A select group of the Providence Academy Track and Field Team competed in the 98th Howard Wood Dakota Relays at the beginning of May. The Howard Wood Dakota Relays are located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Each year around 3,000 middle and high school student athletes compete. The meet consists of boys’ and girls’ standard track and field events along with two special events that vary from year to year. 

Brooke Hohenecker, ’24, poses for a picture after receiving her medal. PAW Photo Credit: Amy Hohenecker.

This year the special events were the girls’ 200 meter dash and the boys’ 800 meter dash. In order to compete in the special events student athletes must receive a bid. Brooke Hohenecker, ‘23, the reigning Minnesota State Class 2A 200 meter dash champion, was invited to race in the girls’ 200 meter dash at Howard Wood Dakota Relays. 

Ten PA Track and Field athletes were given the opportunity to take part in the Howard Wood Dakota Relays because of their qualifying times throughout the season. 

“When we got notice that Brooke was invited to run the girls’ special 200 event, I thought, ‘Well let’s try to get more kids in,’” explained Head Coach Amy Hohenecker. 

At the meet, three girls competed individually and made it to the podium, finishing in the top eight. Brooke Hohenecker took seventh place in the girls’ 100 and 200 meter dash. Maddyn Greenway, ‘26, came in third in the girls’ 300 meter hurdles. Kylie Hartel, ‘26, achieved eighth in the girls 400 meter dash. 

Along with these fantastic results in individuals: Brooke Hohenecker, Hartel, Greenway, and Abby Daughtery, ‘25, went on to take first place in the Class A girls’ 4×400 meter relay. Although this was their first time being grouped together in a relay, the girls showed that they have no problem adapting. In addition to the challenge of running alongside new teammates, the girls were positioned to run in the first heat. Participating in the first heat often means that the team won’t make it through the next three heats, but if there is anything to be learned from this track and field team it is that they can overcome whatever is thrown at them. 

Maddyn Greenway, ’26, Kylie Hartel, ’26, Brooke Hohenecker, ’24, and Abby Daughtery, ’25, hold up their trophy in triumph. PAW Photo Credit: Amy Hohenecker.

“[What makes a good relay team is] having good handoffs and all the techniques, but in reality just trusting your teammates because anything can happen,” said Brooke Hohenecker. 

The boys also did well in their events. Abu Tarawallie, ‘25, placed 32nd in Discus. The boys’ relay team ran the 4×200 meter relay where they took thirteenth place. The relay team consisted of Jimmy Theim, ‘23, Isaiah Bluford, ‘23, Grant Heim, ‘24, and Kachi Anyamele, ‘24. 

These boys showed their strengths and skills at such a high level. 

Heim commented, “We could have done better but getting in front of a big crowd was definitely beneficial for the long term.” 

This meet was a full circle moment as Coach Hohenecker also competed at the Howard Dakota Relays from 1986 – 1989. She has been on the coaching staff of the PA Track and Field Team for the past ten years, and head coach for the past eight years. Over the seasons she has grown the program immensely. PA’s Track and Field Team is known for their exceptional worth ethic which can be credited to Coach Hohenecker. She pushes her team to be the best they can be because she wants to watch them succeed.  

“I always ask for them to give me their best effort, whatever it is, just give me your best effort,” commented Coach Hohenecker. 

The PA Track and Field Team never seems to come home empty handed. They are constantly setting the standard for their opponents. The team works extremely hard which continues to pay off for them. With success at a big arena like the Howard Wood Dakota Relays, the team will no doubt carry on with accomplishments throughout the rest of their season.