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Area throwers record personal bests on first day of Howard Wood

University of South Dakota thrower and Lake Andes native Cody Snyder unleashes his second attempt in the men’s discus Friday at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)1 / 2
South Dakota State University thrower and Stickney native Shelby Assmus completes her second attempt in the women’s shot put Friday at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)2 / 2

SIOUX FALLS — Cody Snyder has made his mark at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays.

The University of South Dakota senior and Andes Central graduate won the men’s discus for the third time Friday.

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Though a senior, Snyder is redshirting this year and competing unattached. This means he can still win events and qualify for the NCAA outdoor national championships, but his results do not count toward team points in competitions.

Snyder reached the outdoor national championships last year in the discus and has plans on making it there again this season. Friday, he helped his cause by hurling the discus 197 feet, 6 inches to win the competition and set a personal best.

“I am hoping to get to 200 (feet),” said Snyder, who still holds the record for high school discus with a mark of 191-6. “It feels good to be back at Howard Wood. I like this meet a lot.”

Ethan native and Augustana College freshman Anthony Huber also participated in the discus and finished fifth with a throw of 148-11.

Last ball for Assmus

South Dakota State University’s Shelby Assmus has competed in the Howard Wood Dakota Relays since she was an eighth-grader at Stickney High School.

Competing at the event this year brings mixed emotions for the senior.

“This is the very last Howard Wood of my career,” Assmus said Friday, after she finished second in the women’s hammer throw. “Me and this meet have kind of a love-hate relationship, but I am pretty happy to be here and pretty stoked.”

Assmus’ best distance in the hammer throw Friday was 181 feet. Wayne State’s Emily Wells won the event with a throw of 187-3. Assmus’ distance was a personal best and is the best throw recorded in the Summit League this outdoor season. She also took 15th in the shot put with a 40-1.25 throw and will compete in the discus today.

Assmus won the women’s discus last year with a throw of 140-5 and claimed four state championships in the event as a high schooler.

While competing for Stickney, she won the discus title at Howard Wood as a senior with a 149-10 throw. That throw still sits on the top 10 list of furthest throws by a South Dakota high school girl.

“Shelby has been a great competitor for us the entire four years,” SDSU assistant coach Tye Long said. “She is a really solid athlete in all three of her events and she had a great day, and she is having a fantastic spring. She has really come along in the shot put and has improved her marks in the discus.”

Assmus graduates May 10 and said she is proud of her college career and very thankful to her coaching staff and teammates. She will also compete at the Summit League Conference Championships May 15-17 in Fargo, N.D.