Women’s track starts strong at FAAST

The women’s track team was originally supposed to kick off their outdoor track season on March 25 in Cedar Rapids. However, that meet was sporadically canceled, without much given reason. Coach Chris Wood didn’t take a cancellation for an answer, as he found the FAAST Indoor Meet, located in Dubuque. 

Wood said, “The Sherwood Relays at IC City High is one of our favorite meets of the year, primarily because we can take so many athletes and it launches our outdoor season. We knew leading up that it was going to get canceled, so I made a call to the University of Dubuque Team and asked if he could squeeze us into the roster.” 

The women made their way up to the University of Dubuque, where they competed at the A.Y. McDonald Fieldhouse. 

The Tigers won the team title, scoring a total of 103 points, beating Solon, who was second with 88.5. The highlight of the meet was the girls 4x800m, featuring sophomore Ruby Schillinger, sophomore Zoe Zylstra, freshman Paige Wilson and sophomore Josee Simonson. This time earned them a new meet record, beating the previous one by 4 seconds. 

In the 400m dash, sophomore Josee Simonson doubled-back after the 4×800 to finish third place, with a time of 1:02.16, earning her an Iowa Top 50 time this year. 

In the 800m dash, Zylstra also doubled-back, to place second with a time of 2:27.71. This earned her an Iowa top 50 time. Schillinger also achieved that status, as she finished fourth with a time of 2:31.06.

In the 4x200m, Cedar Falls B team finished third place, scoring 6 points, with a time of 1:52.95. 

In the 3000m, the group was strong. Junior Maddie Gallagher finished in third place, with her time of 11:11.17. Junior Anna Becker finished fourth with her time of 11:27.40. To round out the 3000m, senior Jaden Swarts finished in fifth place with a time of 11:30.28. 

“It felt good to get an indoor meet in, even though we were supposed to have an outdoor one. The 3k went very well. I was happy with my performance, but also happy with how my teammates did as well. It is good to have a training partner, but also a competitor on the track as well,” junior Anna Becker said. 

In the 4x400m, Cedar Falls A team finished third, with its time of 4:13.07, scoring another 6 points for the Tigers. 

In the high jump, the Tigers had another strong group of competitors. Freshman Addi Spier finished second, tied with four of her teammates. Spier, sophomore Isen O’Byron and sophomore Zoe Zylstra, all jumped a height of 4-8. Senior Lily Ganfield was 5th, with a jump height of 4-6. In total, this group scored 25 points in the high jump, which accumulated to ¼ of the Tigers’ total points.  

In the long jump, freshman Shea Ray finished in first place with a jump of 15-9.50. This earned her an Iowa top 50 time. 

In the 55m hurdles prelims, junior Paige Paup finished in second place, with a time of 9.12. The first four athletes were separated by 0.05 of a second. This time earned Paup an Iowa top 25 time. She came back in the finals, to earn a fifth place finish, running a time of 9.07, bettering her Iowa top 25 time. 

“Our team exceeded our expectations,” Wood said. “It was great to see the girls compete at this meet. They competed and performed very well.”

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