For senior trackster Dylan Kalinay, this is his swan song. Kalinay has found much success running track during his high school career with multiple trips to the elite Drake Relays and State Track and Field meets.
As Kalinay nears the end of his high school career he marked his final home meet by going out with a bang. On Thursday May 8 in front of his home crowd with family and friends cheering him on, he qualified for the state tournament in each of his four events. Kalinay's individual events included the 100 M Dash, 200 M Dash and his favored event the 110 High Hurdles. "I think the 110 is probably my favorite because, it's not something everyone can do," said Kalinay referring to the 110. His best time for the season is 14.42, which is currently the fifth fastest time in the state. On Thursday he ran a 14.97 in the 110 hurdles for first place in the district meet.
"Dylan proved what a good athlete he is. This was his year to prove what he could do and he was the man! He has worked through the season and overcame some tough races to come out here and shine," said head track coach George Kuhter.
Dylan Kalinay (senior), Robert Tyynismaa (junior), Zach Morris (senior) and Tyler Blocker (junior) qualified for the Track and Field State Tournament on Thursday May 8 in front of their home crowd. The four will run in the 4x100 on Saturday May 24 at Drake Stadium.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham
He won't be alone at state however. Kalinay was also part of the state qualifying boys 4x100 M Relay team along with senior Zach Morris, and juniors Robert Tyynismaa and Tyler Blocker. Kalinay is the only returning member from last year's state 3A champion 4X100 team. Kalinay along with Kaleb Davenport, Kyle Stefenson, and Daryl Bidwell won the 4x100 2013 state title with a time of 43.02. This years 4x100 state qualifying team finished second at districts with a time of 44.06.
Tyynismaa is also no stranger to the state meet as he has qualified three times prior. Normally a 4x800 meter relay runner, Tyynismaa was put on 4x100 after Kolbie Clark suffered an injury. "I was pretty happy," said Tyynismaa with little time to celebrate, as he had to run another race.
"I could not be happier than I am with the 4x100 team. With Dylan at the anchor, everyone just thought we had to get him the baton and we could win but it is more complicated than that. We had to try and put four guys on the track that worked well together and this foursome won the conference and ran faster than our number four seed time. When a few key kids got hurt, I thought it was over but four kids ran well enough to get to state and when they get there, everything is in their hands but they should be ready," said Kuhter.
For the STC Lady Trojans senior Samantha Holtz will continue her successful senior season as she qualified for the state competition in the shot put event. Holtz finished seventh in last year's state meet with a throw of 37'4". Holtz has made the trip to Drake Stadium already once this season when she threw at the Drake Relays. This will be her third state appearance.
Finally, for the second time at state sophomore Isabelle Tyynismaa will join her brother Robert and her dad Robert Tyynismaa (boys varsity assistant coach) at this year's state meet. Tyynismaa qualified for state in the 200 M dash and the 400 M Dash. Tyynismaa's 200 M Dash district time was 27.43. Her 400 M Dash qualifying time was 1:03.42.
"Last year at this time the team finished last in the toughest district. This year, fifth place. It really is important to emphasize the progress this team has made in one year, especially with a young team. It will be fun to see where this team goes from here," said Coach Olivia Van Zante.
Congratulations to all of this year's state qualifying student-athletes. Good luck and Go Trojans!