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SIOUX FALLS—The dive was the difference. In a neck-and-neck Class B 4x800-meter relay championship, James Valley Christian's Jayden Waldner narrowly edged out Platte-Geddes' Alex Gerlach at the finish line, winning by three-hundredths of a second, diving to the finish line. JVC's winning team of Jonathon Blom, Colton Schweigert, Kedric Brantner and Waldner finished in 8 minutes, 17.47 seconds edged out the defending state champion Black Panthers in 8:17.50, who ran Alex Daum, Will Weins, Zach Pettit and Gerlach.
MENNO — One hurdle at a time, Menno's Ashton Vaith has made herself the one to beat in the girls 100-meter hurdles at this weekend's state track meet. A sophomore for the Wolves, Vaith brings the top time into the race with a time of 15.40 seconds. In March, having the state's best time would have been a surprise to Vaith. That's not the case now.
FREEMAN — The Freeman Academy High School boys track team has its niche: the longer the race, the better. And they have two of the top area distance runners competing this weekend's Class B boys state track meet in Sioux Falls. Freeman Academy has six entries in the boys state meet and all of them are in the distance races. The Bobcats are led by senior Ryan Haggerty, who is a contender for a top finish in the 1,600-meter race, while freshman Thaniel Schroeder should be in contention for the podium on the 3,200-meter side.
Considering the size of the Mitchell Christian track and field team entering the season, even one qualifier for the South Dakota state high school track meet would have been reason to celebrate. But with just 11 members on the varsity track team, two participants in the state meet has Golden Eagles head coach Jodi Asbenson nearly jumping for joy. MCS will have a pair of young runners in the Class B distance races, with freshman Alec Nelson qualified for the boys 3,200-meter run and seventh grader Adaya Plastow running in the girls 1,600-meter race.
With a lot of games in a short season, the Mitchell Kernels prep baseball team decided not to break from its rhythm this week, continuing to play three games while building up to the Region 2A tournament today in Yankton. If it can pay off and the Kernels can stay in form, Mitchell will be headed back to the Class A state baseball tournament for the fourth time in six years.
SCOTLAND — The Freeman High School girls had a strong showing at the Region 5B track meet Thursday in Scotland, bringing home third place. Gayville-Volin won the girls competition with 123 points. Freeman was third with 88 points, followed by Menno with 86 points in fourth. In the boys competition, Freeman Academy was sixth with 60 points, Freeman was seventh with 58.5 points and Menno was eighth with 47.5 points. Irene-Wakonda was victorious with 153.5 points.
RAPID CITY — The Mitchell High School boys tennis team won't be the favorites to the win the South Dakota State Boys Tennis Tournament, starting today in Rapid City. That's just fine for coach Pat Moller and the Kernels, who said there's plenty of opportunities for Mitchell to have success.
FARGO, N.D. — As a radio broadcaster, Jeff Culhane knows about connecting with passionate fanbases. After six years covering the University of Nebraska and three more chronicling West Virginia University...
Gray Determan had to wait until his senior year to show exactly what he could to as a member of the Mitchell High School boys varsity tennis team. He's not letting his lone season for the Kernels go to waste. Playing No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles, the senior has been a key member of the Kernels' third-straight Eastern South Dakota Conference title-winning team. Determan has identical 18-2 records in both singles and doubles, where he typically plays with sophomore Carter Cavanaugh.
WAGNER — Friday nights this summer will be a little quieter in Wagner. After nearly 10 years of continued auto racing at the Wagner Speedway, the track won't run a full season in 2016. Lynn Fischer has been with the track since the beginning, when the track opened in 1990. His family runs many of the operations at the track, from the concession stand to the ticket sales. He said the track has become a pretty expensive hobby, one that doesn't turn a profit. "It just all adds up," he said. "It's been a hobby and it costs money every year to run it."