With its inaugural showing in the North Iowa Cedar League coming on Monday, South Tama's boys track and field team prepared with a home meet on Tuesday.
The Trojans, who will host the NICL meet Monday, finished second out of 11 teams at their home invitational. STC scored 148 points, while Pella scored 178 to win and Xavier totaled 145 to place third.
"It was really solid meet for us," Kuhter said. "We had a really, good team effort. We had to put some kids in some situations where they had to run two, three or four times. That's going to be the way it's going to be at conference. We will have to make sure our guys score points where they should score points and our other guys have to run through it."
South Tama's Kyle Stephenson finishes second in the 100-meter dash Tuesday at STC's home invitational. Brody Boldt placed sixth in the same event.
South Tama's athletes continued improving times and distances at home Tuesday. STC's long jump duo of Kyle Stephenson and Sam Kuhter set the bar high as they placed first and second in the event.
Stephenson cleared the 21-foot mark with a leap of 21 feet, 3.25 inches to win the event. Kuhter surpassed the 20-foot mark when he jumped 20-5.5, placing runner-up.
"We got one over 21 and another over 20," coach Kuhter said. "They are both jumping really well right now. It's going to be a battle at conference and districts. Sam is getting back to being healthy."
The Trojans' distance running crew also ran strong Tuesday. Brandon Nelson and Brady Ellenbecker placed high and ran fast in their respective individual races.
Nelson dropped more than a dozen seconds off of his personal-best time in the 3,200-meter run. The STC captain ran a 10:13.55 and finished fourth in a race loaded with talent.
"It's a good time and a PR by 15 seconds or so," Kuhter said of Nelson's 3,200. "Things are really cooking for him. He has some goals that he wants to set, but he's keeping the team in mind, too. Next week, he's going to be running a few events, as he did tonight."
Ellenbecker finished runner-up in the 1,600-meter run to Pella's Zach Buchheit, who easily won the race in a time of 4:25.01. Ellenbecker ran a 4:40.83 as he finished second.
"He ran a good time, but not his best," Kuhter said. "He is disappointed, because he wanted to stick with Zach, who only ran once tonight. Zach is a true D-1 prospect."
The 100-meter dash was once again a successful event for the Trojans. Stephenson finished the race in a time of 11.39, placing second. Brody Boldt also finished sixth, running an 11.59.
Boldt came back later in the night and placed sixth in the 200-meter dash. He finished the race in a time of 23.76 seconds, right ahead of teammate Brad Cecak, who placed seventh, running 24.08. Cecak also finished third in the 400-meter dash in a time of 51.71.
The Trojans continue placing high in several relays. The 400-meter and 800-meter relay teams finished runner-up to Xavier. The 400 relay team's time was 44.35, just behind Xavier, who ran 43.62. In the 800 relay, the Trojans were edged out. Xavier won with a 1:31.63, while STC placed second with a time of 1:31.79.
South Tama's 3,200-meter relay squad also placed high on Tuesday. The Trojans finished third, running an 8:32, just four seconds from Xavier's first-place team.
"We are getting more and more consistent," Kuhter said. "The younger kids are starting to step up, because they realize that everybody has to contribute. This is not football, where they block for Kyle, turn and watch him score a touchdown. This is a situation, where if we screw up a handoff, Kyle can run as fast as he wants, but he won't do well as a team."
South Tama will have one entry at the prestigious Drake Relays this weekend. The Trojans 400 relay team will run Friday.
"Just making the Drake Relays and where we are sitting right now is fun," Kuhter said.
On Monday, South Tama will host the boys and girls NICL meet.
"It's all about points next week," Kuhter said. "It's not necessarily about time. Hopefully we'll have the same weather we did tonight."