Opening the season at the multi-team Early Bird Co-ed in Tipton March 30, the Beckman girls’ track and field team placed eighth among the 11 girls teams entered.

Solon ran away with the title with 157.5, followed by Clear Creek-Amana 77, Regina 67.5, Tipton 59, North Cedar 57, Maquoketa 41, Camanche 34.5, Beckman 34, Marquette 22, West Branch 19.5 and Midland 13.

Kiersten Schmitt tied for first in the high jump with Midland’s Jaden Gatts (4-10) to pace the team. Freshman Izzy Lutgen took seventh (4-4). Schmitt also took fourth in the 100-hurdles (17.35) in front of teammate Addie Koelker in eighth (17.98).

Maria Kruse used her cross country expertise to place third in the 800 with a time of 2:44.02. Kennedy Recker was seventh (2:56.91).

The shuttle hurdle relay claimed third with a time of 1:14.52 (Schmitt, Nell McDermott, Makayla Koelker and Addie Koelker) while the sprint medley took fourth in 2:02.94 (Abby Knepper, Makayla Koelker, Addie Koelker and Kruse).

A time of 2:02.15 grabbed fifth for the 4x200 team of Makayla Koelker, Valery Meyer, McKenna Milbert and Sophia Geistkemper. The team of Knepper, Makayla Koelker, Addie Koelker and Kruse combined for sixth in the 4x100 (56.17).

Able to run just nine events due to church services Holy Thursday April 1, the Blazers ended in ninth place at West Delaware with 40 points. Independence led with 72, followed by Elkader 69, Maquoketa 67, Lisbon 64, Lansing Kee 52, West Delaware 51, Starmont 50, Oelwein 46, BHS, Maquoketa Valley 30, Clayton Ridge 24 and Easton Valley 21.

Schmitt claimed first alone in the high jump with another 4-10. Izzy Lutgen was eighth at 4-4.

Grace Helle took second in shot put with a heave of 31-9. Kruse grabbed third in the 3,000 (12:10.55) The distance medley team of Valery Meyer, Makayla Koelker, Addie Koelker and Kruse took third in 4:49.45.

Knepper ran eighth in the 100 (14.52) as did the distance medley team of McKenna Milbert, Melanie Lutgen, Sophia Geistkemper and Recker (5:12.62).

Coaches Todd Troutman and Ryan Meissner were pleased with the results of the meets. “To list a highlight is impossible because the best highlight is the fact that we can be outside, on the track, competing, for the first time in two years. With so many ‘new’ athletes, we were concerned about the beginning of the meet, the warm-ups/check-ins/competing, but the returning girls did a great job of answering questions for the new kids and helping them around the field.

“We were extremely pleased with the effort and execution and now can begin to build from the starting points they all have after these competitions. Everybody competed, giving them each a time/distance/height. There were also some athletes in events they were not used to running and they did great as well.

“We are looking forward to the rest of the season to see the improvements we can make.”