DES MOINES — The fastest boys in the state reside in Sioux City.
In a spectacularly close 100-meter dash at the Drake Relays on Friday, Heelan's Zach Skibinski edged East's Anthony Dreeszen by two-hundredths of a second in the sprint for the Drake flag.
East's Ronald Dash finished third in a race where first and eighth were only .18 seconds apart.
Dreeszen thought he might have won. Skibinski wasn't sure he did.
They crossed the finish line almost simultaneously. Skibinski's name popped up on the Drake scoreboard first with a time of 11.41 seconds. Dreeszen was clocked at 11.43.
“It was really close. I wasn't sure who was going to win that between me and Dreeszen,” Skibinski said. “It was a great competition. I didn't know who won it, but I was excited for both of us. ... We proved that Sioux City's getting better at track.”
There's no denying that, at least in the boys sprints.
Dash was clearly third, coming in at 11.51. OA-BCIG's Trever Ryen was sixth at 11.55.
Dreeszen, running in the inside lane, said he never saw Skibinski in the race.
But Skibinski saw Dreeszen.
“I could see a little orange dot with a mohawk moving. I got really excited,” Skibinski said. “The two Sioux City dudes running together was kind of awesome. That never happens, really.”
Dreeszen surprised himself by finishing second after qualifying seventh in the prelims. He will get another shot at the Drake champion Thursday at the Missouri River Conference meet in Sioux City.
“We're always pushing each other to go faster,” Dreeszen said. “That's a good thing to have. If you didn't have that, you wouldn't make champions.”
Skibinski isn't your typical sprinter. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Northern Iowa football recruit was a three-year starter on the offensive line at Heelan. Projected as a defensive end in college, he chased down ball carriers to make 114 tackles for the Crusaders last fall.
Friday, he put his pursuing skills to use on the track.
“I was a little nervous,” he said. “These guys were the best in all classes in the state of Iowa.”
Skibinski's victory was the only one by a western Iowa athlete Friday. The best boys finish outside of the 100 was a fourth by Harlan's Austin Hess in the 110 high hurdles.
The reigning Class 3-A high hurdle champion finished sixth at Drake last year.
“I'll take it,” Hess said. “It's Drake, so you know you're going against the best.”
Other boys individual medal winners from western Iowa were Sioux City East's Carter Lilly, seventh in the 800, and Lewis Central's Jacob Barents, eighth in the discus.
Barents threw a career-best 158 feet, 8 inches in the first flight to sneak into the finals in ninth place. He bettered his final standing by one spot, going 159-8 on his fifth attempt.
“I was really fired up for 160, but that didn't happen,” he said. “I tried to push it on the last throw, but I dipped my shoulder and it didn't go anywhere.
“I was more relaxed (in the finals). I was so tense waiting for the results (from the prelims).”
Two area relay teams also earned Drake medals Friday. OA-BCIG's 800-meter relay team of Quinn Westphal, Dalton Leinbaugh, Kaleb Young and Ryen placed fifth. And Glenwood's sprint medley team of Grant May, Sam Jameson, Derek Jones and Jared Cook was seventh.
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