of her last shot
at a state medal
As Marion sprinter Alfwenna Meyer’s senior track and field season kicked off, she knew this was the final opportunity to reach the goal of her competitive career.
“My whole goal is to go to state and bring home a medal,” she said.
Meyer had two appearances at regional championships, so she saw state as her final proving ground.
“Since we have a bunch of talent, the girls should all be able to win at state,” she said. “That’s what we do throughout the season; we’re building up to state.”
That door was slammed shut when spring sports were canceled, but leading into the season Meyer saw the importance of putting in extra work outside of practice.
“I have to do more,” she said. “If I have a workout here, I have to come back and do something else later.”
Meyer planned to participate exclusively in sprinting events this season, including 100 meters, 200, and possibly relays.
It’s sometimes necessary to focus on certain events to achieve the best results, Meyer said.
“If I have the 200 meters, 4x400, and 400, that’s a really tight squeeze,” she said. “I don’t think my body can deal with that, but we don’t know.”
Coaches work with students from middle school through high school, an advantage in finding students’ expertise and what they enjoy, coach Grant Thierolf said.
“That’s the beauty of coaching them for six years,” he said. “We can see early on if they have an aptitude for something. You gently direct them toward that event and say, ‘Let’s give this a try,’ because we think we see something there.”
There’s an early emphasis on conditioning when practices start between the last week in February and first week in March, which lays a strong foundation, Thierolf said.
“This month of conditioning is paramount for the success we can have,” he said. “It’s one of those things you have to do because the work you put in now pays off later on. It’s hard to make up for that when you lose it.”
Meyer stepped outside her comfort zone as a sprinter during fall sports which gained her a mental edge.
“I did cross-country,” she said. “If I can do that, I can do anything.”