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Three MCS sophomores finish in top 12 at state meet

(Claire Meador/Republic) Mitchell Christian's Alexa Van Laecken competes in the long jump event Saturday at the Class B state track and field meet in Rapid City.

Although only three athletes from the Mitchell Christian School track team went to the Class B state meet in Rapid City this year, MCS track coach Bob Lemon said the weekend was a valuable experience for all three athletes.

Sophomore Aaron Lemon took fourth place in the boys' 800-meter run with a time of 2 minutes, 3.49 seconds.

For the girls, sophomore Becca Glanzer came in 10th place in the 800 with a time of 2:32.06, 13th place in the 1,600 with a time of 5:51.79 and 14th place in the 3,200 with a time of 12:43.83. Sophomore Alexa Van Laecken took 12th place in the long jump with a leap of 15 feet, 0.5 inches.

"I think for all three to be able to compete and get that exposure at the state level is always great," Bob Lemon said.

"To have an opportunity to go against the best athletes in the state and see where you stand is a real privilege. It reflects what the three of them put into their seasons and how much they worked to be able to get to the state meet."

Bob Lemon said the cold, rainy weather really affected everyone who competed at the state meet, but especially those athletes competing in the long jump event. Van Laecken qualified for the meet with a 16-feet-1 jump but jumped about a foot shorter at the meet on Saturday.

"A girl in Alexa's flight got injured while jumping and I think it really affected some of the girls' as they tried to adjust," he said.

"I think all the competitors were down about a foot and it wasn't ideal conditions by any means. The cold and the wet really hampered the kids' ability to jump."

Bob Lemon said despite the weather conditions, Aaron Lemon and Glanzer ran really well over the weekend, and he was pleased with the places they took in their events. He said Glanzer's 800 time was the best time she ran in that event all year and that Aaron Lemon was about a tenth of a second off his best time in his 800.

He said the three athletes have plenty of time to come back and place higher at the state meet, and getting the experience of competing at the state meet was the most important part of the weekend.

"To finish in the top 15 is very respectable and something they should be proud of," Bob Lemon said.

"Just the mere fact that they went out and gave their best is just a testament to how much they put into their season. Next year as upperclassmen, they will be looked at as leaders and there will be a lot more experience coming pack. So, there's a lot to look forward to."