By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor
Monticello wanted to see how well it could do against the best track and field athletes in the State of Iowa.
The answer was a resounding: “very well.”
With eight total entries in seven events, the Panthers emerged from the Drake Relays with a school record, a discus finalist, and a host of other respectable finishes. The event was held April 25-27 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
The most memorable of those events was likely the 4×800 relay, in which Ben Ahlrichs, J.J.Frawley, Michael Melchert and Dallas Lumpa broke a school record that had stood since 2000 by about five seconds.
The team’s time of 7:49.41 is the fifth-fastest ever at the Drake Relays, and is currently the eighth-fastest time in the nation.
The race ended in a dramatic finish in which Lumpa was edged at the finish line by Iowa City West’s Kaleb Greiner in a three-way duel that also included Iowa City High’s Brook Price. West finished in 7:48.99, Monticello in 7:49.41, and City High in 7:51.02.
“To run that fast and compete like we did, I was not the least bit disappointed,” Monticello coach Greg Williams said.
Lumpa said the team was both happy and sad at the end.
“I thought I could get him at the end, but I couldn’t. We broke the school record that has been there for so long. It’s an amazing feeling to break that.”
Isaac Holtz contributed another highlight, making the finals in the discus event on Friday morning and finishing fifth overall. Holtz, a junior, made the finals with a throw of 160-foot-4, and achieved the fifth place throw of 166-5 on his second throw of the finals.
“To PR in his first time down there was a great accomplishment for him,” the coach said.
Other highlights were a ninth-place finish for the 4×400 relay, an 11th place finish for Melchert in the 3,200, a 13th place finish for Frawley in the 1,600, a 14th place for the 1,600 medley, a 15th place for Devonte Merrill in the discus, and a tie for 15th for Cody Jamison in the high jump.
“Overall it was a great experience for everyone,” Williams said. “It lets us know where we’re at.”
Prior to the Drake Relays, the Panthers broke two school records, won six events and took the first two spots in three of those on the way to winning the Wildcat Invitational April 22 at Maquoketa Valley.
Devonte Merrill threw 176-11 in the discus to break the old school record of 171-4, which was set in 2008. The shuttle hurdle team of Brian Turnis, Spencer Williams, Garrett Rieniets and Tommy Brokaw finished in 1:04.73, breaking the previous record of 1:05.4, set in 2007.
Monticello also went one-two with Ben Ahlrichs and Matt Manternach in the 800, J.J. Frawley and Nick Meyers in the 3,200, and Merrill with Isaac Holtz in the discus.
Other winners included Turnis in the 400 hurdles, Frawley in the 1,600 (with teammate Jordan Loes finishing third) and the 4×800 team.
The Panthers’ 134 points beat runner-up Solon by 38.
(at Maq. Valley)
1, Monticello 134; 2, Solon 96; 3, Center Point-Urbana 86; 4, Cascade 69; 5, Dyersville Beckman 52; 6, West Delaware 38; 7, Anamosa 30; 8, Jesup 23; 9, Springville 22; 10 (tie) North-Linn 10 and Starmont 10; 12, Independence 8; 13 (tie) Clayton Ridge 5 and Alburnett 5; 15, Maquoketa Valley 1.
400: Brian Turnis, 51.61; 8, Craig Welter, 53.98.
800: 1, Ben Ahlrichs, 2:02.56; 2, Matt Manternach, 2:04.69.
1,600: 1, J.J. Frawley, 4:35.70; 3, Jordan Loes, 4:42.23.
3,200: 1, J.J. Frawley, 9:50.17; 2, Nick Meyers, 10:00.12.
400 hurdles: 1, Brian Turnis, 55.40.
4×100: 3, Monticello (Brian Turnis, Tanner Felton, Tommy Brokaw, Chris Tjaden), 45.92.
4×200: 5, Monticello (Tanner Felton, Tyler Johnson, Chris Tjaden, Anthony Guyer), 1:35.54.
4×400: 3, Monticello (Dallas Lumpa, J.J. Frawley, Nick Meyers, Ben Ahlrichs), 3:30.76.
4×800: 1, Monticello (Ben Ahlrichs, Michael Melchert, Tiler Streets, Dallas Lumpa), 8:01.33.
1,600 medley: 2, Monticello (Trent Aitchison, Tyler Johnson, Dallas Lumpa, Craig Welter), 3:43.78.
Shuttle hurdle: 6, Monticello (Brian Turnis, Spencer Williams, Garrett Rieniets, Tommy Brokaw), 1:04.73 (school record).
High jump: 2, Cody Jamison, 6-3; 7, Garrett Rieniets, 5-8.
Shot put: 6, Isaac Holtz, 49-1.75.
Discus: 1, Devonte Merrill, 176-11 (school record); 2, Isaac Holtz, 160-4.5.
JUNIOR VARSITY RESULTS
4×200: 2, Monticello (Cody Eby, Connor Rigby, Spencer Williams, Trent Aitchison), 1:38.56.
4×400: 2, Monticello (Craig Welter, Trent Aitchison, Anthony Guyer, Tiler Streets), 3:41.71.
(at Drake Stadium,
High jump: 15 (tie), Cody Jamison, 6-1.
3,200: 11, Michael Melchert, 9:35.01.
1,600 medley: 14, Monticello (Brian Turnis, Tanner Felton, Dallas Lumpa, Ben Ahlrichs), 3:36.28.
4×400: 9, Monticello (Dallas Lumpa, Ben Ahlrichs, Michael Melchert, Brian Turnis), 3:26.27.
Discus: 5, Isaac Holtz, 166-5; 15, Devonte Merrill, 153-7.
4×800: 2, Monticello (Ben Ahlrichs, J.J. Frawley, Michael Melchert, Dallas Lumpa), 7:49.41.
1,600: 13, J.J. Frawley, 4:24.73.
PHOTO: Isaac Holtz threw a personal best and finished fifth overall at the Drake Relays discus competition Aprili 26 in Des Moines. (Photo by Pete Temple)