Twelve teams from the surrounding area descended on Hart Ranch Friday morning for the Comet Classic at Rapid City Christian’s Kelly Duninck Football and Track Complex.
The invitational meet signaled the start of the track and field season for Class A and B. Coaches from the various schools expressed excitement for the start of a new season and enjoyed a crisp spring morning of clear skies.
Custer entered the meet with high expectations after finishing on the podium in the team standings at the Class A boys and girls meets last season. The Wildcats did not disappoint.
“We are having some standout performances and other kids are just finding out what track is like,” head coach Karen Karim said. “It’s nice that they’re finding out what track is like without freezing.”
Sophomore Blake Boyster headlined the meet for the Wildcats with a school record 10.54 second run in the boys 100 meter dash in his first outing. The time bested the previous record of 11.47 seconds set by Rock Hayford in 2017. He also won the boys 200m dash with a 22.7 second run.
Other boys first place finishes for the Wildcats included a 16.01 second 110 meter hurdles run by Mikael Grace, a 51.28 second 400 meter dash by Boyster, the 1600m sprint medley, Grace in the 300m hurdles, a 47-foot-3.5 inch throw by Justin Doyle in the shot put and a 6 foot high jump by Grace.
On the girls’ side at least one notable Wildcat missed the meet as state shotput record holder Kellyn Kortemeyer competed at the Laura Chord Memorial meet at Newcastle High School, Wyoming.
In her absence, Tori Virtue stepped up and won the girls shot put with a 34’ 1.25” throw. Alice Sedlacek also finished atop the pack in girls discus with a 116’ 5” throw.
Other top finishes on the girls’ side included Bailey Cass in the triple jump, Josey Wahlstron with a 9’ 6” pole vault just ahead of teammate Ciana Stiefel, Ramsey Karim with a 5:26.97 to win the mile, Wahlstron with a 1:01.76 400 meter dash, Jordyn Larsen with a 25.72 second 200m dash and a win in the 4-by-400m relay.
“I’m just glad to find out where we’re at as a starting point so we have something to shoot for the rest of the season,” Karim said.
The highlight of the meet for the home team came in the boys pole vault. Sophomore Chase Maher set a personal best when he cleared 13’ to claim the top spot in the event.
“He’s a real worker and the real deal,” head coach Jerry Schafer said. “He’s still learning the event but is a great athlete and did gymnastics for a long time before we started working with him. I’m not surprised by his progress because I’ve seen it working with him. It’s exciting because I can also see where he can get.”
Adam Stimes finished second in the boys high jump as he cleared 5’ 6” and Kurt Dringman claimed second in shot put with a 40’ 10.75” throw.
“We don’t have a lot of depth on either side but we have better numbers than last year,” Schafer said. “We have some quality kids that will come through for us with really good performances.”
The Broncs put together an impressive showing in their season opener.
Matayah Ward won the girls triple jump for Belle Fourche with a 34’ 3.75” jump, she also claimed the girls long jump with a 16’ .5” leap.
On the boys side it finished with a pair in the top four of the triple jump as Nolan Wahlfeldt and Ethan Jensen placed third and fourth with 40-6.75 and 40-4 jumps respectively.
“Our jumps have always been tough and I can see that tradition carrying on,” head coach Bill Abell said. “Our short sprints are getting better and better. We have Clarkson and he’s our ace in the hole, that kid is such a machine for distance stuff.”
The Belle Fourche girls also finished first in the girls 4-by-800m relay and Dru Keegan won the girls’ 100m dash.
Sawyer Clarkson also claimed the boys 1600m run for the Broncs.
This season Lead-Deadwood filled 60-plus spots on the roster up from the typical 30 students.
The Golddiggers showed their strength in girls distance events and the boys sprints.
“We just have a lot of kids,” head coach Josh Morovits said. “So we have a lot of options. On the guys side we have a lot of depth which is nice. I think we have a really solid group of top end girls in the relays and individual stuff. Field events have always been one of our strengths.”
Hallie Person started the day on a high note for the Golddiggers when she won the girls 3200m run with a time of 12:14.69. Later in the day, they also claimed the top spot in the girls 1600 sprint medley at 4:42.32.
James Pierce claimed the boys 800m with a 2:11.8 and Lead-Deadwood claimed the boys 4-by-400m relay with a 3:46.16. In the field, David Morris won the boys long jump with a 20-7.5 leap.
“We had a decent season last year and I’m really excited because we’re already where we were,” Morvitis said.
Wall looked strong on the boys side at the Comet Classic.
On the boys side, head coach Dave Ermish is pleased to have numbers to replace a solid group of graduates including perennial state placer Tack Tines. The Eagles finished first in the 4-by-200m relay with a 1:36.01 run and in the boys 4-by-100m relay with a 47.03 run.
“We just have a lot of boys out and should be able to stack up numbers,” he said. “I was really pleased with that 4-by-200m time, it was one second off our best time last year at the state track meet. Right out of the gate I’m really happy with that.”
Reid Hansen and Rylan McDonnel finished first and second in the triple jump for the Eagles with jumps of 41-02.25 and 41-02, respectively.
“On the girls side we have a really solid 4-by-100m and 4-by-200m team coming back from last year, but we missed a girl today,” head coach Ermish said. “That’s where our strength is going to be with Ava Dinger, Nora Dinger, Paige Kjerstad and Searra Deutcher-Sioux, all really good athletes and runners.”
Lane Krauthschun led the way for Bison on Friday with 10:17.2 run in the boys 3200m to finish atop the podium.
The Cardinals hope to build on strong distance and hurdling performances from young athletes this season.
“Obviously we are distance people,” head coach Brad Burkhalter said. “We’ve got some hurdlers coming and some young kids coming that will be distance kids as well. I’d say distance and hurdles are our two strengths.”
St. Thomas More
The Cavaliers showed out in the boys sprints at Hart Ranch. Trevor Erlandson and Aiden Mace finished back-to-back at the top of the podium in the boys 100m dash.
“We’re still trying to figure out our strengths,” head coach Royce Wuertzer said. “We’re going to be strong in our sprints against, which is normally what we are strong at. Our pole vault will be a surprise. We have a couple of solid guys on the boys side and a couple of girls there too.”
Winston Prill finished third in the boys pole vault as he cleared 11’ 6” and Carlie Schlosser finished third on the girls side with an 8’ vault.
The Bison looked strong in the season opener with plenty of first place finishers.
In the girls side Hot Springs placed five athletes at the top of the podium as Jaylen Nachtigall won the 100m hurdles with a 17:11 and it claimed the 4-by-100m relay with a 54:06.
The Rangers looked strong on the track on Friday afternoon.
Hill City won the boys 4-by-800m relay with a 9:04.53, girls 4-by-200m relay with a 1:50.74, Abby Siemonsma claimed the 300m hurdles with a 49.94 run and Abby Cutler won the 800m with a 2:31.38 ahead of teammates Lille Ross and Natalie Hanka.
The Coyotes brought a small contingent to Christian and one winner. Mallory Valburg won the girls high jump with a 5’ finish.
The Kougars were led by Reece Orthman who won the boys discus with a throw of 127’ 4” hurl. Lain Blair finished second in girls discus with a 109’ 10” throw.
Contact Alex Dodd at ADodd@rapidcityjournal.com or on Twitter @AlexDoddShow
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