1994 state track champs after winning title. Front row (l. to r.) Wendy Lautner, Jessica Karber, Jackie Coyne, Brandy Meinecke, Laura Bates, Paige Thomsen, Amy Luft. Middle row: Teri Martin, Merinda Tiffany, Kris Curnyn, Kristi Morman, Missy Wolterman, Deisha Goshon, Allison Drewry, Karla Wilkin. Back row: Coach Kelly Simpson, Coach Tim Buenz, Kristi Blanshan, Brianna Swanson, Tina Walker, Jessie Betts, Head Coach Mavis Sawhill.

1994 state champs to sponsor kids run


The 1994 girls track team who claimed the only team championship in Jefferson school’s history is planning to add to the Bell Tower festivities by sponsoring a youth track and field competition at Russell Park on Saturday afternoon. Seven of the members of that team were seniors in 1994, so they will be having a  20th class reunion that weekend also. “When I sent out the idea of hosting a youth meet during the festival, it was greeted with a lot of enthusiasm,” said team member Brandy Meinecke Peterson.

Competition will start at 1:00 p.m. in standing long jump, 50 meter dash, one lap race, and shot put (with 4 pound medicine ball) for the following three age groups: 6-7years,  8-9 years, and 10-12 years. There will be a 5 year old and under 50 meter dash at 2:00 p.m. Since they would like to give ribbons to all participants, parents should register their child by June 6, by e-mailing Brandy at blmeinecke@yahoo.com. The email should list the child’s first and last name and their age as of June 14, 2014. The group plans to send flyers home in school towards the end of the year, to try to reach as many parents as possible.

“The community in Jefferson was so supportive of us when we competed, it seemed like a great time to give something back to the next generation of track and field stars,” said the former sprinter and hurdler.

This is a great idea, and it is not surprising that this group would think about giving back to the community where they grew up. The 1994 track team was a special group. Head coach Mavis Sawhill called them her Dream Team. “I saw the talent when these girls were in middle school, so we started going to some track and field events that were not sponsored by the school, said Sawhill. “They worked hard and supported each other so they could achieve great things.”

Under the tutelage of Sawhill and assistants Kelly Simpson and Tim Buenz, the seniors on the team won four consecutive Raccoon River Conference championships, and were district track champions all four years that they were in high school.

“Some of our team had a lot of natural talent. For example, no one at the pink school or Hershey Track Meets could beat Allison Drewry when we were young,” said team member Jackie Coyne Fruhwirth. “Others of us may have had some athletic inclination, but needed good coaching to get us to the championship level. I think Coach Simpson, Coach Sawhill, and Coach Buenz were excellent at their jobs and honed the skills of so many of us. By the time we got to our senior year, we were pretty much unstoppable. We had all the events covered- distance, sprints, hurdles, field events, all of it. Our relay teams were filled with great underclassmen, and we were the perfect storm by the time we got to the state meet in 1994.”

Even though they had some events that placed at the state meets in 1990-1993, their highest team finish on the Drake blue oval had been seventh. In 1994, the squad known as the Jefferson-Scranton Jeffettes qualified 13 events for state, but they received no mention in the publicity prior to the meet. Eddyville, Atlantic, and Davis County got most of the Register’s ink when discussing 2A favorites. But the Jeffettes put it all together and had a great 1994 meet. Not only did they win the title, they scored 56 points, the most points that a track team had scored at the state meet since 1980 and won over second place Davis County by a 24 point margin.  

Three time state discus champion Kris Curnyn Hagedorn thought that the 1994 team was more than just talented. “The ‘94 team was special because we had such a well rounded team and were able to score points in the majority of events, said Kris. “We were all supportive of one another and cheered for each other until the very last event. It would have been very easy to let a sport such as track and field turn into a competition of individuals. While individual successes were recognized and celebrated, it was still the team that mattered the most. We had a WONDERFUL coaching staff that made sure we were prepared and competing at our highest level.”

State place winners on the 1994 team were Kris Curnyn, 1st place in discus and 2nd place in shot put, Amy Luft, 3rd place in both the 1500 meter and 3000 meter runs, Allison Drewry, 1st place in the 100 meter dash and 2nd place in 200 meter dash,  4 x 100 meter relay, 1st place with Missy Wolterman, Deisha Goshon, Brandy Meinecke, and Drewry, 4 x 800 meter relay, 2nd place with Wendy Lautner, Missy Wolterman, Jessie Betts, and Jackie Coyne, shuttle hurdle relay, 6th place with Paige Thomsen, Jessica Karber, Tina Walker, and Brandy Meinecke, 4 x 400 relay, 6th place with Betts, Lautner, Wolterman, and Coyne, and the distance medley relay, 8th place with Karla Wilken, Laura Bates, Betts, and Lautner.

It sounds like there will be a good turnout of team members that will be coming back to help run the kids event, so watch for the flyers when your kids bring them home from school and register. If you don’t have kids, just come down and visit this group of athletes who made school history and thank them for giving back to their community.

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