Run and Jump

Rhomberg Pushes Herself on the Track

Nolan Brand

Photo by Maddie Naeve
Rhomberg jumps a hurdle at last year’s Anamosa meet.

By Nolan Brand

There may be seven other people running on the track, but for senior Annie Rhomberg, the real competition is herself.

“I always try to go out and run my race. It doesn’t matter how others run, I’m just focused on always improving,” said Rhomberg.

And that she has. Rhomberg started running track in seventh grade, but has been running for as long as she can remember. She shared her talents at family gatherings, where she would always race her cousins. “My family’s extremely competitive,” Rhomberg said, ”so we pretty much raced anywhere, all the time.”

Since then Rhomberg has spent countless hours on the track, or running at the hill next to her home. “In the off season I stay in shape by doing other sports like volleyball and basketball,” Rhomberg said. Her family always encouraged her to compete in other activities and help with training. “They wouldn’t miss a meet, and my dad often comes with me in the offseason and helps me with timing and film me over the hurdles.”

For the Mount Vernon girls track team, one race that has continually been a state contentor is the shuttle hurdle relay. Mount Vernon has competed in the state track meet in the shuttle hurdle relay for the past seven years, and placed multiple times. A key component of the streak is Rhomberg, who has been in the race the last three years, and is hoping to compete at state again. “The goal is to win state in the relay,” Rhomberg said. “Benton Community, who won the last two, graduated two girls last year, so I’m hoping we can walk away champs this year.” The Mustangs were runner ups last year, and placed third the previous two seasons.

In 2017, Rhomberg’s shuttle hurdle relay team broke the school record at the state track meet with a time of 1:04.49. That team consisted of senior Libby Ryan, junior Catherine Yeoman, sophomore Annie Rhomberg and freshman Annie Leopold.

“Another goal is getting back to the Drake Relays with the shuttle hurdle team,” Rhomberg said. She has raced there every high school year and is hoping to finish the streak her senior year.

“The people who like track make it fun,” Rhomberg said. Which is why she went out for track in the first place. Many of her friends are on the team. “Everyone’s really positive, encouraged, excited to run, and always ready to get better,” she said. “That’s what makes track a great sport, and one I wanted to do.”

“This track season should be a great time, and I’m looking forward to getting back out on the track to compete,” she said.