Tyynismaa competes at Drake

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - South Tama County junior JoJo Tyynismaa, right, clears the hurdle during her heat of the 100-meter hurdles on Thursday at the Drake Relays in Des Moines. Tyynismaa finished 12th in the event in a time of 15.87 seconds.

DES MOINES – This was no ordinary Drake Relays. There were less fans, less athletes inside the stadium at any given time and masks being worn consistently by attendees, per Relay rules.

However, those differences didn’t prevent the Relays from being as entertaining as usual.

Three teams from the area had competitors at the Relays, each with varying views on their success and how the day at the Relays will help prepare them for the state tournament coming in May.

South Tama County junior JoJo Tyynismaa had a busy Thursday on the blue oval. Having qualified in the top-10 for three events – the 100-meter dash, 100 hurdles and 400 hurdles – Tyynismaa was hoping to make a mark in her first appearance at the Relays since 2019, when she finished 18th in the 400 hurdles.

It was a mixed day for Tyynismaa – she finished eighth in the 100 dash with a time of 12.92 seconds, tying with Lindsey Sires of Cedar Falls, and then came eighth in the 400 hurdles with a 1:06.25 run. But a 12th place in the 100 hurdles and a time of 15.87 was not what the junior planned.

Still, she was happy with the day and with the experience she gained against some 4A competition.

“This meet with the top girls in the state, that was nice,” Tyynismaa said. “Really hard, but rewarding. It’s not like they were all in my class [3A], but they’re still really good competition. Definitely a good test run for state, to see that and get a feeling of being back at Drake after not having a year of track.