COLFAX — Colfax-Mingo Tigerhawk athletes are ramping up for the 2014 spring sport seasons. The Tigerhawk track teams had several indoor meets in March to get things kick started for the outdoor season, which begins a week from today.
Colfax-Mingo’s golf teams, as with everyone else, have battled the weather to get quality outdoor practices. The Tigerhawk golf season opens in a week.
Colfax-Mingo’s boys have 17 returners on their track squad of 34 athletes and six of those were among the top point leaders from a year ago. Tigerhawk head coach Matt Barkalow, who is in his eighth season guiding the track team, said the team lost 10 athletes to graduation from last year’s squad and they will be missed.
“We return a solid group of leaders in 2014. I’m very proud of all 34 young men who have been dedicated to representing our school and communities this season,” Barkalow said. “Effort and attitude have been outstanding so far this season and there is a real sense of teamwork and desire to improve.”
Tigerhawk seniors Brandon Byal, Logan Derry, Juan Gonzales, MaCauley Mosher, Keagan Smith, James Stoecker, Brock Warrick and Cody Brodka. Juniors on the squad are Richard Blom, Jaden Rusk, Chris Warner, Cameron Lantry, Clayton Brown, Jimmy Abell, Ryan McLain and Dustin Vanderweide.
Colfax-Mingo has 11 sophomores in Kyle Breen, Jacob Buehrer, Lane Dunblazier, Jake Lietz, Gabe Simpson, Blake Summy, Alan Wheeler, Colin Lourens, Nicholas Deal, Michael Deal and Sean Borts. Freshmen on the team are Jimmy Camp, Will Dunsbergen, K.C. Huffman, Sandro Montano, Ethan Opfer, Wyatt Owens, and Wyatt Wheatcraft.
The top returners are Lietz, who was an alternate on the Tigerhawk 4x400-meter relay team that qualified for state, plus runs in the 200-meter dash along with the 400 meters, 800 meters and hurdle races. Summy long jumped 18 feet, 9 inches as a freshman a year ago and is a top sprinter.
Simpson, Buehrer, Brown and Blom give the Tigerhawks coverage in races from the 200 meters to the 3,200-meter run. Among throwers, Byal, Mosher, Smith and Stoecker are seniors who give the Tigerhawks experience and Wheeler and Opfer will join that group. Lourens has potential of scoring points in the high jump and Gonzales in the long jump.
Fifth-year head coach Zach Tomas considers the 2014 Tigerhawk girls’ track team “the most talented group from top to bottom” he has had. Tomas said last year’s senior class was very special to him because those girls were the first group he had from freshmen to seniors.
“We certainly miss their leadership, but this senior class has done a great job of stepping up and taking on the leadership roles,” Tomas said.
Seven seniors lead the Tigerhawks. They are Anna Baldwin, Jena Teed, Kayla VanDusseldorp, Tessa DeKock, Jade Lewis, Donita Fatland and Bryanna Bill. Teed and VanDusseldorp are the top throwers back for the Tigerhawks — Teed in the discus ring and VanDusseldorp with the shot put event.
Baldwin battled injuries a year ago but is a two-time state qualifier with experience for Colfax-Mingo. Tomas said DeKock is a great team leader, who seems to fill in anywhere the Tigerhawks have a void.
“Our junior class is our biggest group (11) and they are also very talented. As a whole the juniors had the most kids in our top 10 for point earners last season,” Tomas said. “Our sophomore class is led by two of our state qualifiers last year in McInizie Tjaden and Jessica Albright. We also have one of the most talented group of freshmen coming in and they will push some of these upperclassmen for varsity spots.”
Juniors Erin Earles and Bailey Pease qualified for the state meet last year on the Tigerhawk 4x200-meter relay team. Pease had a breakout season in the 800 meter race and is the top returner at that distance. Earles is getting over an injury but should be ready to go next week for the beginning of the outdoor season.
Dakota Brodka and Sara LaHart are the top hurdlers for Colfax-Mingo as juniors. Kennedi Hostetter and Iva Moore bring depth to the distance races with Hostetter running well in the two-mile race and Moore in the 800 meters. Both are coming off successful cross country seasons.
Rylee Thompson is the top returner in the long jump. Other juniors on the team are Allison Teed, Chelsey Lourens, Cassie Craig and Eva Donnermayer, a German foreign exchange student.
As for the sophomores, Jessica Albright was a state qualifier as a freshman and is one of the top sprinters on the team. She is joined in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes by McKinizie Tjaden, who was the top point earner among freshmen last year.
Other sophomores are Kenzi Drummond, Ashley Lafferty, Emily Taylor, Olivia Towsley, Brooklyn Rawlins and Kayley Van Maaren.
Tomas said the freshman class has potential to do well on the track and in field events this season. Dakota Hostetter was a state qualifier in cross country. Brianna Cooper is a talented sprinter while Amy Russell is a fine thrower coming out of middle school. Aranda Woods can run about any event and should be successful at the high school level.
Other freshmen are Taylor Shepley, Brooke Nicholson, Reagan Nichol, Cassie Dominguez, Sloan Carkhuff and Anna Blom.
“Our main goal is that every athlete improves from the start of the season to the end,” Tomas said. “Just like any other team we have a goal to continue our streak of state qualifiers, which is four years in a row now. We’re working to be in the top half of our conference (Heart of Iowa) and the top five at the state qualifying meet. We are going to focus on what we can control and this is us.”
For the girls’ golf team, head coach Kyle Ament is excited to have four girls out after having just one a year ago. Olivia Maggard, a junior, the lone returner on the team. She is joined by sophomore Mahayla Hill and freshmen Skye Weber and Alexis Bucklin.
“We’re looking forward to competing as a team this year,” Ament said of the Tigerhawk girls’ team. “We have four golfers back on the boys’ team. Jimmy Abell, Mason Mosher and MaCauley Mosher will lead the team. We will need some help from the other boys for the fourth score if we want to compete this year.”
MaCauley Mosher is a senior and Abell is a junior. Mason Mosher and Zevin Lander, who is another returner, are sophomores. Freshmen Jake Jeter and Adam Teed round out the Tigerhawk squad.
Ament is in his fourth season as Tigerhawk golf coach.