Kaela Rorvig knows what is in store for some of her younger teammates on the Hickman track team.
In the postseason, races with more pressure, better competition and bigger crowds can make veterans nervous.
“It can be kind of intimidating,” Hickman coach Steve Luetjen said.
Rorvig, a two-time state champion in the 400 meters and defending champion in the long jump, said her experience in these types of meets allows her to help these teammates deal with them.
“I try to calm them down a little,” Rorvig said. “They’ve probably got some nerves that I once had when I was back in their shoes.”
The extent of Rorvig’s calming effect will be determined Saturday when the Kewpies compete in the Class 4, District 5 meet at Fort Zumwalt West.
The top four individuals in each event advance to the sectional meet May 22 at Camdenton.
Luetjen said his team is in position to do well at the meet.
“We like, No. 1, how healthy we are and, No. 2, how well we’ve been running,” Luetjen said.
Rorvig said, despite her success at the state meet, she cannot worry about that.
“You can’t overlook districts,” she said.
With a school such as Jefferson City in the district, no one can afford to overlook the meet. The Jays won the boys’ and girls’ district championship last year and Hickman took second in both. Jefferson City won 21 of 30 events at the Hickman Relays on April 27 and beat Hickman in a dual meet May 7.
“Our district is not a pushover at all,” Hickman runner Tim Cornell said.
Rorvig won district titles in the 400, 4x800 relay, long jump and triple jump last year and will compete in all four events Saturday.
Rorvig said having performed well at districts before has helped her prepare for this year’s meet.
“You know what to expect, how you need to run,” Rorvig said.
Cornell won the 800 at the district meet last year and finished fourth in the state in the 1,600 in 4 minutes, 16.90 seconds. Matt Richmond won the 3,200 in the district meet last year before finishing eighth in the state in that event in 9:37.30. Shannon Butler qualified for the state meet in the long jump and 100, and Kylie Loch qualified in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles.
Luetjen said their experience should pay dividends.
“It’s just going to be a confidence booster,” Luetjen said.
Several Hickman athletes are performing as well as they did last year. Rorvig won the 400 (47.8) and took second in the long jump (16 feet, 10½ inches) and triple jump (34-8) at the Parkway South Invitational on May 1. Loch won the 100 (16.1) and 300 hurdles (47.8) at that same event and Cornell won the 1,600 (4:21.67) at the Lee’s Summit North Invitational on April 30.
For Rock Bridge, Ashley Guy is the defending 800 district champion in 2:23.48. She teamed with Casey Doolam, Anne Case-Halferty and Kara Hickey to win the 1,600 relay at the Hickman Relays in a meet-record time of 4:25.08.