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Howard Wood notebook: Area athletes take top marks at Dakota Relays

SIOUX FALLS — Wessington Springs athlete Jase Kraft gives it everything he has every time he steps on the track. Saturday was no different as the senior fell as he crossed the finish line for second place during the boys 1,600-meter run at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays.

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“Sometimes you have to lay it all on the line and see what happens,” Kraft said. “There is no atmosphere like Howard Wood. This type of competition and this crowd really makes you finish those last few steps.”

Kraft spent the majority of the race Saturday in the middle of the pack, but made his move as the bell sounded for the final lap. The future University of Sioux Falls Cougar passed runner after runner until he caught the leaders on the back stretch. Kraft moved into a battle with Preston Lerew of Bismarck High School (N.D.).

Lerew and Kraft were neck and neck all the way to the finish line where Lerew edged Kraft to win the event.

“I just wanted to come out a little slower,” said Kraft, who ran a time of 4 minutes, 22.76 seconds. “I started to make my move on the back stretch. When I saw the leaders, ‘I said I have to go.’ I just didn’t have quite enough at the end, but it was fun race.”

The time was the fastest of the year for Kraft, who has won the Class B 1,600-meter title the last three years.

Chamberlain’s Priebe takes home two hurdle titles

Chamberlain’s Hudson Priebe was the king of the hurdles Saturday at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. Priebe took home the individual crowns in both the boys 110- and 300-meter hurdles, while finishing fourth in the long jump.

Priebe took the 110-hurdles title with a time of 14.97 seconds. He won the 300-hurdles title with a time of 39.01. In the 110 hurdles, Priebe beat a group of competitors that included Ethan/Parkston hurdler Wes Dvorak, who finished eighth with a time of 15.71.

“I can’t complain about my day,” said Priebe, who will run for Drake University next year. “I wanted to do better in the long jump, but I felt really good about my hurdles. I was trying to go sub 39 seconds in the 300, but I still got 39 flat and I was happy with that.”

Saturday’s wins were the first time Priebe has finished first in the events at Howard Wood. Last year he took third place in the 110 hurdles and did not run the 300 hurdles at the event. This year he is ranked No. 1 in both the 110 hurdles and the 300 hurdles at the Class A level.

Both Priebe and Dvorak figure to be in the mix at the Class A state tournament in the 110 hurdles. Priebe finished third in the 110 hurdles last year at the Class A state meet, while Dvorak took fourth.

“The competition was good today, but I could have done a little better in the race. I kind of nailed the hurdles,” Dvorak said. “I just have to keep making myself better at practice and find competition like what I faced today.”

Freeman relays win two

The Freeman High School relay teams continue to burn up the track. This time the venue was the Howard Wood Dakota Relays and the teams were the Flyers girls 1,600- meter sprint medley squad and the boys 4x200 relay team.

The sprint medley team won the Class B title at Howard Wood with a time of 4:24.46, beating Gayville-Volin, which came in second with a time of 4:28.45. The Freeman sprint medley team consisted of freshman Erika Sage, seventh-grader Josie Fuhrmann, junior Shelby Jensen and junior Cailey Roth.

“Those girls really came through for us today,” Freeman track coach Rory Hermsen said.

The 4x200 squad finished its race in a blistering 1:33.78 to set the meet record for the Class B boys in the event. Hermsen said it is not the school record, but was a great time nonetheless. The 4x200 team featured Joseph Weier, Grant Preheim, Cole Paulson and Brennan Schmidt.

“The guys have a lot of confidence and are really enjoying track right now,” Hermsen said. “We have a few things we need to work out and address, but I like how things are shaping up for our boys.”

Freeman came close to adding a boys Class B 4x100 title Saturday, but finished third behind Corsica/Stickney and Sunshine Bible Academy. The Jaguars finished with a time of 46.0 to win the event. The Jaguar squad featured Kruz Knudson, Austin Tilton, Eli Van Roekel and Mason Van Vuuren. The teams were close all the way through the race, but Van Vuuren edged, SBA anchor Cody Buer and Freeman’s Jalen Kaufman.

“My teammates set me up pretty well. We were right there when I got the baton and I finished it well,” Van Vuuren said. “We haven’t had many good track meets all year, this was the best one. But we just have to keep on working hard and doing good.”

Notes — The Platte-Geddes boys 4x400-meter relay team claimed the Class B individual title at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays Saturday. The Black Panthers finished with a time of 3:45.26.

Ethan/Parkston’s Camden Myers finished fourth in the boys high jump with a 6-foot-4 jump, while Mitchell Christian’s Chandler Nelson took fifth in the discus with a throw of 165-0.