Sam Clausnitzer caps off successful second day at Drake Relays

Freshman Sam Clausnitzer competes in the 10,000-meter run at the Drake Relays in Des Moines April 27, 2017. Clausnitzer finished 12th with a time of 30:38.52.

Mike Burvee

The final five events of the decathlon took place on the second day of the Drake Relays in Des Moines on Wednesday.

Coming into day two, Iowa State’s Wyatt Rhoads sat in ninth place with 3,333 points. He ended up with 6,471 points, finishing in sixth place after some rocky results.

Rhoads began his day competing in the 110-meter hurdles, coming close to his personal record, with a time of 15.58 seconds. In the pole vault competition, Rhoads tied his personal record, eclipsing a height of 13 feet, 1.5 inches.

He finished out the day on a high note, running a new personal record time in the 1,500-meter race. His record coming in was 4 minutes and 31.63 seconds, which he topped on Thursday with a time of 4:27.60.

“I came back out today with the mindset to compete and move up in the standings a little,” Rhoads said. “Running a PR is always nice, always good to finish on a strong note like that.”

Former Cyclone and Des Moines native Taylor Sanderson also competed in the decathlon at the Drake relays. This was the seventh time Sanderson competed at Drake.

Sanderson made it as far as nationals for the Cyclones last year in the decathlon. He was also named an All-American.

”I couldn’t ever really make it recently to compete here because of Big 12s when I competed for Iowa State,” Sanderson said. “I love training and competing on this track.”

Sanderson finished in second place in this year’s Drake Relays. He could have earned some more points in the discus and long jump event, which could have pushed him over the top to get the victory.

The men finished out day two with freshman Sam Clausnitzer, who competed in the 10,000-meter run.

This was Clausnitzer’s debut 10K on a track, having mostly run in cross-country before this season. His last competition coming into this week was back in mid-March, when he competed at Tulsa in the 1,500-meter race.

“I’m not too used to running a 10K, but my coaches had a plan for me,” Clausnitzer said. “The main focus was to get a negative split, not having me breakdown after the midpoint in the race.”

Clausnitzer started in the back of the field and remained there until around the halfway mark. From there, he kept dropping his lap times to mimic that of the leader, though he was still fairly far back.

After 25 laps, Clausnitzer finished with a time of 30:38.52, finishing in 12th place.

To top off his debut, he also had his parents there to cheer him on along the way.

“I think it’s kind of cool, they don’t get to see me compete a lot and they made the drive down here to watch me,” Clausnitzer said.