© 2024 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Iowa boasts several community college national champions

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Iowans love to talk about the Hawkeyes and the Cyclones, but there are a whole bunch of elite collegiate teams in the state attracting athletes from all over the world that fly under the radar. Host Charity Nebbe learns about two national championship programs, cross country at Iowa Central Community College and women's volleyball at Iowa Western Community College.

Then, Nebbe discusses the remarkable career of Mary Kay Polashek. Polashek recently conducted her final concert as head of the orchestra program at Ames High School, a position she's had for 35 years. She was forced into early retirement after being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Polashek's husband Emil and son Caleb join the conversation to reflect on her legacy.


  • Dee Brown, head coach of track & field and cross country at Iowa Central Community College
  • Korie Tetzlaff, head women’s volleyball coach at Iowa Western Community College
  • Elenoa Sing, sophomore at Iowa Western Community College
  • Emil Polashek, husband of Mary Kay Polashek
  • Caleb Polashek, son of Mary Kay Polashek, professional violinist and composer
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River