AHSTW Girls Track & Field Profile
Seniors: Ryann Portch (S/MD), Kinsey Scheffler (T/S), Autumn Dea (T), Kelsi Cornejo (S/MD), Kaitlynne Henriksen (S/H), Maddie Vanderschelden (MD).
Juniors: Jade Draman (D), Holly Hoepner (MD/H/J), Kailey Jones (D/T), Cora Comer (S/MD), Talia Welsh (S/MD/J), Chloe Falkena (D), Madison Brenneis (T).
Sophomores: Jordan Blotzer (D), Abbie Willett (T/MD), Morgan Heiny (S/MD), Madison Heiny (T/S), Ashtyn McCarthy (S).
Freshmen: Ellie Peterson (MD/H/J), Bree Lurz (S/H), Azzie Welsh (T/D), Hannah Nelsen (T), Kaleah Guyer (S), Elle Murray (S/H).
S - sprints; MD - mid-distance; D- distance; H - hurdles; T - throws; J - jumps.
Returning Western Iowa Conference Medalists
TEAM PLACED 3RD (106 POINTS)
100 Dash - 6th: Talia Welsh, 13.83..... 200 Dash - 4th: Welsh, 28.67..... 400 Dash - 1st: Ryann Portch, 1:01.66; 5th: Kelsi Cornejo, 1:09.89..... 800 Run - 1st: Portch, 2:34.74..... 1,500 - 6th: Chloe Falkena, 5:34.55; 7th: Jade Draman, 5:53.24..... 3,000 - 5th: Falkena, 11:56.52..... 100 Hurdles - 3rd: Holly Hoepner, 16.71..... 400 Hurdles - 1st: Hoepner, 1:09.81..... Shot Put - 5th: Kinsey Scheffler, 33-6.75..... Discus - 1st: Scheffler, 107-0; 8th: Kailey Jones, 85-4.
4x100 Relay - 6th: AHSTW, 58.15 (Kaitlynne Henriksen, Morgan Heiny, Scheffler, Cornejo)..... 4x200 Relay - 8th: AHSTW, 2:06.97 (Cornejo, Heiny, Scheffler, Draman)..... 4x400 Relay - 4th: AHSTW, 4:25.07 (Hoepner, Welsh, Portch)..... 4x800 Relay - 7th: AHSTW, 12:17.64 (Draman, Jordan Blotzer, Jones)..... Sprint Medley - 1st: AHSTW, 1:56.01 (Hoepner, Cornejo, Portch)..... Distance Medley - 6th: AHSTW, 4:56.07 (Henriksen, Heiny)..... Shuttle Hurdle Relay - 6th: AHSTW, 1:19.29 (Henriksen, Heiny).
Cora Comer, who was injured last season, placed 3rd in the WIC 100 dash in 2018 and also ran a leg of the first-place 4x400 relay, first-place sprint medley relay and second-place 4x200 relay.
Returning State Meet Qualifiers
TEAM TIED FOR 11TH PLACE IN CLASS 1A (22 POINTS)
400 Dash - 7th: Ryann Portch, 1:00.32..... Discus - 7th: Kinsey Scheffler, 120-7..... 400 Hurdles - 3rd: Holly Hoepner, 1:05.92..... 800 Run - 2nd: Portch, 2:20.57..... 100 Hurdles - 7th: Hoepner, 16.42 - clocked 16.28 in prelims.
Sprint Medley Relay - 10th: AHSTW, 1:55.64 (Hoepner, Kelsi Cornejo, Talia Welsh, Portch)..... 4x400 Relay - 7th: AHSTW, 4:14.59 (Hoepner, Welsh, Cornejo, Portch - clocked 4:11.34 in prelims.
Comments from Head Coach Jenny Hamilton
“We can never say for sure what would have happened in girls track 2020, but we would like to believe we would have had a heck of a season. We had three solid weeks of practice under our belt and had barely even seen the basketball girls. We see this as a positive because successful tournament play in the winter only brings positive energy and excitement to compete in the spring.
“We love the relays as they allow us to mix, match and experiment. Undoubtedly, almost everyone on the team would have found herself in a 4x4 or 4x2 at some point. I believe we would have found some combinations of girls who could consistently compete at a high level, likely led by our experienced veterans Ryann, Kelsi, Holly, Talia and Kinsey. Both Cora and Kaitlynne worked diligently in the off-season with injury rehabilitation and prevention, and both would have been great options for any of the sprint relays along with freshman Elle Murray. In addition, I have a hunch Morgan Heiny would have really broken out of her shell in the 200’s, and later 400’s. It’s just a hunch, but a strong hunch.
“Many of the mid/upper distance runners were building off a solid cross country season, finishing third in the state. Ryann trained religiously all winter and had big goals in the 400 and 800. As always, Chloe, Jade, Jordan, and Kailey approached this season with nothing but an open mind, and I believe we could have snuck away with a good amount of points in the 4X8, 1500 and 3000. We had plans of potentially mixing Ryann and Kailey into the 1500-plus. Honestly, Abbie Willett may have found herself in some of those longer races. She has energy like a new puppy.
“In the hurdles, Holly made impeccable strides each season. With her focus and quest for improvement, this season would have been no different. Kaitlynne was three-stepping as soon as we gave her permission to do so, and the confidence from that alone would have assured a fun first race. We were also in the works of a shuttle team with freshmen Ellie Peterson, Bree Lurz and Elle Murray. They all were willing to try and showed a lot of promise.
“In the field events, we really wanted to make it a priority to have a stronger and more consistent presence in competition. Kinsey has matured so much as both a thrower and competitor. She was ready to raise her game to the next level and throw consistently at the 120-plus range [in the discus]. We were excited to work with Ellie Peterson in the high jump and we were really looking to experiment after that. Talia or Bree in the long jump and Holly in the high jump were just a few option up our sleeve.
“It’s been over 10 years since our girls track team has won a meet, and this season was going to be it. We wanted to finish top-3 in the conference, minimum. Who’s to say what could have been at the state qualifying meet and beyond, but I believe we’ve got girls on the squad who know they can compete with the best of them and we’ve got girls who were going to discover that this season.
“They say you don’t fully realize how much you miss something until it’s gone, and that has been true in more ways than one this season. Just like with any adversity, those who desire to grow from this experience will find a way. We thank our seniors and wish them the very best of luck, and we look forward to watching Ryann and Kinsey compete next spring [as collegians]!”
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