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North Tama girls ready to hit stride in 2019

April 1, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

The North Tama girls track team may be slightly smaller this season, but athletic enough to take the next step after finishing 12th in conference last season.

"We had a lot of success last season with some winning relays, which boosts the confidence of some of our girls out this season and made them hungry for this year," coach Katey Holbach said. "Last season made us know what to shoot for this year. They realized that they can do better in track. Some of the athletes were frustrated with how races ended. We've talked about how that needs to change. Everybody needs to come in, do the work and they are more hungry. It's a better mindset than what we had last year."

The team returns a strong core of junior athletes and senior Molly Kvidera from last year's events including sprint and distance medleys. While Tessa Dvorak has graduated after running both events, the Redhawks will look to more from Takoa Kopriva and Katelyn Kucera as well as freshman Mya Sierra, Symphony McDowell and Jules Breakenridge to help fill these and other events that were just outside of scoring points for North Tama last season.

Article Photos

Front row (left to right): Takoa Kopriva, Jules Breakenridge, Megan Popelka, Grace Thorsen, Katelyn Kucera, Molly Kvidera, Samantha Stokes. Back row: Abby Jones, Elina Aghabekyan, Symphony McDowell, Mya Sierra, Dylan Rohlfsen, Isabel Sierra, Rylee McLean, Carlie Gorder, Abby DeBoef. Not pictured: Jordan Rigel.

"We had a lot of success when Katelyn [Kucera], Abby [DeBoef], Molly and Carlie [Gorder] would run together or if Takoa was running," Holbach said. "Those girls can mix well together for sprint and distance medleys. Some of these sophomores who were adjusting to track last year will do better. Dylan Rohlfsen will be stronger and I'm excited to see what Symphony can do after winning in junior high."

Kvidera will be the lone returning senior for the team and perhaps the most successful athlete last season for the Redhawks as a member of the medley teams and long jumper. With a mix of new talent and experienced runners, she has a positive outlook for the year.

"We got quite a few girls out last season and had lots of different relay teams, but we were lacking in team points," Kvidera said. "I feel we ended the season pretty well and we're ready to run again this year to do better."

While practice has only begun, Holbach has looked to Kvidera to fill a similar leadership role much like she had with cross country this year. The senior hopes her example in practice and in meets will serve as a reminder to her younger teammates of what the team is capable of in 2019.

"Molly is a great leader already," Holbach said. "She's leading the stretches and will take initiative when they aren't doing things. We'll see where the other leaders on this team will come from."

Holbach will also look to sophomore Abby DeBoef in 400s after a breakout freshman year running alongside upperclassmen. Like Kvidera and Holbach, DeBoef feels a better year is on the horizon and is already evident in early practices.

"I feel everyone last year really improved from the beginning of the season to the end," DeBoef said. "Our season started off slow, but this season we are more prepared with more people out with experience. Everyone is more excited this time around."

While Holbach is still unsure of how the freshman athletes will fit into the mix, she expects the team have more success with 4x400 and 4x800 as well as other mid-distance events. The Redhawks will also compete in long distance in search of more team points in 2019.

"The biggest thing I want to see improve is effort," Holbach said. "If they all show up and give effort every single day, they will see success on the track."

With more excitement in the program this year, Holbach's goal for this year's team is to send multiple relays to State and break a recent drought of no North Tama competitors on the Blue Oval.

"My goal this season to run on the Blue Oval at State, to make it for one year of my career here," Kvidera said. "This team can do that with a variety of runners to fill more spots than we did last year."

The North Tama girls track team will open their season with a meet at BCLUW High School on Monday, March 25 against GMG, Dike-New Hartford, West Marshall, AGWSR and others. The Redhawks will then compete at Denver on Tuesday, April 2.



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