Demons excited for state
Nearly a week following the conclusion of the Class 3A state qualifying meet, which was held last Thursday evening in Mt. Pleasant, Washington head girls' track and field coach Stefanie Tschantz is still a bit shocked that her Demons qualified 11 events for the state track meet.
“I knew we had a good team the whole season, but for everything to come together at the right time, it’s outstanding,” she said. “I know everyone is excited. We have 18 girls going. It’s just overwhelming.”
With 18 girls still practicing, it doesn’t even seem as if the Demons are preparing for state, senior Kaitlin Buchholz said. It just seems like a regular-season practice.
“It’s crazy,” said Buchholz, who will compete in the 400-meter hurdles and the shuttle hurdle relay at this weekend’s state meet at Drake Stadium in Des Moines. “We were even saying in the locker room that it doesn’t even feel like state because so many girls are here.”
Buchholz and teammate Sammy Ellingson both ran personal-best times to qualify for state in the 400-meter hurdles. And Tschantz said that both seniors could score points for the Demons in that event.
“They’re both seniors, and they both want it,” Tschantz said.
Ellingson and teammate Lauren Kimball could both score in the high jump as well. Ellingson is a three-time state qualifier in the high jump, and she took third place as a freshman in 2010. Kimball cleared 5 feet, 2 inches to take sixth place at the state track meet last spring.
“They both have placed at state before,” Tschantz said of Ellingson and Kimball. “Sammy is coming off of a fifth-place finish at Drake. I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of them place.”
Junior Stephanie Fishback had a personal-best jump of 16 feet, 4 inches in the long jump to qualify for state, and Tschantz said she could jump even longer and score at state. Senior Mariah Reighard, who has signed to run track at St. Ambrose University, could finish among the top eight in the 400-meter dash, and sophomore Macy Marek is a talented sprinter who could make some noise in the 100-meter dash.
Tschantz added that any of Washington’s relays — the Demons qualified for state in every relay they put on the track last Thursday in Mt. Pleasant — could score at state.
“Pretty much all of our relays are still dropping time each time out,” she said. “Anything can happen.”
Tschantz said her 18 girls are excited to be going to Des Moines this weekend.
“They are thrilled,” she said. “They’re more than excited. They’re already designing T-shirts. We have puffy paint shirts that they do. We have a pasta dinner on Wednesday. I know we’re not going to get a lot out of them this week because there’s too much excitement in the air, which is totally understandable.”