Sara Stoakes: Miss Versatility

North Tama's Sara Stoakes won the Class 1A girls' state cross country title last fall. This spring, she ranks in the top three in Class 1A in six events. (AP photo)

North Tama's Sara Stoakes won the Class 1A girls' state cross country title last fall. This spring, she ranks in the top three in Class 1A in six events. (AP photo)

Doing a newspaper feature on North Tama’s Sara Stoakes for my Drake Relays advance next Thursday.

She wins races.

Last year at the state track meet, she won the 100, 200 and 400. Last fall at the state cross country meet, she was the 1A champion at 4,000 meters.

In the words of track coaches, the girl has range.

“I never had anybody tell me I couldn’t run (all the different races),” she said in a phone interview last night.

Here are her events, her times and her state rankings (through Thursday, April 16), according to Quik Stats Iowa:

100 — 12.25 (1st in 1A, 7th overall)

200 — 26.25 (1st in 1A, 11th overall)

400 — 59.11 (1st in 1A, 8th overall)

800 — 2:11.25 (1st in 1A, 3rd overall)

1,500 — 5:07.29 (3rd in 1A, 35th overall)

400 hurdles — 1:04.97 (2nd in 1A, 6th overall)



On adding the 400 hurdles: “I just wanted to run something distance at Drake. We go up to Hudson to practice sometimes and I run them up there. I feel like I’m a freshman all over again.”

On her wide variety of events: “I never had anybody tell me I couldn’t. At a bigger school, they probably would kind of discourage me to run cross country. They’d say, ‘You’re a sprinter.’ ”

“In junior high, I ran a lot of sprints. The Dinsdales ran the upper distances.”

On her decision to go out for XC as a freshman. “I didn’t want to play volleyball.”

On the meet-to-meet decision on what to run: “Coach (Kent Hanser) asks for my input. He says it’s important to know how I feel.”

On the absence of the Dinsdale twins, now freshmen at the University of Nebraska: “It’s weird not having them around. All eyes were on them the last three years. It’s kind of fun to be the leader now.

“Before, I was in their shadow. Now, there’s a little more responsibility and pressure on my shoulders. It’s different with them not here. We felt if we threw any relay together, we could win anything.”

On her decision to run at Kansas State: “The team really made me happy. They took me to a bonfire. I really connected with them. I felt like they actually cared. Plus they’ve got a great program in (animal science, my academic area of intrest).”

On what she wants to run at state: “The 400 for sure. The 200 probably. Maybe the 800 or 100 or 400 hurdles. We’ll see how it works out, I guess.”


On Stoakes’ versatility: “It still amazes me. I can’t explain it. She adjusts, she competes and she doesn’t like to lose to anyone.”

“It speaks to her mental approach. No matter the length of the race, she knows how to run and gets to the (finish) line the quickest way she can.”

On adding the 400 hurdles this season: “She watched a couple tapes and said, ‘Let’s try it. It might be fun to try.’ She likes a challenge. She gets a big grin on her face when she practices the 400 hurdles.”

Stoakes’ best event: “It’s hard to say. I see her as a 400-800 kids long term. She has great foot speed for the springs and willpower and training to go longer.”


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3 Responses to “Sara Stoakes: Miss Versatility”

  1. Sara Stoakes: Miss Versatility | Says:

    […] Read full article […]

  2. Debv Says:

    Sara Stoakes is Awesome…just awesome…and nothing personal, but the 1A underclassman are sort of excited about her upcoming graduation…
    We have Mad Respect for her skills, no question about it.

  3. jtlinder Says:

    Where’ve you been lately??

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