DES MOINES – It was a good weekend for South Tama County at state track and field – and an even better weekend for the Tyynismaa family.
Tommy and JoJo Tyynismaa racked up a total of six medals during the co-ed state meet for the Trojans, with four of them coming on Saturday in various finals.
JoJo Tyynismaa closed her career off with a blisteringly quick day of races, taking school records in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 100 hurdles.
In the 100, a fourth-place finish and a time of 12.37 seconds (breaking the old record of 12.89 set by sister Isabelle Tyynismaa in 2015) served as a strong start to the day for the senior.
She was inches away from taking her second state title of the weekend in the 100 hurdles, running a 14.6 and finishing 5 / 100ths of a second behind champion Addisyn Terpstra of Newton. It’s not only a second-place finish but the time extends her school record by nearly two full seconds over Lauren Yuska’s 16.29 from 2017.
She was shocked when she saw the final time.
“That was really crazy, I knew staying neck-and-neck with her that was definitely going to give us some good times,” JoJo said. “When it popped up there I was like,‘ OK, that’s actually really fast. A lot faster then I thought we were going. ‘”
JoJo’s final event of the day was the 200 dash. Starting strong and getting a good head of steam coming around the turn onto the frontstretch, she tried to keep pace with Western Dubuque’s Audrey Biermann. JoJo was again stunned when she saw her final time on the scoreboard – a school record 25.27, shattering Isabelle’s prior record of 26.01 from 2015. Biermann set a state meet record with a 24.42.
To have such a strong final day was a great way for JoJo to end her South Tama career, and she said it was well worth the heartache she suffered at state last season.
“Coming off of last season and not going so hot, today I was really focused on doing well,” JoJo said. “I just knew I had to give it my all and try as hard as I could in those races.”
JoJo will run track at Wartburg next season. The South Tama girls finished the state meet with 31 team points, good for seventh overall.
Tommy got the day started off on the right foot for the Trojans in the 800 open finals, putting in a blistering second lap to finish third in the event with a time of 1 minute, 55.23 seconds – a personal record and a STC school record in the event – and beat Western Dubuque’s Eli Naumann at the line.
JoJo was watching on while prepping for her events.
“Watching him makes me so nervous,” JoJo said. “My heart rate is probably more nervous than for my own races. I’m just very happy for him to be able to do that. ”
Seeded seventh with a qualifying time of 2: 00.10 heading into the race, Tommy said it went about as well as he could have hoped.
“I’m really happy,” Tommy said. “After that first lap I felt really good for some reason, so I just started going with them and I was just trying my hardest on the homestretch to keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
After missing out on a trip to state last season, Tommy said he came in with a mission. Running a first lap of 58,120, he decided to turn it up and tried to catch the leaders. A closing lap of 57,102 got him less than a second away from state champion Aidan Ramsey’s time of 1: 54.36.
Just a sophomore, Tommy said this run will give him even more confidence heading into 2023. But right now, he said he was still trying to take it in.
“I’m flabbergasted right now, I don’t even know what to say,” Tommy said. “It means a lot.
“All the hard work I put in paid off.”
The final race of the day for STC was James Brant in the 1,600. The sophomore came extremely close to medaling, placing ninth after losing out after some front-stretch shoulder bumping in a photo finish with Dallas Center-Grimes’ Owen Pries. Brant’s time of 4: 27.87 was a personal best and a school record.