DES MOINES – This time, Logan Jones was challenged.
At the opposite end of Johnny Bright Field inside Drake Stadium, Darby Thomas was not.
But the Council Bluffs track and field stars put forth their best effort.
On Friday, that was good enough for a state championship for both of them.
Jones completed the second sweep of the throws for a Lewis Central athlete in six years, winning the shot put with a personal-best heave of 60 feet, 2 inches on his fifth of six throws to overtake West Des Moines Valley senior Jake Remsburg by seven inches for the Class 4-A title.
Despite problems finding the takeoff board, Abraham Lincoln’s Thomas dominated the long jump competition. All six of her marks were better than any of the other 23 girls in the event. She won at 18-11 to register her third state title in the event. Angel Baylark of Burlington was second at 17-9.
“It’s insane,’’ the Nebraska recruit said. “It’s a great feeling. I wish it could have been four, but sometimes things don’t work out the way you want them. But it’s a really great accomplishment.’’
A day after dominating the discus competition by more than seven feet, Jones took the lead on his first throw of the finals at 58-10¾, only to have Remsburg pass him on the next throw at 59-7.
That lasted until Jones unleashed his PR on his fifth attempt. Remsburg fouled on his final two attempts.
“It is nice to have competition like that, because it pushes you to get better and pushes you to throw farther,” Jones said. “This feels really good because it doesn’t happen often. It is just the amount of work that we put into it.”
Jones matches the accomplishment of Jacob Barents, who won both for the Titans in 2014.
Jones came into state with a best of 59 feet before improving on last year’s runner-up finish.
Thomas’ jumps were 18-8, 18-3, 17-11¼, 18-2¾, 18-11 and 18-9½. Most began well behind the end of the board.
“I just wasn’t on today,’’ she said. “I didn’t feel as confident in my jumps today, which kind of stinks, being my last state meet. But it all turned out fine.’’
At the end, she shared group hugs with a few of her competitors.
“Track girls, I think, are the nicest girls,’’ she said. “We all know it kind of sucks, but we love it all together.’’
Thomas qualified second for the 100 hurdles final behind Iowa City West’s Peyton Steva. They were separated by one-thousandth of a second, 14.408 to 14.409. Thomas nipped Steva to win the Drake title last month.
Also from Council Bluffs, Lewis Central junior Lauren Payne followed Thursday’s runner-up finish in the discus with another silver in the shot put.
Payne’s best throw came on her second effort of the finals when she went 41-2¼. Waukee’s Kat Moody won with a throw of 46-4¾.
“During warmups I had a couple of good throws out there, and then I guess the pressure got to me and I didn’t perform my best,” Payne said. “I have a tendency to watch where (the shot) lands, so I feel like I step out when I watch it. That is something I need to work on.”
Sioux City West junior Hope Wagner made her final throw a PR, going over 40 feet for the first time in her career to take third at 41-1¼.
“I just wanted to focus on letting it all go and I grunted, too,” said Wagner with a smile. “I usually don’t (grunt), but I just tried to change things up on the last throw. It worked.”