Washington Evening Journal
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Columbus earns Class 1A runner-up honor
Wildcats Miller leads with record setting state title run
DES MOINES — It’s been quite sometime since Columbus’ boys track and field has brought home hardware from the Iowa High School State Track and Field Meet.
Forty-eight years to be exact.
While the Wildcats came up a step short of their state championship goal, there’s no denying the show they put on for the thousands that filled Drake Stadium over the three day event.
Lisbon just edged Columbus in the team battle by eight points, 60-52.
In the meet, the Wildcats were never outside the top 13 in any of their events.
Leading the way for the Wildcats was none other than senior Triston Miller.
Miller grabbed a state title for the Wildcats in dominating fashion in the 110-meter hurdles.
Before even touching the blue oval for the final, Miller shattered the boys Class 1A hurdle record in the prelims on Friday.
Miller clocked a state record time of 14.12. The time broke the longest standing hurdle record in history of 14.41.
“I was surprised,” Miller said. “I didn't warm up, so I was just like, 'man.’ It's awesome. I just hope our freshman, Alex Reece, comes up and gets it. He's the fastest freshman in Class 1A.”
That was all while competing in high jump as well.
On Saturday, the senior returned with a time of 14.35 to take the crown.
“I just wanted to know how it feels and it’s amazing,” Miller said. “From the indoor state track meet, I wanted to be an undefeated state champion in 1A all the way through the season and that’s what I did.”
Freshman Alexander Rees finished 13th in the 110-meter hurdle prelims as well.
Miller was also the runner-up in the high jump, clearing 6-foot-6 for second.
New London’s Kade Benjamin was the state champion with a leap of 6’7.
Junior Kaden Amigon picked up a pair of third-place finishes for the Wildcats.
Amigon kicked off his championships with third overall in the long jump. Amigon jumped 20-11.50 for third.
After finishing seventh in the 100-meter dash with a personal record time of 10.94, Amigon bounced back in the 200-meter final.
Teammate and senior Jeff Hoback ran in the 100-meter final as well. Hoback finished eighth with a personal best of 10.96.
After a third-place finished in the 200-meter prelims, Amigon clocked 22.12 in the final, good enough for third as well and a new personal best.
“It was great,” Amigon said. “A new school record for me. I’m happy to place third for me and get those points for my team. It’s a tight race. Try to scavenge every point we can get. I was not happy with my finish (in the 100). I knew I could do a lot better. I’m not a guy for excuses, but I almost stumbled out of my blocks. I took a lot of that fuel and used it in my 200.”
Junior Russell Coil grabbed five points for the Wildcats as well.
Coil threw the discus 149-02 feet for fifth and the shot 49-07.25 for eighth.
The shuttle hurdle of Riley Kaalberg, Dante Zuniga, Rees and Miller finished fourth in their preliminary round, qualifying for the final.
On Saturday, the quartet ran a time of 1:01.01 for third.
The team title came down to the final event for each team, the 4x100.
In the preliminary round, Columbus and Lisbon were separated by .02 as they both blew the previous state record of 43.01 out of the water.
Columbus’ Hoback, Kaalberg, Miller and Amigon took the prelim victory in 42.69 and Lisbon ran 42.71.
Both did the same in the final, but Lisbon took the event with a blistering time of 42.10, sealing the title race in the process. The Wildcats foursome ran 42.42.
“It hurts (coming up short on a team state title),” Miller said. “I don’t know long it will take (to get over it). I’m gonna keep grinding and working and hopefully be back next year for college.”
“I’m just excited to get back to work,” Jeff Hoback said. “I’m gonna use it as motivation for college football. I’ll get over it eventually, but it might take a little while.”