Ali Haines finishes with mark of 35-1RAPID CITY — Kimball/White Lake’s Ali Haines won the girls’ triple-jump title Friday during the first day of the Class B state track tournament in Rapid City. Haines took first place with a leap of 35 feet, 1 inch.
By: Claire Meador, The Daily Republic
RAPID CITY — Kimball/White Lake’s Ali Haines won the girls’ triple-jump title Friday during the first day of the Class B state track tournament in Rapid City. Haines took first place with a leap of 35 feet, 1 inch.
“I feel relieved,” Haines said. “It finally happened and it’s been a long process to get to this point, so I’m glad I could finally get it done.”
Haines said she wasn’t thrilled about having to compete in the rainy, windy weather Friday. Her winning jump was actually six inches shorter than her qualifying jump, and Haines said the weather played a big part in her performance, which is why she didn’t have as good of a jump as her qualifying mark. She was the No. 2 seed going into the state tournament with a leap of 35-feet 7.
It rained for most of the track meet on Friday and stayed around a cool temperature of 50 degrees in Rapid City.
“I was really, really worried about the weather, honestly,” Haines said.
“All day my siblings and my coaches kept saying, ‘You’ve got to stay positive,’ and I just tried to block the (weather) out of my head and focus on the jumping itself.”
Lacy Stevens of Edgemont finished in second place with a jump of 34-feet 6.75 and Megan Sandmeier of Eureka/Bowdle came in third place with a leap of 34-feet 6.
Last year, Haines did not place at the state meet. Sandmeier was the defending champion with a jump of 43-feet 4.25. Haines, who is a senior, said the win was especially fun for her because it’s her last year with the Kimball/White Lake track team.
“It’s been my goal for the past few years to try and win the triple jump,” Haines said.
“I was second going into finals and my jump was just shy of the girl that was leading so I knew it was possible to place and I’m really glad I was able to win.”
Next year, she will be attending the University of South Dakota and will not be running track there. Haines said she’s sad it’s her last year on the team, but she couldn’t think of a better way to end her track career than with a first-place medal.
“It feels good to be done with my event,” she said.
“But, it’s my senior year and I’m really, really sad to see it go. I know the girls below me and my little sister have bright futures with the track team.”