Discus throwers earn gold medals
By Jay Davis
They were the favorites in the competition before the state meet began. They were the state champions when it was over. But not only did Daniel Roberts and Steph Gemar win there respective Class A discus titles, they each won the gold medal by having the longest throws in all three classes at the State A Track and Field Meet in Lennox and Sioux Falls on Friday and Saturday.
Roberts had one of, if not the most prolific state finals as any thrower in South Dakota track history.
“I think it was,” said coach Marty Looyenga. “Anytime an athlete breaks a record it’s quite an accomplishment. It was a great way for him to end his high school career.”
Not only did Roberts set a new Class A State Meet record by sending the discus 191 feet, 11 inches, his top four throws all surpassed the old record of 187-9. Five of Roberts’ six throws were farther than runner-up Mason Leiseth of Hamlin, who went 171-2. The other classes could not keep pace. The top Class AA throw was 174-0 and the top Class B throw was 158-0.
Steph Gemar did not break a record, but she was nearly as dominant in the girls’ discus. Gemar never trailed after topping 144 feet on her first attempt of the day. She rounded out her first state title with a career-best 148-2 on her sixth throw. Second place went to Allison Cross of Tri-Valley. Her top throw was 122-5. Class B came closer to Gemar as Hannah Phillips of Harding County went 137-6. The top Class AA throw was 134-11.
Looyenga said Gemar was nearly as dominant as Roberts.
“Steph had a great day,” said Looyenga. “She was up to the challenge.”
Although he didn’t place, Daniel Hintz added to the discus-throwing day by landing at a career-high 137-11, making it to the finals and finishing ninth.
Roberts added a second straight third-place finish in shot put. His top throw was 56-8.25, 10 inches farther than his qualifying mark. Cole Langer of Dell Rapids threw 61-1.25 to win the state title.
There were no state titles on the track this year, but there was plenty of success as the Tigers worked for three relay and three individual medals.
After running with the state champion team last year, Cody Schaefbauer and Austin Borah led the way as the 1600-meter relay team finished second in state. With Mitch Heumiller and Mason Keller, the team ran a season-best time of 3 minutes, 28.2 seconds, but Spearfish edged out the Tigers for the title. The Spartans won the state title with a 3:27.99, nearly four seconds faster than their qualifying time.
The foursome added a third-place finish in the 800-meter relay. The Tigers ran a 1:31.55, while state champ St. Thomas More ran a 1:31.11 and second-place Sioux Falls Christian ran a 1:31.45.
“They were disappointed they didn’t win that last race,” said Looyenga, “but I was proud of them. Everybody should be proud of them for the effort they put forth.”
Looyenga noted that with their races in the open events and relays that Schaefbauer and Borah each raced eight times in two days.
Schaefbauer, Heumiller and Keller each won their third relay medal in the medley. Jason Hill joined the team as the Tigers ran 3:46.61 to finish in sixth place. The medley team entered state ranked 17th.
Borah added two individual medals, while Schaefbauer added one. Borah raced to fourth in the 400 and seventh in the 200. Schaefbauer ran to sixth in the 400.
“Except for the 400-meter relay team, every runner we took to state made it to the finals,” said Looyenga.
The Lady Tigers could not equal the boys, but they did run well on Friday.
“The girls did a good job too,” said Looyenga. “They ran some of their best times.”
The medley relay team of Alexa Schaefbauer, Maranda Wagner, Callie Slater and Cassi Heumiller had the best outing. After entering state ranked 25th, the girls took seven seconds off their region-qualifying time to take 15th with a 4:32.0.
Looyenga said his senior class of Stephen Gemar, Cody Hanson, Daniel Hintz, Daniel Roberts, Cody Schaefbauer and Tabitha Reule and Callie Slater will be gone but not forgotten for their leadership both on and off the field.
“We’re going to miss those seniors,” said Looyenga.
State A Track and Field Meet
Team Points: Custer 106, St. Thomas More 58, Dell Rapids 56, Madison 53.5, Mobridge-Pollock 43, Sioux Falls Christian 35.5, Lennox 35, Spearfish 32.5, Canton 31, Ethan Parkston 26.5, Tea Area 26, Chamberlain 22, Wagner 20.5, Vermillion 20, Bon Homme 16.5, Vermillion 20, Hot Springs 14, Harrisburg 14, West Central 13, Tri-Valley 13, Dakota Valley 11, Aberdeen Roncalli 10, Redfield-Doland 11, Baltic 10, Milbank 7, Winner 6, Sioux Valley 6, Todd County 5, Beresford 4, Deuel 4, Hill City 4, Elkton-Lake Benton 4, Platte-Geddes 4, Lead-Deadwood 2, Belle Fourche 1.
200-Meter Dash: 1. Trevor DeSchepper, Harrisburg, 22.69; 2. Aiden Goetzinger, St. Thomas More, 22.7; 3. Zachary Schroeder, Dell Rapids, 22.75; 4. Riley Knudson, Tea Area, 22.75; 5. Cody Majeras, Canton, 23.13; 6. Brett Korn, Sioux Falls Christian, 23.15; 7. Austin Borah, Mobridge-Pollock, 23.22; 8. Luke Wietgrefe, Spearfish, 23.82.
400-Meter Dash: 1. Riley Knutson, Tea Area, 49.51; 2. Luke Wietgrefe, Spearfish, 49.92; 3. Colin Olson, Vermillion, 50.61; 4. Austin Borah, Mobridge-Pollock, 51.23; 5. Tanner Fritz, Winner, 51.86; 6. Cody Schaefbauer, Mobridge-Pollock, 52.71; 7. Lance Eide, Deuel, 52.84.
800-Meter Relay: 1. St. Thomas More, 1:31.11; 2. Sioux Falls Christian, 1:31.45; 3. Mobridge-Pollock (Austin Borah, Mitch Heumiller, Mason Keller, Cody Schaefbauer), 1:31.55; 4. Dell Rapids, 1:31.95; 5. Canton, 1:32.37; 6. Bon Homme, 1:32.92; 7. Winner, 1:34.95; 8. Belle Fourche, 1:35.18.
1600-Meter Relay: 1. Spearfish, 3:27.99; 2. Mobridge-Pollock (Austin Borah, Mitch Heumiller, Mason Keller, Cody Schaefbauer), 3:28.2; 3. Vermillion, 3:31.15; 4. St. Thomas More, 3:31.31; 5. Custer, 3:31.81; 6. Bon Homme, 3:32.09; 7. Chamberlain, 3:33.74; 8. Dell Rapids, 3:34.35.
Medley Relay: 1. Custer, 3:38.14; 2. Vermillion, 3:39.3; 3. Lennox, 3:42.51; 4. Ethan-Parkston, 3:44.77; 5. Elkton-Lake Benton, 3:45.61; 6. Mobridge-Pollock (Mitch Heumiller, Cody Schaefbauer, Mason Keller, Jason Hill), 3:46.61; 7. Madison, 3:47.28; 8. Lead-Deadwood, 3:52.85.
Shot Put: Cole Langer, Dell Rapids, 61-1.25; 2. Mason Leiseth, Hamlin, 57-1.5; 3. Daniel Roberts, Mobridge-Pollock, 56-8.25; 4. Tyler Lems, Canton, 53-6; 5. Dalton Cox, Aberdeen Roncalli, 53.2.5; 6. Taylor Lambert, Dakota Valley, 52-8; 7. Isaac Lindquist, Milbank, 51-8.25; 8. Ben Forrette, Milbank, 50-6.5.
Discus: 1. Daniel Roberts, Mobridge-Pollock, 191-10 (meet record, old record, 187-9, Tom Schroeder, Miller, 2005); 2. Mason Leiseth, Hamlin, 171-2; 3. Anthony Huber, Ethan-Parkston, 169-0; 4. Tyler Lems, Canton, 161-0; 5. Tyler Currey, Madison, 151-0; 6. Cole Langer, Dell Rapids, 148-7; 7. Logan Heuer, Custer, 144-7; 8. Jacob Dancler, Tea Area, 144-4.
Team Points: St. Thomas More 95.5, Sioux Falls Christian 90.5, Madison 70, Spearfish 61.5, Harrisburg 54, Custer 34.33, Tri-Valley 29, Duebrook Area 23, Clark-Willow Lake 22, Hill City 21, Redfield-Doland 19, Canton 19, West Central 19, Dakota Valley 17, Dell Rapids 17, Deuel 15, Britton-Hecla 14, Vermillion 12, Elkton-Lake Benton 12, Mobridge-Pollock 10, Lead-Deadwood 9, Elk Point-Jefferson 9, Baltic 8, Florence-Henry 7, Garretson 7, Aberdeen Roncalli 7, Milbank 6, Wagner 5, Bon Homme 4.5, Webster Area 4, Tea Area 4, Lennox 3.33, Miller 3, Beresford 3, Belle Fourche 2, Groton Area 1, Platte-Geddes 1, Bennett County 0.33.
Discus: 1. Steph Gemar, Mobridge-Pollock, 148-2; 2. Allison Cross, Tri-Valley, 122-5; 3. Cassidy Wright, Dell Rapids, 121-9; 4. Mackenzie Huber, Clark-Willow Lake, 119-4; 5. Breanna Bullert, Webster Area, 118-0; 6. Kalli Bell, Clark-Willow Lake, 111-10; 7. Atlanta Lundstrom, Canton, 110-0; 8. Eric Schuster, Groton Area, 109-0.