STATE TRACK: STC relay sets the bar in 4×1

DES MOINES – The South Tama County boys 4×100-meter relay team knew it was fast.

But maybe not this fast.

The top-seeded Trojans obliterated the competition and their previous school record for the best preliminary time of 43.02 seconds in Friday’s Class 3A session at the Iowa Co-Ed State Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium.

South Tama’s Kaleb Davenport, Dylan Kalinay, Daryl Bidwell and Kyle Stephenson shaved .23 seconds off their previous school record set just over a week ago at their district meet in Grinnell, though their anchor had trouble explaining the latest time drop.

“I’m not really sure, it just happens,” said Stephenson after the Trojans broke the program’s best mark for the third time in a two-week span.

“I don’t even know. It’s kind of crazy. Our handoffs must have been pretty awesome all around.”

While their handoffs were something special, South Tama’s speed was just as awesome to behold as runner-up Bishop Heelan finished a distant second at 43.47.

The Trojans same foursome also clocked a season-best time in the 4×200 (1:29.78), though only to be outdone by LeMars (1:29.52) and Pella (1:29.58) as STC took third.

Though they couldn’t come away with the title after entering with the top seed time, Kalinay believes the Trojans’ handoffs are much sharper in the 4×100.

“It’s kind of hard to do the handoffs for the 4×200 because they’re not going really fast but they’re not going that slow,” Kalinay said of gauging his speed for the handoff. “I just kind of wing (it) on that one depending on how fast they’re coming in and try to go the same speed. Our 4×100 handoffs are getting to point where they’re pretty dang good and hopefully they’ll stay that way.”

South Tama will stake its claim for a 4×100 title today.

While the Trojans sprinters knew their results instantly, long jumper Sam Kuhter had a much longer wait.

The South Tama senior leaped to a seventh place performance in the long jump covering 20 feet and 10 inches, though not after enduring a long wait to see if he’d make the cut for finals.

“It was pretty stressful to have to sit there and wait to figure out if I would make the finals,” said Kuhter, who finished just a half inch shy of his personal best in the first section and reached his goal of making the finals after missing the cut last time.

“It seemed like a long time, of course when you’re waiting for something like that – it seems like forever.”

In the end, the wait was well worth it.

“Last year I was real nervous. After last year I set my mind on making the finals this year and getting a medal,” Kuhter said. “To come out here and do it my senior year is awesome.”