Prep boys track and field: T-Birds' Iversen overcomes surgeries to PR in shot put


SHELTON – Doubt was creeping into Dane Iversen’s mind.

Three surgeries in three different areas of the Tumwater High School senior’s body was cause for concern. Even the thrower didn’t know what the future held for his final track and field season.

“A lot of times, I found myself wondering if I was ever going to come back from this,” Iversen said.

Medical clearance and some inner-team competition has propelled Iversen to a standout final campaign.

Iversen triumphed in the shot put, uncorking a lifetime best throw of 54 feet, 1 inch on a rainy Saturday afternoon in the 64th edition of the Shelton Invite held at Jack Street Field.

“My struggle was always looking at it, which I still did, but just getting out of my stance and feeling the flick paired up with the legs, it all worked together,” Iversen said. “It is amazing. I came into the meet not with the best mentality. 

“I made the best of it and it worked out.”

Since the return of Malijah Tucker to the throwing circle, it has heightened the level for both of them. Tucker, a Washington State football commit, has been constantly over 50 feet in the event.

Iversen has too and unleashed a PR by more than two feet to beat his teammate. Tucker was second in over 52 feet.

“It has definitely been competitive during practice,” Iversen said. “As he gets better, I get better. 

Tumwater placed second behind Olympia by seven points, 99-92. Tenino, Black Hills, Onalaska and Rochester all finished with at least one point-scorer and were inside the top-25 in the team race.

The Thunderbirds have not cheated themselves in terms of competition. They have gone to two other loaded meets in the Pasco Invite and GearUP Eason Invite.

Coach Jordan Stray believes this group rivals the 2019 team that finished second at the Class 2A state meet and only had one senior.

There’s very few soon-to-be graduates from the 2023 squad.

“To rebuild has been great,” Stray said. “Fantastic adjustments have been made. This group, fairly young. Could be an exciting couple of years.”

Iversen recently was cleared by the doctors at University of Washington that performed his latest surgery on his shoulder.

The mental hurdle to overcome has been more than the physical one.

“It has been tough,” Iversen said.

After missing most of the football season over the last two years, Stray feels Iversen is taking nothing for granted for the last month.

“Dane is a kid that works his butt off,” Stray said. “He’s still very raw with everything he’s able to do. The last four meets, he’s really been finding his rhythm in the ring and the distances are starting to show.”

Blake Kirkpatrick won the 200-meter dash in 22.79 seconds and anchored all three relays to a top-two finish. The 400 relay group of Jaxon Budd, Cash Short, David Malroy and Kirkpatrick darted around the track to a new season-best time of 43.36 seconds.

“We hang out as a team a lot,” Kirkpatrick said. “We have a lot of guys that can be consistently fast this year. We have a really deep team.”

That time places them as the sixth fastest in 2A, but Kirkpatrick believes they have another gear.

“We have a lot to (do). We just have to get that perfect race,” he said. “We’ve stayed consistent with our marks and steps.”

Malroy secured the long jump with a leap of 21-04 for a new PR. It was just the third time this season the junior has taken part in the event.

He’s already gone over 20 feet twice this year compared to once a season ago.

“It felt really good,” Malroy said. “Boosts my confidence.”

Aaron Paul claimed two top-five finishes in the high jump and long jump while Reid Crumley (300 hurdles) and Josh Schlecht (400) each placed third.

Tenino’s Carson Schall took third in the 110 hurdles in 16 flat while Black Hills’ Ezra Harris took fourth in the javelin with a toss of 147-08.

Harris has placed in the top-five in seven of the nine meets. All of his throws since a league meet on April 9th have been over 140 feet.

“Honestly, it is kind of relieving,” Harris said. “I hope I can get another 10 feet, maybe 15 feet, before the end of the year. I’m not mad at where I’m at.”

Rochester’s Gunnar Morgan picked up two sixth place finishes in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs while Onalaska’s Justice Miller took sixth in the discus.