by Mary Kate Bandstra With a total of 5 meets in 2 weeks, PC track members have had their share of races and PR’s this April. The Lynnville Sully meet brought excitement as the girls’ team placed first. The following Saturday at the Osky relays, competing against smaller schools paid off for both teams. Oskaloosa Class B first place plaque was awarded to the PC boys, and the girls finished as runner-up. “We were feeling pretty excited about it obviously. It’s the second straight year that we’ve won the meet so that gives the guys a bit of confidence,” said senior Colin Stravers.
Broken school records and personal record’s have already been the highlights of the season. Sophomore Morgan Fopma broke Donita Van Gorp’s 1988 400m hurdle school record with a time of 1:07.65. Senior Elizabeth VanManen broke her own discus record with a throw of 133’02”. “We’ve had a lot more hard work and determination this year than we had last year,” said VanManen, “which shows how much more support and encouragement we have from our coaching staff and each other.”
The Drake Relays gave some of the girls’ team special experiences as multiple squad members were able to run at the big time event. The 4×100 team of Chloe Morgan, Mary Kate Bandstra, Erica Nikkel, and Evie Armstrong competed on the blue oval on April 28 and rank 55th in the state of all four classes.
On May 11, the district state qualifying track meets were held. The team had high expectations for districts, as the top two finished get an automatic trip to the State Track meet. “I feel really good about where our team is health wise and also in our training. We’ve seen a lot of improvements in many events and from some unexpected athletes,” said head track coach Keith Anderson. “I think we are starting to click in several events and I fully expect us to be competitive in a number of events on both the girls and boys side and ultimately qualify several events for the state track meet later this month.”
2017 State Track and Field qualifiers:
Grant Dunbergen, 2 mile, 10:00.59
Elizabeth Van Manen, Discus, 129-00
Sprint Medley (C. Morgan, E. Nikkel, E. Armstrong, MK Bandstra), 1:52.42
Evie Armstrong, 100 meter dash, 12.88
Chloe Morgan, 400 meter dash, 63.44
4×200 Meter Relay (E. Nikkel, MK Bandstra, M. Fopma, E. Armstrong)
Mary Kate Bandstra, 200 meter dash, 26.28
Morgan Fopma, 400 meter hurdles, 67.42