District Champions!

Girls’ and Boys’ Track

Alexis Dorsett, Newspaper Editor

The 2021 track season for the girls and boys teams is finishing with multiple punch tickets to state. 

This year, the girls track team won the district track meet for the first time in 12 years while sending 12 events to State, the most to ever qualify in one season at North Polk High School. On a typical year, Scott Huether, girls track coach, shared on average 3-9 events qualify. The events on the girls’ track team that qualified for state include:

Girls’ Track Team and Coaches gather together with their district flag to capture the moment.
  • High jump (Sadie Long) 
  • Sprint medley relay (A. Dorsett, A. Owen, K. Rasmussen, and M. Elliott) 
  • Shuttle hurdle relay (M. Springer, M. Schumann, A. Kiesling, and R. Demmon) 
  • Distance medley relay (A. Doonan, L. Austin, L. Schaffer, and E. Schaffer) 
  • 400 meter dash (M. Elliot) 
  • 4×200 relay (A. Dorsett, A. Doonan, A. Owen, and M. Elliot) 
  • 100 meter Hurdles (M. Schumann and R. Demmon)
  •  800 meter run (E. Schaffer and L. Schaffer) 
  • 200 meter dash (K. Rasmussen)
  •  400 meter Hurdles (R. Demmon)
  • 1500 meter run (E. Schaffer)
  • 4×400 meter relay (M. Elliott, A. Doonan, L. Schaffer, and E. Schaffer) 

Alongside the girls’ team, the boys’ teams also qualified the most events North Polk High School ever has in the past, sending 15 events to State. Bill Capaldo, boys’ track team coach, shared that they also typically qualify for 3-9 events every year. He also mentioned that in 2014 the boys track team qualified for 12 events, which is the second largest amount to qualify. The events to qualify for the boys’ track team include:

Boys Track Team running their victory lap after winning the Districts Track Meet.
  • High jump ( J. Noble and S. Capaldo)
  • Long jump (J. Noble)
  • Shot put (D. Lamp)
  • Sprint medley relay (B. Miller, K.Halterman, C. Brimner, and T. Jones)
  • 3200 – Z. Sporaa and M. Sporaa
  • 4×800 meter relay (D. Aikas, W. Lesher, C. Henderson, and T. Jones)
  • Shuttle hurdle relay (S. Capaldo, C. Mart, L. Maring, H. Manock)
  • 100 -J. Elefson
  • Distance medley (K. Halterman, J. Bloomquist, T. Jones, and D. Aikas)
  • 400 – J. Elefson, J. Blattel
  • 110 high hurdles (S. Capaldo and H. Manock)
  • 200 – J. Elefson
  • 1600 – Z. Sporaa
  • 4×100 meter relay (B. Miller, K. Halterman, N. Cox, and S. Capaldo)
  • 4×400 meter relay (C. Brimner, J. Blattel, T. Jones, and J. Elefson)

For a lot of the runners who qualified for State, it was their first time running in a district track meet due to last season being canceled. Preparing for a race sophomore Zach Sporaa shared, “I always feel nervous when waiting to get onto the track, waiting is one of the worst parts of track because all you get is yourself and your thoughts. But when the race starts, that all disappears.” The feeling of running on the blue oval track is what an athlete strives for. Freshman Kylie Rasmussen shared, “All of my hard work is starting to pay off and that my teammates and I are really good. State is a super awesome opportunity and it is just crazy that we qualified! I am still in shock, it’s an awesome feeling!”

Coaches Huether and Capaldo are continuing to prepare their athletes for State. “We will be preparing the girls for State very similar to how we have prepared them all season. But we will be watching some videos and scouting some competition to strategize our races. Also, we will be going over some of the things that will be different down at state so we are not surprised by anything when we get there,” Huether states. 

On the other hand, Capaldo shared his strategy for preparing his boys for State will be to “work hard on Monday with one more training session. Then we take it easy, rest, recover, and reload for Thursday. We talk a lot about mental preparation, scenarios that occur at state, lane assignments and other strategies that come with running at State.”

Overall, both coaches are very proud of all their team has accomplished. “We had girls set lots of PRs and our relays dropped significant time on their season bests. We had girls step up and finish higher than they were seeded going in. They scored us key points in winning the meet,” stated Huether.

Girls’ and Boys’ Track Coaches Scott Huether and Bill Capaldo with their district flags.

Capaldo shared, “I’m really proud of how our guys respond to the big meets, pressure moments and run fast and free. Up to this point, they have responded to every challenge! Our three main goals we set at the beginning of the year were: Win our first Raccoon River Conference title, the State Qualifier/District meet, and a State Title.”   

The girls’ and boys’ teams run on May 20, 21, and 22 at Drake Stadium to give everything they got on the track one last time.