Newspaper correspondent Joe Kavanaugh
SIOUX FALLS – A senior from Timber Lake defending his 2021 men’s triple jump title, a senior from Lemmon who set a personal best to win the men’s pole vault title and a sophomore from Lyman with High hopes for the future provided the highlights for West River Class B athletes on day one of the 2022 South Dakota State Track and Field Meet at Howard Wood Field.
Hank Kraft, a first-team All-State basketball star for the Timber Lake Panthers, closed out his high school sports career in stellar fashion, adding a second straight state triple jump crown to his impressive resume.
The event leader entering the state, Kraft jumped 42 feet, 10.5 inches on his second attempt in the prelims to take the event lead. He then sat down, did a few laps and saw that all comers were unable to pass that mark.
“I was a little worried coming in because I haven’t hit a (personal best) in a while and haven’t hit my mark like I did last year,” he said. declared. “But going into the final I had the better mark and kind of played it like it was.
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Wall junior Rylan McDonnell, who shared the top mark with Kraft entering the state, finished third (41-foot-8.25) behind Herreid/Selby Area’s Brenden Begeman (42-foot, 2.25).
For Colt Beer of Lemmon, fourth in 2021, the path to first place on the victory stand on Thursday required the dethronement of returning 2021 Class B state champion Owen Eitemiller of Menno and a one-foot jump higher than regular beer- best effort of the season.
After three jumpers, Eitemiller and Andrew Gustad (Gayville-Volin) and Beer were 13ft 3in, the senior Lemmon cleared 13ft 6in, an effort his other competitors couldn’t match.
“I was always waiting for the other guys to finish and see what they were doing, but I felt pretty confident that I was going to win,” Beer said, “It’s really good. I worked hard to get there. I left planning to do my best and after that it was a roll of the dice.
Lemmon seniors Talon Trogstad and Tanner Miller also earned trips to the event winners stand with fourth and eighth place finishes, respectively, while ninth-grade Faith Drew Harper shared eighth place.
Skyler Volmer earned the top qualifying score in the Class B women’s high jump but failed to win as Lyman’s sophomore placed second to Arlington’s Hadley Carlson, who cleared 5ft 5 inches, two inches above Carlson’s best mark of the season. and an inch better than Volmer’s 5-foot-4 top clearance.
“The first one was definitely my goal, but I’ll be back next year,” said Volmer, who credits his dad for kickstarting his success in the event. “My dad jumped high in high school and I did track and field in sixth grade but never did. And then my dad asked me why I didn’t do it, so in seventh grade , I tried it and fell in love with it, and it’s been my favorite ever since.
Rebecca Shuck, a senior from the Kadoka area, shared sixth place in the high jump with a trio of young athletes from West River: Sarah Erk (Newell, grade eight), Lexy Rolph (Harding Country, grade seven) and Maleena Brave (White River, ninth grade), all of whom cleared 4-foot-10.
In other West River placements in Thursday’s Class B finals: Taylor Thompson (Bison) finished seventh in the shot put (36-foot, 11), won by Danielle Hawley (Estelline/Hendricks, 40-foot-10, 75 inches), and the Lemmon girls 4X800 relay team (10:17.00) placed seventh behind the Colman-Egan quartet (9:52.33).
In Thursday’s preliminary track and field results, Philip’s Logan Sammons earned a spot in Saturday’s Class B 100-meter final with a time of 11.50 seconds, as did Timber Lake’s Hank Kraft (11.46) . Viborg-Hurley’s George Johnson set the fastest qualifying time (11.11).
Friday’s second day of the state track meet at Howard Wood Field begins at 8:00 a.m. MT.