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Clipper girls ready to run

Celine Fender and Mia Smith of Clear Creek Amana tackle the hurdles at the Demon indoor meet March 6. (photo by Norv Coblentz)

TIFFIN– Jane Astor probably isn’t a fan of Punxsutawney Phil, the infamous groundhog who’s prognostication of a prolonged winter seemed to be coming true.
Astor, the head coach of the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) girls’ track and field team, and her athletes are itching to get out on the track.
After all, it is rather difficult to run the hurdles in UGGs®.
In her 24th season leading the Clippers, Astor, with assistant Teri Schultejans and volunteer assistants Bob Broghammer and Marcy Rahn, are hoping to build on last year’s success. The team sent 11 events to the state co-ed meet in Des Moines with Molly Villhauer placing eighth in the shot put, Tyhesia Simpson taking seventh in the long jump, and the shuttle hurdle relay (Celine Fender, Natalie Brimeyer, Ashley Prusha and Mia Smith) coming home in third place. In addition to the state competitors, the shuttle hurdle team and Smith (100-meter hurdles) set new school records.
This year, seniors Villhauer (shot put and discus), Simpson (long jump and sprints), Emily Broghammer (throws), Amy Brant (sprints) and Fender (sprints and hurdles) are back along with juniors Brimeyer (sprints and hurdles), Megan Hall (sprints), Chloe Keith (mid-distance events), and Smith (sprints and hurdles).
Sophomores on the squad this season include Kyla Williams (mid-distance events), Megan Lukas (sprints and hurdles), Prusha (sprints and hurdles), Kelli Murray (distance events), Corrine Schwarting (sprints and hurdles), Lori Drake (distance events and high jump) and Jonnae Cole (shot and discus).
Among the newcomers are Miranda VanNostrand (sprints and mid-distance), Emilie Harder (distance events), Katlyn Ernst (sprints), Mariah Roller (throws), Emily Gerot (sprints and hurdles), Jacquelyn Bunch (sprints and hurdles), Alivea Carnahan (sprints, mid-distance and hurdles) and McKenzie McGraw (throws).
“The WaMaC is an outstanding conference,” Astor said. “The conference meet is unbelievable. I think our team will be in the top five in the conference, and we hope to qualify several events for the state championship meet as well as to the Drake Relays.”
Astor said she hopes to get outside on the track soon, “in order to improve and achieve our goals.”