As the Maryville track and field team prepared for its first meet at Herschel Neil Track on the campus of Northwest March 16, its individual and team successes were unanticipated as its entered the weekend without any type of expectation.
Positive finishes came in all forms for the Spoofhounds. Sophomore Garrett Dumke won the men's 3200-meter run with a time of 10:31.73.
The girls 4-x-200 made up of freshmen Brooklyn Holtman and Sloane McAdams, sophomore Morgan Stoecklein and junior Emily Long placed second by less than two seconds.
Just like the girls 4-x-200, the girls 4-x-400 also found success after beating out Shenandoah by three seconds for fourth place. The youthful group is made up of a pair of sophomores Kelsey Scott and Stoecklein and juniors Molly Renshaw and Long.
With such positive results for their first meet of the season, the Spoofhounds are slowly seeing improvements in all events.
“(This meet) went better than last year. Last year at our indoor meet, our times were a lot worse than the new times this year,” Stoecklein said.
With this meet being the first of the season, many underclassmen and new track athletes were brought up to see what their future would look like. Many freshmen and sophomores were expected to pull their weight during their first meet.
“Garrett Dumke did really good,” senior Braiden Sells said. “I saw him run the two-mile, and then he sprints the last 100 meters.”
With underclassmen like Dumke, Stoecklein, Holtman and McAdams carrying their respected events to multiple top 10 finishes, the team was more than ecstatic to finish the way they did after countless practicing issues due to weather.
“If we would’ve practiced those handoffs like in the 4-x-200, I feel like we would have done better. We were not ready,” Sells said.
While the weather is finally allowing the team to start having outdoor practices in order to gear up for their next meet, injuries and small details are the two things the team wishes to build off of and improve upon within the next few weeks.
Stoecklein explained injuries to other athletes like Brooklyn Holtman have added some stress to the later team events like the girls 4-x-400.
Sells also added that with these developments the team is starting to focus on the smaller details like handoffs, blocks and starts that make all the difference in the long run.
With roughly a week before their next meet March 26, the Spoofhounds plan to use this time to heal, train and practice to better their finishes in various events.