Washington Evening Journal

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Demon Relays Preview

Warmer weather expected for Thursday's Demon Relays

By Travis J. Brown, Journal Sports Editor | Apr 03, 2013
Photo by: Ashlee De Wit Washington senior Sammy Ellingson runs in the shuttle hurdle relay at last Thursday's Mt. Pleasant Co-Ed. Ellingson and the Demons will get to run outdoors for the second time this season tomorrow night when Washington hosts the Demon Relays co-ed meet at Case Field.

With a high temperature of 61 degrees forecast for Washington on Thursday — the warmest day of 2013 so far — the Washington boys’ and girls’ track and field teams are set to take advantage of the pleasant conditions when they host their co-ed Demon Relays at Case Field.

“We’re excited to have a nice day,” Washington head boys’ track and field coach Steve Roth said. “I think we deserve one.”

The Demon track teams have only gotten one chance to compete outdoors so far this spring — at last Thursday’s Mt. Pleasant Co-Ed — as cold temperatures and snow on the ground have canceled many of the area meets.

The Washington boys have had track meets at West Burlington, Fort Madison and Williamsburg canceled this spring, and on top of that the Washington Relays were canceled for the first time in the meet’s 53-year history. The Washington girls have had meets at Columbus, Fort Madison, West Burlington, Mediapolis and Williamsburg canceled. The Demon girls have only run outdoors once, finding a spot in the Mt. Pleasant Co-Ed at the last second after the Mediapolis meet was canceled.

“It’s supposed to be gorgeous [tomorrow night], so we’re going to take advantage of it,” Washington head girls’ track and field coach Stefanie Tschantz said.

Tschantz’s loaded squad will be looking to win the Demon Relays for the third year in a row. The Demons will have a good chance. At the Mt. Pleasant Co-Ed last week, Washington won two events, with senior Sammy Ellingson clearing 5-2 to win the high jump and the quartet of Dema Giardino, Amber Salow, Grace Redlinger and Morgan Kimball winning the sprint medley relay. The Demosn also finished in the top five in 10 more events.

“I definitely want to try to win the meet,” Tschantz said. “That’s our main goal. It’s not going to be easy, but we’re going to try hard.”

The Demon girls will entertain squads from Columbus, Fairfield, Fort Madison, WACO and Wapello. The Washington boys will host Clear Creek-Amana, Columbus, Fairfield, Mid-Prairie, WACO and Williamsburg.

It will be Senior Night for both Washington squads. Nine senior boys — Shawn Edwards, Justin Hoffman, Logan Moeller, Kyle Roder, Alan Sanchez, Austin Twinam, Brody Warth, Austin Witt and Spencer Woods — and eight senior girls — Maddie Bohr, Kaitlin Buchholz, Beth Dillon, Sammy Ellingson, Natalee Enfield, Joni Erwin, Lauren Kimball and Mariah Reighard — will be honored during the meet.

“We’ve got eight seniors on the team, and they’ll all get introduced,” Tschantz said. “I’m going to run the seniors pretty hard and let them have a great last showing at home.”

The meet is also Washington’s Run Down Cancer event, which will raise funds for the American Cancer Society. The event will raise money through a bake sale and the sale of T-shirts and pink shoelaces. There will also be time taken during the meet for cancer survivors or those wishing to honor someone who has suffered with cancer to take a lap around the Case Field track.

“It’s a great charity event,” Roth said. “It’s a great cause. That’s probably the No. 1 reason to come out and support the Demon Relays tomorrow night.”

Then you’ve got Roth’s and Tscahntz’s athletes. Roth’s Demons had a very promising start to the outdoor season last Thursday night in Mt. Pleasant, winning the 4x200 relay and taking third in the 4x100 relay with impressive times. Junior Alex Coker also won the long jump with a personal-best leap of 21 feet, 3 inches. All three events are on the cusp of qualifying for the Drake Relays.

“My 4x100 and 4x200 relays are one handoff away from qualifying for some bigger and better things,” Roth said. “Alex Coker is one jump away from qualifying for bigger and better things. It just takes one night.”

Roth hopes that Thursday’s warmer weather brings out the best performances in his athletes.

“My team’s goal for the meet is to run a lot of events and try to improve their times,” he said. “Everybody is going to run three events, and some might run four. It’s going to be warm enough that they can do that. They’ll be ready to go.”

So will Tschantz’s girls, ready to take advantage of more seasonal temperatures.

“We’ve only had one outdoor meet, and with this being at home, I know the girls are going to run hard and leave it all out there on the track for us,” Tschantz said.

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