Talented senior class headlines L-S girls track team

Troy Hyde, Newton Daily News, Iowa
·4 min read

Mar. 29—Kevin Johnson was looking forward to taking over the Lynnville-Sully varsity girls' track and field program last year.

Johnson spent 12 years leading the junior high program but his first season as high school girls coach was wiped out last spring because of COVID-19.

That squad lost six seniors who didn't get a final campaign and shot at the blue oval. This year's team has eight seniors and six juniors to lead the way at the top of the roster.

Back as Johnson's assistant coach this season is Jill Schuring.

"Things are going pretty well this season overall," Johnson said. "We are excited to get things going. Not having a season last year was tough. I feel bad for those seniors. The challenge moving forward is just meet experience. We will learn a lot from our first meets."

The senior class is led by Korinne Jansen, Caitlin Alberts, Megan Van Zante, Cayler Noun Harder and Meleisha Vos.

Jansen has the top returning time in the 100 (13.5 seconds) and was on the team's top 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams. She also is the top returner in the shot put with a best throw of 33 feet, 0 1/2 inches.

Jansen is the defending South Iowa Cedar League champion in the 100.

Alberts has the top returning time in the 400 (1 minute, 5.11 seconds), the second fastest 200 time (30.2) and was part of the top 4x400, sprint medley and distance medley relay teams.

Alberts qualified for the state meet in the 400 two years ago.

Van Zante and Vos are the top returning distance runners. They were both part of the 2019 conference-winning 4x800 relay team with Noun Harder.

Van Zante has the top returning time in the 800 (2:42.41) and the 3,000 (13:09.72) and Vos is tops in the 1,500 (5:54.58).

Vos has the second best returning time the 800 and 3,000 while Van Zante has the second fastest returning 1,500 time.

Noun Harder's leap of 14-1 1/4 is the top returning mark in the long jump.

The other three seniors are Cally Gibbs, Jaden Brand and Dylann Huyser.

Huyser does have the top returning time in the 200 at 30.13. Gibbs was part of the Hawks' top 4x200 and sprint medley relay teams. Huyser also was on that sprint medley foursome and ran a 14.33 in the 100 to be the fourth best returner in that event.

"Our strength is senior leadership," Johnson said. "It's nice to have eight seniors that have experience, work hard and are able to help the underclassmen. They have been really great to work with."

Junior Reagan McFarland is one of the team's best sprinters. She ran a 13.63 in the 100, returning with the second best time in that event. She also was part of the top 4x100 and distance medley relay teams and posted a 13-8 in the long jump.

McFarland was a state qualifier in the 100 in 2019 and also ran with Jansen on the state qualifying 4x100 relay team that season.

Juniors Sydney Jansen and Aliya James are the other top returners on the track.

Sydney Jansen has the team's top returning time in the 100 hurdles at 17.72 and also ran a 14.16 in the 100. She also ran on the top shuttle hurdle team two years ago.

James' time of 30.47 is one of the top returning times in the 200.

Sophomore Greenlee Smock was not able to compete last year as a freshmen but is a two-time state qualifier already in cross country and will provide the Hawks with another key puzzle piece in the distance events.

Johnson also expects sophomore Kinsley Tice to provide depth in the distance events.

Outside of the returners, Johnson said Brand and junior Lily Zylstra will compete in the throwing events.

The rest of the roster includes junior Callista Hackert and Natalie Nikkel, sophomore Allie Van Wyk and freshmen Brooke Conover, Morgan Jones, Allyssa Lepley, Carsyn McFarland, Natalie Roberts and Riley Van Maanen.

"Without having a season last spring, the girls need some meet experience to understand their full potential and what the team can do as we put the pieces together," Johnson said. "It did also impact field events and we haven't had the best weather yet to give kids opportunities in some of these areas either."

Lynnville-Sully 2021

Varsity Girls Track Schedule

March 30 — Belle Plaine, 4:30 p.m.

April 6 — Home Coed Invitational, 4:30 p.m.

April 8 — EBF, 4:30 p.m.

April 13 — Pella Christian, 4:45 p.m.

April 16 — Nevada, 5 p.m.

April 20 — Montezuma, 4:30 p.m.

April 23 — BGM, 4:30 p.m.

April 26 — PCM, 4:30 p.m.

April 29 — West Marshall, 4:30 p.m.

May 4 — SICL Invitational at Sigourney, 4:15 p.m.

May 6 — Cardinal Relays, 4:30 p.m.

May 10 — Home Coed Invitational, 4:30 p.m.

May 13 — State Qualifying meet, 4 p.m., TBA