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Kraft adds to his legacy, wins two titles

Wessington Springs senior Jase Kraft, left, and Mitchell Christian senior Aaron Lemon, right, run during the first lap of the 800-meter boys final at the Class B state track and field meet Friday at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls. (Nick McCutcheon/Republic)

SIOUX FALLS -- The trophy case at Jase Kraft's house got a bit more crowded after his effort Friday during the Class B state track and field meet at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.

The Wessington Springs senior took the top spot in the the 800-meter run and came back shortly after to run away from the field in the 3,200-meter run.

"Winning doesn't get old," Kraft said after winning the 3,200. "Coming around that last lap and knowing that was my last two-mile race of my career in high school, it got a little emotional."

Thanks to Kraft's efforts, the Wessington Springs track and field team is tied for fourth with 20 points in the team standings heading into the second and final day of competition at 9 a.m. today in Sioux Falls. Elkton-Lake Benton is leading with 28 points, while Mitchell Christian is second with 26 points.

Kraft started his day in the 800, finishing with a time of 1 minute, 59.64 seconds, while Mitchell Christian senior Aaron Lemon took second in 2:01.95.

Less than an hour later, the University of Sioux Falls signee took part in the meet's longest event, the 3,200. The 2013 Class B cross country champion bested the field by more than 6 seconds, finishing with a time of 10:18.09.

Today, Kraft will run his final two individual races for the Spartans. He starts with the 1,600-meter run, an event he is favored to win as the top seed. His final race will come in the 400-meter dash, which is a specialty he had not competed in prior to this season, but qualified sixth in Class B nonetheless.

"My brothers and I talk about trying to win the triple crown," Kraft said about the possibility of adding the 1,600-meter title to his list of championships today. "Two down, one to go."

Kraft has won five individual state titles to go along with a 3,200-meter relay championship he won as a freshman with his brothers, Drew and Mitch Kraft.

Wessington Springs track and field coach Becky Bell-Krueger said coaching Jase is a once-in-lifetime opportunity for a coach.

"It's tough to see him go, but he is ready to start a new chapter in his life where he is going to completely excel," Bell-Krueger said. "He is going to go even further with new coaches and new teammates in college."