A tough outing for both the Bluejays and Jayettes track and field teams as the boy’s 37 points earned them seventh place and the Jayettes’ six landed them in the final spot at Newton on April 20.

Despite the low scores both coaches touched on their team’s overall individual and team improvements.

“The girls did not score many points against some really talented competition, but they often placed higher than their seed position in each event,” Matt Hardy, Jayette head coach said.

Hardy gave his team a lot of credit for even showing up considering what some of the girls could’ve been dealing with.

“I was impressed with their ability to perform with heavy hearts having received the news that their former PE teacher passed away the previous day,” he said. “I think Marjean Gries would have been proud of the girls’ efforts; I know I was.”

Gries passed away on April 19. She worked as a teacher in the Perry School System for 34 years where she taught Elementary Physical Education.

Hardy mentioned three individual performances he thought made some significant strides with season best times.

In the 800, Haley Vaughn ran a 2:39 flat, Grace Stewart’s 12:15.17 earned her fifth place in the 3000, and in the shot put Sydney Helmers covered a season best measure of 21 feet, 11 inches.

It was a little better afternoon for the Bluejays who finished four spots better than BGM Male’s 14 points, Knoxville and Winterset’s 10 points and Ames JV with eight points.

Ben Coy, Bluejays’ head coach, acknowledged how disappointed his team felt after the meet but reminded them to focus on what they did well.

“Even though the four [boys] that ran the 4x4 were disappointed with their time after the race I thought they went out and competed well,” he said. “They beat Ottumwa and Ottumwa had the same four runners that beat us a week ago.”

In that 4x400 event, Reece Dunlap, Rashon Ivory, Brandon Kenyon and Adan Medina put together a time of 3:29.88 for first place.

Dunlap had a solid individual performance in 200-meter dash where he ran a 23.22 for second place. Medina finished fifth with a 24.14.

In the 800-sprint medley, Dunlap and Ivory along with Mana Martinez and Alexis Garrido came in second place with a 1:40.77.

Ivory, Garrido, Kenyon and Nic Fellom recorded the team’s final top three finishes of the day with a third place victory in the 1600 with a time of 3:53.88.