TRACK: Manson meet offers up fourth-, fifth-place finishes for Hawks

MANSON – Both South Hamilton track and field coaches – boys’ leader Darrell Paulsen and girls’ director Dan Brodie – like to stack relays whenever possible.

With so many missing bodies last night, that was mission impossible at the Manson-Northwest Webster Kruse Coed.

The individuals did just fine in picking up the slack though.

The South Hamilton teams combined to win 12 of their 15 medals in individual events. The boys scored fewer points – 54 to the girls 79 – but placed higher up on the food chain – fourth to the girls fifth.

“It was cold, but it was a good meet for us,” Paulsen said.

Said Brodie: “We were missing five of our 19 girls and they’re all sprinters. We normally like to stack the two medleys, but we couldn’t do that. We relied on individual events and I thought they performed real well.”

Devin Howard, one of the unquestioned favorites to win Class 2A state gold in both the 100- and 200-meter dash next month, did what he had to do to win those two events. He finished the 100 – an event he will likely run again next week at the Drake Relays – in 11.51 seconds and the 200 in 23.11.

“Devin didn’t run his best, but they were kind of running into a wind,” Paulsen said.

Meghan Fisher earned the girls only win, as she bested teammate Allyson Ervin for the 400 gold. Fisher crossed the finish line in 1:03.44, Ervin in 1:04.70.

“It was a lot of fun watching Meghan and Allyson compete like that in the quarter,” Brodie said.

Ervin also took second in the 400 low hurdles (1:04.70), as did Jacob Ratzke on the boys’ side (59.44).

Kali Lucas did the most to help herself with a pair of runner-up finishes (long jump, 15 feet, 2 inches, and 200 in 28.94) and a bronze sprint in the 100 (13.93). Twin sister Kayla Lucas claimed silver in both distance events – the 1,500 (5:51.15) and 3,000 (12:15.15).

Alyssa Hegland added a third-place result in the high jump (4-10).

The Hawk boys’ team received production from two relays (4×800, third in 8:44.74 and 1,600 medley, second in 3:55.33).

“Our 4×800 (Titan Johnson, Drake Thompson, Caleb Olson and Devin Fisher) ran our best time of the year by seven seconds and I think we can go even lower,” Paulsen said.

The host Cougars rolled to the boys’ team title with 154 points, well ahead of runner-up South Central Calhoun (118).

Pocahontas Area and South Central Calhoun shared the girls’ crown; both scored 103.