Dodger girls shine at Drake

DES MOINES – Just qualifying for the 105th annual Drake Relays wasn’t enough to satisfy four members of the Fort Dodge girls track team here Friday.

The Dodger quartet of freshman Shariah Smith, classmate Car’Maiya Mosley and seniors Lexi Astor and Tiana Mericle set a new school record in the 4×100 relay, clocking a 49.64 to place fifth in the prelims.

“I’m so proud of them for breaking a record that had been standing since 1978,” FDSH head coach Todd Constable said. “It was just awesome to watch, especially considering the elite athletes they were running against.

“We haven’t had ideal weather conditions to run in all year, but it was just perfect (Friday). Our handoffs were crisp, too.”

Davenport Assumption (48.55) recorded the top time in the 4×100 prelims. The girls 4×100 final is set for this afternoon at 3:35 p.m.

“For seniors like Tiana and Lexi to be in the finals at Drake was just huge,” said Constable. “We’re excited about (Saturday). Anything can happen if another team falters. We have one of the top girls in both the 100 and 200 (in Smith and Mercle), which makes for a pretty fast relay when you combine them all.

“Like I told the kids, though, we still have work to do. We can celebrate for the time being, but we still want to jump even higher than fifth.”

Smith was strong individually as well on Friday, placing sixth (12.73) in the 100 final after checking in seventh (12.75) for the prelims. Des Moines Roosevelt’s Jalynn Roberts-Lewis (12.24) took home gold.

“There wasn’t a kid close to Shariah early in the season, so I knew she could make the finals (Smith was the lone freshman to run in the girls 100 final),” Constable said. “Her closing speed and hard work are really paying off.

“She’s young and still has a lot of potential. The sky’s the limit for her.”