By Becky Walz,
With several members of the team having tasted what it’s like to compete at the state meet, the Turkey Valley boys’ track and field team is hungry to see if hard work pays off.
Encouraging the Trojans to do their best this season is head coach Mark Scott, who is leading the red and white for his 24th season.
It was what many called a rebuilding year last season after the Trojans, like all teams in Iowa, needed to quickly find a line-up that worked after not competing in 2020 due to COVID-19.
With 18 on the squad, Turkey Valley continued to improve all season, with the pieces coming together in May. The journey to state began with the Upper Iowa Conference meet. The Trojans came in fourth with 74 points, winning two relays. Claiming gold in both the distance medley and 4×400 were Noah Hanson, Chase Hayek, Marcus Herold and Kalvin Langreck. Langreck also broke the tape in the 800-meter run.
Trojan fans saw a trio of relays qualify for the state meet — the distance medley, sprint medley and 4×800 relays. At the state meet the distance medley had the best finish in 12th place, while the 4×800 crossed the finish line in 15th place. Members of those relays were Hayek, Hanson, Reicks and Langreck. The weekend ended with the sprint medley relay on the track, posting a 21st-place finish with Carson Busta, Herold, Hanson and Langreck.
Filling the hole
Having graduated just one senior last year — Kalvin Langreck — the Trojans will have a solid nucleus in which to start from.
Despite the loss, the Trojans have several big athletes ready to make 2022 a strong one.
At the top of the list are state qualifiers: Chase Hayek, Noah Hanson, Dylan Reicks, Marcus Herold and Carson Busta.
They will be joined by juniors Troy Schmitt, Calvin Bodensteiner, Treyton Hulbert, Garrett Dietzenbach, Ryan Franzen and Kale Kuennen; and sophomores Russell Nieman, Burke Busta, Sawyer Wickham and Oliver Schmitt.
“We have experience in some running events and our field events should be improved from last year with the year of growth,” said Coach Scott.
The veteran skipper noted that the team will need to find key players to fill holes in hurdle and field events.
When it comes to the Upper Iowa Conference, Coach Scott believes South Winn, MFL MarMac or North Fayette Valley will be top contenders to bring home a title.
However, if the Trojans continue to work as hard as they have in the offseason, they will again find themselves qualifying for multiple events to the state meet.
The first outdoor meet scheduled for Tuesday, March 29, at Sumner-Fredericksburg was cancelled due to high winds and cold temperatures.
The Trojans look to get on the track outside for the first time this week at Ed-Co Tuesday, April 5, and at Postville Thursday, April 7. Both meets are slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. The UIC meet is Thursday, May 5, at Postville. Turkey Valley will compete in the state qualifying meet Thursday, May 12, with the state meet running May 19-21, in Des Moines.