Olejniczak takes on state track, soccer teams head into playoffs

Sean Cordy, Correspondent
Special to the Chief

Out with the old and in with the new, but not if a couple of Perry’s teams and athletes have anything to say about it with the postseason starting this week, while baseball and softball are just beginning. (Note: Events covered May 11-17).

Girls Track

Offering one more run around the track, Lydia Olejniczak will lace up at the state meet at Drake Stadium on Thursday in the Class 3A 400-meter dash. 

After running a time of 1 minute 3.35 seconds to place fourth at the state qualifier at ADM, the odds looked stacked against the junior sprinter who’d need an at-large bid to make a dash for Des Moines. But once all the times came through, that new personal record was enough to put her in the 23rd slot of the 24 that will run Thursday. Olejniczak’s run makes her the second consecutive Jayette 400m runner to qualify for the state meet. Kennedy Tunink finished 20th last year with a time of 1:03.07.

Perry's Lydia Olejniczak runs the 400-meter dash during the 3A state qualifying track meet on Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Adel.

Boys Track

Qualifying for the state meet was an even taller task for the Bluejays whose season came to end as they fell short of qualifying marks. A total of 54 qualifiers were sent to the state meet between the seven other teams at the May 12 qualifiers in Adel. Of that sum, 17 are from Dallas Center-Grimes and another 16 from ADM.

Boys Soccer

The Bluejays’ regular season wrapped on Monday with a 4-3 win over Des Moines Lincoln, bouncing back from the 1-0 loss to state contender Gilbert just a few days prior. Perry now sits with an 11-6 record.

That sets up Perry for the first round of districts against Boone, which the Jays tossed 10-0 just over a week ago. Barring an upset bid from the Toreadors, Perry will take on either Storm Lake (10-5) or Denison-Schleswig (7-8). In all likelihood, if the Bluejays can advance through that semifinal round, their prize will be a meeting with top-ranked Humboldt (15-0). 

Girls Soccer

The Jayettes will also kickoff the postseason with a match against Boone, but roles are reversed compared to the boys team. Back in the second week of May, Perry lost 5-1 to the Toreadors. But should the Jayettes be able to turn the tide against an erratic Boone squad, that will send Perry to top-ranked Dallas Center-Grimes (16-0) for the semifinal round.

Girls Golf

Perry placed third at Monday’s triangular in Winterset as one last practice round before Wednesday’s regional round in Saydel.

Boys Golf

While the girls’ schedule extended another week, the boys’ campaign wrapped up at the sectional round held in Denison on May 11. The team shot a score of 431, a one stroke improvement over the 432 at the previous week’s conference meet.

Baseball

Perry baseball steps up to the plate Thursday night to face Ogden. The past two seasons, the Bluejays have lost by double digits against the Bulldogs. With the whole team returning this year, Perry hopes to make it a closer fight akin to the 8-6 loss in 2019 that the Jays sent into extra innings after a late rally. Ogden already started its season on Monday, losing 11-1 to West Marshall. 

Softball

The Jayettes’ season kicks off on May 25 against South Hamilton, the first of three home games that begins Perry’s 2022 campaign. Perry won last year’s meeting 4-0 over the Hawks.