STURGIS —The Yankton track and field team claimed three first-place finishes and put themselves in position for several more points entering the final day of the South Dakota State Class AA Championships, held on Friday in Sturgis.

The meet shifts to Rapid City for all classes today (Saturday).

For the Gazelles, junior Savannah Woods ran away from the field to claim the title in the 3200, and sophomores Emma Stewart and Lindsey Hale went 1-2 in the long jump. The Yankton boys completed a sweep of the long jump, as Lee Rose took the title.

“We had a great day today,” said Yankton head coach Luke Youmans. “It will go down as one of my all-time favorite first days of a state track meet: all the things that came together, a few surprises that go your way, the enthusiasm of all the kids helping out, too.”

Stewart went over 18 feet for the second time this season, posting a mark of 18 feet, one-half inch, then finished second in the triple jump with a mark of 35-10 1/2. Hale claimed second in the long jump at 17-4 1/4, then just missed the awards stand in the triple jump with a tenth place finish (34-3 1/4).

“Today was our day,” Youmans said of the long jump. “We knew that we had two contenders, but it’s all about showing up when it counts.”

Stewart was sixth in the long jump a year ago, and the sophomore said that the extra year of training and maturity helped.

“I’ve improved since last year, in terms of workouts and stuff,” she said.

Besides competing in the long jump, the pair also helped Yankton qualify for finals in the 400-meter relay in between prelims and finals, Hale on the opening leg and Stewart anchoring. The pair were also bookends when the Gazelles qualified for the finals in the 800-meter relay earlier in the day.

“We had to take a minute,” Stewart said about refocusing for long jump finals. “We had to take a breath.”

While the duo still have more work to today, they were glad they could help the Gazelles get off to a strong start on the first day.

“I don’t know if the coaches figured on us going 1-2,” Hale said. “That’s quite a few points.”

The duo expect to enjoy pushing each other to the top of the podium for a couple more years.

“We’re going to be pushing each other to get even better,” Stewart said.

Woods took the 3200-meter run pace out early on the way to a career-best 11:08.23 as she ran away with the title, 11 seconds ahead of the next-best finisher.

“I tried to stay in front,” Woods said. “The plan was, if no one was leading after 1,200 meters, I would take it out and go. I kept going and it worked out really well.”

Youmans credited the junior for sticking to the plan and pushing through barriers.

“It was one of those moments that tugs at you,” he said. “She’s a great athlete and a tremendous competitor. A lot of hard work and dedication came together.”

Woods also helped the Gazelles put their first points of the day on the board, running on Yankton’s fifth place 3200 relay. The foursome of Woods, Tessa Folkers, Erica Westerman and Lauren Graves finished in 9:48.52.

The junior Woods hopes to ride Friday’s momentum into today’s 1600-meter final.

“This shows what could happen tomorrow,” she said. “I’m very excited for it.”

The other point of the day for Yankton came from junior Adrienne Kusek, who placed eighth in the discus (114-0). She also finished tenth in the shot put (35-9).

The Gazelles qualified the 400 (eighth, 50.68), 800 (fifth, 1:46.39) and 1600 (fifth, 4:05.77) relays for today’s finals. Sophomore Madason Tessier, who was on the 800 and 1600 relays, also qualified in both the 100- (15.46) and 300-meter hurdles (47.69), placing fourth in both. Freshman Kate Budig, also on the 400 relay, qualified seventh in the 300 hurdles (47.89). Senior Danielle Beckmann ran on all three qualifying relays.

“It’s exciting when day two will be full of a lot of activity,” Youmans said. “We have an almost full day tomorrow. You’ve got to have a lot of opportunities to score if you want to stay in the hunt.”

Yankton just missed the finals in the girls’ medley, finishing ninth in 4:23.37.

While Rose struggled on the cold, rainy Friday morning, so did everyone else. For the senior and University of Sioux Falls recruit, the problem was as much anxiety as conditions.

“At the beginning it was a lot of nerves,” he said. “Coach (Justin) Olson talked to me and told me to relax. After that, I was able to get my foot down hard, which I hadn’t been doing.”

Having defending champion Taryn Christion of Sioux Falls Roosevelt was right behind him added to the pressure.

“Knowing Taryn was nipping at my heels was a factor,” Rose said. “It helped me want to get better, but it also played against me.”

Youmans credited Rose for getting the job done under tough circumstances.

“The conditions were not going to let anybody go out and have a big mark,” he said. “It was all about holding his spot. He knew he was in a dogfight, and he put a jump enough out there to win.”

The Bucks also got points out of their throwers, as senior Nick Raab placed seventh in the discus (142-4), while senior Evan Greeneway placed eighth in the shot put (45-9 1/2).

“Coming in we knew there was potential,” Youmans said. “Every point is going to matter. Those were important places.”

For Raab, the day — outside of the conditions — felt good.

“I was really getting through the ring well in warmups. It felt like it was going to be a good day,” he said. “The weather started out not too well, but it ended up all right.”

Rose also qualified for the finals of the 400 (50.70), as well as with the 400 (43.75) and 1600 (3:28.53) relays. Senior Ryan Sternhagen qualified in the 200 (22.39), as well as in the 400, 800 (1:31.85) and 1600 relays. Senior Charlie Stephenson qualified in both the 110- (15.57) and 300-meter (39.73) hurdles, as well as in the 400 and 800 relays. Senior Mason Strahl was on all four relays. Juniors Coleton James (800 relay) and Blake Savey (1600 relay) completed the qualifying relays.

“Our guys are excited right now,” Youmans said. “They went out to set the tone today to let people know that they’ll be there tomorrow as well.

“That’s why they are our senior leaders.”

Competition begins at 10 a.m. CT today.

Follow @JCimburek on Twitter.


Friday’s Finals At Sturgis

Girls Division

• Team Scores — Rapid City Stevens 42.5, Yankton 41, Sioux Falls O’Gorman 31, Sioux Falls Lincoln 30, Mitchell 27, Brandon Valley 25, Watertown 18, Pierre 16, Sturgis 15, Brookings 13.5, Aberdeen Central 11, Sioux Falls Washington 10, Rapid City Central 10, Sioux Falls Roosevelt 10, Spearfish 9.5, Douglas 2, Huron 0.5.

• 800-Meter Run — 1. Jasmyne Cooper, SF Lincoln, 2:12.72; 2. Brooke DeVos, SF Roosevelt, 2:13.87; 3. Madison Gray, Brookings, 2:17.47; 4. Kendra Dykstra, RC Stevens, 2:18.28; 5. Lexi Weisbeck, Aberdeen Central, 2:19.54; 6. Mallory Fine, RC Stevens, 2:20.86; 7. Danica Kocer, Brandon Valley, 2:22.54; 8. Caroline Sudbeck, SF Lincoln, 2:22.75.

• 3,200 Run — 1. Savannah Woods, Yankton, 11:19.76; 2. Courtney Klatt, Brandon Valley, 11:20.23; 3. Lauren Wells, Brandon Valley, 11:28.50; 4. Emily Person, RC Stevens, 11:29.53; 5. Abby Ripperda, SF O’Gorman, 11:39.92; 6. Jamie Schweiss, RC Stevens, 11:40.99; 7. Allison Green, Sturgis, 11:44.52; 8. Brooke Infield, SF Lincoln, 11:47.82.

• 3,200 Relay — 1. Rapid City Stevens (Jamie Schweiss, Mallory Fine, Emily Person, Kendra Dykstra) 9:24.45; 2. Brandon Valley 9:34.01; 3. Sioux Falls Lincoln 9:41.84; 4. Brookings 9:48.24; 5. Yankton 9:48.52; 6. Rapid City Central 9:50.27; 7. Sioux Falls O’Gorman 9:51.96; 8. Aberdeen Central 9:58.15.

• Discus — 1. Emma Hertz, SF O’Gorman, 130-9; 2. Callie Henrich, RC Stevens, 128-2; 3. Sydney Palmer, Pierre, 123-4; 4. Jessica Mieras, SF O’Gorman, 122-7; 5. Michaela Cermak, Spearfish, 115-4; 6. Mikael Light, Sturgis, 115-3; 7. Gemini Wesley, SF Roosevelt, 114-3; 8. Adrienne Kusek, Yankton, 114-0.

• Shot Put — 1. Sydney Palmer, Pierre, 43-3.5; 2. Abby Sudbeck, Mitchell, 40-5.5; 3. Emma Hertz, SF O’Gorman, 40-2.75; 4. Izzy VanVeldhuizen, SF Lincoln, 38-5.25; 5. Jessica Mieras, SF O’Gorman, 37-11; 6. Michaela Cermak, Spearfish, 37-10; 7. Naomi Wynn, Douglas, 37-8.75; 8. Jacey Siegfried, Watertown, 37-4.25.

• Long Jump — 1. Emma Stewart, Yankton, 18-0.5; 2. Lindsey Hale, Yankton, 17-4.25; 3. Macy Denzer, Watertown, 17-1.5; 4. Taylor Volesky, Mitchell, 17-0.25; 5. Michaela Mohr, SF Lincoln, 16-11.75; 6. Elizabeth Schaefer, RC Stevens, 16-11.75; 7. Jamie Larson, Aberdeen Central, 16-6; 8. Mikaela Birath, Brandon Valley, 16-5.25.

• Triple Jump — 1. Bre Richardson, SF Washington, 36-7.25; 2. Emma Stewart, Yankton, 35-10.5; 3. Taylor Volesky, Mitchell, 35-5.5; 4. Mya Jones, RC Central, 35-1; 5. Sydney Daane, RC Stevens, 34-11.5; 6. Ryley Heier, SF Lincoln, 34-11.25; 7. Emma Burns, RC Central, 34-10.75; 8. (tie) Julie Teslow, SF Lincoln and Nicki Quinn, RC Stevens, 34-8.

• Pole Vault — 1. Klara Lyon, Sturgis, 11-9; 2. Tevyn Waddell, Mitchell, 11-6; 3. Sydney Dale, Watertown, 10-3; 4. Whitney Scott, Watertown, 10-3; 5. Aimee Padgett, Aberdeen Central, 10-3; 6. (tie) Hannah Riley, Spearfish and Sydney Thomas, Brookings, 9-9; 8. (tie) Shelby Stotz, RC Stevens and Shannon Katz, Huron, 9-3.

Boys Division

• Team Scores — Sioux Falls Lincoln 47, Sioux Falls Roosevelt 45, Watertown 28, Spearfish 19, Brandon Valley 19, Aberdeen Central 19, Rapid City Stevens 18, Mitchell 17, Sioux Falls Washington 15, Sturgis 15, Sioux Falls O’Gorman 14, Yankton 13, Rapid City Central 10, Brookings 10, Douglas 8, Harrisburg 6, Huron 5, Pierre 4.

• 800 Run — 1. (meet record, old record 1:53.94 by Alex Waddell of SF Washington, 2010) Jacob Simmons, Sturgis, 1:52.38; 2. Ned Sudbeck, SF Lincoln, 1:55.80; 3. Josh Goehring, SF Roosevelt, 1:57.65; 4. Connor Haaland, RC Stevens, 1:57.66; 5. Mitchell Selken, Brandon Valley, 1:57.72; 6. Tiegen Lindner, SF O’Gorman, 1:58.61; 7. Tom Pfeifle, RC Stevens, 1:59.47; 8. Alex Derr, SF Washington, 2:00.84.

• 3,200 Run — 1. (meet record, old record 9:00.19 by Addison DeHaven of Brookings, 2013) Will Lauer, SF Lincoln, 8:58.49; 2. Nathan Schroeder, SF Lincoln, 9:32.09; 3. Jesus Urtusuastegui, SF Roosevelt, 9:36.01; 4. Lukas Nelson, SF Roosevelt, 9:41.11; 5. Daniel Armstrong, SF Roosevelt, 9:41.80; 6. Alec Kray, SF Washington, 9:47.82; 7. Greyson Zamora, Harrisburg, 9:50.94; 8. Mark Poston, RC Stevens, 9:51.31.

• 3,200 Relay — 1. Sioux Falls Roosevelt (Jesus Urtusuastegui, Tyler Slaba, Lukas Nelson, Josh Goehring) 7:58.30; 2. Brandon Valley 8:04.39; 3. Sioux Falls Lincoln 8:05.15; 4. Sturgis 8:06.88; 5. Sioux Falls Washington 8:09.51; 6. Sioux Falls O’Gorman 8:09.98; 7. Rapid City Stevens 8:15.60; 8. Pierre 8:17.80.

• Discus — 1. Chandler Nelson, Mitchell, 164-8; 2. Sam Schaunaman, Aberdeen Central, 162-0; 3. Michael Keogan, Watertown, 152-10; 4. Austin Haushild, SF Lincoln, 146-10; 5. Jared Maciejczak, Douglas, 145-9; 6. Cley Charlson, SF Roosevelt, 143-8; 7. Nick Raab, Yankton, 142-4; 8. Bryce LeBlanc, Watertown, 136-10.

• Shot Put — 1. Michael Keogan, Watertown, 57-1; 2. Austin Haushild, SF Lincoln, 50-6.25; 3. Sam Schaunaman, Aberdeen Central, 50-2.75; 4. Brendan Rotert, Spearfish, 49-11.5; 5. Bryce LeBlanc, Watertown, 49-5; 6. Max Reinke, Pierre, 48-4; 7. Austin Barrett, Douglas, 48-3.5; 8. Evan Greeneway, Yankton, 47-11.75.

• Long Jump — 1. Lee Rose, Yankton, 21-7.75; 2. Taryn Christion, SF Roosevelt, 21-5.5; 3. Tyrell Rosencranz, Spearfish, 21-4.5; 4. Grant Youngblood, RC Stevens, 20-7.5; 5. Conner Erickson, Harrisburg, 20-6.25; 6. Ty Smith, SF Washington, 20-6; 7. Damian Hall, Spearfish, 20-5; 8. Eric Looby, SF Lincoln, 20-2.5.

• Triple Jump — 1. (new record, old record 47-0 by Todd Kolden of Aberdeen Central, 1979) Joshua Dotson, RC Central, 47-3; 2. Luke Fritsch, SF O’Gorman, 44-7.5; 3. Tyrell Rosencranz, Spearfish, 43-8.5; 4. Cannon Hannigan, Aberdeen Central, 43-7.75; 5. Ty Smith, SF Washington, 43-5.25; 6. Grant Youngblood, RC Stevens, 43-1.75; 7. Anjel Rangel, Douglas, 42-6.25; 8. Romeo Zino, SF Lincoln, 42-1.

• Pole Vault — 1. Kaleb Rupert-Ellis, Brookings, 14-9; 2. (tie) Mason Carpenter, Mitchell and Cole Christensen, Brandon Valley, 13-9; 4. Trent Francom, Huron, 13-9; 5. Connor DeJong, Watertown, 13-3; 6. Carter Lohr, SF Roosevelt, 13-3; 7. Noah Spartz, Watertown, 12-9; 8. Jon Walker, Watertown, 12-9.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.