Class 2A Jags State Track & Field
The 2023 Southeast Valley boys’ track & field season concluded this weekend with the Iowa State Championships in Des Moines. This year the Jaguars had four athletes competing in six events at the state meet.
Senior Cooper Nuss was up first on Thursday, competing the 3200m run for the 3rd consecutive year. After finishing in 21st place as a sophomore and junior, Cooper found the race of his career when he dropped 26 seconds off his season best time on the blue oval to run a time of 10:00.24. This also placed him 6th overall in the class 2A field earning him his first and only state medal.
On Saturday, Cooper turned around and competed in his second event of the weekend at the state meet in the 1600m run. In the 1600m run he was also able to drop 9 seconds off his season best, tying his best time of a year ago, crossing the finish line in a time of 4:40.93 in 21st place. His almost identical time of 4:40.44 a year ago at the state meet was 16th and he also finished 20th in the 1600 at state as a sophomore.
“It’s hard to believe that Cooper finishes his career as a six time state qualifier and a state medalist. It was a great way to finish out his career,” commented his Coach (and dad) after the meet. “He’s put in the time and effort and it finally paid off. We can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in the future.” Cooper will continue his running career at Simpson College in both cross country and track & field next year.
Also competing in two events at the state meet this year was senior Justin Loseke. On Friday, Justin Loseke became the second state medalist for the Jaguars by finishing 8th place in the discus. His best throw of the day was 162’ 1”; his third best throw of the season. On Thursday, he also threw the shot put finishing 18th with a throw of 46’ 9.25”.
Senior Ethan Ackerson also competed in the shot put for a second straight year. He improved on his finish of a year ago finishing 19th overall with a throw of 46’ 1.25”. Last year he was 21st at the state meet. Both Justin and Ethan were Drake Relays qualifiers earlier this season.
Coach Nuss commented, “Justin and Ethan really had an outstanding season throwing shot put and discus this season going 1st and 2nd in both events at most meets. You always hope as a coach that the seniors get to finish their careers at the state meet, and these two were able to accomplish that. Coach Duncan did an outstanding job with both of them this season.”
In the final event for Southeast Valley this weekend, junior Jace Hanson competed in the 400m low hurdles. His time of 57.54 was his season best and 2nd fastest time in school history. His time was 14th overall in class 2A and only a half second from placing. Jace competed last year at the state meet as a member of the 4 x 200m relay team.
“It was another outstanding season for the Southeast Valley track & field. The three seniors at the state meet as well as the other seniors on the team set the bar high for future teams. This group of seniors were part of the first conference champion team in school history as well as not only the first team to win a state qualifying meet championship, but do it back to back years this season. While we wish the seniors the best of luck and will miss their leadership next year, we look forward to seeing what the underclassmen can accomplish as they establish their only legacy in the future.”