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Prep track and field: Sigourney opens season at SICL Indoor

Mar. 22—GRINNELL — The nerves were understandable.

It was, after all, the first high school track and field meet that Kia Montgomery had even competed in. The Sigourney freshman made her varsity debut on Monday as the Savages opened both their girls' and boys' track and field seasons at the South Iowa Cedar League Indoor meet.

Montgomery shook off those nerves to produce a stellar opening night, producing a third-place finish in the 200-meter dash in 29.87 seconds and a fourth-place finish in the 400 meters in 1:11.87. The Sigourney freshman also led off a fourth-place run in the 4x400 relay to close out the night joining Amiya Smallwood, Bailey Gretter and Reagan Clarahan in producing a time of 4:55.72.

"It was a lot different than junior high. It was definitely a lot more competitive," Montgomery said. "I wasn't sure what to expect for my first high school meet. I was actually excited to see how I did."

The Sigourney girls placed in the top 10 of 10 different events in their season opener, including top-five finishes in six different events at the SICL indoor. Reagan Clarahan finished third for the Savages in the 60-meter hurdles, posting a time of 11.07 seconds, while Addison Yates also brought home the bronze in the 1,500-meter run finishing third in 5:51.47.

"It's always good to get this first meet in and kind of see where you're sitting in certain events," Sigourney head girls track coach Schay Moore said. "The kids did a really nice job for the first time out. We've got 22 girls out this season, which is a big number for us. That's going to help fill some events. I think we're going to have the chance to be competitive in some things we haven't been in the past."

The Sigourney boys also had success in their season opener on Monday, opening with a pair of top-five throws in the shot put competition. Jayden Thompson finished second with a throw of 40 feet and 10 inches, the top finish for any Sigourney athlete in the meet, while Caden Clarahan finished fourth with a throw of 38-2 for the Savages.

"The competitiveness of the guys was something I really liked to see," Sigourney head boys track coach Jared Jensen said. "We came to this meet last year with about six or seven freshmen, six or seven sophomores and only a few upperclassmen. Last year, we were just learning. This year, being a year older, the boys came out and competed. I feel a lot better leaving this meet than I did last season."

After posting a top-five throw in the shot put, Clarahan added a top-10 run in the 60 meter hurdles crossing the finish line in 9.66 seconds. Colt Reed and Isaac Bruns both returned to the track for the Savages, producing top-10 runs in the 60-meter dash with Reed finishing seventh in 7.68 seconds just 0.02 ahead of Bruns.

"We've got a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things," Jensen said. "Last year, it was pretty specific which guys could run distance races, sprints and guys that could run relays. This year, we have a multitude of guys that can run in a little bit of everything without any real drop off. Having 18 guys that are interchangeable throughout all the events is going to be huge for us."

Reed, Jake Moore, Brayden Wood and Troy Klett teamed up to finish fourth for the Sigourney boys in the distance medley realy in 4:10.03. Carson O'Rourke joined Caden Clarahan, Bruns and Ike Molyneux to finish fifth in the 4x200 relay in 1:44.82.

Klett produced a pair a third-place finish for the Sigourney boys in the 800-meter run, crossing the finish line in 2:15.24. The sophomore distance runner also placed fourth for the Savages in the 1,600 meters in 5:20.

"I'm not impressed with my times. We'll have to get back to work on the track and get a lot more distance down to get the legs ready for those longer races," Klett said. "This is still kind of a feeling-out process. I'd like to get the 800 time down under 2:10 and the mile under 4:50. I'm hoping I can get into the next couple of meets and bring that time down pretty drastically."

The Sigourney boys, who are scheduled to open the outdoor season at Pekin on Monday in the Ruritan Relays, closed out their lone indoor meet of the season with top-10 runs from Bruns in the 200 (sixth in 25.36), Aiden Knepper in the 400 (eighth in 1:00.09), Wood in the 800 (eighth in 2:26.2) and from the 4x400 relay team of Reed, Moore, Wood and Wyatt Wehr (seventh in 4:08.74). The Sigourney girls, meanwhile, got a fourth-place run in the distance medley relay from Reagan Clarahan, Erin Dawson, Amiya Smallwood and Addison Yates in 5:05.68.

Other top-10 finishes for the Sigourney girls included Dawson in the shot put (sixth with a throw of 30-5), Reagan Clarahan in the 200 (sixth in 30.25), Mason Clarahan in the 60-meter hurdles (seventh in 11.22 seconds) as well as Ava Fineran (sixth in 3:18.36) and Ella Bahlman (seventh in 335.28) in the 800-meter run. The Savages also placed sixth in the 4x800 relay in 12:13.04 and seventh in the 4x200 relay in 2:08.47.

"We definitely have options that we didn't have in the past," Moore said. "We haven't had a true sprinter since the Barthelmans (Autumn and Summer), so that's exciting having Kia in the mix this year. Reagan does a nice job in the middle distances and the hurdles. Addison's right in there for the long distances. It's going to be fun to mix in those freshmen in with those veterans.

"The goal you always try to strive for is to contend for state titles the way the Barthelmans did. They set a high bar. It's definitely something are goals are always striving for."

— Scott Jackson can be reached at sjackson@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter@CourierScott.