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South Tama sending 10 events to State Track and Field Meet

May 15, 2019
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Ten events and 15 athletes from the South Tama County Track and Field team will be headed to the State Track and Field Meet at Drake Stadium this week. The Trojans competed at Benton along with the Bobcats, Center Point-Urbana, Clear Creek-Amana, Grinnell, Solon, Vinton-Shellsburg and Xavier.

The first from STC to punch their ticket to the blue oval was Stacey Slaven in the High Jump. Her jump of 5'3 was good to tie her for 11th place in the State with three other girls. Twenty four will be jumping at State.

Following the girls high jump was the boys high jump. Keith Keahna had a stellar night hitting his pr of the season with a jump of 6'7. He took first place which will send him to state. His jump of 6'7 was the second highest in the State. Waw Gach of Denison-Schlswg jumped 6'8.

Article Photos

Stacey Slaven hands the baton to Jojo Tyynismaa to anchor the girls 4x100 on Friday, May 10 at Benton.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham

Later in the evening, Keahna went on to qualify in the 400 Meter Dash and was the 2nd leg of the boys 4x400 that also qualified at large.

"I'm excited about both events. I'm happy I got the 6'7 this year and that 400 just capped off a good evening and I'm finally able to run on the track at Drake Stadium," said Keahna.

Keahna was quite the talk of the District meet as the crowd was able to focus in on the high jump during the mandatory 45 minute break. The crowd was thoroughly enjoying watching Keahna's attempts grow higher and higher but he worked to drown out all the distractions to do what he needed to do especially on a third attempt at that 6'7 height that had been escaping him all season.

"I knew they were there. I could hear them but I just felt like I was in my own little world. I had my thoughts to myself and was limiting outside distractions just trying to stay focused," said Keahna.

His efforts worked and he sailed over the bar capturing the 6'7 and his season pr.

"Going over it I had a good approach to start. I really emphasized my first three steps of the approach, I was able to do that and then my curve, I could feel a force pulling me in enough just to carry the momentum over and then finally the take off was perfect. My foot placement was in the right spot where it needed to be and I just really had to emphasize pinching my back together to get over. It hit a little bit cause I could feel the bar shaking but when I didn't hear it hit the standard I got excited. I'm finally able to say I got 6'7 this year," said Keahna.

As for state Keahna said it's time to go big.

"I think it's time to go for 6'9. It's my last chance to get the school record and claim it for myself, put myself back on that top seeded area. This was a different season than last year and that 400 is going to be fun. I'm going to go down there and run my race. I don't care what place or what time I get I'm just excited to finally run on the track," said Keahna.

On the opposite end of the field, Payton Vest took second in the Long Jump. He jumped 20'00 even.

Over on the track the girls shuttle hurdle including Jojo Tyynismaa, Stacey Slaven, Gracie Vest and Caitlyn Stochl took second. Their time of 107.16 was the fourth fastest time in the state. Alternates for the shuttle hurdle are Morgan Haughey and Ashton Graham.

Tyynismaa, a freshman for the Trojans, who ran the first leg of the shuttle hurdle also qualified in two individual events, the 400 Meter Hurdles and the 100 Meter Hurdles. Her time in the 100 M Hurdles was also good for an at large qualification. While she had to wait until Saturday to find out her fate in the 100 m hurdles it must be noted the three fastest times for that race were from the Benton District. Grace Martensen of Benton ran a 15.03, Aubrey Jones of Xavier ran a 15.38 and Tyynsimaa ran a 15.52.

To top off her debut season Tyynismaa also anchored the 4x100 relay. The relay team of Stochl,

Ashton Graham, Stacey Slaven and Tyynismaa qualified at large. That means Tyynismaa will be competing in four events her freshman year. Alternates for the relay are Alyssa Chyma and Shelby Slaven.

"We were really happy with all the girls performances Friday night. They were focused on their goals for the night and took care of what they could control. We had some of our best times and distances on the season in the meet that means the most which is always key. Our events that did qualify for the state meet have a very good chance of placing, medaling, and scoring points in the 3A field," said coach Levi Hunerdosse.

The STC boys had to wait until Saturday afternoon for the news but the boys 4x400 relay team of Tyrin Lasley, Keahna, Gabe Babinat and Drake Crawford qualified as well. Alternates for the race are Sonny DeMarce and Trusten Rosenberger.

It was the third qualifying event for Keahna and the second for Crawford. Crawford qualified in the open 200 m Dash.

"The 4x400 with Gabe Babinat, Keith Keahna, Drake Crawford, and Tyrin Lasley is the event I most excited about. We finished 4th in a very close race, but it was enough to qualify for the state meet. The time is also one of the top 5 fastest in the last 25 years at South Tama. Qualifying for 5 events is something that we are definitely excited about," said coach Danny Mayo.



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