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Hannah Smith, right, warms up prior to her 400 meter race during a dual meet with West Abany April 11. Smith won the event.
April 18, 2012
DALLAS -- After topping the field in the 100 meters in last week's dual meet with West Albany, Dallas senior Mona Middeldorf checked out her time in an event she hadn't run all season.
With a smile on her face, the exchange student from Waltrop, Germany, raced over to teammate Hannah Smith -- a fellow senior whose primary event is usually the same race -- to share her mark.
With a look of surprise and some of her own excitement, Smith congratulated Middeldorf. Later, she explained why.
"It was a really good time," Smith said of Middeldorf's 12.49 seconds. "A really, really good time. I think that puts her No. 1 in the league right now.
"She beat me," she added with a tight grin. "But it kind of pushes me harder, especially because she's on my team."
That's just what Dallas coach Bill Masei was hoping for.
Masei had his two fastest sprinters switch events in a big 120-30 Mid-Willamette Conference win over the Bulldogs on April 11 in order to gain some more times and prepare for a much bigger competition in Friday's Springfield Rotary Invitational. The plan to use each other's competitiveness worked.
"Last year, (Hannah) didn't have that competition," Masei said. "She went to the state meet last year and just missed making the finals, even though she ran well.
"What really upsets Hannah is that she's a competitor, so when she loses or when she feels like she's subpar, it makes her elevate her training and rise. She kind of grits her teeth and she kind of gets upset and ornery - and she wants to get better."
Friday, Smith must have expelled any anger she might have had of losing the MWC's top 100 time with a first-place finish and season-best mark of 12.50.
Hannah Smith, center, exclaims after Dallas teammate Mona Middeldorf (orange) tells her 100-meter time in a dual meet with West Albany April 11.
Through Tuesday, Middeldorf stood in second place in the MWC in the 400 and was tied with Smith for top marks in the 100 with a 12.74 converted time.
That 100 time is also tied for current No. 1 honors in all of Class 5A.
Smith admits it's been beneficial to have Middeldorf, who has excelled in track and field on club teams for the past five years in Germany, pushing her every day.
"It's kind of funny," Smith said. "Both of us are always like, `I don't want to go against you!' So we'll try to get in different heats, but in the end we always end up going against each other, and it really does help.
"It gives me a better workout -- she always beats me in practice though."
The two, who are also lifting partners, have also played a major role in the success of the Dallas 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams, both which are ranked in the MWC (first and third, respectively) and in Class 5A (third and fourth).
"They train hard, they're competitive in practice and they work out together," Masei said. "They're just going to get faster and faster and they're in a great position right now. We're pleased with where they're at and they definitely give a great 1-2 punch to our girls team."
Middeldorf said she's glad she chose to stay in Dallas for just a little bit longer.
"At the beginning, I just wanted to stay for five months because I wanted to go back for the track season," she said.
"Then I decided to stay because it's very exciting for me to have a track season here."
And Middeldorf's take on Dallas?
"There's a lot of rain, during practice and everything, but other than that it's very nice," she said with a grin.
The Dallas girls has a host of first-place finishers against West Albany, including Mary Kate McGuire (800), Breanna Welty (200), Carleen Fall (1,500), Kiley Barcroft (100 hurdles and javelin), Marissa Mackey (300 hurdles), McKenzie DeVault (shot put and discus), Hannah Johnson (pole vault) and Matilda Rahkolin (triple jump).
At Springfield, McGuire took top honors in the 3,000 meters and second in the 1,500 and the Dallas 4x100 and 4x400 teams each finished first. Other notable finishes included Blair Harris (second, 800), Barcroft (second in javelin and fifth in 100 hurdles) and DeVault (second in shot put and third in discus).