DES MOINES – Gable Sieperda isn’t concerned about what he has accomplished. He isn’t likely to get caught up in any praise that comes his way.
So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that as he stood talking to media members after winning his second race of the Drake Relays Saturday he spoke more about the one race that got away from him than the two he won in impressive fashion. He fell in the 800 meter race costing him time and a chance for the victory in a race he finished sixth on Friday.
“(The) 32, 16, 8 (sweep) would have been better,” he said. “It sounds a little better. I didn’t accomplish my goals and I need to figure out what I did wrong.
“Distance triple is something I have been chasing my entire life and it is within my grasp. Just train smart, get after it, and whatever happens happens.”
After blowing away the field to win the 3,200 on Thursday he made his move early in the final lap of the 1,600 to move from third to first and secured victory.
“A little more competition this time,” said Sieperda of his 1,600 victory. “Had a guy coming up on me which is nice and just pushed it. Regardless of the result if he passed me at the end I am still fine, I still walk away satisfied. This means a lot, but as you saw at the end of the day I am just chasing improvement.”
Sieperda, who was named the prep male Drake Relays Most Outstanding Performer, became the first prep runner to win the 3,200 and 1,600 double at the Drake Relays since Johnny Fuller of Glenwood completed the feat in 2010. His winning time of 4:16.58 was 14 seconds faster than his best entering Drake while his 9:11.17 winning time in the 3,200 puts him 19th on the state’s all-time list and earned him the Journal’s Siouxland Athlete of the Week honors.
Sieperda makes it look easy on the track, but for much of his prep career his success has only come after struggle.
“I have been thought a lot … I have it good, but to say I haven’t been through two stress fractures running at the state meet, two bilateral stress fractures the next season and broke my hand the week before state wrestling my senior year. I have had some sleepless nights,” he said. “That is why this is so special to me because I have been down here and to get up here a little bit it means a lot.
“Despite all of those I take nothing back because I have learned more through those about how far I can go, how far I can push myself, and really having the right people around me.”
The son of Steve and Diane Sieperda got a little emotional talking about his family and how they have helped him on his journey.
“(My dad) is my rock, right now he is my rock,” Gable said. “Nothing makes me happier than to make him proud. … My mom, my dad and my sister they are the ones that know what I have been though and been through sleepless nights with me and that means a lot just to put a smile on their face.”
Sieperda will now turn his attention to his final state track meet later this month back on the Blue Oval, but don’t think he will come back to Des Moines complacent.
“I have no trophies, no medals, nothing in my room,” he said. “I wake up every day and clean slate. Wake up every day and, like I said yesterday, no one cares what you did in the past, at least I don’t.”
TRACK AND FIELD
Nick Phelps, KP-WC ... The senior won his first Drake Relays title by winning the shot put, the first ever for the Phelps family at Drake.
Macay Van't Hul, Western Christian ... She won the 800 and anchored the winning 4x800 and 4x400 relays while also running the 400 leg of the victorious distance medley at the Boyden-Hull Relays.