The Albia Blue Demon track team qualified four events to the state track and field meet this season, bringing home two 15th placings, a 23rd and an 18th.
“To think that a team as small as Albia had this season, 13 runners and four throwers, to be able to get even one event to the state meet would be amazing,” said Coach Darren Hill.“
The two best finishes came from Logan Stalzer, finishing 15th in the 400 meters in 52.84. He had the tough draw of running in the eighth lane in the fastest heat in all of the classes at state. “It really placed him in a tough position,” said Coach Todd Ratliff.
In the 400 low hurdles, junior CJ Ratliff finished 15th after hitting the seventh hurdle and barely being able to stay in his lane. “CJ had a really good race going and hit hurdle #7 throwing his placing and time off,” said Coach Hill. “The hurdles at Drake Stadium are really heavy, and you do not realize just how heavy they are until you hit one.“
In the 4x400 relay, CJ Ratliff, Christopher McDonald, Ethan Stalzer, and Logan Stalzer ran a 3:36.52 to finish 23rd.
Ethan Stalzer ran a 2:04.49 800 meters to finish 18th with a personal best time of the season. “Ethan ran this race a total of five times this season, and each attempt improved his overall time,” said Coach Hill. “Being a freshman and able to compete in this event and the time that he ran, is a huge accomplishment.
“Our effort was there during each event, and what great memories they now have,” said Coach Hill. “Next season they will all be veterans of the Blue Oval and know what to expect, the history of the track, the number of people in the stands, the number of competitors, and just how good these competitors really are. We learned a lot about the sport and ourselves this season, and what a treat to be able to compete at this level.
“Overall, I’m very pleased with the accomplishments of the season. We do not lose anyone, as we had zero seniors on the squad this year. The future looks bright and looking forward to getting some more kids out to improve the overall program,” said the coach.