JAY DAVIS: State qualifiers adding up as postseason nears
This is the last week of regular season competition for the track athletes looking to gain automatic qualification to the state meet in Sioux Falls in a couple weeks.
All that is left for gaining early entry are the Little Moreau Conference Tournament in Lemmon on Thursday and two Saturday meets. Mobridge is hosting the CSDC Meet at Tiger Stadium and Eureka is hosting the Eureka Lions Invitational.
The Tigers are in pretty good shape with three relay teams and three individuals qualified in four events.
With his 188-foot, 9-inch launch yesterday, Daniel Roberts is right where we expected him to be, atop the state leader board in discus. Roberts will have to earn his keep if he wants to become the second Tiger to win the state discus title. Mason Leiseth of Hamlin is just 10 feet back at 178-6. Roberts is also ranked third in shot put behind Leiseth and state leader Cole Langer of Dell Rapids.
Austin Borah and Cody Schaefbauer have been the leaders of the team’s relay success this season, but each is qualified for state in an open event, too. Schaefbauer is ranked third in the 400, while Borah is tied for 11th in the 100.
Borah and Schaefbauer, along with Mitch Heumiller and Mason Keller, are ranked first in state in the 800-meter relay and second in state in the 1600-meter relay. The competition is stiff at the top. Harrisburg is second to the Tigers in the 800. Mobridge-Pollock has run a 1:31.0, while Harrisburg has run a 1:31.7.
The Tigers are the defending champs and Vermillion defending runners-up in the 1600. It could be neck and neck this year. Vermillion’s best is a 3:29.7. The Tigers have peaked at 3:29.9.
The 400-meter relay team qualified in Lemmon on Thursday. They are down the line a ways but Conner Stoick, Heumiller, Keller and Schaefbauer are locked in for state.
With Brandi Martian soaring to new heights yesterday in Eureka, the Lady Tigers have two team members qualified for state.
Steph Gemar was tied for the discus lead with Ashley Ostrem of Beresford before taking over as the top thrower by hitting the 137-4 mark. Gemar will want to keep extending her distance over the next two weeks. Five last year’s top eight are in the running for the crown she wants to wear.
Martian added six inches to her previous best to gain automatic entry to state in the high jump. Clearing 4-11 was a landmark jump for Martian. It was a jump that means she gets to find out what high jump competition is like at the state level while still just a sophomore.
Because I have blabbered on too long, I fear I have not left time or space to give the area’s Class B athletes their proper due. I will quickly jot down who is already in for state.
Herreid-Selby Area has four runners qualified in Nick Larson, Austin Iverson, Cooper Schaefbauer and Logan Schaefbauer. The foursome is ranked first in state in the 400-meter relay and third in the 800-meter relay. Larson has a busy state weekend going. He is qualified and ranked high in all three sprints. How about being ranked third in the 100 and 400 and sixth in the 200? If you counted, he is qualified in five events. One will have to be left by the wayside. Four is the limit. Austin Iverson is the state leader in the 110-meter hurdles and by quite a ways. He is also ranked third in the 300-meter hurdles. Cooper Schaefbauer has the best pole vault in the state so far this season at 13-0.
Haylee Biel is the only Lady Wolverine qualified so far, but she is on her way to state in two events. Biel is ranked second in the high jump (took second last year) and ninth in shot put.
Eureka-Bowdle has three pole-vaulters qualified for state. Josh Raile has gone 11-6, while Adam Kappes and Kacey Wipf have gone 11-0. Sierra Stotz is back in action and sprinting towards state. Stotz is ranked second in the 100 and fifth in the 200. Samantha Raile is ranked sixth and qualified for state in the long jump.
Kristie Mettler moved into a tie for first in triple jump by landing at 34-0 and third in long jump at 16-2.5 yesterday in Eureka. She is near the top in the 100 and also qualified in the 200. The Lady Panther senior has a full state slate ahead of her.
Alysha O’Connell is the only Dupree Tiger qualified. She is ranked 12th in the shot put.