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On to State: Senior hurdler Jacob Bunge is among many Viking qualifiers.

Last night was a very special night for the Vinton-Shellsburg Boys track team, says coach Aric Chvala.

“The cold and rain in Tama didn't stop the Vikings from performing the best they had all season,” said the coach. “There were incredible performances all night long.'

The coach praised his athletes for their strong showing:

Derek Dinderan and Jordan Evans began the string of Viking successes in the 3200. Each dropped nearly 17 seconds off their previous season-best times; both also earned their first trips to State.

Joel Barnes and Nick Hyland ran season-best times and as sophomores punched their tickets to Des Monies in the 100. Nolan Sagan continued his distinguished career capturing his 2nd berth in the 400 and 3rd in the 800. Newcomer senior Jacob Bunge shook off an unfortunate fall in the shuttle hurdle relay to advance in in the 110 high hurdles – also setting a new personal best time. Chase Overton continued to show his unbelievable versatility after missing out with a knee injury last year, becoming a qualifier in both the discus and the long jump along with 2 sprint relay events.

“I can't say enough good about the effort that these guys have put in all year long,” says Chvala. “It has not been ideal weather to be outside all spring but they pushed through it and came out very well. I think the adverse conditions actually helped our chances last night because they have become so accepting of it."

Chvala also praised the VS assistant coaches for a “tremendous job preparing the guys for everything.”

“Coach Johnson made some great adjustments with Chase Overton in the long jump and it really paid off; over the years Coach really has a way of getting great things out of our long jumpers,” says Chvala. “Coach Womochil works tirelessly with our throwers and I am so excited that for the first time in my coaching career we have a discus thrower at the state meet. And the work he did with Andrew Freeman (who did not qualify for State) over the last 2 years has been truly remarkable. “

Relay events were another strong area for the Vikes at Districts.

“Our depth really showed up in the sprint relays; we qualified the 4x100 4x200, and 4x400 with so many different guys. The 4x400 was the guttiest relay we have had in a long time ; we got a great effort from Freshman Tyler Bartz, who is also a last minute addition to the 4x200; and great leg from Nolan Sagan after a quick turn-around from the 800.

“It was a great night to be a Viking. I am so happy for all the guys,” says the coach

The top 2 finishers at the district meet automatically qualify; the next best 8 statewide performers are invited to participate at the state track meet in Des Moines next Thursday-Saturday.

The complete list of qualifiers is:

100 - Joel Barnes
100 - Nick Hyland
400 - Nolan Sagan
800 - Nolan Sagan
110 HH - Jacob Bunge
3200 - Derek Dinderman
3200 - Jordan Evans
Discus - Chase Overton
Long jump - Chase Overton

4x100 - Joel Barnes, Nick Hyland, Jordan Womochil, Wyatt Meyer

4x200 - Joel Barnes, Nick Hyland, Tyler Bartz, Chase Overton

4X400 - Chase Overton, Tyler Bartz, Ben Hyland, Nolan Sagan

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