In the sport of track and field, every meet can be centered around one goal: improvement.
Improvement is exactly what head coach Jim Lee saw when the Mason City girls track and field team returned to Waverly-Shell Rock on Thursday night.
The Mohawks finished eighth out of eight teams in their season opener on Tuesday, but followed it up by improving three spots in the team standings in their meet on Thursday night. Mason City finished fifth out of eight teams with 61 points.
"To say I was pleased with the way the girls performed would be an understatement," head coach Jim Lee said. "The progress they made from the meet on Tuesday night was impressive."
Mason City was led by Ariel Lee, Tara Backhaus, Ellea Lewerke and Rosa Monarch, who finished first place in the shuttle hurdle relay with a time of 1 minute, 14.26 seconds.
The 4x800 team, consisting of Bryelyn Hanson, Marcella Sierra, Audra Mulholland and Aspen Cole placed second with a time of 10:51.43. Sierra and Cole also placed second and third, respectively, in the 1,500-meter.
Hanson secured a third place finish in the open 800-meter and the 4x200 also finished third to round out the top finishers.
"I could go up and down the line-up with performances by the girls that were superb," Lee said. "I wasn't sure what to expect from the kids tonight but from the very first event to the last they showed me what kind of competitors they are."
The Mohawks are back in action at Waverly-Shell Rock on Tuesday.
Mason City boys finish second at Marshalltown
The Mason City boys team was also in action on Thursday night. The Mohawks traveled to Marshalltown and finished second out of five teams with 128 points.
The Mohawks secured four first place finishes and placed second behind only Ames.
The 4x800 team of Christian Rodriguez, Breyden Christensen, Jess Cornick and Kale DiMarco kicked off the wins for Mason City by running a time of 8:49.27, which was good for first place. The other team that placed first was the shuttle hurdle relay, which ran a school record time of 1:04.63. That team consisted of Kale Hobart, Reid Johnson, Dante Arndt-Sublett and Michael Willis.
Christian Rodriguez and Kale Hobart secured individual wins in the 400-meter dash and 110-meter high hurdles, respectively.
The 4x400 team and discus thrower Sebastian Brock both secured second place finishes to round out the top two finishers for Mason City.
"We had a great night at Marshalltown with a school record and another runner-up team finish," head coach Tyler Ketelsen said. "The boys are learning what it takes to compete in the sport of track and field."
The Mohawks are back in action on Monday in Decorah.
Hampton-Dumont-CAL places third
The Hampton-Dumont-CAL track and field team traveled to Roland-Story and placed third out of four teams with 66 points. The Bulldogs took home six first place finishes.
Tomas Cavazos won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.96 seconds and Jordan Severs won the open 800 in 2:12.51. The Bulldogs also secured two field event wins with Tate Schmitt winning the high jump and Jakie Yuthe winning the shot put.
The 4x100 team and 4x800 team both took first place to round out the top finishes for Hampton-Dumont-CAL.
Clear Lake distance medley shines
After the original meet at Central Springs was canceled due to cold weather, the Clear Lake boys track team found a replacement and headed south to compete at Indianola. The Lions scored 53 points and placed sixth out of eight teams.
The distance medley team was the stars of the show, taking home Clear Lake's lone first place finish. The team finished the race in 3:47.82.
The Lions also had a handful of second and third place finishers to lead the team. Tyson Cooley secured second place in the high jump with a leap of 5-10. The shuttle hurdle relay also placed second with a time of 1:07.22.
Jagger Schmitt and Justin Wright placed third in the 400-meter and 800-meter, respectively, to round out the top finishes.
Collins takes two firsts for Charles City
The Charles City boys track and field team competed at Waverly-Shell Rock and placed fourth out of eight teams with 70 points.
Ian Collins was a standout performer for the Comets. He secured wins in both the long jump and the high jump. He jumped 23-00.5 to win the long jump and 6-06 to win the high jump.
Mario Hoefer secured a second place finish in the long jump and Tino Tamayo placed second in the shot put to round out the top finishes for the Comets.
Hampton-Dumont-CAL in action
The Bulldog girls track team also headed to Roland-Story on Thursday night. The squad took fourth out of four teams with 23 points. There were no additional stats available on VarsityBound.
Charles City girls take third
The Charles City girls track and field team took third place out of eight teams at the Waverly-Shell Rock meet on Thursday night. The Comets scored 74 points.
Carly Stevenson kicked things off with a win in the shot put. She threw the shot put 35-09.5. Keely Collins also earned a win in a field event with a leap of 5-02.00 in the high jump.
Kiki Connell won the open 800 with a time of 2:24.69 and also placed second in the long jump.
Gunnar Davis covers education and sports. Reach him via email at Gunnar.Davis@GlobeGazette.com or by phone 641-421-0598.