Jondle, Fisher grow family bond on the track for Southeast Valley

—Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Southeast Valley’s Katara Jondle (left) and cousin Kiersten Fisher (right) run for the Jaguars.

Katara Jondle found a formidable foe and training partner last year when Kiersten Fisher joined the Southeast Valley track and field program.

Together, the two have developed a friendly rivalry on the track for the Jaguars, while also sharing a family bond as cousins.

“It’s been fun competing with her,” Jondle said. “We push and support each other and the rest of our team with every race. I feel like competing with her has benefited me more than competing with anyone else since we are on the same team and run relatively close times.”

Fisher, now a sophomore, added that “it has been super fun being able to run with her and always have each other there to push the other.

“Before high school, I knew we were related but wasn’t that close. I love that track has brought us together to be able to not only compete and run together, but build a strong friendship as well.”

Jondle, a senior, will continue her career in the fall at Buena Vista University. She competed as part of both the 4×100 and 4×200 relays at state last year for the Jaguars. The 4×200 placed 16th overall and the 4×100 was fifth in its heat.

“I feel comfortable committing to Buena Vista as I have been there in the past for various activities and for track clinics,” Jondle said. “Within the last few years, Buena Vista has had a new president who has made many great changes and additions. Their music director and track coaches really sold me for committing. Their music director has an impressive resume and has great plans for the future of the instrumental music department.

“Coach (Colton) Slack I feel is a mix of Southeast Valley’s cross country and track coaches. He also tells me the plans for the team in the upcoming years and what his plans are for me.”

Jondle used the offseason to get herself ready for her final prep season. She has clocked a time of 13.64 in the 100, 27.70 in the 200 and 1:07.59 in the 400 this year.

“I prepared by putting in extra work whenever I could,” she said. “I hit the weight room whenever I could, cleaned up my diet and tried to attend college track clinics.

“My goal for this season is to finish it strong and have it be my best season representing the Jaguars.”

Fisher has gone 13.30 in the 100 and 27.55 in the 200 for the top times on the team. She has also gone 15.84 in the 100 hurdles and cleared 5-foot-3 in the high jump.

“I am pretty satisfied with where I am right now,” Fisher said. “I feel I can always improve so I am always pushing to my best but not disappointed about where I’m at.”

Last year, Fisher was the runner-up in the high jump at the Drake Relays and competed in the 100, 200, 100 hurdles and high jump at state. She earned three medals, placing second in the 100, third in the hurdles and fifth in the high jump in Class 2A.

“With the way things ended last year, I was very motivated for this season,” Fisher said. “I tried not to let what I did last year get to my head and tried to just use it as motivation for this season.”

Southeast Valley will be competing Monday night at the Humboldt Invitational.