Tyler Olson may have left the Dunsworth Invite at the Brady Street stadium in Davenport with a pair of gold medals, but they certainly didn't come easily.
The Muscatine senior placed first in the 400 and 1,600, and he won both races by a combined 0.46 seconds to lead the Muscatine boys track team to an eighth-place finish Thursday. Dubuque Senior ran away with the meet with 116 points, while Bettendorf finished a distant second place with 98 points.
"It shows I'm in a really good place," Olson said of winning the 400 and 1,600 on the same night. "I'm feeling really strong on the track, and I feel like my speed is at a really good place."
The 400 is an event Olson is less familiar with, as he only ran it once as a junior. However, the Iowa commit says running the race more often can improve his 800 time.
Olson needed a strong finish to pass Dubuque Senior's Angelo Romanga in the final 100 meters. Romanga ran a 51.71, just 0.19 seconds behind Olson's time of 51.52 seconds.
However, it was also a fight to the finish for Olson in the 1,600, an event he's much more familiar with. The Muskie senior passed two runners in the final 200 meters to win the race in 4:32.76, 0.27 seconds faster than Dubuque Senior's Jalen Hildebrand.
"I'm really confident," Olson said. "Finishing fourth at Drake (Relays) and state last year, knowing all the guys in front of me have graduated, I feel like I have a target on my back. I'm this guy returning so I'm supposed to win.
"I feel like I have the speed and the strength to do it."
The Muskies had one other event with a top three finish, as the 1,600 relay team placed second in 3:33.27. They also had a trio of sixth-place finishes in the spring medley relay, shuttle hurdle relay and distance medley relay.
"From way back to indoor season, but even just the one week from our PV meet to this week, I'm really happy with the progress we're making and the times that we ran," Muscatine track coach Mark Rusch said. "Even some of the times the kids ran on Monday night in the 9/10/JV meet back in those conditions as well.
"It's exciting to see where we're at and know their hard work's paying off. It's also exciting to know that when the weather warms up times are going to drop even more."
Pleasant Valley 9, Muscatine 0: Muscatine dropped its first dual of the season at home to Pleasant Valley, who is projected to be one of the top teams in the Mississippi Athletic Conference.
The Muskies (1-1) didn't win a match, but saw a few of their players play competitive matches. James Solt, the No. 6 singles player, battled but fell short to Pleasant Valley's Sean Dolphin 4-6, 2-6, while No. 5 Ethan Heth and No. 3 Samuel Wieskamp both dropped their matches 1-6, 2-6.
Van Buren 179, Wapello 205: Garet Schoonover shot a 44 and Brentin Pallister shot a 46, but it wasn't enough to overcome six Van Buren golfers shooting a 50 or lower.
However, Schoonover and Pallister were the only two Wapello golfers to shoot below 50, as Kobe Boysen was the Indians next lowest scorer with a 55.
Louisa-Muscatine 204, Columbus 213: Zack Bieri shot a team-best 45 and Braden Chick shot a 48 to lead Louisa-Muscatine past Columbus in a dual. Columbus' Ryan Orr had the best score of the day with a 42, but no other golfer shot better than 50 for the Wildcats. Evan Rees shot a 50 and Tucker Bright shot a 55.
West Branch 212, West Liberty 227: Morgan Peterson shot a 50 and Macy Akers shot a 53, good for the second and third best scores in the dual, but West Liberty still fell at West Branch Thursday.
West Branch's Aleah Rocha was the top scorer in the dual with a 49, and West Branch had five five of the top seven golfers. Bella Runge shot a 60 and Lindsey Laughlin shot a 64 for West Liberty.
Louisa-Muscatine 246, Columbus 252: Faith Carroll shot a team-best 59 to lead Louisa-Muscatine over Columbus on Thursday. Columbus' Aubrey Duncan had the best score in the dual with a 55, while Kayla Beenen shot a 61. Both Olivia Danz and Mallory Hohenadel shot a 62 for the Falcons.
Pleasant Valley 9, Muscatine 0: The Muscatine girls tennis team ran into a juggernaut to begin its season Thursday at Pleasant Valley. The Muskies (0-1) lost all nine matches to the Spartans and only managed to win three total games in the dual.
Alex Sichterman was the lone Muskie to win a game in a singles match, as she fell to Sophia Picchiotti 1-6, 1-6 in the No. 4 singles match. The senior doubles duo of Ellie Cahill and Emma Maynard managed to win a game at No. 1 doubles, but were overwhelmed by Pleasant Valley's Lily Feldman and Kayla Nutt 1-6, 0-6.