Konnor Sommer has been a follower among Pleasant Valley's boys track and field distance crew the past two seasons.

But after his older brother, Karson, graduated and Nicholas Yanek moved to Georgia in the offseason, Sommer has gone from a supporting role to lead actor for the Spartans.

Sommer posted victories in the 1,600 and 3,200 on a chilly Friday night to help PV hold off Western Dubuque for the team title at the Spartan Invitational.

"I've definitely felt a lot more responsibility in practice," Sommer said. "For the past couple of years, Nick and Karson always have led the workouts. Now, Anthony (Pena) and I are leading the workouts and trying to set the pace for all the other guys."

The Spartans won six events and had nine second-place finishes to compile 190 points, 33 more than runner-up Western Dubuque. 

Western Dubuque led going into the final three events, but PV had three of the top-four finishers in the 1,600 to regain the advantage.

"Our distance crew is the one that pulled it out for us today," Spartans coach Chris Bryant said. "They really came on strong.

"We weren't entirely sure how they were going to compete. Cross country is one thing but running on a track is another."

Sommer turned some heads winning the 3,200 at the Dickinson Relays three-plus weeks ago in 9 minutes, 43.02 seconds. He pulled in a time of 10:05.86 Friday. Hours later, he recorded a personal-best 4:33.25 in the 1,600 to stave off Pena.

It was particularly rewarding for Sommer, who missed last track season with a stress fracture in his foot. It made him eager for the outdoor opener.

"It means a lot to win two events at my home meet," he said. "Really running varsity for the first time, I'm real excited for the rest of the meets to come."

The distance crew wasn't done. Pena, Parker Huhn, Mark Conway and Ben Gorman teamed for a victory in the 3,200 relay in 8:16.91, nearly a 16-second improvement from the time posted in early March.

"That was a good step in the right direction," Pena said. "We just need to keep improving. I think it is a group that can get to 8 minutes, maybe even break 8 before the season is over."

The Spartans also received wins from Cody Snyder (discus), Keshaun Baker (400) and the 800 relay of Arthur Braden, Dajour Lester, Collin Ankton and CJ Carter.

Snyder, a state placewinner last season, threw 142-3 in the discus. He established a personal-best with a toss of 53-2 to take second in the shot put.

"I've struggled the last couple of weeks getting that right foot under me," Snyder said. "I was throwing 48s, 49s. Tonight, I was around 51. Then before my last throw, coach said, 'Give it your all.' I didn't think about it and it came out great."

Snyder was in Muscatine to start last school year. After a bone infection was discovered in his femur, he moved back to the Pleasant Valley district and wasn't eligible until last year's conference meet.

He hopes a full year of training and competition can lead to greater results come May.

"Coach (Nick) Sacco and I did a lot of work in the offseason with my glide and getting that foot down," Snyder said.

Bryant was pleased with his squad's performance.

"We're pleasantly surprised with the depth we're seeing early in the season," he said. "A lot of our young guys performed very well."

Western Dubuque won a meet-best seven events, including meet records from William Blaser in the shot put (60-10 1/2) and the 400 relay of Gregory Bennett, Max Steffen, Kenny Beard and Brandon Beard in 42.50.

Muscatine recorded two wins, the 1,600 medley relay and Tyler Olson in the 800. Clinton prevailed in the 1,600 relay.

Spartan Invitational

At Pleasant Valley

Team scores — 1. Pleasant Valley 190; 2. Western Dubuque 157; 3. Dubuque Hempstead 71; 4. Central DeWitt 47; 5. Muscatine 46; 6. Clinton 34; 7. Dubuque Senior 33; 8. North Scott 11

Discus — 1. Cody Snyder (PV) 142-3; 2. Rory Larson (Senior) 127-10; 3. Parker Chamberlin (Muscatine) 122-9; 4. Cade Collier (PV) 122-8; 5. David Summers (Muscatine) 120-9

Shot put — 1. William Blaser (W. Dubuque) 60-10 1/2; 2. Cody Snyder (PV) 53-2; 3. Sam Hanna (PV) 45-9; 4. Jason Simon-Ressler (W. Dubuque) 45-0 1/2; 5. Gage Harris (Clinton) 42-10

High jump — 1. Grant Kelchen (W. Dubuque) 6-2; 2. Drew DeSollar (W. Dubuque) 5-10; 3. Max Cremer (PV) 5-8; 4. Trent Allard (North Scott) 5-6; 5. T.J. Yates (North Scott) 5-6

Long jump — 1. Jonny Miller (Hempstead) 21-4; 2. Damon Jaeger (W. Dubuque) 20-9; 3. CJ Carter (PV) 20-5 1/4; 4. Keshaun Baker (PV) 20-1 1/2; 5. Reed Snitker (Hempstead) 20-0 3/4

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800 medley relay — 1. Dubuque Hempstead (Kutsch, Hilken, Collins, Stephenson) 1:39.48; 2. Pleasant Valley (Ankton, Lester, Saul, Stoos) 1:40.42; 3. Western Dubuque 1:40.49; 4. Muscatine (Tiah, Tumlinson, Hazelwood, Olson) 1:41.57; 5. Central DeWitt (Ridgley, Ellison, Campbell, Burke) 1:42.34

3,200 — 1. Konnor Sommer (PV) 10:05.86; 2. Gavin Smith (PV) 10:07.59; 3. Will DeHaan (Central DeWitt) 10:09.24; 4. Joey Schultz (Hempstead) 10:09.51; 5. Joe Freiburger (Western Dubuque) 10:15.25

3,200 relay — 1. Pleasant Valley (Pena, Huhn, Conway, Gorman) 8:16.91; 2. Dubuque Hempstead 8:33.90; 3. Dubuque Senior 8:40.91; 4. Western Dubuque 9:00.82; 5. Clinton (Fuller, Sattler, Lofquist, Smith) 9:38.34

Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Western Dubuque (Lembezeder, Hosch, Kauffmann, Recker) 1:01.05; 2. Clinton (Sullivan, Houzenga, Wenzel, Harris) 1:02.18; 3. Pleasant Valley (Graham, Lester, Lawler, Cremer) 1:03.40; 4. Muscatine (Gray, Webb, Summers, Rudolph) 1:03.82; 5. Central DeWitt (Boesch, R. Westphal, Michoski, C. Westphal) 1:04.51

100 — 1. Gregory Bennett (W. Dubuque) 11.13; 2. Arthur Braden (PV) 11.18; 3. Max Steffen (W. Dubuque) 11.20; 4. Terry Harris (Central DeWitt) 11.33; 5. CJ Carter (PV) 11.41

1,600 medley relay — 1. Muscatine (Summers, Webb, Zogg-Kellet, Bautista) 3:49.40; 2. Central DeWitt (Boesch, Ellison, R. Westphal, DeHaan) 3:50.41; 3. Pleasant Valley (Wells, Saul, Royer, Lederman) 3:51.13; 4. Western Dubuque 3:54.97; 5. Dubuque Hempstead 3:59.98

400 — 1. Keshaun Baker (PV) 50.39; 2. Kenny Beard (W. Dubuque) 51.22; 3. Brandon Beard (W. Dubuque) 51.69; 4. Clayton Neff (North Scott) 52.69; 5. Cordarius Campbell (Central DeWitt) 54.59

800 relay — 1. Pleasant Valley (Braden, Lester, Ankton, Carter) 1:33.24; 2. Dubuque Hempstead 1:33.76; 3. Western Dubuque 1:34.05; 4. Central DeWitt (Harris, Ellison, Burke, Smith) 1:34.12; 5. Clinton (Tholen, Boysen, Thacker, Patterson) 1:35.79

110 hurdles — 1. Ian Christ (Hempstead) 16.16; 2. Max Cremer (PV) 16.67; 3. Jason Gray (Muscatine) 16.92; 4. Freddie Hosch (W. Dubuque) 17.12; 5. Alex Keating (Hempstead) 17.24

800 — 1. Tyler Olson (Muscatine) 2:01.88; 2. Ben Gorman (PV) 2:01.91; 3. Adam Mueller (Hempstead) 2:05.24; 4. Ethan Hammerand (W. Dubuque) 2:05.47; 5. Isaac Connolly (W. Dubuque) 2:06.06

200 — 1. Gregory Bennett (W. Dubuque) 22.74; 2. Brandon Beard (W. Dubuque) 22.79; 3. Terry Harris (Central DeWitt) 23.11; 4. Arthur Braden (PV) 23.32; 5. Keshaun Baker (PV) 23.59

400 hurdles — 1. Alex Kauffman (W. Dubuque) 57.21; 2. Angelo Romanga (Senior) 59.04; 3. Ty McGruder (Clinton) 59.13; 4. Max Cremer (PV) 59.97; 5. Elijah Boesch (Central DeWitt) 1:01.00

1,600 — 1. Konnor Sommer (PV) 4:33.25; 2. Anthony Pena (PV) 4:35.66; 3. Jalen Hildebrand (Senior) 4:37.04; 4. Parker Huhn (PV) 4:41.30; 5. Alex Bautista (Muscatine) 4:48.15

400 relay — 1. Western Dubuque (Bennett, Steffen, K. Beard, B. Beard) 42.50; 2. Pleasant Valley (Braden, Ankton, Hanna, Carter) 44.16; 3. Dubuque Hempstead 44.60; 4. Central DeWitt (Harris, Ellison, Ridgley, Smith) 44.83; 5. Clinton (Harris, Sullivan, Wenzel, Boysen) 45.49

1,600 relay — 1. Clinton (Thacker, McGruder, Collins, Jones) 3:33.09; 2. Pleasant Valley (Royer, Betzel, Gorman, Baker) 3:33.70; 3. Western Dubuque 3:34.10; 4. Central DeWitt (Campbell, Burke, Boesch, R. Westphal) 3:41.81; 5. Muscatine (Hazelwood, Olson, Zogg-Kellet, Niehaus) 3:41.90

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