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Trojans have highs, lows at State Track and Field Meet

May 22, 2019
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Thursday, May 16 marked the opening day of the 2019 State Track and Field Meet. The South Tama County Trojans sent 15 athletes and 10 events to the blue oval. For some, it was their last time at Drake Stadium and for others they are just getting started.

Girls Shuttle Hurdle

The morning began for the Trojans with the Shuttle Hurdle Relay of Jojo Tyynismaa, Stacey Slaven, Gracie Vest and Caitlyn Stochl. The quartet had an outstanding run in the prelims coming in with a time of 106.78. The four girls had broken the school record earlier in the season. Their time of 106.78 broke it again and also sent them into the finals on Saturday.

Article Photos

STC’s Keith Keahna competed in the Class 3A Boys High Jump on Thursday, May 16. Keahna took 5th place.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham

"That was crazy," said Slaven, "I was super excited from the start to run the shuttle, so when we got our personal record and school-record time, I was just overjoyed."

Slaven is the lone senior of the group, Stochl is a junior and both Tyynismaa and Vest are freshman and will surely be back next year. Vest had been battling a temperature earlier in the week but she wasn't going to let that stop her debut at the State Track Meet.

The girls medaled taking eighth on Saturday with a time of 1:08.01.

As the morning went on, temps reached a historic level on Thursday hitting the low 90's. Following the shuttle hurdle relay, next up for the Trojans was a field event. STC senior Keith Keahna was set to compete in the Class 3A High Jump. Keahna was the Class 3A State Champ after last season's meet with a jump of 6'7.

Boys High Jump

Keahna nailed his first attempts at 6'1 and 6'3. At 6'5 he had his first miss. He had the same miss last year at 6'5 as well and got it on his second attempt. The same happened this year. He went over the bar on his second attempt at 6'5. This year 6'7 just wasn't in the cards. He finished the meet in 5th place with a jump of 6'5.

"I knew I had to try and get it on my first attempt to keep my name at the top of the placings," he said. "That first miss I knew what I had to fix, tried to put it together on the second jump and that was close, I think I hit it on the way down a little bit so I knew I had to push the hips. That last attempt, that was heartbreaking when I hit the bar. It took me a little while to compose myself and get up, but it's OK, three top-five finishes in my career here at state and I couldn't be any more proud," said Keahna.

Keahna was visibly upset following his final attempt but he finished watching the contest. Landon Kooiker of Fairfield earned the top honors. After the event Keahna took time to regroup by spending some time with his support system before his next event. Keahna qualified for his first ever running event with the 400 open.

"It was just spending time in the stands with my family and friends and teammates. I was with my cousin, Sonny Demarce, and he made me laugh a couple of times and it cleared my mind a little bit and got my mind off of high jump," he said. "Also my girlfriend, Morgan Haughey, was up there to give me support and say how good of a job I did. Everyone is still proud of me and how I did, it's not what I wanted this morning but I couldn't be any prouder of what I've accomplished," said Keahna.

Boys 200 Meter Dash

Next up for the Trojans was senior Drake Crawford. It was the first time Crawford had competed at the State Track and Field meet. He qualified for the 200 Meter Dash and also ran a leg of the 4x400 m relay on Friday. Crawford finished 14th with a time of 23.11.

"I was really excited and happy to be here. I was also nervous since this was my first State event. It was one of my quickest times but it wasn't my pr so I could have done better," said Crawford.

Girls High Jump

After Crawford's run, Stacey Slaven was up for the Trojans in the High Jump. It was her third trip to State in the high jump event.

She cleared 5'0 on her first attempt. Then at 5'2 she began to struggle a bit. She missed her first attempt. She also missed her second attempt. But on her third attempt she sailed over the bar to stay alive in the competition. Then Slaven did something she hadn't done before at State. She made it over 5'4 on her second attempt for her season personal record. The jump earned her a 5th place finish, her best ever at State.

"I was really scared, honestly I wasn't really expecting that. I knew I would have to jump 5-4 to do well, so on 5-2 I was really stressed out," she said. "The heat was getting to me and I was kind of freaking out, but when I got it I said, 'OK, drink some water, restart here,' and then I hit 5-4 and was super happy with that," said Slaven.

Boys 400 Meter Dash

Closing out the day for the Trojans was Keahna's running debut in the 400 Meter Dash. He finished 18th with a time of 53.04.

"It's crazy honestly. I get to miss school all the time to come down here and now that it's down to one final race tomorrow it's just going to be sad to see this place go while in high school. This place means a lot to me. I have always liked jumping here. It's probably a jumpers favorite place to jump and compete and it's going to be sad tomorrow when it's all done," said Keahna.

For results and photos from Friday and Saturday see the Tama News Herald.



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