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Solon girls show up big at Central sponsored indoor track meet

PELLA– Early season high school track meets in Iowa are inside. The track is shorter. The curves are tighter. But they offer an early peek at the season ahead. With a couple indoor meets now behind them, some bright spots are beginning to glow for Solon’s girls.
“I feel good about every distance. We may not yet have the four solid runners we will need for the relays in every distance,” underscored head girls coach Brent Sands, after a March 20 Central College-sponsored indoor meet in Pella. “Still, we should be really good in the 400-800-meter range.”
Central’s meet drew entries from 25 high schools and three track clubs, ranging from greater Des Moines through southeast Iowa. There were no team scores kept. However, it gave the Lady Spartans a chance to put their off-season and early season work to the test.
“Emma Bock’s 60.3 seconds in the open 400 was a really good time. She looks like she’s ready to roll,” noted Sands, pointing also to Kerrigan Lyons’ 66.85 over the two laps– each with four extra turns--around the 200-meter track. “Kerrigan is really working hard. It’s good to see her get a good time.”
Jada Buffington got a real confidence booster, making the finals in the 60-meter hurdles and showing success early this season with her starts. Buffington’s 10.62 was good for eighth place. Teammate Mia Stahle was a tick behind in 10.70, grabbing ninth.
The field events treated Solon well, too. MaKinley Levin’s 15-10 long jump, backed by sister Callie’s 15-4 were good for third and fourth place at the Kuyper Center in Pella. Ava Conrad’s 35-0.5 fling in the shot put was good for second place, with Leah Kollar’s 30-6.5 placing 10th. “Leah was over the 30-foot mark with all three of her attempts; really good for a freshman,” applauded Sands. High jumper Kaia Holtkamp notched a 5-0 high jump, good for third, backed by sister Tatum and teammate Lillian Towne. The two freshmen each cleared 4-8 to tie for fifth.
“These early meets give them the chance to compete against the bigger schools,” noted Sands. “It puts a little heat on us. The girls are less worried about the whole process and can focus more on the running.”
A good example? Freshman Grace Fiala lopped 40 seconds off her Dickinson Relays 3,000-meter run on the Central track.
Sands is excited with his 800 runners; Kaia Holtkamp’s 2:27, with Gracie Federspiel’s 2:28 are the start of a solid 4x800 team… besides being good for fourth and fifth at Central. Federspiel was also one leg of Solon’s 4x400 relay, which notched seventh place in a fast indoor field. “With Gracie, it could be a question of where will we use her? In the 1,500? It would mean taking her out of the 4x400. It’s a nice problem to have,” admitted Sands. “(With spring break), we have a few people to see yet; a couple were not there at Central.”
That means a busy week, with more of the work going outdoors… to prep for their first outdoor meet, next Tuesday in Tipton. That should show growth, from the indoor season, and where improvement can come.

Varsity girls’ Track
Date Opponent Site Time
March 30 Tipton Coed Meet Tipton 4:30PM
April 3 J-Hawk Relays Kingston Stadium 10AM
April 6 Williamsburg Coed Williamsburg 4:30PM
April 8 West Branch Coed West Branch 4:30PM
April 9 CCA Invitational Tiffin 4:30PM
April 15 Jesse Day Relays Brady St., Davenport 4PM
April 17 Linn-Mar Varsity Invitational Marion 10AM
April 20 Denny Gruber Invitational Solon 4:15PM
April 22 Mid-Prairie Meet Mid-Prairie 4:30PM
April 26 CP-U Meet Center Point 4:45PM
April 29 CCA Pacha Relays Tiffin 4:45PM
May 4 Monticello Meet Monticello 5PM
May 6 WaMaC Coed Supermeet Independence 4:30PM
May 20-22 State Coed Track Meet Des Moines TBA