BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Central Lee’s shuttle hurdle relay team made a quick exit from the Iowa State Track and Field meet in Des Moines on Saturday after disqualifying in the preliminaries of the Class 2A Shuttle Hurdle relay Thursday evening.
The school was summoned by the officials after the heat, but no school officials heard the summons and it was determined that on one of the relays a Hawk left early.
Three of the members of the Lady Hawks team are freshman, Zoe Eschman, Hailey Tweedy, and Abby Wellman. Wendolyn Hannum, the lone senior on the squad, has run at state one other time with Fort Madison before transferring to Central Lee.
Off the gun, Eschman clipped a hurdle in stride but didn’t flinch as she raced to the north end of the track where Tweedy was waiting to return. No other touches of the hurdle were had as the girls finished with an unofficial time of 1:11.82 prior to the DQ.
Hannum grabbed the girls in a huddle on the north end of the track after the event and told them state is a different competition. Hannum is graduating this year and said she plans to attend Ball State and major in Theater.
“I’m proud of all you,” she said. “State is tough.”
Hannum who was running at her third state meet said the team did well.
“Truthfully looking at our time it wasn’t our best, but from my angle I watched the other girls and everybody looked good and I felt good about what I did, so I think we did ok.”
Eschman said she got a bit of the nerves.
“I don’t know – I just had some nerves and clipped that hurdle” Eschman said after the event. “But we’re just freshmen so we’re looking forward to coming back.”
Tweedy said she, too, was happy with the trip to Des Moines.
“It’s awesome we got to come here. We may not have run the fastest we could have run, but it was just fun getting to experience it. Obviously we’re just freshmen so we’ve got more years to go.”
Wellman said she’s looking forward to a return trip, but the experience was worth the trip.
“It was really a cool experience,” she said. “I’m glad we got to experience it.”