DES MOINES — Just two years ago, Calamus-Wheatland’s track and field program had high jump standards that would only extend to 5 feet, 8 inches.
Now, the small school can boast it has one of the top high jumpers to come through the state.
Cole Moeller became just the fourth boy to record three consecutive championships in the event after winning Friday morning’s Class 1A title at Drake Stadium with a leap of 6-8.
“I almost forgot what it feels like to win it,” Moeller said. “It is pretty surreal right now.”
Moeller joins Ames’ Orville Madsen (1930-32), Rock Valley’s Darwin VandeHof (1987-89) and West Burlington-Notre Dame’s Jeff Giannettino (2013-15) in the three-peat club.
What’s astonishing is Moeller is less than 6 feet fall.
“It just proves you don’t have to be tall to be good at the high jump,” he said. “You just need the right technique, the right speed and the right training.
“It is just a work process.”
As a freshman, Moeller’s best jump was 6-1. He cleared 6-9 to claim his first title as a sophomore and went 6-10 a year ago.
After sailing over the bar at 6-8 Friday, he took three tries at the 1A record of 6-11 1/4. His second effort was his best but not quite enough.
“They are records for a reason,” Moeller said. “They’re hard to break. I’ve had nine attempts at it now, so obviously it is a good one.”
Moeller, an Iowa recruit, has been bothered by an Achilles injury the last several weeks.
He did miss one attempt at 6-5 and 6-6. His clearance at 6-6 was enough to beat Lone Tree’s Niko Gosnell. Midland’s Alex Martens was third at 6-4.
Moeller admitted there were nerves after seeing two defending champions in higher classes get dethroned Thursday.
“I knew it wouldn’t come easy,” Moeller said. “Nothing is ever a given here at the state meet.
“I’m lucky everything worked out and my Achilles held together.”
Moeller believes he can ascend past 6-10 in college.
“At the next level, I’ll have the right facility and right training to go higher and reach my goal of 7-feet plus,” he said. “College is going to be a fun experience.”
In the Class 2A high jump, Northeast’s Braeden Hoyer and Axel Dondiego finished fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Hoyer jumped 6-4 and Dondiego went 6-2. Carroll Kuemper’s Miles Rupiper took gold at 6-6.
“I’m happy with fourth place,” Hoyer said. “I wish I could have jumped better, but I’m happy with a medal.”
Hoyer earned a second medal about two hours later in the distance medley relay. He ran the 400 leg on Northeast’s fourth-place squad.
Kyle Dell, Ben Lange and Wyatt Schmidt joined Hoyer as the Rebels finished in 3:36.46.
Camanche placed fourth in the 800 relay with Mason Lanhart, Chase Grim, Dylan Hundley and David Gonzalez in 1:31.68.
In the Class 2A girls discus, Tipton’s Jamie Kofron earned bronze with a toss of 128-1.