DES MOINES, Iowa — As they prepare for the biggest meet of the season, there's a mix of excitement and nerves swirling among Hoover girls track and field team.
"It's really nerve-wracking," said junior Kim Karnga. "It puts a lot of pressure on us because our performance at Drake Relays and people are probably expecting us to do something big or they already have their votes on who's going to win this, who's going to win that. So I'm just really nervous. I don't want to disappoint anybody. I'm going to try my best."
In April, the team of Kim Karnga, Monah Kyne, Jessica Kyne and Takira Smith won the 4x100 meter relay at the Drake Relays for the first time in school history.
That performance made a lot of people take notice. It also marked a turning point in the Huskies' season.
"That was kind of the big thing with Drake Relays," said head coach Lauren Alt. "We hadn't run together with that core relay group very much up until that point. So, I think we did surprise some people, but I don't think we surprised anybody on our team. I think we knew what we were capable of, but just battled some injuries and stuff like that early on, so this is our time to shine now."
One thing that remained consistent through all the ups and the downs was their approach: making each other better and lifting each other up.
"I think it's the positivity and that we all push each other to be the best that we can be," said freshman Monah Kyne.
"My teammates are pushing me to go harder every day," said sophomore Jakya Powell, who will be competing in the 100 meter hurdles. "Some days, I did not want to hurdle at all. I wanted to stop because I didn't enjoy it some of those times, but my coaches inspired me to keep going."
They already have several accomplishments to be proud of this season, but the Huskies are hungry for more.
"Try and get like a new time, a better time that at Drake Relays and just go our hardest," said junior Takira Smith.
"I definitely feel like we've had a bunch of accomplishments this past season, but we do want some first-place wins at state." said junior Jessica Kyne. "I feel like without the little cherry on top, it's not done yet. I'm not satisfied."
The high school state track and field meet runs from May 18-20 at Drake Stadium.