TYLER ANDERSON | JEFFERSON HERALD Greene County junior Payton Kokenge begins her ascent up and over the bar during the high jump competition at the Ram Early Bird Meet, held last Friday at Linduska Field in Jefferson. Kokenge placed second with a clearance of four feet, nine inches

Kokenge, Ewalt and relay teams lift Rams to fourth at first home meet

By TYLER ANDERSON tanderson@iowainformation.com

For their first home meet of the season, the Greene County High School girls’ track and field team had a lot going for them. Familiar surroundings, visitors from around the area and some really good competition.

It was at the Ram Early Bird Meet, which took place last Friday at Linduska Field in Jefferson, where the Rams took advantage of being at home.

Junior Payton Kokenge continued her impressive spring by taking second in the high jump with a clearance of four feet, nine inches. Sophomore Calleigh Fitzpatrick (sixth - four feet, seven inches) and teammate Lila Osterson (seventh - four feet, seven inches) also finished within the event’s top eight. 

Teammate Emma Ewalt picked up a second place finish in the discus throw, netting a distance of 103 feet, eight inches. Senior Kaylee Stalder went seventh (87 feet, six inches), while freshman Alaina Heard netted eighth (87 feet, five inches).

The red and black also boasted some good relay teams at their first home meet. 

In the 4x400-meter relay – the team of sophomore Savannah Lansman, teammate Addison Gannon, Osterson and sophomore Kaycee Pittman – placed third with a time of 4:35.15. Pittman also took third overall in the 400-meter hurdles (1:16.30), followed by freshman Bellah Johnson’s seventh place finish and time of 1:26.67.

The 4x800-meter relay squad – junior Hailey Carman, teammate Sadie Shannon, sophomore Leah McCormick and freshman Evelyn Snyder – took third with a time of 12:39.71.

Junior Dani Madsen went third in the shot put with a toss of 33 feet, five and a half inches, while Heard contributed with an eighth place spot and a distance of 29 feet, seven inches.

Due to these high placements, the Rams landed fourth in the girls’ team standings with 79.33 points. Gilbert topped the field with 156.33 points, followed by Ogden’s 113.33 points and Southeast Valley’s 98 points.

Madrid rounded out the top five with 78 points.

This past Monday, the Rams competed in the Carroll Invitational at Carroll Athletic Field. At 4:30 p.m. today, Greene County will gear up for the East Marshall Girls Invite in LeGrand. This coming Monday, the Rams will host their second and final meet of the spring for the Ram Relays – with a start time of 4:30 p.m. at Linduska Field in Jefferson.

A recap from all three meets will be reported in an upcoming edition of the Jefferson Herald.

The distance medley team – Fitzpatrick, Johnson, Kokenge and Carman – went fourth with a time of 5:09.79. Pittman led the Rams in the 400-meter dash by taking fourth overall with a time of 1:04.12, followed by Lansman (sixth - 1:07.56) and Shannon (13th - 1:16.74).   

Lansman then took sixth in the long jump (14 feet) and seventh in the 200-meter dash (29.43 seconds), as Gannon went 14th (long jump - 10 feet, 200-meter dash - 35.13 seconds) in both events. Freshman Makenna Dzuris posted 23rd in the 200-meter dash with a time of 35.13 seconds.

Kokenge, Osterson, Stalder and sophomore Jocelyn Velazco raced to sixth place in the sprint medley with a time of 2:11.94, as the 4x100-meter relay team of Stalder, Fitzpatrick, Osterson and Kokenge placed sixth with a time of 57.30 seconds. The second team of Johnson, sophomore Jennifer Robbins, Velazco and junior Ava Binkley took 11th with a time of 1:02.44.

Shannon also competed in the 800-meter run, finishing seventh with a time of 3:02.21, as Pittman settled for 10th in the 100-meter dash (14.31 seconds). Gannon placed 12th (14.63 seconds), Binkley went 21st (16.30 seconds) and Dzuris settled for 26th (17.05 seconds).

Madsen also took part in the discus throw, placing 10th with a distance of 83 feet, six inches, while Ewalt was 13th in the shot put with a toss of 25 feet, nine and a half inches. Freshman Natalie Wright had 20 feet, six inches in the shot put – good for 20th overall.

Johnson was 14th in the 100-meter hurdles (19.78 seconds), followed by Robbins’s 17th place finish (21.57 seconds). Snyder ran in the 1,500-meter race, finishing 14th with a time of 6:37.79.

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