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STC boys use NICL meet as tune-up for outdoor season

March 28, 2013
By Jimmy Gillispie - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

WAVERLY- South Tama's boys track and field team competed at its final indoor meet of the season here Friday, but the Trojans didn't show its competition much from its varsity squad.

Most of the STC upperclassmen or returners from last year's squad competed in one or two events, if they competed at all Friday. However, the younger Trojans competed in the rest of the events at the North Iowa Cedar League Indoor Meet, which was held at Wartburg College.

"We did give the younger guys a chance to compete, because it is a long season and we were working on some very specific things with the varsity guys who competed," coach George Kuhter said. "I was proud of the way Grant (Koch) did in the high jump. We wanted to work on his approaches and get him some good jumps. He did not have a miss until the last two heights and it is going to help his confidence. Sam (Kuhter) and Kyle (Stephenson) just needed to long jump and get in that a good mode."

Article Photos

South Tama senior Clay Waterbury, right, leads a pack of runners during the 1,600-meter run Friday afternoon at the NICL Indoor meet in Waverly. Waterbury finished third in his only event at the meet.

Sam Kuhter was the Trojans lone NICL indoor champion. He set a mark of 20-feet, 4.25 inches on his final jump of the day. He won the event by 4.5 inches. Kyle Stephenson tied for second in the long jump with a mark of 19-11.75.

"I've struggled finding my mark this season," Sam Kuhter said. "On the first jump, I scratched by a bit. On the second one, I was way back on the board. On the last one, I finally found my mark and I went over 20 feet for the first time. That's really good for indoor and promising for the outdoor season."

The Trojans have practiced indoors for almost the entire indoor season, which has made it hard for the long jumpers to practice. However, Kuhter and Stephenson have tried to make the best of it.

"We attempted it last week when we had morning practice in the gym," Kuhter said. "It was just an estimate. If it worked, then we counted it out. Kyle, Bo and I have been trying to get a good mark in the gym."

In the high jump, Grant Koch tied for second place. Koch cleared 5-9 for the first time all season. The winner of the event cleared 5-10. Peyton Craun also competed in high jump and he cleared 5-2.

The other field event of the day was shot put. Levi Bogue and Andrew Peters competed for STC. They finished 15th and 19th, throwing 34-9 and 32-1.

On the track, Andrew Kajer qualified for the finals of the 55-meter hurdles. He ran a 9.29 and placed seventh in the event. Justin Suchanek also competed in the 55 hurdles and ran a 10.01 in the preliminary round.

In the 800-meter run, Dakota Vodochodsky and Mitch Thede competed for STC. They finished ninth and 16th, running 2:28.48 and 2:33.13. Blake Keller placed eighth in 3,200-meter run, running 11:22.72. Austin Lowe ran the 400-meter run and placed 17th for the Trojans.

Clay Waterbury and Tyler Martens finished third and sixth in the 1,600-meter run. Waterbury's time was 5:05.36 in the second heat, while Martens ran a 5:20.44 in the first heat.

"Clay Waterbury ran well in the 1,600 with Tyler Martens," coach Kuhter said. "It was kind of an over distance workout for them and we are happy with the way things came out for them. As far as the younger kids and some of the kids that do not get the spotlight, they needed to run on a big stage. I was very happy with the way they ran. We have a lot of improving to do and with a week off between meets they will have to work hard to step up.

"I have been doing a lot of things to get some more meets for these young guys and once they start running we will not have time for them to get in a lot of work so it is time to put some extra in the bank," he added. "I expect to see a lot of improvement in the next week for the early bird. It's now time to start running and see what happens."

South Tama has this week off and will next run at home on April 2. The Trojans will host the STC Early Bird meet, pending warmer weather.

"It's always fun to run and jump in front of the home crowd," Sam Kuhter said. "Hopefully we get a lot of people to come out. That's our first time to show everybody what we're about. It should be fun."



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