DES MOINES - Lukas Mees won't have to slink around in the shadows at Marion High School this week.
He's a state champion and has the gold medal to prove it.
Mees captured the 1600 meter run at the Class 3A state meet Saturday in 4 minutes, 24.06 seconds in a tight battle with Zach Buchheit of Pella.
Buchheit beat Mees in the 3200 meter run on Thursday when the state meet began at Drake Stadium, but Mees got even on Saturday with a strong finish. "Total revenge," he
Marion captured the 4x200 relay on Friday and Mees desperately wanted a gold medal of his own. "Now my 4x2 people can't make fun of me anymore," he said, "because now we've both got one."
Mee was hoping his victory would help the Indians finish second or third in the Class 3A team standings, but they fell just short. Decorah won the 3A title with 65 points, Webster City finished second with 48.33 and Spirit Lake Park was third with 45.
Marion finished in fourth place with 44 points, just a single point shy of earning a handsome trophy for the school.
The Cedar Rapids Washington boys suffered a similar fate when they finished fourth in the Class 4A standings with 39 points. Iowa City West ran away with the 4A title with 75 points, followed by four-time winner James Harrington and the Cedar Falls Tigers (49.5) and West Des Moines Dowling (42).
Linn-Mar placed eighth in the boys 4A standings, Xavier finished 10th and Prairie was 12th. Cedar Rapids Jefferson led the Metro girls teams by finishing 14th in Class 4A.
Mees is a senior who joined the Marion track team for the first time this year. He's been a top cross country runner for the Indians during his career, but until this year had played for the Marion soccer team in the spring instead of running track.
He trained hard during the winter to get ready for the season and reaped the rewards Saturday. "Oh my god. I've waited so long, so long for that," he said after his victory. "I can't believe it's real. Ahhh, sweet. It's a great feeling."
Mees kicked into high gear during the final 150 meters to fend off the competition. "I kept telling myself, 'This is it, you have to do it.'"
Marion was hoping to challenge for the 3A title this year and won two events in the state meet, but the Decorah Vikings were too strong.
The Linn-Mar Lions, meanwhile, never got untracked in their bid to win the 4A title. The Lions climbed from 14th to eighth on Saturday, but did not win any events and never got on a roll.
Josh Evans placed third for Linn-Mar in the 1600 meter run on Saturday in 4:19.81, finishing less than a second behind Matt Butler of Bettendorf. That turned out to be Linn-Mar's highest finish in the meet despite being seeded No. 1 or No. 2 in seven events.
The Lions finished fourth in the shuttle hurdle relay with Tristan Freese, Brandon Ophoff, Colton Sanchez and Mike Keiser. Chase Grabau ran fifth in the 800 and Ophoff placed seventh in the 110 high hurdles.
The Prairie Hawks, who won the distance medley on Friday, finished a tight second in the 4x400 relay Saturday with Austin Dellamuth, Jarred Edmonds, Jacob Aune and Demetrius Harper.
Washington finished sixth in the 4x400 relay with Drake Hickok, Trevor Luebe, Robert Hogg and Nick Corbett. The Warriors placed fifth in the 4x100 relay with Mitch Bredeson, Will Griffin, Braedon Tovey and JoJo McBride.
Griffin placed fourth in the 100 meter dash, Hogg finished eighth in the 800 and Etienne Nzoyisaba was eighth in the 1600 for the Warriors.
Timauntay Jones of Jefferson finished third in the 800 after having the lead late in the race. Tyler Krpan of Indianola passed him in the final stages, then Jones stumbled briefly in his attempt to rally and slipped into third place. The J-Hawks finished eighth in the 4x400 relay with Alex Baxter, Jones, Asim Wallace and Ryan Deerberg.
Xavier grabbed fourth in the 4x100 relay with Nick Ball, Jordan Weber, Cal Stovie and Nick Steingreaber. Steingreaber ran seventh in the 100 meter dash.
Derek Williams of Marion placed sixth in the 200 meter dash and finished eighth in the 100. The Indians took fifth place in the shuttle hurdle relay with Quinn Cannoy, Andrew Davis, Cedrick Williams and Taylor Rogers.
The Metro teams did not produce any champions in the girls events at state.
Jefferson finished third in the shuttle hurdle relay Saturday with Madison Ranschau, Allison Gruwell, Taylor Jacobson and Summer Carber. The J-Hawks took sixth in the 4x100 relay with Rachel Broghammer, Rattliffe, Lucy Schneekloth and Carber and they finished seventh in the sprint medley with Broghammer, Schneekloth, Rattliffe and Jacobson.
Ratliffe ran sixth in the 100 meter dash and Carber was sixth in the 100 hurdles.
Brooke Foreman of Washington finished fifth in the 100 hurdles and Shannon Gorman placed eighth in the 1500 for the Warriors.
Molly Breitbach placed seventh for Xavier in the 100.
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