighth-place finish as a team with 34 points. After finishing second to Walker in the discus, Brady Cisler responded by winning the boys shot put with a throw of 42 feet and five inches.

"It was good for what the conditions were. The ring was kind of wet, so it was kind of slick," Cisler said. "I'm hoping I get out to 45 feet pretty soon. I've hit that mark in practice, so I know it's coming."

Moravia overtook Centerville for seventh in the final boys' team standings, finishing the meet with 50 points. The Mohawks finished second in three different events with Jackson McDanel coming within a second of winning the 400-meter hurdles, finishing the race in 58.22, after joining Wyatt Throckmorton, Tripp VanZante and Lincoln Albertson in a second-place run of 1:41.43 in the sprint medley relay.

"It's good for us to go up against tougher competition. It's only going to make you better," McDanel said. "We've been in the top three of several events. It feels like we held our own throughout the meet."

Clayton Williams also finished second for Moravia in the boys high jump. The Mohawk senior cleared the bar at 5-10, but could not reach six feet ultimately falling short of the 6-1 mark cleared by Wayne senior Connor Pruiett.

"I feel a lot of pressure trying to get back to where I was last year," Williams said. "I'm still not where I want to be. Being stuck at six foot for the past few years kind of stinks. I'm still learning every aspect to the jumps, but I'm still not all the way there."

Kaylen Robinson led the Moravia girls, finishing third in both the 400-meter dash (1:05.54) and the high jump (5-1).