KNOXVILLE - After its first two outdoor meets were canceled, the South Tama County boys track and field team had an important meeting with its coach before competing Saturday.
South Tama was scheduled to compete at Washington High last month, but the meet was called off because of weather. Then STC was supposed to host its Early Bird Invitational on April 2, but cold temperatures forced officials to cancel the meet.
With frustration about not competing building amongst the players and coaches, the Trojans held a meeting after last Thursday's practice.
South Tama seniors Kyle Stephenson, far left, and Kaleb Davenport, third from right, compete in the 100-meter dash Saturday. They finished third and fourth in the race, while also helping two STC relays finish first and second later in the meet.
"We had a little 'come to Jesus meeting' the other day," coach George Kuhter said. "I just told them it's attitude. On Thursday, we ran with a bad attitude and we thought since we were the biggest team, everybody is going to roll over and die for us. It's not going to happen that way and we performed better today, because the attitude was better. We have a lot of good kids with a lot of talent, but they need to know what it's going to take to be successful."
The Trojans meeting was beneficial. They came back two days later and competed well at their first outdoor meet of the spring. The Trojans finished third out of eight schools at the Panther Relays. Pella won the meet with 175 points and Knoxville finished runner-up with 137 points. The Trojans scored 127.5 points to finish 50 points ahead of fourth-place Oskaloosa.
South Tama had success all over the track Saturday, but won just two races. The Trojans won the varsity and junior varsity 4x100-meter relays. The varsity team cruised to victory, running the relay in a time of 44.92 seconds. The team members were Bo Blocker, Kaleb Davenport, Dylan Kalinay and Kyle Stephenson. STC's JV team also won easy, running it in a time of 46.76.
South Tama results
100 - 3. Stephenson, 11.09; 4. Davenport, 11.13
200 - 3. Davenport, 23.62; 8. Kuhter, 25.37
400 - 6. Tyynismaa, 55.65; 7. Morris, 55.71
800 - 5. Ellenbecker, 2:08.48; 11. Martens, 2:21.17; 13. Vodochodsky, 2:24.06
1,600 - 3. Ellenbecker, 4:49.05; 8. Waterbury, 5:24.77; 9. Keller, 5:25.72
3,200 - 6. Keller, 11:23.73; 8. Norton, 12:08.28
110 hurdles - 2. Kalinay, 16.12; 6. Bidwell, 18.36
400 hurdles - 4. Bidwell, 1:04.73; 7. Beyer, 1:06.3
4x100 relay - 1. B. Blocker, Davenport, Kalinay, Stephenson - 44.92
4x200 relay - 2. T. Blocker, Davenport, Kalinay, Stephenson - 1:34.24
4x400 relay - 4. Morris, Beyer, Bidwell, Tyynismaa - 3:47.69
4x800 relay - 2. Ellenbecker, Tyynismaa, Waterbury, Martens - 8:49.97
Distance Medley - 3. T. Blocker, Tyynismaa, Kuhter, Waterbury - 3:55.62
4x110 shuttle hurdle relay - 3. Beyer, Kajer, Bidwell, Kalinay - 1:07.21
High Jump - 3. Koch, 5-10; 5. Morris, 5-6
Long Jump - 2. Kuhter, 20-9; 3. Stephenson, 20-2.75
Shot Put - 6. Slagle, 42-8; 8. T. Blocker, 39-4
Discus - 8. Slagle, 114-8; 12. Lowe, 106-2
The Trojans had more success in the sprints. Stephenson and Davenport placed third and fourth in the 100-meter dash. Later in the day, Davenport and Sam Kuhter finished third and eighth in the 200-meter dash. Robert Tyynismaa and Zach Morris placed sixth and seventh in the 400-meter dash.
Kalinay and Daryl Bidwell placed in the hurdle events. Kalinay finished runner-up in the 110-meter hurdles, while Bidwell placed fourth in the 400-meter hurdles an sixth in the 110 hurdles. Tristan Beyer also medaled in the 400 hurdles by placing seventh.
"Everybody ran so much better today," Kuhter said. "I don't think I can single out any performance. There are some things we have to work on. The relays ran well and everybody contributed to our success. That's the biggest thing we have to understand is that this is a team of 40-plus guys and everybody participates and has a hand in it."
Brady Ellenbecker also medaled in the distance events for STC. He placed third in the 1,600-meter run before placing fifth in the 800-meter run.
One disappointment for South Tama was the 4x200-meter relay. STC was narrowly beaten by Pella. STC ran the race in 1:34.24, but Pella was just faster at 1:34.04. STC relay members were Davenport, Blocker, Kalinay and Stephenson.
"It all has to do with handoffs," Kuhter said. "That's the attitude thing. The handoffs and attitude of thinking we were just going to win. The 4x100 came through and it was a little bit better today. But they still have that 'I'm going to kick your butt attitude.'"
STC's 4x800-meter relay squad placed second in its race. STC finished in a time of 8:49.97. The relay members were Ellenbecker, Clay Waterbury, Tyynismaa and Tyler Martens. Meanwhile, the team of Morris, Bidwell, Beyer and Tyynismaa placed fourth in the 4x400-meter relay.
A pair of relays finished third for the Trojans. They distance medley team of Tyler Blocker, Kuhter, Tyynismaa and Waterbury ran a 3:55.62. STC's 4x110-meter shuttle hurdle relay also placed third. The relay members were Beyer, Andrew Kajer, Kalinay and Bidwell.
In the field events, Kuhter and Stephenson finished second and third in the long jump. They jumped 20 feet, 9 inches and 20-2.75. Grant Koch and Morris placed third and fifth in the high jump. They cleared 5-10 and 5-6.
"We got one meet in and we'll keep rolling," Kuhter said. "We compete twice the next couple of weeks. We'll get some hard practices in, but the goal is there. We're running this well this early against Pella and Knoxville. It shows that we can run with the big boys."
South Tama is scheduled to compete in Oskaloosa on Saturday.