Heating up the Hurdle Season

The girls shuttle hurdle team talks to the Post on how they think their season will go.


Mr. Patten

The shuttle hurdle team before practice

Eleanor Meek, Staff Writer

With this week comes the start to the Dowling track season. After missing last season due to Covid-19 the girls team is excited to get back to the track, especially this year’s shuttle hurdle team. On the team is Julia Shonka (12), Forest Kuestner-Burleson (12), Olivia Kramer (10) and Esaba Okwaramoi (10), lead by Coach Patten. 


After talking, the girls all of them seemed super happy to get back to running, Shonka was especially excited for the team atmosphere.


“I’m excited to be a part of the team. Everyone is so supportive of one another, and I love the team. I’m excited to watch us be successful this season!” Shonka said.


For the sophomores on the team, though, this will be their first full track season because of Covid-19, and Kramer can’t wait.


“I am most excited to finally run a full high school track season because last year’s season was cut short. I am excited to run with the team and hopefully run good times this year!” Kramer said. 


This year, the girls’ hurdle team is expected to do very well, but who is their biggest competition? Shonka has already scoped out the competition, but she doesn’t seem too worried.


“Our biggest competition is probably Waukee; they have a really good program. I think we are better, though, and have more depth in our program,” Shonka said.


Kuestner-Burleson, her teammate had a different idea of competition for this season.


“My only competition is with myself, working to be just a little stronger and faster than the day before. It’s like when you’re in a race: you don’t turn around to look where the competition is. You keep your eyes forward, set on the finish line, and you give your everything to get there,” Kuestner-Burleson said. 


The off-season has been a good bonding time for the team and good for their overall progress. 


“I feel like I have improved more in the weight room and I think the rest of my teammates have made lots of progress as well!” Okwaramoi said.


Shonka agreed and thinks the progress the team has made during the off-season will lead to great things for the future. 


“I think it will be an awesome season. We have a pretty good distance program and our shuttle hurdle team will be the best in the state! We have an amazing coach, Mr. Patten, and we have a really good chance of winning!” Shonka said.


Okwaramoi is also excited to see the future of the team and how the season will play out.


“I think the track team will achieve many goals and make lots of great memories together. I’m excited for what the future holds for the track team,” Okwaramoi said.


All the girls are thankful that the season has started, and although it’t different from previous years, it’s still a great time.


“It seemed a little weird at first just because I haven’t had a season in so long, but I’m so happy to be back. It puts me in a better mood every day, just getting to go out there and out all of my energy and passion into it. It’s an amazing experience.” Kuestner-Burleson said.


Overall, the team can’t wait to show their skills this season and make new memories.


“It feels good to be back with my team and finally get a full season. I think our team has worked through our struggles and used last season as motivation to get better. I am so excited for this season and think good things are coming for my team and I!” Kramer said.