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South Central's Frank, Sebern pick up dual wins

Aaron Saunders/Republic South Central's Allison Sebern comes down the home stretch of the girls' 400-meter dash.1 / 2
Aaron Saunders/Republic Avon's Devin Tolsma, right, hands the baton off to anchor leg Brandon Kocmich in the boys' 4x100-meter relay.2 / 2

LAKE ANDES -- Tyler Frank and Carter Dykstra are quite familiar with each other.

Frank is a senior from Burke High School, which competes for the track and field cooperative Burke/South Central. Dykstra attends Dakota Christian.

The pair have faced each other on the basketball court and in several track and field events.

Frank edged Dykstra Tuesday at the Fort Randall Conference meet in Lake Andes. Matching a personal-best jump of 6-feet, 4-inches, Frank took first place in the boys' high jump to beat Dykstra, who jumped 6-feet and finished second.

On the day, Frank was one of two South Central athletes to win two individual events. On the girls' South Central track team, Allison Sebern claimed the 400- and 800-meter run titles.

"I have been trying to jump consistently and push through in practice every day," said Frank, who also took first in the triple jump on the day. "Carter has been up there every track meet pushing me, and it is good to have that type of competition around."

Along with the reigning state high jump champion Wade Lockhart, of Oelrichs, Frank shares the best high jump mark in Class B this season at 6-feet-4. He reached the mark at the Great Plains Conference Meet on April 23 in Avon.

The senior also won the boys' triple jump with a mark of 39-foot-1/2. He has not yet qualified for the state meet for the triple jump as the qualifying distance for event is 40-feet-8. Last season, Frank finished third in the high jump at state with a jump of 6-foot-1.

"I know there is one kid up there with me, but I just have to keep working hard and do my best," Frank said. "Every day counts if you want to be a state champion. I haven't experienced that yet and that is what I am going for."

Dykstra, a sophomore, took seventh place last season in the high jump at the Class B state meet with a height of 5-foot-9. He also competed in the long jump and the triple jump, finishing 11th and 19th, respectively.

On Tuesday, Dykstra, who has already qualified for state in the high jump, levitated over the bar at 6-feet for the first time. He also took first in the boys' long jump with a distance of 19-foot-8.

"My day was pretty good," Dykstra said. "It was fun in high jump. I touched 6-foot for the first time, and I barely had it. The bar looked like it was bouncing a little bit, but I got it."

The Dakota Christian athlete has been competing in the high jump since he was in sixth grade and said he has improved at it every year. He also added that he is looking forward to competing against Frank again at Class B state championships May 24-25 in Sioux Falls.

Dykstra and Frank will meet again on May 16 at the Region 6B Conference meet 10 a.m. in Avon.

Sebern qualified for state in both events

It was a normal day on the track for Burke native Allison Sebern. The freshman runner finished first in the girls' 400- and 800-meter dashes and helped her team win the 3,200-meter relay Tuesday at the Fort Randall Invitational in Lake Andes.

Sebern ran a personal-best time of 1 minute, 0.5 seconds in the 400 and finished the 800 in 2:34.16.

"I have been running at 61 (seconds) pretty regularly every time out," Sebern said. "I have been trying to get stronger all season and focus on my stride and cut down time for the state track meet."

Putting up fast times and winning events is nothing new for Sebern, who sits behind Ipswich's Macy Heinz for the fastest time in the 400-meter dash at the Class B level this year. Heinz finished second at the Class B state meet last year.

Last year as an eighth-grader, Sebern qualified for the state meet in the 400, but did not compete in the finals after running a 1:06.51 in prelims.

"I had an injury last year," said Sebern, who did not qualify for state in the 800 last year. "I was going to physical therapy all the time. ... I would really like to place at state this year, and I am hoping that I will stay healthy."

Sebern has already qualified for this year's Class B state track meet in the 400-meter dash and the 800-meter run. She did so on April 27 at the Andes Central Invitational. Sebern has the fifth-fastest time in the 800-meter run this season (2:27.80) in Class B.

At the Howard Wood Dakota Relays Saturday, Sebern got the opportunity to match up against girls from across the state in the 400. She won her heat and finished eighth overall with a time of 1:01.35.

"I really like running against those bigger schools, it really helps me get faster," Sebern said. "I like running with competition that push me and makes me better, so that was pretty cool and I am happy I got to place."