The South Tama County girls track and field team opened up its season March 20 at the Iowa State Indoor Championships in the Unidome in Cedar Falls.
A fired-up coach Emily Chyma was enthusiastic afterwards remarking, "First meet of the year. I'm very, very proud of our girls. They have been working very hard."
In the field events, Jade Rohach cleared 4-feet, 6 inches, just missing on her third attempt at 4-8 for 44th place out of 78 competitors. Freshman Karlee Starits also jumped, but finished with no height.
Trojan freshman Dahianna Puentes takes off on her leg of the 3,200-meter relay after receiving the baton from junior Kelsey Kupka. Along with Trisha Walz and Taylor Ellenbecker, the girls relay finished with a 10:59.90 at the Iowa Girls State Indoor Meet March 20 at the Unidome.
Riley Craun long jumped 13-11.75 for 45th out of 81 competitors.
Samantha Holtz recorded one of South Tama's best finishes of the day. In the shot put, her throw of 31-9.5 put her 28th in the field of 88.
The girls 800-meter relay of Craun, Kiley Albertson, Britany Bear and Rohach is a new from the ground up group running together for the first time. A miscue during the first exchange led to an out-of-zone disqualification for the quartet and no time or place was awarded.
The 3,200-meter relay foursome of Kelsey Kupka, Dahianna Puentes, Trisha Walz and Taylor Ellenbecker got off to a great start, finishing under 11 minutes. Their time of 10.59.9 won their heat and put them in 39th out of 62 teams.
Hurdling for the first time at the varsity level were freshmen Tamisha Rogers and Julie Wise. Rogers's 60-meter hurdle time was 11.59 for 93rd and Wise turned in a 12.08 for 104th. In the 60-meter dash, Michelle Kroeger finished with a 9.69 and Aileena Ironshell had a 10.20. In the 400-meter dash, Rohach cranked out a 68.06 to finish in the middle of the pack at 63rd. Samantha Magpie ran 1:12.56 for 101st.
Trojan Sonya Peters won her heat of the 200-meter dash with a time of 29.61, good enough for 74th out of 136 sprinters. Allison Kratoska covered the 200 in 31.11 for 110th.
Walz's time of 2:44.92 in the 800-meter run put her in 77th out of 125 runners.
In the last event of the meet, the 1,600-meter relay team of Magpie, Kupka, Walz and Rohach clocked a 4:42.29 to finish 45th out of 56 relays.
Coach Chyma reflected on the first meet of the season.
"They've been running some things that maybe they're not used to, but it definitely paid off today. The 4x400 ended us up on a really good note today, and the 4x800 was a nice surprise today. Those girls really pushed themselves."
Reflecting on field events, she added, "Riley started off with a nice 13-11. I know that's not exactly what she wanted, but it's a good mark to start from. Same thing with Jade and Karlee in the high jump. And then the awesome event of the day, Sam and the shot put, putting a 31-9.5. Last year her goal was to get past thirty, and this year she went past 31 like it's going out of style."
Chyma has a handle on what needs to happen next.
"We have an idea what we need to work on. A lot of it is technical, like long jump, high jump and shot put. We know we need some block work for the sprinters and hand-offs for the relays. But I was very, very impressed with our distance girls today and we'll keep pushing hard with our game plan there."
There were no team scores kept at the meet.
South Tama travelled to Waverly March 23 to compete in the Wartburg high school indoor meet.