PREVIEW: Plenty of state meet experience on Wildcat squad

The girls track team at Maquoketa Valley is made up of, first row from left: Ashley Stogdill, Jaiden Porter, Kara Orcutt, Rejji Smith, Casey Fry, Taylor White and Kaitlyn Deutmeyer. Second row: Danica Fjelstul, Jenna Nefzger, Olivia Hoeger, Maddy Anderegg, Nichole Winter, Ali Knipper, Emma Hill, Shelby March, Jordyn Kemp, Kailyn Hogan, Grace Wegmann and Aspen Britt. Third row: assistant coach Jason Helle, Angela Wendt, Cassy Wilson, Ali Sheehy, Brianna Mensen, Lydia Helle, Brooke Wilson, Caitlin Schuman, Sammy Wall, Maci Freiburger, Mikayla Callan and head coach Creig Dunlap. Not pictured is Madison Imler. (Photo by Diane Temple)

     Last year, the Maquoketa Valley High School girls track and field team qualified for the Class 2A state meet in four events.

     With a drop to Class 1A, 20 returning letter-winners, and 10 girls with state meet experience, the Wildcats are hoping for more this season.

     “We have a great group of experienced athletes that have been in big meets, including the state meet,” fifth-year coach Creig Dunlap said. “There is a core group of multiple-year state qualifiers that are good leaders and that are ambitious and want to win.

     “We also have a nice group of freshmen that will step in and fill the gaps we have from graduation last season.”

     Relays have been big part of MV’s success in recent years, and this year’s squad has nine athletes who have competed in a relay at State. They include seniors Brianna Mensen, Aspen Britt, Caitlyn Schuman, Angela Wendt, Cassiddy Wilson and Ashley Stogdill; and juniors Rejji Smith, Kara Orcutt and Casey Fry. Senior Ali Sheehy qualified for State last season in the discus.

     Mensen has qualified for the trip to Des Moines three times, while Britt, Wilson, Smith and Orcutt have each made it to State twice.

     The Wildcats expect to be among the favorites in the Tri-Rivers Conference, and Dunlap said North Linn, Midland, Springville and Lisbon could be contenders as well.

     “This area has a large amount of very talented track teams, and our girls have been able to compete with those teams,” the coach said.

     He is assisted by Jason Helle.



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