Prep Track and Field

Drake Relays: Mike Jasa is Mr. Versatility, and a double winner, for Prairie

Hawks win 3,200-meter relay, then the shuttle hurdle

Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Mike Jasa (from left), Caleb Fuller and Chavi Parks celebrate after winning the boys’ shuttle hurdle relay at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on Saturday, April 28, 2018. Prairie won the event in 57.24 seconds. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Mike Jasa (from left), Caleb Fuller and Chavi Parks celebrate after winning the boys’ shuttle hurdle relay at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on Saturday, April 28, 2018. Prairie won the event in 57.24 seconds. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — Mike Jasa was the common denominator in an uncommon combination.

Cedar Rapids Prairie claimed two Drake Relays boys’ relay championships in the span of 90 minutes Saturday morning at Drake Stadium. Jasa was part of both of them.

The senior brought the Prairie 3,200-meter relay unit home with a 1:56.1 anchor, then participated in the Hawks’ triumphant shuttle hurdle relay shortly thereafter.

Yes, a middle-distance anchor and a hurdler. That’s versatility.

“It’s my first year running the 800,” Jasa said. “I quit football after my freshman year and went out for cross country. It taught me how to work hard.

“And hard work pays off.”

Max Laue, Colton LaGrange, Robert Laue and Jasa were at or near the front of the 3,200-meter relay the whole way and won it in 7:56.84.

“I got (the baton) to Mike in the lead, and I knew once he had baton that he was going to finish it off,” Robert Laue said.

The Hawks won the event for the first time, a mystery considering the program’s recent strength in middle-distance events.

“I never thought this group would win it. A couple years ago, we had Tysen VanDraska and Matt Lorenz and couldn’t do it,” said LaGrange, whose second leg of 1:58.6 put the Hawks firmly in the hunt. “That victory lap was the best moment of my life.”

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Prairie entered the shuttle final with the second-best preliminary effort behind Cedar Rapids Kennedy, but Kian Davis, Caleb Fuller, Jasa and Chavi Parks blazed through the final in 57.24 seconds. Kennedy finished second in 57.56.

“It’s such an amazing feeling,” Parks said. “All the cold weather, all my injuries ... we really put in the effort, and it’s an amazing feeling.”

Parks tore his right hamstring last year at Drake and strained the left one this season.

“I just really wanted to push past it all,” he said. “I’ve been doubting myself, not sure if I was going to be able to compete.

“Running is my passion.”

Cedar Rapids Jefferson capped a speedy weekend by claiming the 400-meter relay title. James Baugh, Josue Bokoyo, Blake Bolden and Mitchell Hall circled the track in 42.31 seconds.

“Our handoffs were a little iffy, but we still got it done,” Baugh said. “This feels phenomenal.”


The J-Hawks set a Drake record in the 800 relay Friday, then ran the 400-relay preliminary in another meet-record effort of 42.02. They didn’t match that Saturday, but they were fast enough to capture another flag.

“I’m just so happy,” Hall said. “I was happy to finish for these guys.”

Kennedy was third in 42.70, 1-hundredth of a second behind runner-up Urbandale.

Iowa City West’s Austin West came up just short of the Drake record in the 400-meter hurdles, winning it in 51.96 seconds.

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“I’ll take it,” he said. “I really wasn’t thinking about my time, but I heard the crowd oohing and ahhing when I got the finish line, so I knew it was close.”

Photo Gallery: Saturday's Drake Relays high school boys' events

Ames’ Dustin Avey ran 51.94 in 1995.

“My step pattern was good through the first eight hurdles,” West said. “Then my form went a little.”

Urbandale won the boys’ Hy-Vee Cup with 22 points. Pekin followed with 16.

DRAKE RELAYS: SATURDAY’S BOYS RESULTS

Hy-Vee Cup (top 5) — 1. Urbandale 22, 2. Pekin 16, 3. (tie) Ames and Waukee 12, 5. Bettendorf 11.

3,200 relay — 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie (M.Laue, LaGrange, R.Laue, Jasa), 7:56.84; 2. Ames, 7:58.42; 3. Pekin, 7:59.05; 4. Johnston, 7:59.71; 5. Urbandale, 8:00.26; 6. Atlantic, 8:01.62; 7. West Des Moines Valley, 8:03.21; 8. Gilbert, 8:04.02.

Shuttle hurdle relay — 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie (Davis, Fuller, Jasa, Parks), 57.24; 2. Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 57.56; 3. Waukee, 57.70; 4. Pella, 59.37.

400 hurdles — 1. Austin West (Iowa City West), 51.96; 2. Nolan Roethler (Waukee), 53.41; 3. Tyson Vander Linden (Lynnville-Sully), 53.79; 4. Will Reemtsma (Davenport Central), 53.83; 5. Demari Nicholson (Bettendorf), 54.01; 6. Will Krapfl (Ames), 54.24; 7. Angelo Romagna (Dubuque Senior), 54.33; 8. Mike Jasa (Cedar Rapids Prairie), 54.37.

400 relay — 1. Cedar Rapids Jefferson (Baugh, Bokoyo, Bolden, Hall), 42.31; 2. Urbandale, 42.69; 3. Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 42.70; 4. Southeast Polk, 43.03; 5. Ames, 43.07; 6. West Des Moines Valley, 43.31; 7. Western Dubuque, 43.67; 8. Johnston, 43.90. Note: Jefferson ran 42.02 in the preliminaries Friday for a Drake record.

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1,600 — 1. Gable Sieperda (Central Lyon), 4:15.48; 2. Camden Cox (Ankeny Centennial), 4:16.88; 3. Konnor Sommer (Pleasant Valley), 4:18.47; 4. Tom Altier (Johnston), 4:19.36; 5. Andrew Kephart (Decorah), 4:20.88; 6. Riley Bauer (North Union), 4:21.67; 7. Jalen Hildebrand (Dubuque Senior), 4:22.53; 8. Tim Sindt (Ankeny), 4:23.11.

1,600 relay — 1. Waukee (Roethler, McCrary, Yeaway, Eaton), 3:18.77; 2. Bettendorf, 3:19.01; 3. Des Moines Roosevelt, 3:21.36; 4. West Des Moines Valley, 3:23.14; 5. Dubuque Senior, 3:23.33; 6. Cedar Falls, 3:23.50; 7. Pekin, 3:23.70; 8. Atlantic, 3:24.27.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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