ANKENY, Iowa — It’s been two years since track and field athletes last competed for their high school here in the state of Iowa spring sports were the hardest hit. Due to the COVID-19 shutdown, that leaves a lot of question marks entering this season.
But for one Ankeny senior, she's out to make up for that time lost.
In 2019, Mytika Mayberry was fast.
“My [personal record] was 12.12. That year, I was at the cusp of running like around 11 seconds for the 100 meter,” Mayberry said.
Just a sophomore then, she finished fifth in the 100-meter dash and anchored her Ankeny 4x100 team to the 4A crown, but there were still a lot of things to figure out.
She said, “Trying to finally like put the pieces together, it was a very it was a lot of learning. It was very much I was learning.”
Unfortunately, she wasn't able to build on that success her junior year
“She has huge goals, and we had so much momentum after last year or two years ago that it was disappointing for sure but she's ready this year and just as driven,” Ankeny track coach Thomas Cotter said.
“I was sad and you know, just like the rest of us, you know, ah, I felt like everything locked into place my junior year so I had a lot of conflicting feelings just like a lot of people,” Mayberry said.
Instead, she used that time off to improve even without competition.
“I did what I could at the house, a lot of self development. A lot of it was a lot of reflecting now some time, I really took to reflect on the season, what could have went better, you know, and how I can improve for myself,” she said.
Now as a senior, Mayberry is back on the track, currently holding the fifth fastest time in class 4A with plenty of time to improve.
“Gotta keep working. I gotta keep trusting and I got to meet and I got to keep that hope," Mayberry said. "You know I got to make sure that I'm pretty much I got to do everything I did last year, and I gotta keep pushing, I got to keep grinding I got to keep cranking, pushing forward, moving forward."
That’s as she chases down a 4A crown to cap off her career.
“I mean everything you know I've went through a real rough time. Earlier this month, especially one of my biggest supporters my great, my great grandfather he died and so this will mean everything I owe it all to him he pushed me towards track, you know, and it's it'll mean everything in the world.” Mayberry said.
The state meet is set for May 20-22.
Mayberry is hoping to qualify for the 100-meter dash individually. She's already qualified for the 4x100 relay with her team.