Historic leap for MNW’s Markert at Drake

DES MOINES – Josh Markert sat and watched jump after jump come up short at the Drake Relays Friday morning.

Markert, a senior from Manson Northwest Webster, went 22-8.25 in his second long jump of the first session and that mark held up, giving him the school’s first-ever relays championship.

However, it was technically his second-best jump of the meet that boosted him to the top spot, as he finished tied with Clear Lake sophomore Chandler Diercks. The tiebreaker came down to Markert going 22-5.75 in his third to last jump, compared to Diercks’ second-best of 22-5.25.

“To be honest, I was keeping track of every jump and I wrote Josh’s second best jump down wrong,” MNW head coach Jeff Anliker said. “I had him behind (Diercks), but thankfully I was in the wrong due to poor penmanship.

“This is such a huge confidence builder for him, as it was for all of our kids to be competing from Class 1A down here with all four classes.”

Diercks was in the second session and made his best leap in his final turn down the runway. A total of seven athletes went over 22 feet in the field.

“Josh really had a great day of jumps,” Anliker said. “We’ve held him out of (competition in the long jump) for the last week to keep his legs fresh, so we were a little concerned about his timing. Once he hit that first jump, though, you could see his confidence start to soar.

“He’s a very competitive kid and this is a medal he’ll be proud of for a long time.”

Markert also ran on the 4×200 relay for the Cougars. The unit, which included Lucas Dolder, Holden Fiedler and Brody Eischeid, played 11th with a time of 1:30.97.

Manson NW also took part in the prelims of the 4×100, winning the fourth heat in 44.10. Braden Moser, Dolder, Markert and Eischeid comprised the relay.

“The 4×2 set a new school record that we set last year in winning a state title,” Anliker said. “And, while the 4×1 did run as well as they have earlier this year, getting to run down here at Drake is just such a big thing for these kids.”

Last year, the Cougars won the 1A team title and return several key members from that squad.

A pair of area runners competed in the girls 100-meter dash prelims, as Manson NW’s Ellie Herzberg went 13.48 and West Bend-Mallard’s Kenzie Grimm ran 13.75.

Herzberg placed third in her heat, while Grimm finished seventh.

The Algona girls finished third in the eighth heat of the 4×100, clocking a time of 52.24. Amber Lenz, Ali Grein, Courtney Groen and Chyan Metzger comprised the quartet.