The clouds rolled in, the thunder rumbled, and eventually the sky broke open with a downpour on the large crowd gathered for the Storm Lake Invitational Coed Track Meet Thursday night - but not before the Tornadoes had unleashed a storm of their own.
Both girls and boys SLHS teams were team point winners when rain forced an early end to the events.
The girls' team has dominated area teams this season, winning all five of the meets in which they have competed. To start the night, Amber Woodford took gold in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.94 seconds and third in the 200 (26.99). Katie Blum wrapped up the 200-meter dash (26.47) and the long jump with a leap of 15' 11".
Cassie Meylor laid claim to first place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.48 and tied with teammate Tammy Nielsen for second in the high jump (1.43m). Michaela Brungardt claimed first in the 400-meter dash (59.14) and third in the discus (118') behind Jacqueline Brungardt, who took second in the discus with a toss of 118' 2". The Tornadoes' blue-ribbon shuttle hurdle team finished with a time of 1:07.17, a full second ahead of their closest opponent. Maleia Miller claimed third in the 100-meter dash, while Amy Kessler and Slone Masters earned the same in the 100-meter hurdles and long jump, respectively. Nya Deng took fourth in the shot put (35' 2"), followed by Courtney Lovetinsky in fifth. The 4x800-meter relay team took fourth (10:54.43) while the 4x200-meter relay teams finished fifth before the rest of the meet was called on account of rain.
On the boys' side, Tornado relays took the day. The 4x200-, 4x800- and shuttle hurdle relay teams all earned top honors with times of 1:33.70, 8:47.54 and 59.12, respectively.
Matt Ung led the individual efforts with two firsts in the 100-meter dash (11.20) and the long jump (21' 2.25"). Nate Tucker leapt to a three-way tie for first in the high jump (1.78m), while Jeff Kofinehl tossed the shot put 50' 3.5" for a silver medal. Peter Winterton also had a successful day with his two second place finishes in both the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.63 and in the 400 with a time of 51.43. Though rain cut the meet short, Storm Lake's 107 points were holding strong against second place Humboldt's 91.
The Storm Lake St. Mary's girls' team also made an appearance in the highly competitive meet, with Emily Mohr improving her time in the 3000-meter run to earn a fifth place finish with a time of 12:30.7 and Christine Becker also claiming fifth in the 800-meter run (2:34.91). For the boys, Paul Yak led the Panthers by placing third in the 3200 with a time of 10:37.39. Michael Ivey came close but could not quite get on the board with his seventh place finish in the 110-meter hurdles.
For Newell-Fonda's girls, Rachel Culp was the only scoring Mustang with her fourth place finishes in both the 400-meter dash (1:05.32) and the 800-meter run (2:33.45), though Kacie Bodholdt came close with her seventh place leap in the long jump and Lauren Devereaux took eighth in the shot put. For the N-F boys, Nathan Schumann launched the discus 131' 02" for a second place finish, while Luke Sarchet tossed the shot put 48' 9.75" for third place.
Storm Lake will host the Tornado Relays on Tuesday, April 29 for another showdown between top competitors in the area.