SERGEANT BLUFF -- On his final night competing on the Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School track, Max Murphy finally got his school record.
The Warriors senior got the 110-meter hurdle record Friday at the Class 3A-District 7 track and field meet by winning the race in 14.63 seconds, a time he’s been aiming for all season.
The previous school record was 14.64.
“It was a special night, for sure,” Murphy said. “I’ve been chasing it all year, and it feels good to break it. Last home meet for me ever. It’s good for me to end on a high note.”
Murphy knew he felt good as soon as he came out of the blocks. He dashed over every hurdle and won the race by over a half a second. The runner-up -- who also goes to state -- was teammate Austin Freiberg.
The Warriors’ boys shuttle hurdle relay is also going to state, as they finished with a time of 60.30 seconds.
“Hopefully the hurdles can bring in 20-plus points at state next week,” Murphy said.
The top two finishers in each race automatically qualified for next week’s state meet, and then there are a certain number of statewide wild cards depending on the event. The full list of state track meet qualifiers should be released by Saturday afternoon.
The two team champions were Sergeant Bluff-Luton’s boys (165 points) -- its second straight win at home this month -- and the Spencer girls with 154.5 points.
The Bishop Heelan track teams had a strong finish, too. The boys 4x100 relay and the girls 4x400 relay ended up winning their respective races.
The boys won in 43.66 seconds, and as senior Drew Olson crossed the finish line, Keyontre Clark sprinted across the football field to give him a hug.
Clark, who also won the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 9 inches, had a good start out of the blocks.
“I had to pop out of the blocks like a shotgun,” Clark said. “I had to go out there and give us a lead.”
The girls team -- highlighted by Amber Aesoph and Madison Jochum -- won the 4x400 with a time of 4:01.83, which was 5.16 seconds ahead of SB-L’s group.
SB-L’s Madison Harms was glad that she didn’t have to jump as high as her seed on Friday.
She was just fine with a winning jump at 5-foot-3.
Harms has an injured left ankle, and she hasn’t had much time to practice so she could let that sore ankle heal.
She wasn’t sure how her approach was going to be going into the event.
“I took a few steps back and it turned out pretty well,” Harms said. “I just have to keep icing it and keep doing my stretches.”
Harms hopes she can get back to her high mark and is eager to see if she can do it next week at the state meet, which will be her fourth.
“It was nice knowing that once I jumped somewhere over 5-foot, I could be done, so I didn’t overdo it,” she said. “I was super excited to jump again."
However, Heelan’s Taylor Jochum gave Harms a challenge, and Jochum will be going to the state meet as well. Jochum’s runner-up jump was at 5-2.
Jochum came close to matching Harms’ 5-3 jump on her final try but the bar hit the pavement just shortly after the Crusaders freshman hit the mat.
“It was nice to have someone compete against,” Harms said. “She’s just going to keep getting better.”
In the boys long jump, meanwhile, Denison-Schleswig junior Waw Gach wanted to leap as high as he could go.
He soared past his personal best of 6-4 by getting 6-8, and missed the 6-9 mark by an inch. His 6-8 mark is a district-best with SB-L’s Austin Freiberg getting second at 6-2.
“I kept going wanting to see if I could get more,” Gach said. “And, I just got 6-8.”
Gach had a recent growth spurt that catapulted him from being 6-2 to a 6-6 athlete. Once he grew those four inches, Gach noticed how athletics came easier for him.
He could dunk a basketball with more authority. He could clear the high jump bar -- and then some -- like he did on Thursday.
“I didn’t think I was going to grow this much, but I guess I did,” Gach said.
He’s gained attention from a college in Arkansas, and hopes to garner more interest next week on the Drake Stadium field.
Gach’s personal best last season was 6-2.
Gach started gaining attention at the SB-L stadium after he cleared the 6-6 mark with ease.
Once Freiberg had been eliminated after his third attempt at 6-3, Gach had a smile on his face. He asked his teammates for a slow clap. He did a dance after he cleared 5-7.
Gach was simply having fun.
“It was great, and everyone was just looking at me, hyping me up to help me keep doing what I’m doing,” Gach said. “I was thinking about my family and how proud they would be of me if I made it to state. I kept my family in my head.”
In other field event action, Heelan will have two throwing in the shot put next week. Junior Kobe Clayborne won the shot put with a throw of 50 feet, 3 inches, and junior Ella Skinner was second in the girls competition (37-2.25) behind Spencer’s Josie Heisinger (38-0.75).
LeMars freshman Lilly McNaughton took the girls long jump district title with a leap of 16 feet, 5 inches. Warriors freshman Addy Mosier was the runner-up (16-4).
LeMars freshman Brandon VanderSluis won the discus at 142-10, and the other state qualifier was Brandon Roemeling of Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley at 140-8.