Individual results are at the end of this page.
Regardless of what track and field events the IESBVI Rams athletes choose, miles are what both unite and divide the team.
Each of the Rams lives in a different community across Iowa. Through careful planning, IESBVI’s expanded learning department finds a way to make the team feel unified, even though these middle and high school students practice individually at their local schools, spread throughout the state. The shared goal is participation in the annual North Central Association of Schools for the Blind (NCASB) track meet, held late September this year in Nashville, Tenn.
IESBVI is unique at the NCASB events, said Crystal Beighley, IESBVI’s athletic director. The other teams are from state residential schools for the blind, which practice together every day. Knowing their competition has this advantage didn’t deter the 11 IESBVI students who earned personal bests and even medals in Nashville.
“Each of the athletes have proven to be versatile in the long jump, shot put, and/or running events,” said Caitlin Laudick, IESBVI orientation and mobility specialist who coaches the Rams track team. “They each give it their all every time they compete. They love setting goals and accomplishing them.”
Eighth grader Kale Lincoln, a resident of Stout who attends Southeast Polk Junior High, values the preparation for the meet. Last year during his first NCASB experience, Lincoln was among the first eight middle school and high school runners who ran the 1600 in 30 seconds.
“You are not going to win anything unless you work hard and have a desire for that prize,” Lincoln said. He continued to rack up points for his team this year- placing 8/13 in the boys 60-yard dash with a time of 9:11.
Big wins for the team this year were from Jada Bilby, a junior from Orange City, who won first in the mile. Another notable performance was by Kyle Simmons, a sophomore from Delmar who also placed in the mile. Overall, the Rams girls placed 10/11 and the boys placed 7/12.
“We focus on personal records and see the improvements kids make individually,” said Beighley. “We had students earning second place, fifth place, ninth place in group of 25 to 60 kids. When our students place, they earn points for IESBVI.”
Before the meet and afterwards, the 1,400-mile roadtrip works in the team’s favor, too. A charter bus picked up Iowa’s students in two locations and road overnight to Nashville. These are the miles where the Rams get to know each other and bond over shared experiences with having vision loss. It’s also where students experience real-life independence with travel and put their orientation and mobility skills to the test in unfamiliar settings.
Although track and field events are often individual wins, the social aspect where athletes from all schools can interact, is important at the NCASB functions, too. One popular activity is the silent disco. Those who want to dance wear headphones playing the same song; others can talk without having to shout.
“They love having quality time with athletes from the other states and spending a weekend in a different state.”
Contact Crystal Beighley for more information on the IESBVI Rams sports and activities program.
Front row, left to right: Kale Lincoln, Haidyn Ramsey, Leah Dykema, Denae Warnke and Jada Bilby. Back row: Kyle Simmons, Jude Corkery, Ryder Drape, Dylan Carter, Tayler Soppe and Zachary Nolin.
How do accommodations work in track and field? Athletes are grouped based on vision. Accommodations are allowed depending on class. Class A is for athletes with little to no vision. An accommodation for them in the long jump might be y jump from a standing position, gaining momentum from their knees in an athletic stance. In this class coaches can clap or blow a whistle to indicate in which direction to jump. Class B athletes have some vision but are also allowed to stand and jump. Class C athletes have low vision and must run and jump. There is an eight-lane area with guide wires in the middle of the track. Class A athletes use the guide wire or a guide runner. Class B athletes can also use either.
Girls 60-yard Dash Class C
Leah Dykema: 10/16 with a time of 11.63
Denae Warnke: 13/16 with a time of 11.80
Haidyn Ramsey: 14/16 with a time of 14.22
Girls 60-yard dash class A
Tayler Soppe: 6/8 with a time of 13.86
Girls 800-Yard Dash Class C
Jada Bilby: 1/6 with a time of 3:10
Girls Long Jump Class C
Denae Warnke: 7/18 with a distance of 7’8
Leah Dykema: 14/18 with a distance of 5’7
Haidyn Ramsey: 16/18 with a distance of 4’11
Girls Long jump Class A
Tayler Soppe: 5/10 with a distance of 4’1
Girls shot put class A
Tayler Soppe: 5/6 with a distance of 12’6
Boys 60-yard Dash Class C
Kale Lincoln: 8/13 with a time of 9.11
Jude Corkery: 9/13 with a time of 9.47
Boys 800-yard dash class C
Kyle Simmons: 6/13 with a time of 3:02
Boys high jump class A
Zach Nolin: 1/1 with a height of 3’3
Boys long jump class A
Zach Nolin: 6/8 with a distance 5’6
Boys shot put class A
Dylan Carter: 3/10 with a distance of 15’4
Ryder Drapeau: 7/10 with a distance of 11’10