Camden Cox’s final lap around Drake Stadium was a memorable one.
The Ankeny Centennial senior took the lead in the final 200 meters of the boys’ Class 4A 1,600-meter run on Saturday. He then held off crosstown rival Tim Sindt of Ankeny down the stretch to win his first individual state title, posting a time of 4:18.36.
“It’s so surreal,” Cox said. “I didn’t feel good after the (distance medley relay Friday) and coming into (this race). But I knew one thing–I knew I was going to leave it all out there on the blue oval for my last race.”
Sindt, a junior, placed second in 4:18.70. He broke the Hawks’ school record.
“Camden made a good move with 200 to go, and he earned the victory,” Sindt said. “I knew he wasn’t feeling great, but I was expecting some senior magic to kick in for him. There is no one else in the state I would rather get second place to, and I am very happy for Camden and very pleased with my race as well.”
Cox established himself as one of the favorites last month, when he placed second in both the 3,200 and 1,600 at the Drake Relays. The only runner to beat him in those races was Central Lyon standout Gable Sieperda, who set a pair of state records this weekend while sweeping the Class 1A distance events.
Cox sat out the CIML Central Conference meet on May 4 due to a foot problem, but he returned to the track on May 10 for the district meet at Waukee, where he placed second behind Sindt in both the 3,200 and 1,600 and anchored the winning distance medley relay.
On Thursday, Cox struggled to a 19th-place finish in the 3,200, posting a time of 10:02.86 that was about 45 seconds off his personal best. He then anchored the Jaguars to a sixth-place finish in the distance medley relay on Friday.
“The last couple days have been rough mentally and physically and I really have to give it all to God, my parents and family, teammates and coaches for believing in me when it was hardest to believe in myself,” Cox said. “I didn’t feel very good the first 800 so I hung toward the back, then on the third lap I made a big move to the front next to Tim. I put it all out there the last lap and just happened to come out first.
“It’s amazing to finish it next to Tim and bring that attention to Ankeny,” he added.