TIPTON, Iowa — By the time April rolled around, doubt began creep into the mind of Eric Campie.
Dealing with a stress fracture on his left foot, the Camanche senior hadn’t run at all until the conference meet eight days ago. He only raced in two individual events.
“Got a lot of doubts out of me,” Campie said.
In resounding fashion Friday night, Campie looked in prime form.
As the top seed in the 100, 200 and 400, Campie proved the seeding right, triumphing in all three individual events and making a comeback to win the sprint medley relay at the Class 2A coed state-qualifying meet held at Tipton City Park.
“After my sprint medley, I was super tired,” Campie said. “I felt pretty good afterwards. I hadn’t lost much.”
The Indians, who won the meet with 123 points, qualified four relays and five individuals for next week’s state meet in Des Moines.
Weather may have played a factor.
With the entire state waiting for better weather, the meet was rescheduled for Friday. In the eyes of sprinter Chase Grim, it was what Camanche needed.
“We had practice yesterday, and we were like ‘If it was today, we weren’t going to be too happy,’” Grim said. “We walk outside, sun was out, I knew it was perfect.”
The sprint medley relay quartet of Grim, Jordan Lawrence, Blake Hardison and Campie ran for the first time together to a new season-best time of 1 minute, 35.62 seconds.
Outside of Hardison, the other three runners have battled injuries.
“We’ve never ran that combination, so you already have risk,” Indians head coach Jerry Ford said. “We focused on the handoffs, and I think it paid off. When we won that, it sparked a bunch of kids.”
The 400, 800 and distance medley relays took district crowns. Lawrence (100), Hardison (400 hurdles), Dylan Darsidan (800) each placed second to nab spots on the blue oval.
Tipton’s Caleb Shumaker didn’t get to run in the 3,200 last year at state. He’ll get the chance after winning in 10 minutes, 18.34 seconds.
“It’s basically second nature to me,” Shumaker said. “I’m hoping to go under 9:50.”
The sophomore was outlasted in the mile by West Liberty freshman Ashton Burroughs. Shumaker sees it as a lesson for growth and maturity.
“I was trying to save a little bit, but I might’ve went out too fast with a 1:05-1:06 first lap,” he said, “and that came back to bite me in the butt.”
The Tigers claimed both automatic spots in the 110 hurdles while also sending Andrew Stewart (high jump), Trent Pelzer (800), the 3,200 and shuttle relays to Des Moines.
Northeast is sending three relays, plus Braeden Hoyer in the high jump to state. Wapello’s T.J. Dirth (discus) and Durant’s Jake Willkomm (long jump) won district titles.
Jamie Kofron hasn’t thrown a new personal record in the shot put for over a year. It came at a great time in preparation for another battle with South Hardin’s Brylie Zeisneiss.
The Iowa recruit uncorked a throw of 46 feet, 3.25 inches to claim the shot put title. Kofron also won the discus over teammate Liz Bierman.
“I think tonight is a big stepping stone,” Kofron said. “It fell into place tonight. I think we can put something really good together next Thursday.”
Tipton’s girls team is sending five of the six relays to state as well as Amanda Smith in the 800 and 1,500 to go along with Kofron and Bierman in the throws.
Freshman Ellie Rickertsen swept the hurdles for Northeast and the Rebels, who won the girls meet with 107 points, will automatically be in six events next week.
“I feel pretty confident,” Rickertsen said. “Keeping my form good and not staying worried, knowing I can do it.”
North Cedar’s Kelly Proesch grabbed the 100 title out of lane two and three second places in the 200, 100 hurdles and sprint medley relay.
It marked just the second time this season Proesch has ran the 100 dash.
“I wasn’t surprised, but I was nervous,” she said. “I really like the 100, I feel like I do pretty good at it. My main focus this week is get out of the blocks a little bit faster.”
Cassie Cox won the 400 and the sprint medley relay placed second for the Knights. Louisa-Muscatine’s Kylee Sanders and the 1,600 relay earned state bids. Durant’s Meg Koenig (200), Wapello’s Samantha McConahay (shot put) and Wilton’s Kortney Drake (400) also earned state berths.