Cooler temperatures and higher-ranked competition prevented our local high school athletes from having the same degree of success on Friday at the Drake Relays as they enjoyed on Thursday, but 23 total athletes competing in five different events still came away with a number of things to be proud of.
Knoxville’s Derek Seddon opened the day with the Shot Put, but was unable to make a qualifying throw in his three attempts. In the girls 100 Meter Hurdle preliminaries, Pella High’s Marielle Gaiser finished in a time of 16.83, placing her 8th in her heat and 31st overall. On the boys’ side, Pella’s Jace Versteeg clocked a 15.56 in the 110 Meter Hurdle preliminaries, finishing fourth in his heat at 18th overall. Neither time qualified for the finals.
That set up five Marion County area squads – two girls and three boys teams – to compete in the preliminaries of the 4×100 Meter Relays. The Lady Dutch team of Nadine VanZomeren, Lauren Manecke, Jessica Holterhaus and Katie Sunderman finished in a time of 51.87; 2nd in their heat and 40th overall. Pella Christian, meanwhile, finished 8th in their heat and 76th overall with a time of 53.62 from the team of Julia Dykstra, Leah Breon, Maddie Fopma and Jenna Fynaardt.
In the same event for the boys, Knoxville had the best time in the preliminaries, as the team of Tanner Dublin, Colton Spaur, Shafer Brown and Justin Garrison finished 4th in their heat and 24th overall with a 44.169. Behind them was PCM, who finished 7th in the same heat and 40th overall. The foursome of Sean O’Conner, Andrew McCarthy, Hutch Burns and Jordan Van Roekel clocked a 44.52 second circuit around the track. Close behind were the Pella High boys 4×100 Meter Relay team, which logged a time of 44.79 – 3rd in their heat and 46th overall. The Little Dutch ran with Kenny DuPre, Josh DeWaard, Austin Fuller and Ryan Shull.
The final day of high school competition in the 2012 Drake Relays is today, leading off with the Pella High boys Shuttle Hurdle Relay team competing in the preliminaries at 8:09 a.m. If they make the finals, they would run again at around 12:30 p.m. this afternoon. The final event featuring a Marion County-area athlete is scheduled for 1:29 p.m., when Jordan Van Roekel of PCM will run in the 400 Meter Hurdles. Stay tuned to KNIA/KRLS Radio and visit kniakrls.com  for updates on the 2012 Drake Relays.