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It's already an exciting time this week for South Dakota prep wrestling, as 448 wrestlers will gather from more than 70 schools for the state tournament in Sioux Falls on Friday and Saturday. But this year's tournament brings about a different way of ordering those wrestlers in the 16-man brackets in both Class A and Class B, as the state meet is being seeded for the first time in an attempt to balance the bracket.
WAGNER — It went to the wire in Wagner Saturday, but Winner Area pulled out the Region 3B wrestling team championship. The Warriors used a championship pin from Kayleb Brozik at 170 pounds to help propel them past Bon Homme/Scotland for the team title with 138 points. Bon Homme/Scotland was second with 134 points and Parkston—which had a tournament-best four individual champions—was third with 129 points.
BROOKINGS — One attribute resonates when Alex and David Kocer speak about wrestling for South Dakota State University. Pride. They're prideful of the Jackrabbits' success, climbing to No. 15 as a team in the national rankings, something that seemed out of the realm of possibility in 2013 when Alex, now a senior, joined the team. Similarly, they're proud to represent the state as homegrown South Dakota talent. And they're proud that they've been able to wrestle together dating back more than 15 years, when David was just five years old.
What is the right way to decide how teams qualify for Class AA basketball and volleyball state tournaments? Depends on who you ask. As for Mitchell's contingent of coaches and athletic administrators, they're not in favor of a plan to seed the Class AA playoffs 1-through-16 and eliminating the district and region playoffs used to qualify for the state tournament. Under proposals from the advisory committees in basketball and volleyball, a one-game playoff would decide the eight qualifying teams for the state tournament.
With the approval of a new lease with the Mitchell School District to use Joe Quintal Field, Dakota Wesleyan University has upped its commitment to the local facility. About 10 times as much, to be more precise. The lease between DWU and the school district to help pay for a new artificial turf surface is for at least 10 years, starting with DWU paying $30,000 a year to play its 2018 home football games at the facility.
BROOKINGS — South Dakota State University thrower Abby Sudbeck has been a key contributor for the Jackrabbits' indoor track and field team this winter. Sudbeck, a sophomore from Mitchell, improved her personal-best throw this season in the weight throw, which came in December at the SDSU Holiday Open, when she threw 55 feet, 3.5 inches, good for fourth place at the meet. In January, she threw 54 feet, 9.25 inches in a third-place finish at the SDSU D-II Invite.
The score might indicate that the Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball team's victory over No. 2-ranked Concordia Sunday was easy. It was not. But the Tigers managed to close both halves with big scoring pushes and No. 12-ranked DWU delivered Concordia its first Great Plains Athletic Conference loss of the season at the Corn Palace in a 75-53 victory.
ABERDEEN—The day had its ups and downs but the Mitchell Kernel gymnastics team found itself well-represented on the state meet individual podium on Saturday. Sophomore Maria Krall pulled in a fifth place all-around finish and was joined by seventh-grader Alyssa Hughes and senior Josie Dierks in medaling in the all-around format during the Class AA state individual competition at Golden Eagles Arena in Saturday.
ABERDEEN -- The Mitchell Kernels gymnastics team was in the hunt for a fourth straight Class AA state championship Friday afternoon. But to do so, the Kernels would likely need a few slip-ups from a talented Watertown squad. The Arrows didn’t make many mistakes.
The Mitchell High School gymnastics team is as strong as ever. And with the end of the 2017 season, it officially closes the book on a challenging era for the team. Today, as the Mitchell team has a chance at a fourth-consecutive Class AA state team championship in Aberdeen, there are no concerns about the Kernels' future in gymnastics. The 2016-17 season was the program's final year in a five-year plan to make payments to the school district to help fund the sport.