Hard work pays off as Ames runners qualify for Drake Relays

The Ames High girls’ track team has hit it off to a strong start this season. Placing no lower then 3rd place in any of the outdoor meets, Ames has qualified many events for Drake. “We have a lot of potential this year to impress many competitive teams,” Lauren Naeve, a Drake qualifier said. The Drake Relays, established in 1910, has grown to over 6,000 participants throughout the three-day meet. This prestigious meet has hosted Michael Johnson, the world record holder for the 400 and 200-meter dash. With such professional and talented runners, Ames is determined to make an impression. The Sprint Medley Relay, 4×100, 4×400, 800m, 100m, 3000m, long jump, discus and shot put have all qualified for the Drake Relays on April 27-30. Qualifiers include Kyra Knuth, Jessica Palo, Stephanie Soh, Kersten Thorgaard, Lauren Naeve, Lauren Brown, and Brittany Rover, This year’s talent didn’t come out of the blue. Hard work and dedication has prepared the girls to compete. Practices consisting of multiple repetitions of 100m all the way to 500m running at 100% speed help to develop the powerful muscles a good runner must have. “Mr. Mooney has a done a good job preparing us this season. I feel a lot stronger, and you can see that in the amount of events we have qualified compared to years past,” said junior qualifier Lauren Brown. The girls team has participated in a total of six outdoor meets so far, and they have a feeling for what its like to compete. However, they can’t even anticipate the feeling of the Drake Relays. By far, the most impressive qualifying event is the Sprint Medley Relay. Not only is the four-girl relay ranked 1st in the state for Drake, but their time at the Indianola meet broke both the school and meet record. Kyra Knuth, Jessi Palo, Stephanie Soh, and Kersten Thorgaard make up this relay team. As far as goals go for the team, the sprint relay plans to keep their 1st place ranking, and take home the gold. “This is the first time I’ll be participating in the Drake Relays. I think our sprint medley team has the potential to get first place,” said junior Kyra Knuth. Stephanie Soh, another member of the sprint medley relay agreed with Knuth. “I’m really excited for our sprint medley. I want it really bad. This season I feel a lot more confident, because last year I was a freshmen and didn’t know what to expect,” said sophomore Stephanie Soh. It seems as though the Ames girls’ track team is ready to tear it up at the Drake Relays. However, it won’t be till after the Relays that we will find out how much better we are than Valley.