South Tama boys track and field team competed in two meets last week and the Trojans continue to improve their performances as the season progresses.
On April 8, the Trojans traveled to Norwalk and came oh so close to winning the meet. They scored 115.5 points, finishing runner-up to Newton, who scored 117 team points.
"You can't do anything about it," coach George Kuhter said. "You could lose by 1.5 points or by 10 points and second-guess yourself to death. It's not really that big of a deal, but it would have been nice to get a victory over that team, because it's probably the toughest bunch we'll face until district or conference."
South Tama’s Kaleb Davenport, right, hands the baton to Dylan Kalinay during the 4x200-meter relay Saturday. STC won the race at the Oskaloosa Relays.
South Tama won five events at the meet and four of those were sprints. Senior Brady Ellenbecker was the other victorious Trojan. Ellenbecker won the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:45.25.
STC seniors Kyle Stephenson and Kaleb Davenport won the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash. Davenport also finished runner-up to Stephenson in the 100. Both sprinters helped the STC 4x100 and 4x200-meter relays win their races. The other relay members were junior Dylan Kalinay and senior Daryl Bidwell.
"Yesterday was the perfect track day," Kuhter said. "I can't remember a time like that, except the state meet in a long time. That was a real bonus."
Norwalk Relays results
100 1. Stephenson, 11.48; 2. Davenport, 11.53
200 1. Davenport, 23.13; 8. Kuhter, 25.04
400 11. Blocker, 55.17; 13. Morris, 56.81
800 3. Waterbury, 2:04.17; 16. Norton, 2:26
1,600 1. Brady Ellenbecker, 4:45.25; 14. Martens, 5:19.45
3,200 9. Norton, 11:49.95
110 hurdles 3. Kalinay, 16.11; 11. Kajer, 18.72
400 hurdles 5. Bidwell, 1:01.73; 10. Beyer, 1:05.22
4x100 relay 1. STC - 43.86
4x200 relay 1. STC - 1:31.35
4x400 relay 6. STC 3:43.07
4x800 relay 2. STC 8:44.56
440 shuttle hurdle relay 3. STC 1:07.5
Distance Medley 3. STC 3:52.05
Discus 10. Lowe, 112-2; 18. Slagle, 90
Shot Put 8. Slagle, 39-10.5; 9. Blocker, 39-5.5
High Jump 3. Koch, 5-8
Long Jump 3. Stephenson, 20-5; 4. Kuhter, 20-5
Oskaloosa Relays results
100 2. Stephenson, 11.68; 4. Davenport, 11.78
200 6. Davenport, 23.94; 10. T. Blocker, 24.55
400 5. B. Blocker, 55.8; 7. Tyynismaa, 56.62
800 6. Ellenbecker, 2:11.89; 7. Martens, 2:18.19
1,600 4. Ellenbecker, 4:51.55; 9. Keller, 5:19.35
3,200 3. Keller, 11:06.66
110 hurdles 2. Kalinay, 16.14; 11. Kajer, 19.08
400 hurdles 6. Bidwell, 1:01.93; 10. Craun, 1:06.23
4x100 relay 1. Davenport, Kalinay, Bidwell, Stephenson - 44.06
4x200 relay 1. Davenport, Kalinay, Bidwell, Stephenson - 1:32.23
4x400 relay 6. STC - 4:04.94
4x800 relay 3. Ellenbecker, Tyynismaa, Martens, Waterbury - 8:54
440 shuttle hurdle relay 5. STC - 1:06.53
Distance Medley 4. STC - 4:01.24
Discus 9. Slagle, 110-3; 10. Lowe, 105-10
Shot Put 7. Slagle, 39-8.25; 9. T. Blocker, 39-0
High Jump 7. Koch, 5-6
Long Jump 2. Kuhter, 20-8; 3. Stephenson, 19-10.5
After the Trojans meet at Hudson was canceled because of weather, they traveled to Oskaloosa on Saturday to compete against similar teams that it battled at its first meet in Knoxville. The Trojans tied for third place in the Class A standings. They scored 81 points, tying Oskaloosa for third. Pella won the meet with 154 points and Knoxville placed second with 90.
"It was a good meet," Kuhter said. "We had ACTs, it's a Saturday, it's cold and all of that stuff. We're starting to put some things together and we're starting to answer some questions. It's nice to run, but we've got to look at the positives. I really want to look at the positives, because we have two weeks until conference. That's the goal.
"I think we're doing well now," he said. "We got Drake Relays out of the way. We kind of proved ourselves in the relays and we're getting more consistent in the jumps and the other stuff. We're doing well. Hopefully we run twice next week."
South Tama's victories at the Oskaloosa Relays came in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. The relay team of Davenport, Kalinay, Bidwell and Stephenson won both events in easy fashion.
"That's going to be the line-up we're going with at districts," Kuhter said. "I may do a little tweaking of that line-up and put them in other things so they can score maximum number of points for conference. The nice thing about it is we have three or four guys we can plug into those relays and still run fast. I've got confidence in the kids and they have confidence in themselves right now."
STC finished second in three events on Saturday. Stephenson finished runner-up in the 100-meter dash. Kalinay placed second in the 110-meter high hurdles and Kuhter finished second in the long jump. Stephenson placed third in the long jump behind Kuhter.
"He's really starting to click," Kuhter said of Kalinay. "That's a good thing. He's getting confidence in his races. Sam and Kyle are getting confidence in their long jumps."
S. Kuhter was disappointed to finish second in the long jump again, because it was the second meet that he's been beaten on the final jump.
"That's the way it goes," coach Kuhter said. "If you want to be that kind of jumper and be the consistent jumper that he wants to be, you're going to have to be consistent. He had a scratch and two jumps over 20-5 and one under. That's on me, too. I want him to go for it."
The Trojans scored points all over the track on Saturday. Blake Keller finished third in the 3,200-meter run and the 4x800-meter relay team of Ellenbecker, Robert Tyynismaa, Tyler Martens and Clay Waterbury placed third.
Kuhter was proud of his entire team for its performance Saturday.
"People were scoring all over the place today," Kuhter said. "I plugged the Blocker boys into some 400s, because I want to see what they can do. I'm going to try some other things. I'm really happy with (Peyton) Bubba Craun. He stepped in and did a good job. He's not used to this level of competition, but I think he's getting used to it. Then we have some kids who are trying some new stuff, like Daryl Bidwell is improving in the hurdles."
South Tama will travel to Newton on Thursday. STC will then host its home invitational next Tuesday.
"If you take a look at it, our best performance was on the warmest day we've had," Kuhter said. "Hopefully we can have some good practices and meets before conference."