Track season is upon us and the Dallas Center-Grimes girls’ track team is preparing for the upcoming season and for their first indoor meet, which is the Little Hawkeye Conference indoor meet at Grinnell College on March 12.
The biggest area of concern heading into the season is the depth in the distance events. Madison Waymire, one of the most decorated athletes in DC-G history, graduated last year and the Fillies will be without her for the first time in four years.
Last year she took fourth place in the 3000 meter run and the 800 meter run, third place in the 1600 meter run and helped anchor the distance medley relay team to a fourth-place finish at the State Meet last year at Drake Stadium. Sydnee Hendricks, also a senior last year, took 24th place in the 1600 meter run.
"We had a very deep senior distance group last year, but especially with Waymire," DC-G coach Rich Kloster said. "That’s the biggest concern is who’s going to run distance races.
"We do have a nice group of kids and probably the one thing we’re really looking forward to is our No. 1 cross country girl (Lexi Smith) is a freshman."
Smith was the only Filly to qualify for the State Cross Country Meet back on Nov. 1, 2014 and took 11th overall with a time of 15:25.2 during her freshman season.
One challenge the Fillies face is that they allow runners to participate in track and soccer or golf. This has created even more of a problem with the distance runners as some of them, including Smith, will also be playing soccer this spring.
"I really like the looks of our team except those nights where we’re going to be shorthanded because we share sports," said Kloster. "It’s going to be tough."
The season may not have started yet, but the Fillies are already dealing with an injury. Rachel Lowary had a "bad ankle" all throughout the basketball season and finally got it checked out after the season ended on Feb. 24 and has been wearing a walking boot since.
"Hopefully nothing serious," said Kloster of the injury. "It’s just something that’s precautionary. The same thing happened last year, but happened in the middle of track season where she was in a walking boot for three weeks with a stress fracture."
Lowary’s injury is in the other foot than the one she injured last year, but Kloster said they are hoping it’s the same thing as last year and that the doctors didn’t find any breaks.
Kloster said that while they have to have an idea of where everybody will be running in order to help them qualify for the Drake Relays, which will take place April 22-25, he doesn’t like to run girls in the same events all year long. He said they take the first three or four meets to have people try different events.
"I remember a year where we kind of, after the first or second meet, decided who our 4x100 unit was and it pretty much never changed," said Kloster. "Other years I’ve changed a relay the last meet of the year.
"My philosophy is try to qualify as many events for State as you can but also, if there’s events you think you can place let’s really emphasize that."
In addition to Waymire and Hendricks, the Fillies had three runners qualify for individual events.
Olivia Weaver, a junior last season, toook 20th place in the high jump and 17th in the prelimanary round of the 100 meter hurdles.
Tatum Jorgensen, only a freshman last year, qualified for the finals in high jump but was disqualified.
Maci Masching, a sophomore last year, took 12th in the prelims of the 100 meter hurdles.
The Fillies also had six relay teams qualify for State. The 4x800 meter relay team took 23rd place, the shuttle hurdle relay team took third, the distance medley relay team took 4th, the 4x100 meter relay team took eighth, the 4x400 meter relay team took 12th in the prelims and the 800 sprint medley relay team took ninth place.
The Fillies will compete in the Little Hawkeye Conference indoor meet at Grinnell College on Thursday and will kick off the outdoor season on March 30 as they host the DC-G Filly Invitational at Dallas Center-Grimes High School.