Xavier duo seeks redemption on the track

HS journalism: Maggie Stutzman, Ellie Tanko getting ready for spring season

CEDAR RAPIDS — The track and field season is two months away, two months of training and determination for many.

For sophomores Maggie Stutzman and Ellie Tanko this upcoming track season is full of opportunities and to prove themselves.

Both runners were injured during cross country and the road to full recovery has been slow and long.

“I train almost every day. I bike but can’t run,” Tanko said.

Tanko has patellar tendinitis, which affects the tissues connecting the kneecap to the patella bone.

“Every other day I do cardio, and the next day I do body weights or something I can do to get my strength up,” Tanko said. “I’m switching between getting my heart rate up to getting my body strength up.”

Last season, Tanko placed third out of 18 in the 800-meter run race at the state qualifying meet. The top two runners advanced to the state meet.

“I hope to make it to state in the open 800 and hopefully the 4-by-8(00) relay,” Tanko said.

Stutzman also is impatiently waiting for the first day of practice.

“My hope this season is to make it to state,” Stutzman said. “I don’t have a particular relay or open race to qualify in.”

Stutzman has been injured since September from a hip flexor injury that made her sit out her sophomore season of cross country.

“I run in the mornings before school. I want to improve my time,” Stutzman said.

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Stutzman ran the 400 dash and the 1,600 relay at the state qualifying meet last year and did not make state in either race.

“My favorite race is the open 400 meter,” Stutzman said. “My hope for the team this year is that everyone has a great season and stays injury free.”

With high hopes and goals to meet, the first day of practice (Feb. 12) cannot come fast enough for these two.

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