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Dinsdale twins, Stoakes inducted into 2018 IATC Hall of Fame

June 15, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

Three of the most decorated athletes in North Tama history will forever be recognized for their outstanding achievements as Blaire and Brooke Dinsdale and Sara Stoakes were inducted into the Iowa Association of Track Coaches (IATC) Hall of Fame last week.

Between the three ladies, North Tama won four straight state team track titles and 28 individual track titles from 2006 to 2009, as well as four state cross county titles and six Drake Relay titles, with Stoakes (now Kvidera) winning the state title alone in 2009 after the sisters graduated in 2008.

"Winning each of those titles was surreal," Kvidera said. "I wondered if I'd eventually feel that 'law of diminishing return' in excitement with each one, but I never did. Every race and every meet was different challenge and I think all three of us thrived on that. Blaire, Brooke, and I had so much chemistry together because we respected each other a lot. We knew that if we wanted to get better, we'd have to use each other's talents and work ethic to do so. We were all so competitive and stubborn and talented that we just kept wanting to beat each other and push each other. When you get a dynamic like that going, you start to move mountains."

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All three women got their start running about the same age, taking part in camps, following the footsteps of siblings and even competing with one another in the case of the Dinsdale twins.

"I absolutely loved running from the start and was never pressured to continue doing it," Blaire (Dinsdale) Puls said. "I had a competitive spirit myself, but also was extremely competitive with my twin sister. The chemistry we three shared came from our competitive spirit and our desire to be the best we could be. We were workhorses in practice. We always wanted to get stronger and run faster."

"Running with Blaire was the best possible situation for me because it made us both as successful as we were," Brooke (Dinsdale) Schupbach added. "We were each other's best competition and it gave us an advantage to know exactly what each other were doing in terms of workouts, fueling, and sleeping habits. It really just came down to who had the faster legs that day or who wanted it the most. We were constantly pushing each other to be better than the other and were never satisfied."

Individually, Stoakes-Kvidera participated in events from the 100 to the 800 M Dash, Dinsdale-Schupbach the 400 M Dash to the 3000 M Run and Dinsdale-Puls also the 400 M Dash to the 3000 as well as 400 M Hurdles. Together, they would run the 400 and 800 together in addition to cross country as a team. They also made a big statement at the Drake Relays by winning the 4x800 together two years in a row and placing second in the 4x400 "more than once as well" according to Puls. For Puls, her favorite memory together was winnning the state team track title in 2008 scoring 110 points with only seven girls.

"We utilized our big ranges in events in 2008 when we won the State title with those 110 team points," Puls said. "Sara focused on the shorter distances, I focused on middle distance, and my sister focused on the longer events, plus both the sprint medley and distance medley. The three of us were able to spread ourselves across majority of the track events to maximize the amount of points we could score. We placed in the top 3 in every event we did that year."

The news arrived to Dinsdale-Schupbach that she and her sister were being inducted into the IATC Hall of Fame, and the "cherry on top" was learning Stokes-Kvidera would be inducted together with them.

"I felt very proud and incredibly grateful when I heard that we would be inducted into the IATC Hall of Fame," Schunpbach said. "We helped set a standard for Redhawk athletes that to be the best you have to work harder than anyone else and challenge yourself beyond what you think you are capable of."

Stoakes-Kvidera felt honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame with "big names" such as Bruce Erickson, Natasha Kaiser-Brown, Tim Dwight.

"It always feels good to get recognized in ways like this because it feels like we left a legacy instead of just being a cool historical fact," Kvidera said. "I always thought it would be cool to be a "hometown hero." To have three D1 caliber athletes come through high school together at such a small school was pretty amazing. I have always been proud to be a part of North Tama, a school that is hopefully known from now on as a girls track school."

Stoakes ran two years of track at Kansas State University, married her high school sweetheart Taylor Kvidera and works as a technical support manager for Micronutrients. The Dinsdale sisters went on to run for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as the Huskers took part in the Big 12 Indoor Women's Championship in 2011 and Big 10 Indoor Women's Championship in 2012 after the university changed conferences in their senior year. Puls currently lives in Hudson with her husband Channing and coaches boys track at Hudson. Schupbach also coaches high school track in Urbandale and lives with her husband Taylor and their two daughters.

"For me, now that I am older, I can say the best thing that came from my own track success is that it gave me the platform to give back to the high school track community through coaching," Puls said. "I never really planned on coaching after college, especially not right after graduating college, but when I got a phone call and with encouragement from my husband, I said yes. It was one of the best decisions of my life because helping these girls achieve their goals, navigate through the ups and downs of track, and teaching them how to be good people and leaders brings me so much more joy than my own career did."

10 years after last running together, the three ladies now will be remembered together statewide for their accomplishments as part of the 2018 IATC Hall of Fame Class with their personal hopes that their efforts will continue to inspire North Tama and athletes across Iowa to perform their best on and off the track and field.



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