Amenzou anchors MHS to wins in 2 relays in outdoor opener

Imad Amenzou’s race tactics in his first and second 800-meter legs were polar opposites.

Though both were equally effective.

Anchoring the Bobcats to victory in the 4×800 and 1,600-medley relay, the senior’s outdoor debut didn’t disappoint as the Marshalltown boys track team also claimed the 4×200 title in the Marshalltown Quad at Leonard Cole Field Tuesday. No scores were kept for the meet, which featured five teams.

Amenzou joined Sam Johnson, Konner Kacmarynski and Nate Phillips on the 4×800, which posted a time of 8 minutes, 33.21 seconds and teamed with Jordan Banes, Luke Severson and Aaron Hauser in the 1,600 medley (3:46.55).

Quickly surging from third to first, Amenzou put MHS in front halfway through his 54-second opening lap before adding enough distance to hang on for the 4×800 win with a 2:01 split.

Marshalltown started in fifth after Johnson’s leadoff leg before Kacmarynski and Nate Phillips steadily closed the gap to set up a thrilling anchor leg by Amenzou.

“That’s just how I run every single day. I train hard all the time for these races,” Amenzou said. “I just had to finish it. That’s what I say all the time when I run, ‘just finish it.'”

Amenzou did exactly that in his second race, which was far more restrained but no less impressive.

Trailing by at least 30 meters in the 1,600 medley, Amenzou patiently bided his time before using a strong closing kick around the final curve to track down the Go-Hawks anchor in the final 10 meters for the win and a 2:03 split.

It was the kind of tactical race Bobcats coach Mark Chardoulias hopes to see more of from the distance standout and reason to believe Amenzou will be breaking the 2-minute barrier before long.

“It is his style to run with no fear, but I think he can get himself better if we work on his pace for that second lap,” Chardoulias said after the 4×800. “It’s just a matter of practice, learning that pace and getting used to it.”

Jordan Banes and Luke Severson contributed to the Bobcats’ victorious 4×200 contingent teaming with Joe Rebik and Seth Heinrichs in 1:37.36. Marco Tapia added a runner-up finish in the 400 hurdles crossing the finish in 58.57, while Jordan Paone was two spots back in 59.92.

Brady Arment, the Bobcats’ lone returning state qualifier, added a fourth-place tie in the high jump at a height of 5-8.

The Bobcat senior has been competing in the event since middle school but is already ahead of schedule from a year ago where his first outing came in the state-qualifying meet after being ineligible during the majority of the season.

“I missed it last year, it’s fun being out here with all the guys,” said Arment, who already posted a personal-best of 6-4 indoors last month.

“I’m aiming for 6-6 or 6-8 and hoping to qualify for Drake and state.”

Banes, Michael Schrempf, Thimesch and Heinrichs earned bronze in the 4×100 (47.29), while Kacmarynski, Severson, Kyler Ladehoff and Tapia followed suit in the 4×400 (3:38.31).

Alex Mason took fourth in the 3,200 (11:17.80).

Cedar Falls, sixth at the Class 4A state meet last May, won a meet-best six events and tied for another while tallying five 1-2 finishes.

Cedar Falls’ Denison Harrington (11.64) and Matt Turcotte (11.77) took first and second in the 100 before trading spots in the 200.

Isaiah Barney (53.73), Seb Gearhart (2:07.58), Isaac Smith (4:46.11) and Timothy Sevcik (9:50.80) all added Tiger victories in the 400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200 respectively.

Waverly-Shell Rock’s Josh White swept the throwing events winning the shot put with a heave of 44-04.5, while tossing the discus 118-10 as the Go-Hawks took five events overall in the five-team field.

“We got out of it what we wanted to get out of it we got the kids on the track outdoors,” Chardoulias said.

“We’ve got some injuries and kids not here for different reasons but it gives us something to build on.”

Marshalltown was without one of its top sprinters, John Espinoza, who is tending to his academics, while Banes ran through a foot injury he sustained last week.

“We found some kids who can run and now we’ve got some opportunities to improve those times,” Chardoulias said.

The Bobcats travel to Ames for the Hi-Covey Relays Friday starting at 4:30 p.m.

Marshalltown also will compete at the Jim Duncan Invite at Drake Stadium Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Notebook

Marshalltown’s 10 seniors were recognized on the infield after the 400-meter run.