JAY DAVIS: Faces changed but relay team as fast as last year

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After last May when the Tigers ran to the 1600-meter state title and took second in the 800-meter at the State A Track and Field Meet, not many people expected to see those two relay teams be as fast as any in state again this spring.

With two runners returning and some depth coming up, we knew they were going to be pretty good again, but after losing the Friesz twins, a repeat of last year would be quite a bit to fathom.

But here we are, just like last year. Peyton and Bailley Friesz graduated, but Mitch Heumiller and Mason Keller have stepped right in to join returnees Cody Schaefbauer and Austin Borah and the Tigers are on top in the state standings once more.

In fact, after setting two records at the Black Hills Track Classic in Sturgis on Saturday, the 2013 runners are ahead of the pace set by the 2012 relay team. The two Tiger teams would have made one heck of a virtual race in Sturgis. The Tigers ran a 1:31.24 800-meter relay on Saturday after running a 1:31.28 last year. The 1600-meter relay team crossed the finish line at 3:30.14 after running a 3:30.6 last year.

Both of those times run Saturday have the Tigers ranked first in state. The official times are 1:31.0 and 3:29.9.

If you read the article about the meet, you saw that I am going to explain why the official qualifying times are faster than the official meet times. I’m going to try, but I might just confuse everyone, including myself.

The Black Hills Track Classis is run with fully automatic time. In Mobridge and a lot of other places the meets are run with hand-held time. Fully automatic time leaves no room for human error, so a little bit of time is knocked off after running a meet like the one in Sturgis.

Schaefbauer’s state-qualifying 400-meter dash is a good example. Schaefbauer ran his race in 51.41 seconds. The state-qualifying time with fully automatic timing is 51.55. The standard with hand-held timing is 51.4. To make the conversion, coach Marty Looyenga took his time and subtracted .24, cutting the time to 51.17. Then he rounded up to make the qualifying time 51.2.

The why of coming up with a .24-second change I have not yet figured out. So I can tell you how we get the faster time, but not exactly why.

I better not leave you without mentioning that our throwers are right where they need to be in the Class A standings. Daniel Roberts is back atop the standings in the discus and is ranked third in shot put, while Steph Gemar is ranked second in discus.

It’s about to get real busy for the track team. They run in three meets in six days from Thursday to Tuesday. It’s a pretty educated guess that times will be faster and distances will be greater by next week.

 

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