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Relay meets can pose problems for smaller schools due to the depth needed to compete with larger teams. 

When Aquinas stepped on the track at the Scotus Relays on March 26, the Monarchs were the only Class C team among Class B and A schools.

But the Aquinas girls never backed down from the challenge and were left standing on top once all was said and done.

"It was a great day because we showed our depth, and some young girls really stepped up today," Aquinas girls head coach Tony Smith said. "Just our competitive spirit really stood out today."

The Scotus Relays is an unusual meet in terms of which events are competed and how those events are organized.

Some of the more unusual races included the 6400-meter relay, shuttle hurdle relays and a distance medley which included a 1200 leg.

"We try to treat this one the same as anything else," Smith said. "We try to get whatever times we can out of it. Our 800 girls try to run 800 legs and mile runners try to run mile legs.

"Every once in a while we have to ask a girl to do something she's not normally used to, like Vanessa Bohuslavsky is an 800 runner, but ran a 1200 today, and was on top of it."

With the season still in its early stages, the Monarchs are attempting to solidify the final spots in varsity relay teams.  

"We're still trying to find our fourth four-by-eight girl and our third and fourth four-by-four girl," Smith said. "They're stepping up, and we're starting to find those girls."

This was the first track meet the junior class participated in after staying back in David City three days earlier to set up Prom later that night. Many of the soon-to-be seniors impressed Smith.

"Our junior girls didn't have a chance to compete Friday," he said. "Two of our junior girls, Ella Hilger and Jadyn Siroky, both ran three races today and just did an outstanding job.

"Ella in the four-by-one, four-by-four and four-by-eight. You can tell how versatile she is.  Jadyn Siroky ran two 800s and a 400. They just did an outstanding job today."

Aquinas even caught the eye of some other coaches.

"They really have a nice talented group of girls," said Scotus girls head coach Janet Tooley. "Especially their senior class. For a school that size to step in and win a meet like this, that's quite an accomplishment. Hats off to them."

The Monarch girls pole vault team placed first with a combined height of 25 feet, finished first in the 250-meter hurdle shuttle relay with a time of 42.6  and first in the 3200 relay with a time of 10:12.1.

The Monarch boys took home fourth out of eight teams.

Like the girls, the Aquinas boys also won pole vault. They also placed second in the high jump.

No other information on which athletes were entered into which events was available.

"The advantage (to such an irregular meet) is competing a lot of kids," boys coach Ron Mimick said in comments sent to The Banner-Press. "It is historically a tougher meet since we are always the smallest school in a meet that requires a lot depth.

"This team will be a late bloomer into the year since there are lots of new faces in scoring spots that are just starting to get into shape and become fundamentally competent."

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net

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