Panthers show prowess at meet
They’re a respected bunch, that’s for sure.
On Tuesday at the Fairfield Relays, after Pekin’s Remi Duwa, Shea Dahlstrom, Cari Duwa and Mackenzie Martin captured the gold medal in the 4x800 relay in dominating fashion, quite a few Fairfield Trojans and Fort Madison Lady Hounds rushed over to congratulate the quartet.
Pekin won the race with a time of 10:21.18, Fairfield took silver (10:34.86) and Fort Madison bronze (10:51.48). Oskaloosa finished in fourth, almost a full minute behind the Panthers.
“We were very fired up today,” Dahlstrom said. “We ran an amazing time. We were facing very good teams, too. We look at Fairfield as a really strong team so we’re proud we were able to beat them.”
Remi Duwa took the lead, Dahlstrom stretched that lead and Cari Duwa kept Pekin in front before anchor Martin finished things up.
“We’re especially proud of Cari,” Dahlstrom said. “She’s been a sprinter and now we’re working on her long-distance running.”
Martin is an excellent finisher.
“Once we give a lead to Mackenzie Martin, we don’t have to worry,” Dahlstrom said. “Mackenzie is an amazing runner.”
Pekin head coach Josh Roudabush was impressed.
“This was the best 4x8 time we’ve had all year,” he said. “We took 5 seconds off our best time. Remi Duwa, Shea Dahlstrom and Mackenzie Martin each ran their best times of the year.
“Any time we run against bigger schools, it pushes us. Fairfield is a rival in some sports so it was nice to be able to compete against them.”
From the start of the meet to the finish, Pekin was competitive. Fairfield won the meet with 162 points, but the Panthers (141) defeated Oskaloosa (131), Keokuk (104), Fort Madison (82) and Burlington (55).
Panther senior Kaylee Linder stood out, anchoring Pekin’s gold-medal team in the 4x100 (53.06) and second-place squad in the 800-sprint medley (2:01.95). On the individual side, she took bronze in the 100-meter dash (12.87).
Linder has been a participant at the State Track Meet, as an individual and relay-team member, as a frosh, sophomore and junior.
“We have a really good team this year,” Linder said. “We have a lot of freshmen. Usually freshmen are intimidated but this group wants to work.”
On Tuesday, Julianna Baumgartner, Emilee Linder and Cate Roth joined Kaylee Linder in the 4x100.
“My sprinter group is all freshmen and sophomores,” said Kaylee Linder with a smile. “So, since I’m the senior, I make them run with me at practice.”