By Tyler Peterson
The Lenox Tigers boys and girls track teams finished their seasons, and several senior careers, on a high note at the ‘Blue Oval’ for the 2023 Iowa State Track and Field Championships. Senior Cadence Douglas, Samson Adams, Isaac Grundman, and Trenton Beck were back at state this year to lead one of the best finishes in school history.
On the girls side of things sophomore standout Sadie Cox ran the best time of her young career on Thursday at state in the 400 Meter Dash. Cox won the second of three heats with a time of 59.46 which was strong enough to land her 5th overall and medal in class 1A.
Friday the two-time state champion Cadence Douglas was back to defend her crown in the high jump event. Cadence cleared the first two heights, but unfortunately bowed out at the 5’ 2” mark. Cadence was still all smiles finishing 10th overall to finish a decorated track and field career for Lenox.
Saturday morning the third and final event took place for the ladies. Sophomore Bentley Petersen, junior Gabby Douglas, Cadence Douglas, and Sadie Cox competed in the 800 Meter Sprint Medley Relay. The quartet finished 17th overall with a time of 1:55.45. “It was a great weekend!’
‘ We will greatly miss our only senior- Cadence.’ ‘However, we have a great group of girls returning next year that saw lots of improvements from the first of the season to their last race.” -Coach Mandy Stoaks. This year there were countless personal bests, school records broken, and once again medals coming home to Lenox from our top-notch female athletes.
On the guys side of things senior Isaac Grundman kicked off the meet for the Tigers in the Long Jump. Grundman narrowly scratched on a jump that would’ve put him over 21’, and ultimately was able to register a jump below his average. Even without a medal this year, Grundman goes down as one of the top long jumpers ever to wear a Tiger uniform.
In the prelims of the Shuttle Hurdle event on Thursday there were some definite highs and lows for the Tiger runners and fans. Senior defending champion, Trenton Beck was tripped by a fallen hurdle that was displaced by another team’s runner. Beck fell head over heels came down awkwardly on his ankle causing a bad sprain.
Coaches Jared O’Riley and Michael Nardini challenged the race and were successful in getting another chance for our team to advance to Saturday’s finals with alternate sophomore Jordan Martin-England. The Tigers had to run by themselves, but were able to register a time to advance to Saturday.
Beck was evaluated by doctors and deemed unable to compete in Saturday’s finals; truly heartbreaking for the senior. I can honestly say I would’ve been in tears, disappointed, mad, etc! But not Trenton Beck. Beck showed poise, leadership, and tremendous heart all three days of the state meet as he cheered on his teammates.
Beck watched on as his teammates, sophomore Gabe Funk, Jordan England, Isaac Grundman, and senior Samson Adams ran a season best time of 1:01.39 to finish 5th overall in class 1A.
All five young men brought home another medal in the Shuttle Hurdles, and Trenton was the first to congratulate his fellow teammates in a true act of selflessness. Friday was another busy day for the Lenox boys.
The qualifier in four events and Lenox Athlete of the Year, Samson Adams started the day off medaling in the High Jump. Adams qualified for the event in three consecutive years with this year being his first medal at state. Adams is the current Lenox school record holder in the event, and finished 6th overall in class 1A with a jump of 6’1”.
Next up the sophomore sensation Gabe Funk advanced to the finals in the 110 Meter High Hurdles with the third best time in the prelims with a time of 14.62 a new school record. In the finals on Saturday Gabe just got stronger and stronger finishing with a time of 14.84 to finish second overall in the event. Funk’s time of 14.62 broke his own school record and was second overall in all four classes!
The next event up for the Tigers was the 4×200 Meter Relay. Isaac Grundman, Samson Adams, Gabe Funk, and junior speedster Donald Bashor ran a time of 1:33.26 in a great race to finish in the top 20 in class 1A. The final event to report on was also on Friday; the 400 Meter Low Hurdles. Samson Adams and Gabe Funk were both representing the black and gold in the event. Samson ran in the second of three heats and won the heat with a personal best time of 55.87! Adam’s time would’ve medaled in both class 2A and 3A in the top five, but in a loaded 1A race he finished 10th overall- which is no slouch! Gabe Funk finished with yet another record breaking time of 53.92! He finished third overall behind a young man from Lynnville-Sully, and to Mount Ayr superstar Ryce Reynolds who is now the three time state champion in the event. His time was 1.29 seconds faster than he had ever ran in his career.
Great job to all of our male athletes in a record setting year, and a special congratulations to the seniors Isaac Grundman, Samson Adams, and Trenton Beck for your success at state! Tiger Pride!