Numbers strong for FD girls

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: Fort Dodge girls track and field returning letterwinners are, front row (left to right): Ashlyn Wills, Maggie Elsbecker, Elleena Dunn, Ere’Ziah Jones, Keymora Douglas, Lydia Lara, Heidi Clay and Morgan Bodholdt. Back: Tristen Holst, April Naeve, Catherine Daniel, Keyonna Douglas, Mackenzie McIlrath, Samantha Smith, Lucy Porter, Lainey Maehl, Brooklyn Pommer and Aliyah Henry.

Todd Constable is excited for his Fort Dodge girls team to hit the track this season.

The Dodger girls are stacked in field events with three state qualifiers returning to the lineup and a strong cast of newcomers.

Seniors Aliyah Henry was 20th in the discus in 2022, while all-conference IAC basketball player Lainey Maehl was 14th in the shot put last spring.

Junior Mackenzie McIlrath was a state qualifier who placed 22nd in the long jump.

“Lainey and Mackenzie are both experienced and want more after making state, which leads to confidence,” Constable said. “They are great leaders for our team.”

“Aliyah is in the same boat for us. She definitely has goals to return and reach the medal stand.”

Seniors Keyonna Douglas and Catherine Daniel will be key pieces in short sprints.

“Keyonna is somebody who has been running since her freshman year on varsity,” Constable said. “She is great in the 100s and 200s and is a good kid with a solid work ethic. She has high expectations on the track and in the classroom.

“Catherine ran one of our fastest splits in the 200 at the end of last year.”

Seniors Heidi Clay and Eileen Fierke are both showing promise early on as well.

Sophomore Eleena Dunn had a strong freshman campaign, and enters the season healthy as a pivotal relay piece.

Constable will also rely on his underclassmen.

“The exciting part is our freshmen,” Constable said. “Ava Wessels has had a great preseason and will run on the 4×100 and open 400. Aneliese Schuur has looked good as well.

“For the first time in a long time, we will be able to put together a shuttle hurdle relay with LJ Maehl (freshman), Ere’Ziah Jones (senior), April Naeve (senior) and Maeleena Meyer (freshman).”

Seniors Keymora Douglas and Maggie Elsbecker will be key components as well.

“Maggie ran mostly 100s and 200s last year, but wants to run some 400s,” Constable said. “She has grit, is tough and a great attitude.”

Constable expects to see improvements from sophomore Brooklyn Pommer and freshman Dakota Pommer. Sophomore Ashlyn Wills will also be a sprinter, along with classmate Tristen Holst, who will run some quarters.

Sophomore Lucy Porter will also be a key component for the Dodgers.

Sophomore Mariah Myers, who set Fort Dodge Middle School record in throws, will be back in the pits for the Dodgers.

Freshman Mariaha Benedict will run 400s, 800s and possibly 1500s. Classmate Teryn Rippentrop will see some time as well.

“We have some young girls that will find their way to the track,” Constable said. “We have our largest senior class in a while. It’s hard for some kids to stay around for four years in track, but this group has done that.”

Constable will be assisted by Jon Koenig and Scott Timmerman.



Seniors — Morgan Bodholdt, Heidi Clay, Catherine Daniel, Keyonna Douglas, Keymora Douglas, Maggie Elsbecker, Eileen Fierke, Aliyah Henry, Ere’Ziah Jones, Lydia Lara, Ashlyn Lundberg, Lainey Maehl, April Naeve.

Juniors — Mackenzie McIlrath, Carsyn Zehr.

Sophomores — Eleena Dunn, Tristen Holst, Paige Lewis, Mariah Myers, Jade Peterson, Brooklyn Pommer, Lucy Porter, Samanta Smith.

Freshmen — Mariaha Benedict, Sharol Corado, Layla Ellis, Jaybrielle Foy, Kamryn Gochee, Tatum Harms, Cameron Lundberg, LJ Maehl, Alejandra Manzanilla, Adriana Manzanilla, Maeleena Meyer, Dakota Pommer, Teryn Rippentrop, Aneliese Schurr, Ava Wessels.


March 30 — at Boone.

April 4 — at Mason CIty; 6 — at Eagle Grove; 11 — at Algona; 14 — at Clear Lake; 17 — at Greene County; 20 — Dodger Relays; 27 — Drake Relays; 28 — at South Central Calhoun.

May 1 — at Mason City; 4 — at Ames (IAC Meet).


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