Class B state track and field preview
Mitchell Christian track and field coach Bob Lemon has been impressed this season with the consistency of thrower Chandler Nelson, who will compete in the discus and the shot put for the Golden Eagles at the Class B state meet today.
Nelson, a junior, heads into the Class B state track and field finale as the top seed in the boys discus with a qualifying throw of 174 feet, 10 inches. The distance is more than 7 feet better than the second-seeded Nathan Palmer, from Northwestern.
The junior is also seeded second in the shot put for Mitchell Christian at the event, which starts at 9:30 today at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.
“I think Chandler has as good a shot as anybody in this field to win both the discus and the shot put,” Lemon said.
Mitchell Christian, which did not have a girl qualify for the state meet, should also see a strong showing from junior Aaron Lemon, who is seeded third in both the 400-meter dash and the 800-meter run for the Golden Eagles.
Lemon will see Wessington Springs’ star Jase Kraft in both events.
“Kraft is definitely the class of the 800 field,” Bob Lemon said. “Maybe with him running the 400 and 800 back-to-back, it will bring him back to the field a step or two.”
Kraft is the No. 1 seed in three events — the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs. The senior won the 1,600 in 2013 and took second in the 800 and 3,200. Kraft also took the Class B boys cross country title in October for the Spartans.
On the girls side, freshman Macy Heinz returns for Ipswich and will compete as the top seed in four individual events — the 100, 400, 800 and 1,600. Ipswich won the girls title last season, with Heinz taking the meet’s outstanding track performer award.
Area athletes earn top seeds
A pair of area field athletes head into the Class B state meet with title hopes.
Andes Central junior Payton Johanneson leads the high jump field, qualifying with a height of 5-7, four inches better than the second seed. Scotland’s Carly Skorepa heads the discus qualifiers. The junior was seeded No. 1 with a throw of 133-7 earlier this season. Taylor Hermsen of Freeman is seeded second with a qualifying throw of 122-11.
Freeman has four top seeds in the Class B meet, including Grant Preheim in the triple jump and Brennan Schmidt in the 400-meter dash. The Flyers also qualified first in a pair of relays — the boys 800 meter and the girls 3,200 meter.
Kole Heller of Platte-Geddes had the fastest qualifying time in the event’s shortest race. The senior is the top seed for the boys 100-meter dash with a season best time of 10.6 seconds. Avon senior Brandon Kocmich comes into the 100 meter with No. 4 seed and a time of 11.1.