Cyclones bring home third place trophy
Nine Cyclones represented Harlan Community High School at the track and field state championships at Drake Stadium over a 3-day spread, which included the boys taking home a third place trophy and multiple Cyclones bringing home individual medals.
“Each one of them played a role in getting this trophy back to Harlan,” said Cyclones Head Coach Sam Brummer. “It probably starts with Wil [Neuharth]. Four golds at the state meet. I don’t know if there’s anybody up here that did that this weekend. Breaking the meet record, setting multiple school records has really set the tone for us all year in all his events. Couldn’t be prouder of all his work.”
Neuharth took first place in the 100 meter dash prelims Thursday with a time of 10.88. Cade Sears qualified as well with 11.09, earning a sixth place finish. Neuharth also took first in the 200 meter dash prelims with a time 21.80, easily qualifying for the finals. Sears qualified in fifth place with 22.21.
Neuharth won both events Saturday afternoon taking home gold medals. In the 100 meter dash, he finished with 10.68, just .09 ahead of West Burlington’s Jack Riley. In the 200, he won with a time of 21.53, .46 ahead of Marion’s Alex Mota.
“To come out and compete the way I have already means the world to me,” Neuharth said. “This is one of the biggest sporting events in Iowa. I just love putting on a show for people, so I think I’m doing good right now.”
Neuharth, along with Sears, Aidan Hall and Jacob Birch participated in the 4x100 meter relay prelims, placing second with 42.49, just .11 seconds behind West Burlington, but still qualifited for the finals.
There was a lineup change for the 4x100 meter finals, but the Cyclones still won it with 42.13 with Brehden Eggerss taking over for Hall.
“Aidan, battled through injuries this year, but could have left us and went to Iowa early, but chose to stay here and did what he wanted to do which was win a state title and he did accomplish that in the 4x200 and qualified us in the 4x100, but couldn’t unfortunately finish that. I’m super proud of him and all his hard work.”
Hall, along with Birch, Sears and Neuharth won the 4x200 with 1:28.20 with Epworth, WD on their tail at 1:28.61.
Eggerss took home a bronze medal in the long jump event with 21-08.50, finishing behind Bishop Heelan’s Sean Schaefer with 21-09.75 taking second, and Josiah Cunnings of Charles City winning with a jump of 22-02.25.
“It’s awesome,” Eggerss said. “It means a lot, celebrating with my teammates. I’m just doing my thing and having fun with it.”
Saturday morning, the sprint medley team (Eggerss, Will Arkfeld, Bryce Van Baale and Matthew Sorfonden) took 24th place with a time of 1:41.86. Epworth, WD won the event with 1:32.31. Brummer was proud of their efforts.
“Sprint Medley, we kind of had to punt a little bit just with Aidan’s injury as he wasn’t able to run,” he said. “Birch’s hip has kind of been bothering him too, so it was one of those where there’s a reason you have alternates. Will Arkfeld looked really, really good and he shot out of there like a rocket. That’s the best he’s looked all year, so if it’s your only race and it’s the best one you have, you want it to be down here.”
Hall, Birch and Neuharth won’t return next season due to graduation. Brummer talked about what they mean to him and how much he’ll miss them.
“They’re just all around three solid kids,” Brummer said. “I would love to have each one of them be my son. They’re great guys, they go out and work hard, they do what they’re supposed to, they get good grades, they’re coachable. They’ll grow up and kind of go off on their ventures of wherever they’re going. I’m just glad to have them.”
Lindsey Sonderman was the lone Cyclone girl who qualified for the meet, competing in two events. Starting with the 3000 meter run, she took 7th place with 10:50.93 Thursday. She also performed strong Saturday in the 1500 meter run with 4:50.19, just 21.39 seconds behind Ballard’s Paityn Noe who set a state record winning with 4:28.80.
“I ran a really good race to get seeded in here,” Sonderman said. “I was seeded 12th, so to get five places higher is really cool. It means a lot.”
Even with Sonderman being the only Cyclone girl to represent Harlan at the meet, her head coach Jenny Hamilton, assistant coach Jacie Stuerman and some of her teammates came out to support her.
“I love that my team and coaches support me no matter what, even if it might not benefit them,” Sonderman added. “It’s something that they don’t have to do, but it means a lot that they’re choosing to support me.”