Dodger girls anxious to start

Fort Dodge head girls track coach Todd Constable is excited to get outdoors.

The early spring weather hasn’t cooperated, so Constable and the Dodgers have moved their training inside.

Along with a large group of incoming freshmen, Fort Dodge will rely on returning state qualifiers Lexi Astor, Tiana Mericle and Carson Jarrard to shoulder the load.

“We’ve been using what we have, which is a very long school with a great workout room and a pool,” Constable said. “It’s been tough with the weather, because putting in a lot of time indoors isn’t the same as doing it outdoors.

“The wear and tear you put on your body running inside is a lot different than what you do outside.”

Astor finished 10th in the long jump in Class 4A last year, while also advancing to the Drake Relays. She helped run the state-qualifying distance medley along with Mericle and Jarrard.

“They are going to be very important for us,” Constable said of his state trio. “They are great leaders and can really rack up points for us.”

Constable will also have the services of senior Fatima Newsome and junior Ashley Altman, as both are on the squad this season.

“Fatima and Ashley have looked strong here in the early going,” Constable said. “And we’ve seen some really strong times out of youngsters like Breonnah Al-Hammed Foy and Alexis Lessmeier.

“Those younger kids are really pushing the team and I feel they are providing us with a lot of speed and depth for the coming years.”

The field events will be anchored by senior Kenzie Jones and junior Rachel Herrington, as both have provided solid finishes in discus and shot put. Constable also has ninth-graders Kandia Tookes and Kelsey Illo to help provide depth in those events.

“Kenzie and Rachel have looked great so far, and Kandia and Kelsey are two of the stronger girls we have – and they are only freshmen,” Constable said. “Drew Washington, Katie Rowden, Sydney Crotts and Madison Bodholdt are going to help form our relays as well.”

The Dodger Relays are scheduled for April 18, while Fort Dodge will also host a district meet on May 9.

Constable will be assisted by Tim Hanson and Scott Timmerman. Hanson is also the head boys and girls cross country coach, while Timmerman is the head girls basketball coach.