Howard all about gold; Hawk teams off HOIC pace

STORY CITY – South Hamilton boys’ track coach Darrell Paulsen wasn’t joking when he said he expected his team to finish near the back of the back at last night’s Heart of Iowa Conference track meet.

The Hawks are one of the smallest schools in the conference, but that didn’t stop the athletes from proving their coach wrong.

With four top-three finishes, including gold-medal sprints from Devin Howard, South Hamilton pushed up to fifth with 70 points.

“If you look at it we’re the smallest school in the conference, so finishing fifth is a big surprise,” Paulsen said.

Howard – a two-time Class 2A state medal winner in the sprints a season ago – stormed to wins in the 100- and 200-meter dashes in 11.23 and 22.52 seconds. He was forced to come from behind in the 200 to claim a second league title.

Triston Twedt ran a season’s best time of 56.01 in the 400 hurdles to finish second. Ross Enderson was clean through 5 feet, 8 inches in the high jump before bowing out in third.

South Hamilton finished in the top six 12 times.

“The kids ran well and they competed hard,” Paulsen said. “It’s a good preview for what’s going to happen on Thursday (at the State Qualifying Meet in Ogden).”

Gilbert (114) claimed the boys’ team title ahead of North Polk (104) and CMB (94).

The Tigers were also champions on the girls’ side with 152 points, 10 ahead of runner-up Roland-Story (142).

The South Hamilton girls’ team picked up a pair of silver medals and one bronze en route to 42 points and a seventh-place team finish.

Freshman Alyssa Hegland had her best performance in the high jump, as she cleared 5-0 to finish second.

The distance medley relay – Kali Lucas, Eliana Lowry, Allyson Ervin and Meghan Fisher) – maintained a lead throughout the majority of the race before being passed by Saydel down the stretch. The Hawks were second in 4:29.29.

The same foursome banded together to place third in the sprint medley relay (1:59.47).