Trojans show strength at MP relays
In the prestigious and highly competitive 19-team Mt. Pleasant Co-Ed Relays on Friday, Fairfield captured three silver medals.
Trojan senior Michael Fritz finished second in the discus, sophomore Malory Jones took second in the high jump, and Jones, Jillian Dunlap, Alexis Jones and Ashley Bloomquist grabbed silver in the distance medley.
FHS was on spring break last week and quite a few kids, including Fritz, were out of town for much of that time.
Fritz returned from vacation on Friday morning, called the Trojan coaches and said he wanted to compete.
“Taking a silver today says a lot about Michael Fritz,” said Brian Dunlap, Trojan boys’ head coach. “He didn’t get to practice all week and just comes out here and does his job. He did what a good thrower does — competed.”
Said Fritz, “I’m not completely satisfied with how I did, taking second. But, overall, I’m OK with it. For not practicing for a week and the fact the rings are a little different over here, it’s fine.”
Fairfield sophomore Tristin Waugh also had a strong showing in the discus, finishing sixth out of the 21 competitors.
Jillian Dunlap ran leadoff in the distance medley, Alexis Jones was second, Malory Jones third and Bloomquist was anchor.
The quartet faced a strong field, including Fort Madison, Mt. Pleasant, Mid-Prairie, West Burlington/Notre Dame and private-school powerhouse Assumption.
“Against that caliber of competition, taking second place in the distance medley was a great performance,” said Trojan girls’ head coach Jerrod Belzer.
Among an ultra-talented 14-girl race, Trojan sophomore Kara Jeffrey took third place in the 400.
“Kara looked great in the 400,” Belzer said. “She has a beautiful long stride and is really made for the 400.”
Trojan senior Ashlyn Elmore also ran a strong 400, finishing fifth.
Sophomore Danae Drish, Bloomquist, senior Maggie Ferrel and Elmore impressed Belzer with a fourth-place finish in the 4x800.
Also earning praise from Belzer was senior Sarah Swanson, who competed well in the 100-meter hurdles.
“Maggie Ferrel and Sarah Swanson both really impressed me,” Belzer said. “They both had a long car trip back from spring break and asked to be a part of the meet. Then they came out and ran pretty well for us, too. That’s great senior leadership and speaks volumes about their commitment to their team.”
Swanson served as anchor for Jillian Dunlap, Blair Bowman and Brynna Bowman in the 4x100, an effective quartet, finishing just 2.55 seconds behind third-place Mt. Pleasant.
There were 19 girls competing in the throwing events. For Fairfield, senior Kaylee Watson took fourth in the discus, freshman McKenna Allison finished sixth, and sophomore Olivia Roberts took seventh in the shot put.
Trojan freshman Delaney Mondia competed well in the 100-meter hurdles.
Besides Fritz and Waugh, competing for the Trojan boys’ team were sophomores Brittan Bowman, Ashton Lankford, Kosta Papazoglou, Nathan Mathis, junior Connor Ryan and freshman Drew Martin.
“For bringing only eight guys,” said Coach Dunlap, “we got a lot accomplished in this meet.”