Central girls endure harsh weather, competition at the track

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McKenna Jaster runs in the shuttle hurdle relay, in which Central finished fourth at the Decorah Invitational. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Delaney Scherf runs the anchor leg of the 800 sprint medley relay. The Warriors finished second in the race.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register


The Central girls had an uncharacteristically rocky week of track and field, including a fifth place finish at the Oelwein Huskies Girls Invitational. The Warriors scored only 77 points, leaving the meet early due to extreme cold and wind conditions.


“It was a really hard decision to make, but I didn’t feel as though we were totally prepared for the conditions and I was worried that we might have an injury,” said coach Martha Bauder. “The good that came out of it, though, was that no one suffered an injury and I established some more precise and thorough preparation guidelines for those weather conditions. Moving forward, I feel a lot more confident that we will be able to approach it safely and competitively.” 


While that was disappointing, the events the Warriors did compete in showed their talent. Nineteen members of the team scored at least one point and three athletes scored double digits, with Brandy Beatty and Abby Cummer finishing with 12 and Allie Mussman scoring 11.5. 


Mussman also provided a meet highlight, running the 3000 in that cold and winning it in a season-best time of 13:04.33, which was nearly 30 seconds better than her previous mark. She followed that by running on the 4x800 relay, helping Central to a third place finish.


In the other races, the Warriors had two top-10 finishers in the 100 meter dash, as Haley Mueller crossed the line in fifth at 14.76, earning two points, and Ashlyn Scherf finished seventh. Mackayla Vlazny also ran the race, finishing just outside the top-10, in 11th. In the 400 meter dash, Shannon Farmer finished eighth with a time of 1:15.60. 


The Warriors also impressed in the 100 meter hurdles, with four athletes finishing in the top ten. Beatty led the way with a second place effort in personal record time of 17.11, earning eight points. She was followed by McKenna Jaster in fourth, while Taylor Moser crossed the line in eighth place and Madylen Gregerson finished ninth. 


During the relays, the Warriors had a respectable finish in the 4x200, as Mueller, Lexi Loan, Vlazny and Staci Herman finished fourth, earning the team four points. The 800 sprint medley relay was an even better finish, as the group of Grace Kuehl, Beatty, Maddy Wille and Hannah Asche ran a time of 2:02.25, good for third place. The 1600 distance medley was a second place finish by Wille, Gracie Cummer, Jaydin Dettman and Delaney Scherf, who had a time of 4:48.30, earning six points. 


The best relay finish came in the 400 shuttle hurdle event, when Beatty, Kaitlyn Wiley, Loan and Jaster crossed the line in first place, a full two seconds ahead of second place, and earned the team 10 points. 


On the field side, the discus event saw four Central athletes place in the top 10. Aly Feickert was the team’s top finisher, in third place with a distance of 76 feet, 7 inches, which was a personal record. Teammate Abby Cummer finished fourth, Regan Rosol sixth and Macie Winters eighth. Feickert earned six points for the team, while Cummer earned four. 


These same four girls competed in the shot put, but it was Cummer who was the best finisher, placing second with a throw of 30 feet, 3 inches and earning eight points. Feickert finished seventh, netting one point, while Rosol and Winters were 11th and 12th, respectively. 


Maci Kluesner was the only athlete to participate in the jumping events, finishing ninth in the long jump with a distance of 12 feet, 10 inches.


At the following meet, the April 15 Decorah Girls Relays, things went better for the Warriors, who finished fourth with 76 points. 


“The weather cooperated much better for this meet. Still chilly, but so much better as can be seen by our multitude of PRs and 12 season-best times,” said Bauder. “We really bounced back after the Oelwein meet. We were more competitive at this meet than we have been in a long time by scoring 76 points and having only 3A and 4A teams ahead of us.” 


The 76 points were earned by 13 athletes, with Asche leading the team with 16.5, followed by Beatty with 13 and Dettman and Kuehl with 10.5 apiece. 


In the sprint races, the Warriors sent two runners into the 100 meter dash, as Farmer and Jaster finished ninth and 10th, respectively. 


Central had two top-three finishers in the 200, with Asche winning the race in a time of 28.05, earning 10 points, while teammate Kuehl finished third, running a time of 28.84 and netting six points. 


Dettman kept the winning going in the 400 with a personal record and race-winning time of 1:05.52, adding 10 points to the team total.  


In the 100 meter hurdles, Beatty continued to be a force, finishing second with a time of 17.09, good enough for eight team points. Jaster was eighth. 


The 400 hurdles produced two more top-10 finishers with Wiley coming in fourth at 1:16.13, gaining another four points for the team, while Gracie Cummer placed seventh. 


There was a race occurrence in the 1500, as teammates Dettman and Delaney Scherf tied for seventh place, as both crossed the line at 5:51.26. 


During the relays, the Warrior foursome of Wille, Beatty, Kuehl and Asche finished  second in the 4x100 with a time of 54.26, good enough for eight points. The 4x100 weight person relay watched the group of Abby Cummer, Rosol, Winters and Feickert finish in third in a time of 1:16.43. 


The Warriors came across the line in eighth place in the 4x800 relay, as Dettman, Royer, Moser and Mussman had a time of 12:12.76. 


In the 400 shuttle hurdle relay, the quartet of Beatty, Wiley, Gracie Cummer and Jaster crossed fourth with a time of 1:15.25, which earned Central four points. In the 800 sprint medley, Wille, Asche, Beatty and Delaney Scherf finished second with a time of 2:01.77, which was just a half second behind race winner West Delaware. 


Finally, in the 1600 distance medley, Wille, Kuehl, Asche and Delaney Scherf finished first in a time of 4:38.12, which was six seconds faster than second-place Decorah. 


In the discus and shot put, Abby Cummer provided two top-10 finishes, with an eighth place effort in the discus with a throw of 83 feet, 10 inches, then a seventh place finish in the shot put with a throw of 31 feet, 4.5 inches. 


In the jumping events, Brittni Tieden finished third in the high jump with a height of 4 feet, 8 inches, gaining six points for the team. Maci Kluesner came in ninth in the long jump with a distance of 12 feet, 9.5 inches.


“This meet should give the girls some extra confidence going into the next few weeks of meets as we try to keep improving and getting closer to our potential. I think most teams have had to try to be more patient this year about expectations, performances and for things to start improving due to not having had a season last year. But we’re definitely going in the right direction and will be working hard on putting together lineups that will help us figure out our strategy for the conference, district and state meets in May,” Bauder said. 


The Warriors head to the track next at the West Delaware Invitational on April 22.

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