Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – There is a common trifecta that athletes are seeking during those offseason trips to the weight room.
Bigger, stronger, faster.
After hitting the weights harder than any time in her career this winter Emma Clark is already feeling bigger and stronger.
The City High junior sprinter is hoping to show off the faster part of the desired trifecta this spring.
“I’ve always worked in the weight room but never as much as I did this year,” Clark said. “I spent a lot of time in there, worked with the trainer and did stuff on my own. I definitely feel stronger.”
Clark doesn’t just feel stronger, she is stronger. A lot stronger.
She added 60 pounds to her squat max during the offseason and that increased strength is already showing up on the track.
Clark won the 100 and placed second in the 200 at the season-opening Sherwood Relays at City High on Tuesday.
“We’ve had a number of kids that had a real good offseason especially in the weight room and she has been one of them,” City High coach Terry Coleman said. “As the weather gets better and our training gets a little better she is going to be really strong.”
Clark spent much of the indoor season working through a back injury.
She looked healthy on Tuesday clocking a 13.23 in her first 100 of the season and a 27.47 in the 200 despite temperatures in the 30s.
“My times have been alright so far,” Clark said. “There are not quite where I wanted them to be to start off the season but I’m going in the right direction for sure.”
Clark posted a 12.94 in the 100 and a 16.86 in the 200 last season as a sophomore, both the top times on the team.
She isn’t at those marks one meet into the season but believes she is ahead of where she was at this time a year ago.
“I look at the times a little but I don’t pay much attention early,” Clark said. “I’m alright with where I am at right now.”
In addition to her performances in the 100 and 200 Clark ran the leadoff leg on City High’s winning 4x100 relay team.
The Little Hawks clocked a 53.72 in its first shot at 400 relay, edging Davenport Central by .03 seconds to win the title.
“I think once we get our handoffs perfected we are going to have a strong team,” Clark said. “We definitely have the speed and we definitely have the strength to do really well at the important meets.”
Clark figures to be a big part of the relay and team success for the Little Hawks this season.
Her performances in the sprints on Tuesday helped the Little Hawks win their own season-opening meet for the first time since 2015.
“She has worked super hard in the weight room and that is going to pay off,” Coleman said. “We have had a number of kids working hard in there and I think it’s going to benefit all of them.”