Washington Evening Journal
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Davidson, Hartman get their chance to shine
Mt. Pleasant hurdler, Washington thrower lead area big school results at state track
DES MOINES — It’s not easy to score at the state track and field meet. That was a harsh reality known by many of the area’s big school athletes over the weekend, but there was still plenty of space for a few Southeast Iowa preps to shine.
Enter Mt. Pleasant’s Will Davidson, who qualified for the state meet in four events, a feat that he did for the first time in his high school career.
Davidson didn’t bring home a state title in any of his four events, but he still had one of the biggest weekends of any area runner, taking second in the 110-meter high hurdles, and third in the 400-meter hurdles.
In the high hurdles, Davidson went toe-to-toe with Xavier’s Grayson Hartman. After qualifying just behind him in the prelims, Davidson crossed the line in 14.33 seconds, just under two-tenths of a second away from a state title.
“I got out pretty well,” Davidson said. “I was with him over four hurdles, and he hit five. I got a little ahead, but I got a little too eager.”
Davidson’s second-place performance came one day after qualifying for the finals with a ridiculous mark of 14.10 seconds. That run put him in 10th place all time in Class 3A, and broke former Panther standout Cole Phillips’ school record in the event.
“Coming into it, one of the best hurdlers at Mt. Pleasant had it at 14.13 seconds,” Davidson said. “I’m grateful to be able to come in and get 14.10 in the prelims.”
Davidson nearly won a state championship in the 400-meter hurdles. In that event, he crossed the tape in 54.13 seconds, taking third place.
Mt. Pleasant’s only other points came in the field events. Sophomore Avin Truong took fifth in the long jump, leaping 21-07.75. Isaac Jerrel took eighth in the shot, put, throwing 51 feet, 3.25 inches.
“I wanted more,” said Truong after his fifth-place finish. “But I don't think I could be any happier right now.”
The Panthers nearly qualified in the shuttle hurdle relay, but the team of Bryce Wilson, Truong, Gavin Kerr and Davidson had to settle for ninth.
Speaking of close calls, Washington’s Brayden Hartman had one of the closest all weekend long. Seeking his first title in the shot put, Hartman launched his third throw 57 feet, 8 inches, which took second place.
“I had been building up to it all week at practice,” Hartman said. “I just racked up really well at the end, and let it rip.”
After his big throw, Hartman let out a roar, as he lept up the scoreboard to the top spot.
“I was pretty excited about it,” Hartman said. “I thought that was going to be the one to win it.”
Hartman’s lead lasted a short time. Dubuque Wahlert’s Duke Faley threw 58-02.75 on the fifth throw to narrowly edge the Demon senior.
“It was frustrating because I thought I could glide through to the finish,” Hartman said. “But obviously that's a little foolish.”
Hartman’s eight points for second were all the Demons would end up with on the weekend. He also took 11th in the discus, throwing 151-05.
The Washington boys had taken a tough hit when senior and two-time state 400-meter dash championship Elijah Morris was hurt during the qualifying meet. Hartman says he was glad to give the team a little positivity to end the season.
“I think the coaches are happy,” Hartman said. “They needed it after what has been going on.”
Washington did gain 2.6 points on the girls’ side. Iris Dahl took seventh in the 800, crossing in 2:19.61, and Grace Voss was part of a multi-way tie for seventh in the high jump, clearing five feet even.
Washington’s Josh Anderson was Top-4 in all four wheelchair events. The story on those events will be in Tuesday’s edition of the Union.
Fairfield failed to score on either the boys or girls side. The Trojans’ best finisher was Ryan Giberson, who cleared 5 foot 11 in the high jump to tie for 14th.