Dodgers win own relays

Fort Dodge head boys track coach John McBride reached behind a computer and pulled out a trophy.

It displayed “Mohawk Relays, 2001,” and signified the last time the Dodgers had earned a team title at an event.

On Monday night, Fort Dodge captured six events and doubled up in a total of five in earning the Class A championship at the 55th Dodger Relays.

“It’s been a while,” McBride said. “I could not be more proud of this group. Before the season, we wrote down a list of personal and team goals, and winning a meet was one of them.

“These kids were competing hard all night, constantly asking me how we were doing (in the team race) and what they could do to help. As a coach, you can’t ask for more than that.”

Fort Dodge scored 170 points, easily holding off Waterloo East. Dike-New Hartford was third, followed by Southeast Polk, Ankeny and Mason City. The meet was rescheduled from last week due to inclement weather – a trend most teams in Iowa have grown accustom to this spring.

“You know, this hasn’t been the best of situations with the weather, but as soon as we had to cancel the meet last week, I looked hard to find a day that would work for this one,” McBride said. “I wanted these kids to have a chance to run inside Dodger Stadium and compete in front of a home crowd, and we made the most of it.”

Senior Tyler Vaughn claimed gold in the 110 hurdles in a time of 16.83, while fellow classmate Keegan Jones captured the 400 hurdles in 57.35.

The Dodgers also swept the throwing events, as Connor Hubbard won the discus with a toss of 140-10 and Riley Prescott claimed the shot put with a launch of 46-7.25.

Fort Dodge added golds in the 4×100 (44.69) and 4×200 (1:32.75) relays, and both events are likely headed for the Drake Relays as well. Keegan Myers, Austin Anderson, Jones and Cray Washington ran the 4×100, while Myers, JC Hatcher, Jones and Washington comprised the 4×200.

“I really feel like this could be a turning point for our program,” McBride said. “The excitement these kids showed all night really could help generate momentum for us for the rest of this year and the future.

“It’s just good to see them competing hard regardless of the race or situation, and trying to do as best they can to help the team.”

Washington was also second in the 100, an event he’ll likely run at Drake. Myers added a runner-up in the 200, while Zach Anderson and Lance Williamson scored silver and bronze in the 400.

Alex Jackson and Thomas Thompson were runners-up in the 1600 and 3200 races, respectively, while Williamson was third in the 400 hurdles.

Jake Porter (shot put) and Michael Carlson (discus) were topped only by their teammates, and Joey Gerdes and Wesley Castro placed third and fourth in the long jump.

The Dodgers added a second in the shuttle hurdle relay courtesy Adrean Johnson, Austin Anderson, Vaughn and Jones, while the 4×400 (Williamson, Zach Anderson, Wesley Castro, Johnson) and sprint medley (Tommy Halligan, Hatcher, Gerdes, Jackson) turned in third.

Fort Dodge is scheduled to run today at the Waterloo West Invitational and Thursday at the Cedar Falls Invitational.