Burlington Central runs away with Big Northern
Burlington Central exceeded even its own expectations.
The Rockets were favored to win the Big Northern Conference boys track meet anyway, but even the Rockets couldn't have anticipated the way they dominated on the track.
Led by one-two finishes in the 100, 200, and 400 meters, 3 relay wins, and a surprise win by Kyle Ingraham in the pole vault, the Rockets rolled up 150 points to easily outpace Oregon (94 points) for the team title.
Parker DeMoss and Ben Damisch ran one-two in both sprints while Mike Gulik and Damisch turned the trick in the 400. Central narrowly missed another one-two punch, with Clint Kliem and Matt O'Connor running first and third in the 800.
Kliem also won the 1,600. DeMoss and Damisch comprised half of the Rockets' winning 400-meter relay team, along with Alex Johnson and Ryan Olsen.
"Me and my teammate Ben Damish went 1 and 2 in the 100 and the 200, and both of us ran great times, both in the 22s," said DeMoss. "It was just a great day.
"We were both in the 4 by 1 that got first as well, with a PR of almost a half-second in that race, too. We're almost down to state qualifying time in that race."
The Rockets put an exclamation point on the evening by winning the 1,600 meter relay in a thrilling finish. Gulik, running the anchor leg, made up a short deficit against Oregon's Nick Newman, then held off Newman the rest of the way around the track. The Rockets set the meet record, despite resting a couple of regulars in the event.
Winnebago, with 69 points, finished third in the 13-team event, with Genoa-Kingston and Byron rounding out the top 5.
In the pole vault, Ingraham broke out of a slump in a big way, clearing 13 feet, 6 inches. After missing his 3 attempts at 14 feet, he and Oregon's Matt McMullen took a fourth attempt, "just for fun," and he cleared it.
"It was a big confidence boost for me," he said. "I hadn't cleared over 12-6 in 3 weeks. I was getting down on myself, but today was big for me."
The Rockets had a few pleasant surprises.
"It first started with Kyle Ingraham winning the pole vault, we didn't expect that," said Central coach Mike Schmidt. "He hadn't been vaulting his best lately, so for him to come back and vault really well today was great. He got us started.
"And then Parker DeMoss in the 100 and 200 wasn't seeded to win either one of those. He was seeded up there, and he's been running really well, but having that one-two punch of DeMoss and Damisch go first and second in the 100 and 200 is big. We've had the one-two punch in the distances with Kliem and Gulik all year."
The Rockets got another surprise with freshman Lucas Ege taking third in the 110 hurdles.
Josh Schwarting and Dan Morgan finished second and fourth in the 3,200 meters.
Elsewhere, some of the favorites won their events, with Winnebago's Michael Jack winning the discus, G-K's Danny Thorsen the shot put, and the Cogs' Jeff Callahan easily winning the 300 hurdles.
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