Women runners racing for slots at Drake, State

By: Noah Hermansen

With three outdoor meets as well some indoor meets behind them, the sprinters, hurdlers, mid-distance and distance runners on the women’s track team are off to a strong start as they aim for slots at Drake at the end of April and State in May.

“Overall we are starting our season out strong,” senior Larissa Haan said. “Our relays have been getting good times in order to qualify for Drake. We are already looking better at this time in the season compared to where we were at last year at this time.”

“We have hard competition this year,” senior Kate Moody said, “but it just makes us run even harder so, I think we will do well. Drake is such a huge meet not only for high school but college and pro athletes with a lot of good competition. The experience is definitely unforgettable.”

The women are working on mechanics and their speed to try and drop times. “It is exciting to see our times right now are already faster than what we were at conference last year,” Moody said. “I think we have improved so much already, and we can only get better from here. We have the speed. We just need to work on the mechanics (hands offs/blocks) and our times will drop. State will be here before we know it, and we need to keep working hard and pushing each other to reach our goals and perform well at State.”

The hurdlers have also been working hard this season and plan to improve their form and speed these next couple months. “The beginning of the year is always a little rocky when starting things off, but we work our way into a groove where we are more comfortable,” junior Sammie Alexander said. “I think this season will turn out well, but we are going to have to work really hard to get our times down a little. We need to work on combining speed and good form because that will really help us drop some time. I think we are really good on focusing on what goals we have and what needs to be done, and I’m excited to see where we go this season.”

The mid-distance and distance runners continue to improve and are doing well this season. “We are doing really well so far,” senior Madison Hall said. “We have been working hard on our tough days and we know how to push each other. We have all been running decent times for right now, and especially knowing that we are in the middle of the season and we are running on dead legs. We aren’t backing off on our lifting or workouts so I’m excited for when we start to rest for our big meets at the end of the season. I have a good feeling about it all.”

Though they are sore and may want a break, the women continue to push to be where they want to be for the Drake and state meets.

A lot of the swimmers joined track this year, helping the team complete faster times and grow as a team. “A majority of the swim girls joined distance this year, which had an intense effect, bringing encouragement as well as fast times. It’s nice having so many teammates to help us get better,” sophomore Madison Larsen said. “[Distance coach] Don [Williams] always helps me relax and feel confident before races. He always encourages us to push our teammates during races. We really want to run 4/800 at Drake this year. We have a good chance at making it to State in that again. A few of the girls and I are working to bring down 1500 and 3000 times hoping to qualify for State.”

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