Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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Mitchell's Alex Hegg was crowned a state champion at Flight 5 singles at the state boys' tennis tournament Saturday in Sioux Falls. The freshman, who did not lose a singles match all season, defeated Rapid City Stevens' Mason Schultz 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in the championship. The Kernel boys took fifth place as a team with 406 points, returning to the top five for the first time since 1995. Watertown won the team title with 604 points, Stevens was second with 580 and Sioux Falls O'Gorman was third with 563 points. Mitchell also won the sportsmanship award, which is voted on by coaches.
SIOUX FALLS -- Mitchell's Flight 5 Alex Hegg and Flight 6 Brenden Lehr both advanced championship after beating the fourth-seeded players in their flights Thursday at the state boys' tennis tournament. "They are the top seeds and are where they should be," Mitchell coach Pat Moller said. "Both had points in their matches where they weren't playing their best tennis but were mentally strong. They proved that they deserved to be in the championship." The duo helped the Kernels to fifth place in the team standings after two days of tennis.
SIOUX FALLS -- Every seeded singles player and doubles team went undefeated Thursday for the Mitchell High School boys' tennis squad at the state tournament in Sioux Falls. "That's what good teams do," Mitchell coach Pat Moller said. "They handled the pressure well and the season we went through has prepared us for this tournament." In Mitchell's first- and second-round victories, it never dropped a set and was taken to a tiebreaker once. The Kernels suffered two losses on the opening day of the state tournament. The Kernels finished the first day in sixth place with 236 points.
HARTFORD -- Ethan/Parkston's Weslee Dvorak won two individual Region 5A track and field titles and helped two relay teams to second-place finishes Thursday. Dvorak's efforts helped the Ethan/Parkston boys win the Region 5A team title. "Wes was instrumental in helping us win the boys' title," Ethan/Parkston coach Shawn Spurrell said. "He had two good days for us." Ethan/Parkston won with 141 points, beating West Central (129) and Bon Homme (112). West Central won the girls' team title with 204.5 points.
With lightning, thunder and continuous rain, the Winner boys' and girls' track and field teams battled to sweep the Region 7A meet Thursday in Winner. "I felt like we did what we expected to do, and I'm very happy with the way our kids competed," Winner coach Dan Aaker said. "At times we were off a little, but I think that's expected with the conditions we were running in." The Warriors won the boys' team title with 199.5 points and the girls won with 232 points. On the boys' side, Todd County was second with 142 points and Gregory was third with 102.5 points.
With hopes of reaching the top five as a team, the Mitchell boys' tennis team must have a good start to the state tournament today. The Kernels begin play at 9 a.m. and will play at three different locations -- McKennan Park and Sioux Falls Washington High School in Sioux Falls and Brandon Valley Middle School in Brandon.
Kristin Sabers' confidence on the golf course is up. The senior recorded a personal best by three strokes at the Eastern South Dakota Conference tournament May 4. Not only did she best herself, but she beat the rest of the field with a 69 to claim the individual title. "I was shocked," said Sabers, whose low before the tournament was a 72.
There's talk in Sioux Falls that Mitchell has a good tennis team, according to Mitchell native Andy Young. Young, who is now a priest at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Sioux Falls, said he was shocked when he saw the Kernels were edged by Sioux Falls O'Gorman 5-4 earlier this season.
The Mitchell spring baseball team swept Sturgis in a doubleheader Sunday to secure a No. 1 seed in the region tournament. The Kernels gave up two runs combined and defeated Sturgis 7-2 and 11-0 to finish 8-0 in region play this season. "It was difficult to get in the groove offensively because we weren't thrown a lot of strikes, but we had lots of RBI groundouts and drew walks," Mitchell coach Luke Norden said.
PARKSTON -- Carley Skorepa is making her appearance in the record books at Scotland High School. In the last two weeks, the sophomore has broken the girls' shot put and discus records. Skorepa broke the school discus record Friday at the Parkston Invitational where she threw a distance of 125 feet, 2 inches on her last throw during the finals. "She's been focused on the records all year," Scotland coach Gary Pepper said. "During the bad weather in April, she was doing a lot of work on form and it's gotten so much better." Skorepa went on to win the girls' discus and shot put events Friday.