Dodgers banking on youth
The numbers are there for the Fort Dodge girls track team.
It’s just overall experience that the Dodgers are missing.
FDSH head coach Todd Constable, who enters his 17th season with the program and 10th as head coach, has 38 athletes on the roster for the upcoming season.
“We have a really young team,'” Constable said. “We’ve seen some nice things that we can build on, but we really haven’t been on a track yet with the weather. There is a lot of work that we have left to do.
“The young kids have done some good things, but it’s all about getting in shape and getting the first meet out of the way.”
The Dodgers, who qualified for two individual events and one state relay last season, return two participants from their 4×100 in senior Shareece Smith and junior Tessa Widen.
Four-year standout Shariah Smith and Car’Maiya Mosley were mainstay sprinters for the Dodgers, but they have graduated, as did Maggie Harvey.
Shareece Smith, who has competed at the state meet and Drake Relays since her freshman season, will be counted on to lead the sprinters. Widen can also run a number of events for the Dodgers.
“Shareece is a solid runner. We will lean on her as our top sprinter,'” Constable said. “Tessa is one of the most versatile kids that we have by far. She can run 1s, 2s and 4s. She’ll definitely be able to step up and fill some spots.”
Seniors Baili Roberts and Adyson McKinney will be counted on to run some distance events, as will classmate Olivia Mitchell.
It’s still early in the process, but Constable has seen some good signs from freshmen Adyson Bork and Piera McBride to be able to help out with the 800, 4×800 and distance medley events.
Freshman Cheyenne Miller-Hameed will be counted on in the 400 events. Constable said she’s athletic and versatile with a great work ethic.
Freshman Tristin Doster has shown early promise in the sprint events as well.
Sophomore Katelyn Werning and freshman Dallas Richards will compete in hurdle events.
Constable says junior Sydney Recker was close to qualifying for state last season in the throwing events.
“She was right there,'” Constable said. “I’m hoping with the work she’s been doing and with her improvements, she can qualify this time. She’s been getting in the weight room and has a strong work ethic.”
Constable knows there will be some growing pains early on, but the Dodgers are ready to dive into the season.
“We have a pretty young team overall, but we’re looking forward to the year,” Constable said. “We have got to get our hand-offs down and our relays figured out. It’s hard to judge things running in the hallways. To get the idea of the corners … there is just no way to replicate that.
“We’ll come out, compete, build off of each meet, and improve as we go. We want to get as much as we can to Drake and then push for state.”
Constable will be assisted by Scott Timmerman and Jon Koenig. Timmerman will work with the middle distance runners and the high jumpers. Koenig will help with the throwers.
The Dodgers open the season at Boone on Thursday.
Mia Casarez, Madelyn Klocko, Adyson McKinney, Olivia Mitchell, Baili Roberts, KeiMara Roby, Shareece Smith.
Shania Al-Hameed-Foy, Alexa Estlund, Brylea Grady, Kyanna Kirk, Annie Niemeyer, Olivia Pattison, Sydney Recker, Mylea Rork, Kayla Smith, Avery Thompson, Tessa Widen.
Mckenna Bishop, Abigal Peterson, Sarah Rodriguez, Katelyn Werning.
Adyson Bork, Jebreauna Clark, Madalyn Daniel, Tristin Doster, Mackenzie Garrett, Isabel Gruver, Ashley Hendrickson, Taylor Kuebler, Piera McBride, Samira McMahon, Gracie Miller, Cheyenne Miller-Hameed, Autumn Peterson, Kylei Prange-Moore, Dallas Richardson, Kiana Touney.
March 29 — at Boone.
April 5 — at Eagle Grove; 10 — at Ames; 14 — at Jim Duncan Relays; 19 — Dodger Relays; 23 — at Marshalltown; 26-28 — at Drake Relays.
May 1 — at Mason City; 3 — at Urbandale; 10 — Districts (TBA).