TYLER ANDERSON | JEFFERSON HERALD Greene County sophomore Kaycee Pittman leans forward as she crossed the finish line during the Ram Relays, which took place on April 15 at Linduska Field in Jefferson. Pittman won two events at the North Polk Co-Ed Invitational, held this past Monday at Comet Field in Alleman.

Pittman paces Rams at North Polk Co-Ed Invitational

By TYLER ANDERSON tanderson@iowainformation.com

Throughout the season, the Greene County High School girls’ track and field team has relied on a solid nucleus of student-athletes to make high placements, reset school records and hold their own against stacked competition. One of those prominent members is sophomore Kaycee Pittman – who has drawn praise from coach Derek Merk since the start of the spring.

At the North Polk Co-Ed Invitational, held this past Monday at Comet Field, Pittman captured two first place finishes in individual events and aided two relay events to solid performances. Pittman won the 800-meter run (2:31.81) and took first in the 400-meter hurdles (1:15.53), while serving as a solid part of the distance medley team of sophomore Addison Gannon, senior Kaylee Stalder and junior Hailey Carman, who took third with a time of 4:36.70.  

Junior Emma Ewalt was impressive, as well, winning the discus throw (112 feet, seven inches) and placing fifth in the shot put (31 feet, three and a half inches).

Collectively, the Rams were sixth in the team standings with 64.5 points. North Polk won their home meet with 147 points, followed by Roland-Story (96 points), South Hamilton (89.5 points), PCM (77 points) and Nevada (68 points). Bondurant-Farrar (29 points) and the North Polk JV (28 points) also competed in the invite.

At 4:30 p.m. today at the Mike Penning Athletic Complex in Jewell, the Rams will take on their league opponents at the Heart of Iowa Conference Track Meet. There, the Rams will run, jump and throw against Nevada, PCM, Perry, Roland-Story, Saydel, host South Hamilton and West Marshall.

Next Thursday, the Rams will set their sights on the Class 2A State Qualifying Meet at the Keith Hart Athletic Complex in Manson. Greene County will compete against Cherokee Washington, East Sac County, Forest City, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, Hinton, Kingsley-Pierson-Woodbury Central-River Valley, Lawton-Bronson, host Manson-Northwest Webster, Ogden, Ridge View and South Central Calhoun.

Recaps from both meets will be in upcoming editions of the Jefferson Herald.

Freshman Bellah Johnson has been making strides, taking third in the 100-meter hurdles with a personal best time of 18.06 seconds. Sophomore Jennifer Robbins went 10th (19.99) in the same event.

Johnston then finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:22.25.

The team of Gannon, Carman, junior Paton Kokenge and junior Sadie Shannon placed fourth in the 4x400-meter relay (4:43.25), as the squad of freshman Sara Molan, Gannon, Stalder and Pittman went fifth in the sprint medley (2:00.91). Freshman Evelyn Snyder took fifth in the 3,000-meter run (14:03.99), while Shannon put up a personal best in the 400-meter dash with a sixth place finish and time of 1:10.09.

Kokenge landed sixth in the high jump (four feet, six inches), while the group of Johnson, Stalder, Morlan and Kokenge clocked sixth in the 4x100-meter relay (56.41). The second squad of Ewalt, Robbins, junior Ava Binkley and freshman Makenna Dzuris went 15th in the same event (1:01.56). 

Morlan, Gannon, Stalder and Kokenge also joined forces for the 4x200-meter relay and took sixth (2:01.16), as Carman ran to seventh in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:50.95. Morlan (14th - 14.80 seconds), Binkley (19th - 16.21 seconds) and Dzuris (21st - 16.39 seconds) also ran in the 100-meter dash.

Robbins (14th - 32.70 seconds) and Binkley (34.33 seconds) competed in the 200-meter dash, and freshman Natalie Wright achieved a personal record in the shot put, taking 20th overall with a distance of 22 feet, two and a half inches.

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