Skartvedt’s confidence at all-time high following late surge
South Hamilton senior improves by nearly 30 feet in discus and is now a 2A?state medal contender
JEWELL — The middle of April was filled with frustration for Lily Skartvedt, South Hamilton’s senior discus thrower who just couldn’t quite put it all together.
The Bengal Relays in Gilbert on April 15: 92 feet, 7 inches.
South Hamilton’s own George Abell Hawkette Relays on April 23: 96-7.
For a girl who had visions of a school record and state medal, those results were unacceptable.
And then, seemingly overnight, something changed.
The Ballard Invite on April 26: 112-8 (better).
The North Polk Coed on April 29: 113-4 (better yet).
And, finally, the breakthrough.
It came at the Heart of Iowa Conference meet in Nevada on May 2. Skartvedt unleashed a throw of 121-2 that not only won her the league title, but also broke the school record she coveted. She one-upped herself seven days later with a toss of 121-7 at the Class 2A state qualifier.
That’s nearly 30 feet worth of improvement in 24 days. What changed? Skartvedt says it all comes down to technique.
“We worked a lot on form, especially because I’m the size I am,” she said. “And when we found out what I was missing — I needed more torque — that helped me get up to 110, and then I think my confidence improved.”
Skartvedt’s confidence is at an all-time high entering the state track and field meet at Drake Stadium this week. She’ll compete in the shot put, where she’s seeded 23rd, Thursday morning at 9 a.m., and will return for the discus Friday morning, also a 9 a.m. start.
“(The shot) was an extra fun thing,” Skartvedt said. “I’m just really excited. I was really hoping to make it to state last year and that didn’t happen, so it’s great to make it this year and hopefully I’ll make something of it.”
Skartvedt is seeded 11th in the discus and has the potential to jump into medal contention. Hawks’ head coach Dan Brodie thinks Skartvedt has the ability to throw further than ever before.
“If we can get one good throw in early and get her going, then she has a tremendous opportunity to make something happen,” he said.
Skartvedt is ecstatic she was able to find that extra gear in late April. Now she hopes there’s more lurking in the shadows.
“I’ll hopefully throw something closer to 130, that’s the goal,” she said.
South Hamilton will also take its hurdlers to Des Moines. The shuttle hurdle relay quartet of Emily Greenfield, Bridgit Schlafke, Rylee Woodall and Hailey Cavan will run in the prelims at 9 a.m. on Thursday.
Back at state for the second straight year, the foursome enters seeded 14th, but Brodie believes his hurdlers can put together a time that will challenge a finals spot.
“I know they can run faster,” he said. “From what I’ve seen in practice and how we’ve consistently been a little faster in every meet this year, and plus the adrenaline is going to help them.”
Cavan will take her run in the 100 hurdles Friday morning at 10 a.m. Seeded 22nd, the junior wants to step onto the blue oval and see how many runners she can pick off.
“She’s got a really fast heat,” Brodie said. “We’ll just try to go out and place as high as she can in her heat and run a personal best and see how it plays out.”
State Track and Field Meet
South Hamilton Girls
9 a.m. — 2A Girls Shot Put (Lily Skartvedt — Flight 1, No. 2).
9 a.m. — 2A Girls Shuttle Hurdle Relay (Emily Greenfield, Bridgit Schlafke, Rylee Woodall, Hailey Cavan — Heat 2, Lanes 1/2).
9 a.m. — 2A Girls Discus (Lily Skartvedt — Flight 2, No. 2).
10 a.m. — 2A Girls 100 Hurdles (Hailey Cavan — Heat 3, Lane 8).