PELLA — The Creston girls track team got its season started indoors here Saturday at the Central Indoor Meet.
Head coach Clay Arnold said it was a solid showing for his team’s first time out this season.
“It was a really good first meet,” he said. “We, of course, didn’t have our full squad. Most of the older returning girls were on spring break. Part of the reason we have these indoor meets is to give the new girls and young girls an opportunity and see what they can do early.”
The highlight of the meet, Arnold said, was junior Zaidy Frank’s 400 meter dash.
Frank placed fourth out of 56 entries with a time of 1:04.83, marking a big improvement on her personal best.
“The shocker of the day was Zaidy’s 400,” Arnold said. “At the end of last year, we were in the last couple of weeks of practice and we had her running 400s in workouts, because she was having a lot of trouble having enough wind even fro the 200.
“She said, ‘Coach, I’d like to run a 400.’ We put her in there and she looked really good doing it,” Arnold continued. “There was no one even remotely close to her from the gun to the string. She ran that 64 by herself.”
Frank’s emergence in the 400 meters gives Arnold another option in an already deep stable of middle distance runners when it comes to filling out his 4x400 relay.
Creston entered two 4x400 relay teams into Saturday’s meet.
Arnold said he wanted to make the teams as even as possible in the hopes of having them end up in the same heat to compete against each other.
It played out just the way he hoped, and the two teams ran very even, placing 19th and 22nd overall out of 36 teams.
The team of Taylor Hudson, Madison Hance, Brittney Minson and Amber Castillo finished 19th in 4:50.32, while the team of Taylor Briley, Maddie Skarda, Nicole Haley and Jessica Beatty placed 22nd in 4:54.03.
Another highlight of the meet for Arnold came in the 55 meter dash, where out of 230 entries, only 16 qualified for the finals.
The Panthers placed two athletes in the finals, as Frank ran a 7.69 in the prelims and freshman Camryn Somers ran 7.70.
Frank finished ninth in the finals, clocking a 7.60, while Somers finished 15th in 7.93.
“We were real happy to get both those girls in there,” Arnold said. “Camryn, especially, as a freshman. We knew she was fast over some distance, but we didn’t know she was that quick.”
Arnold said Skarda’s time of 6:15.65 in the 1,500 meter run was encouraging, as was Taylor Briley’s effort in each of her events.
The Panthers return to action today at the A.D. Dickinson Meet in Cedar Falls at the UNI Dome.
Central Indoor Meet results
Long jump — 19. Zaidy Frank, 13-11.50; 43. Amber Castillo, 12-06.00.
Shot put — 53. Olivia Nielsen, 26-02; 56. Emma Saylor, 26-01; 74. Becca Ross, 20-08.
55 meter dash — 9. Zaidy Frank, 7.60; 15. Camryn Somers, 7.93; 112. Sydney Suiter, 8.40; 172. Jami Sickels, 8.89; 185. Olivia Nielsen, 9.07; 218. Becca Ross, 9.92.
55 meter hurdles — 28. Amber Castillo, 9.90; 31. Brittney Minson, 10.00; 51. Madison Hance, 10.35; 104. Nicole Haley, 11.86.
4x800 relay — 11. Creston (Taylor Hudson, Madison Hance, Taylor Briley, Jessica Beatty), 11:31.26.
1,500 meter run — 33. Maddie Skarda, 6:15.65; 48. Katie Stevens, 6:56.56.
4x200 relay — 17. Creston (Zaidy Frank, Jessica Beatty, Sydney Suiter, Taylor Briley), 2:01.30; 31. Creston (Nicole Haley, Jami Sickels, Amber Castillo, Taylor Hudson), 2:06.05; 58. Creston (Brittney Minson, Olivia Nielsen, Kelsey Donner, Becca Ross), 2:21.59.
400 meter dash — 4. Zaidy Frank, 1:04.83; 21. Taylor Hudson, 1:09.93; 34. Nicole Haley, 1:14.80.
200 meter dash — 108. Sydney Suiter, 32.51; 117. Jami Sickels, 32.88; 142. Olivia Nielsen, 33.72; 182. Becca Ross, 39.23.
800 meter run — 58. Kelsey Donner, 3:15.06; 61. Katie Stevens, 3:16.36.
4x400 relay — 19. Creston (Taylor Hudson, Madison Hance, Brittney Minson, Amber Castillo), 4:50.32; 22. Creston (Taylor Briley, Maddie Skarda, Nicole Haley, Jessica Beatty), 4:54.03.