Brady Arment was a bit of an unknown commodity last season.
The Bobcat senior was not eligible to compete in track and field until the state qualifying meet at Linn-Mar High School but shocked many after his jump of 6 feet, 2 inches, pushed him into the state meet.
This season, Arment picked up right where he left off last year and will make his second consecutive trip to the blue oval after another runner-up finish at last week's state qualifier at Leonard Cole Field.
T-R FILE PHOTO
Marshalltown's Konner Kacmarynski runs the 400 leg of the distance medley during a meet earlier this year. He will compete in two Bobcat relays at the state meet later this week.
"I want to get my best there because it's my last meet," said Arment after advancing last Thursday. "I am hoping to get at least 6-4 again. I was nervous last year. I have been there before so I should be more relaxed.
"I want to get at least top five and get one of those medals."
Arment, who also jumped at the Drake Relays back in April, will joined at the annual Iowa High School State Track and Field Championships by a handful of his Bobcat teammates.
Senior Imad Amenzou will run three times at Drake Stadium, once each day starting Thursday with the 3,200-meter run at 10:10 a.m.
The first-year runner also will anchor the MHS distance medley relay on Friday and compete in the 1,600 Saturday afternoon.
The other individual qualifier is senior Marco Tapia in the long jump. The distance medley team will be made up of John Espinoza, Aaron Hauser, Konner Kacmarynski and Amenzou, while the state-qualifying 4x400 relay team includes Espinoza, Hauser, Kacmarynski and Seth Heinrichs. Amenzou ran the anchor leg when the Bobcats qualified Thursday but Heinrichs will replace him Friday because of the short time frame between the two relays.
"We thought we had a good chance to qualify in the distance medley, but I don't know what our opportunities will be at state," said Marshalltown coach Mark Chardoulias. "What I do know is that we can get better. And it will definitely help (Amenzou) that he only has to run one time each day.
"I thought we had to run a 3:29 to qualify in the 4x400, but I was wrong. We want to win our section in that one, run the best race we can and hope for the best."
The 4x400 relay will run at around 1:20 p.m. on Friday. The Bobcats qualified 20th after placing fifth at the state-qualifier with a time of 3 minutes, 33.20 seconds. They will be in lane 1 of the second heat.
The distance medley will run at around noon Friday. That foursome will be in lane 4 of the first section. Espinoza, Hauser, Kacmarynski and Amenzou qualified 17th after hitting the finish line in fourth with a time of 3:41.35 on Thursday.
Amenzou will kick off his first state meet with the 3,200 on Thursday morning. He qualified 21st with a state-qualifying meet time of 9:54.91, but his best time of 9:35.42 ranks 10th best in Class 4A.
The 1,600 will be Saturday afternoon at around 1:45. He was third at the state qualifier but finished in 4:29.36. That was the ninth best qualifying time but his personal-best of 4:23.72 ranks 12th overall. Linn-Mar's Josh Evans leads the field with a personal-best time of 4:10.76.
"He is looking forward to his three races," said Chardoulias of Amenzou. "I just want him to give me all he has for all three days and see what happens. If he gives his best, I think he has a good weekend."
Arment will jump at 9 a.m. Thursday. He was ninth at last year's state meet with a mark of 6-2. Because the field is better this year, Arment could jump higher but finish lower, according to Chardoulias. He will be the 17th jumper in the 24-person field after qualifying 10th.
Arment's jump of 6-4 earlier this season at Pella is tied for the fifth best mark in the 4A field.
"There are better jumpers this year, but it is his last go around so we are hoping he can go out with a good finish," Chardoulias added.
Tapia will be the third jumper in the first flight of the 4A long jump, which begins at 9 a.m. Friday. He went past the 20-foot mark for the first time last Thursday but his best leap of 20-0 3/4 qualified him 22nd in the 24-person field. The top qualifier in the field was Linn-Mar's Curtis McCrary, who won the Marshalltown state qualifier with a leap of 22-3 1/2.
"I think Marco is just happy he is going," said Chardoulias. "He's going to have to go to uncharted territory to have a shot. We have worked on his technique and his steps. Now it is just a matter of believing that he can do it."