Garber, Comets qualify for finals

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

DES MOINES — The BCLUW boys track and field team wasn’t going to be able to win a team title in the Iowa Co-Ed Track and Field Championships on Thursday at Drake Stadium, but had things not gone there way in a few race they could have lost one.

The Comets sent a strong message in the first Class 1A race of the state meet by winning the preliminary races of the shuttle hurdle, with the team of Coby Willett, Koty Kruse, Neifer Ralston and Jack Garber running a time of 1 minute, 0.72 seconds, for the top qualifying time for Saturday’s final.

“We came out here as a team and we had our goal set on the top spot, and we knew we had to get it done then,” Garber said. “We came out and ran very close to our best time of the year, and I told them that we keep running this time then we will be state champs. We did it and we still are about a second ahead of second place.”

The BCLUW boys are actually a little over half a second faster than Central Decatur in second with a 1:01.33, while the North Tama contingent of Tyler Morrison, Cael Even, Gabe Kopriva and Hale Hulme were the third-fastest qualifier with a 1:01.68.

Garber is the premier hurdler in 1A, he is favored to win the 110-meter hurdles individually and he is an Iowa State University commit, but he said it was actually his teammates who carried him on Thursday.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“The three other guys ran their best race of the year and my time wasn’t quite there,” Garber, who was well ahead of any competitor in his heat during the race, said. “If I have the worst day of all of us, I am pretty happy with that.”

When the BCLUW boys started the day in the mid afternoon, the temperature was already pushing past 90 degrees, which was by far the hottest conditions they’ve run in so far.

“We did a really good job of keeping talking to each other and keeping motivated,” Garber said. “It was hot, especially compared to what it has been all season. Just standing there we were tired, but for it to be those conditions and we still run that time, we are happy about that.”

Garber had to wait in the heat and the sun to run his second race of the day four hours later in the 100, and while the conditions might have affected him he still ran an 11.38 to just sneak in to the finals on Saturday as the eighth seed.

“That wasn’t the race I wanted, but it got me where I wanted and I have to show up now,” he said. “I don’t like prelims because if you mess up then what you do doesn’t matter. If you mess up in the finals at least you got to the finals.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

Even though he was the eighth seed and was six hundredths of a second from missing the finals, Garber said he was happy to get in so he can help his team possibly do something greater.

“Everything helps at this meet where you don’t need a ton of points to at least place, so that’s what we need to do,” he said. “I need to perform my best for the team too, all those guys are trying their hardest so hopefully we can whip it all together and get a trophy or something cool like that.”

Garber will run in his two top races, the 110 high hurdles and 400 hurdles, during day two of action at Drake Stadium today.