Bulldogs meet with string of bad luck on the blue oval

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After accepting the baton from Carver Blietz-Bentien, Parker Kuehl speeds off on the third leg of MFL MarMac’s 4x200 relay. The two were also part of the Bulldogs’ 4x100 relay that competed at the state track and field, held May 18-20 in Des Moines. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


From an injury to uncharacteristic handoff troubles, the MFL MarMac boys track and field team met with an uncanny string of bad luck at last week’s Iowa High School Track & Field Championships.


The Bulldogs qualified four events to the state meet at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, including Karter Decker in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. The senior, who placed twice in the events as a sophomore but missed a shot at state last year due to an injury, came in seeded third in the 100 and first in the 200.


But during the 200 prelims on May 18, Decker suffered an injury that limited his time to 25.58 seconds, over three seconds behind top finals qualifier and eventual state champion Owen Douglas of Williamsburg. 


The injury kept Decker from the 100 prelims an hour later as well as MFL MarMac’s two state relays, the 4x100 and 4x200, which were run the next day.


In Decker’s absence, junior Wyatt Powell was slotted into the 4x200 final, and led off the race. Junior Carver Blietz-Bentien and sophomore Parker Kuehl succeeded him in the second and third legs, while junior Kade McElwaine took Decker’s normal anchor position. Unfortunately, Kuehl and McElwaine were unable to connect on the handoff, preventing the Bulldogs from finishing the race.


The four runners—this time with Kuehl taking Decker’s place—were back for the 4x100 prelims. They turned in a time of 45.50 seconds, outside the 43-second range needed to qualify for the finals.

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