Mid-Prairie’s Miller wins 400 hurdles in photo finish

DES MOINES — Mid-Prairie junior Tanner Miller crossed the finish line concurrently with competitor Matt Finn of Hudson on Friday afternoon in the Class 2A 400-meter hurdles finals.

Each were timed at 53.07. Both stopped for about 30 seconds before it was announced Miller had won the race by five one-thousandths of a second to claim the state title at Drake Stadium. It was mentioned to Miller following the race that few people have seen a race that tight.

“I’ve never been a part of one, either,” he said. “I just tried to hold him off. Me being taller than he was, that lean was probably what got him.”

Miller started inside on the first lane, while Finn was in the second. Miller gradually made up the stagger as the race progressed.

“By the time I got to that eighth hurdle, I tried to start my kick,” he said. “It turned out to be just enough.

“That was crazy.”

After the race, Miller was winded and walking away from the track, about an hour from competing in the 110 high hurdles preliminaries. He tried to rest between breaths and words. 

“If this was any other meet, I’d probably be dead and puking right now,” Miller said. “But being at the state meet, I actually feel pretty good.” 

In Class 1A, Postville junior Austin Hangartner finished fourth in the discus Friday morning.

Hangartner qualified for the finals with a launch of 149 feet, 1 inch, fourth-best entering the finals. The throw held up to keep him in fourth.

Click here for meet results

“That was one of my farthest this year,” Hangartner said. “It wasn’t quite my personal best, but it was still a good throw. I’m happy with how I did.”

Hangartner also qualified for state in the shot put. He finished 16th on Thursday and did not make the finals.

“I just wanted to get to the (discus) finals,” Hangartner said. “I’m glad I had a good day here. It made up for that.”

Olin sophomore Jordan Cress posted the area’s best boys finish in Class 1A Friday morning. Cress cleared 6 feet, 2 inches in the high jump, tying for third place. Five jumpers hit 6-2 overall.

East Buchanan senior Trevor Franck finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles in 56.07 seconds. Lisbon’s distance medley relay team finished sixth in 3:40.45. Freshman Conner Smock, who won the Class 1A 3,200 state title on Thursday, anchored the event for Lisbon.

“Our team did pretty solid,” Smock said. “We got team points, and we’re hoping to get the team championship.”

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