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Thunder boast big jumpers in Class B

Andes Central/Dakota Christian's Daaron Tronvold competes in the long jump during the Jaguar Invitational on Tuesday in Corsica. (Matt Gade / Republic)

LAKE ANDES—The strong tradition of jumpers at Andes Central/Dakota Christian in track and field is not taking a backseat in 2017.

The Thunder have two of the top jumpers in Class B, led by sophomore Daaron Tronvold and junior Beulah Black Cloud, leading the state's list of automatic state meet qualifiers in Class B. ACDC track coach Cliff Johnson said it all starts with the team taking pride in its work and effort.

"It takes a lot of time and effort and coaching and working with the kids but at the end of the day, we want them to push themselves," Johnson said. "I think when you have that, you can build some tradition."

Tronvold leads all Class B in-season state qualifiers this season in the triple jump, with a top jump of 41 feet, 11 inches, seven inches better than anyone else in the state.

"I'm just working hard and trying to prepare myself. You have to take each event one at a time," said Tronvold on Tuesday at the Jaguar Invite in Corsica. There, Tronvold won the long jump and triple jump and was second in the 100-meter dash.

Last year, as a freshman, Tronvold was fifth in the Class B state triple jump at 40 feet, 8.75 inches and the experience has helped prepare him for a new campaign.

"I've tried to focus and just worry about what I can control," he said. "There's always places to improve."

Black Cloud has the best high jump mark in Class B at 5 feet, 3 inches and shares the mark with Sanborn Central/Woonsocket's Myah Selland. Black Cloud set that mark at the Wagner Relays on April 11 and also won the high jump at the Avon Invite, going 5-1 on April 7.

"She's really pushing herself, which is fun to see," Johnson said. "Her work ethic is great."

The Thunder have a strong recent history of jumping success. In addition to Tronvold, Hayden Medicine Horn was second in 2016 in the Class B triple jump and current senior Leo Hopkins was seventh. Lydia Hansum won the Class B girls long jump a year ago.

Hansum and Medicine Horn graduated last spring but Hopkins himself is working his way back from a knee injury and jumped for the first time on Tuesday. Johnson said the goal is to get him back up to speed and make another run for the state medal stand.

"Kids see success and they all want the same things," Johnson said. "If we work hard, we know the sky is the limit for these kids."