Bulldogs are trophy hunting
Bettendorf's best finish at the boys' state track and field meet was a tie for second place in 1985.
More than three decades later, the Bulldogs are in the chase for a trophy (top-three finish) at Drake Stadium this weekend.
Coach Dave Terronez's team is projected to score 52 points in Class 4A based on state-qualifying results. Iowa City West (70), Waukee (62) and Western Dubuque (57) are the only schools ahead of them.
Bettendorf has top-tier talent that could bring in significant points.
Suni Lane is seeded among the top two in the high jump and 400 hurdles. Darien Porter ran a school-record 48.24 in the 400 that is tops in the state this season, and Cole Webster is among the top three in the discus and shot put.
Webster was second in the discus a year ago. This will be his final track and field competition as he'll play football at Northern Illinois in the fall.
"It is one of those feelings, you want to go out with a bang," Webster said. "You want to give it your all on your last shot."
The sprint medley and 1,600 relays, both anchored by Porter, figure to be in the mix for state championships.
"We have plenty of opportunities to go out and win the state (team) title," Porter said. "I feel we can absolutely do it."
Bettendorf was ninth in the team race last year with 23 points.
Moeller chases 3-peat in high jump
It is a club with just three individuals -- Ames' Orville Madsen (1930-32), Rock Valley's Darwin VandeHof (1987-89) and West Burlington-Notre Dame's Jeff Giannettino (2013-15).
Calamus-Wheatland's Cole Moeller is looking to join the fraternity.
Moeller, an Iowa recruit, is seeking to becoming just the fourth boy in state history, regardless of class, to win three consecutive high jump titles.
After winning the Class 1A title as a sophomore with a leap of 6 feet, 9 inches, Moeller cleared a personal-best 6-10 to repeat last spring.
He comes in as the top seed after matching his season best of 6-9 at the state-qualifying meet in Central City. Lone Tree's Niko Gosnell (6-8) and Midland's Alex Martens (6-4) posted the next best jumps at the state qualifier.
The Quad-Cities metro has not had a boys' 100-meter state champion since Davenport North's Marques Simmons in 2001.
It has plenty of opportunities to snap that drought. Davenport Central's Kevin Kurth, Pleasant Valley's Arthur Braden, Muscatine's Alphonso Soko and Davenport North's duo of Ezekiel Hayslett and Collin Glazek all ran sub-11 seconds at the North Scott Class 4A state-qualifying meet.
Kurth enters as the top seed with his personal-best time of 10.85. The others are all among the top seven heading into Thursday's preliminaries.
West Burlington-Notre Dame's Isaiah Trousil, competing in 3A, won the 100 at the Drake Relays in 10.53. Ankeny Centennial's Ryan Van Baale was second in in 10.67. He has the fastest time in 4A this year at 10.56.
PV tries to turn depth into points
Pleasant Valley has entries in 17 of the 19 events this weekend, the most among any team in the Quad-Cities.
The key for the Spartans is turning opportunities into team points. Based on state-qualifying results, PV is seeded in the top eight (places scored) in only six of those events.
PV's Mark Conway is the top seed in the 1,600 and Keshaun Baker is second behind Porter in the 400 and seventh in the long jump. Cody Snyder (discus), Braden, Konnor Sommer (1,600) and the 3,200 relay are the others in the top eight.
The Spartans have several events just outside the top eight -- sprint medley relay (10th), shot put (11th), 800 relay (12th) and 200 (13th).
"You look at our power ranking, based on if it was head-to-head duals, we're second or third in the state," PV coach Chris Bryant said, "but that doesn't always translate into points at state.
"We've got a shot to be in the top five. That's the goal at the moment."
Central DeWitt's Will DeHaan ran a personal-best 1:58.17 to win the 800 at last week's Class 3A state qualifier in Marion. He edged out Mount Vernon's Jeremy Krogmann, the 3A leader, and Dubuque Wahlert's Luke Hilby.
DeHaan, in fact, enters as the top seed and has put himself in position to become the school's first 800-meter champion since Matt Niemann in 2002. DeHaan has made a dramatic leap in the last 12 months. His best open time going into May last year was 2:08.
In Class 4A, Muscatine's Tyler Olson tries to build on a fourth-place finish at the Drake Relays last month. Olson has been consistently in the 1:57-1:58 range recently. He'll likely need to shave four or five seconds off that to contend for a championship.
— Matt Coss