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Black Panthers win 4x800 relay

SIOUX FALLS--As the defending team champions in Class B, Zach Pettit wasn't afraid to admit that the Platte-Geddes boys track team was feeling some pressure.

SIOUX FALLS-As the defending team champions in Class B, Zach Pettit wasn't afraid to admit that the Platte-Geddes boys track team was feeling some pressure.

"I about peed my pants before the first meet," he said. "But we've put in a lot of time to prepare for this moment."

The Black Panthers seized the moment on Friday in the 4x800 Class B boys relay at the 91st annual Howard Wood Dakota Relays in Sioux Falls.

After a blazing second lap from starter Alex Daum - where he passed three runners ahead of him - Platte-Geddes' Will Weins, Pettit and Alex Gerlach ran the relay in 8 minutes and 27.71 seconds, winning the Class B boys title Friday.

"I ran by the (finish line) on the first lap and I heard someone say 'Come on, you gotta get it for the team,'" Daum recalled. "I got to the backstretch and I don't really know what came over me. I knew I could catch them because we've been practicing and I've got a kick. From there, I didn't look back because I wasn't going to let them catch me."

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"At the beginning of the year, I think we all figured that we had to prove ourselves and go out and really do well," he said. "So we've been putting in the time to get better and improve and we've done that."

Gerlach said it was a huge honor for the victory to come in the biggest track meet of the year, outside of the state track meet, which is three weeks from today.

"We've worked our butts off and we're capable of more than we think," Gerlach said. "It was very humbling to know that we won today."

Platte-Geddes' win came in the faster of two sections of 4x800 races. James Valley Christian was second in 8:30.40, Canistota was third in 8:31.11, Freeman Academy was fourth in 8:40.60 and Sanborn Central/Woonsocket was fifth in 8:49.61.

Sebern, Pulse and Rihanek make girls 400 finals, Lyman's Cropsey makes boys final

Burke/South Central's Allison Sebern, McCook Central/Montrose's Jacy Pulse and Mount Vernon/Plankinton's Dacey Rihanek each won their respective preliminary heat in the girls 400-meter dash.

All three runners will compete in the 400 finals at 4:35 p.m. today at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.

Sebern finished with the third-best time of 59.27 seconds, while Pulse had the fifth-best time at 1:00.10 and Rihanek has the sixth-best time of 1:00.46.

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Todd County's Caely Valandra had the best time of the 45 competitors on Friday by clocking a time of 58.93.

In the boys 400, Lyman's Korder Cropsey finished with the fourth-best time of 50.73. Harrisburg's Paul Paul clocked in a 49.95 to enter the finals with the best time. The 400 finals are scheduled for 4:40 p.m. today.

Minnesota standout Caldwell stars

Jedah Caldwell, competing out of Chanhassen High School in Minnesota, stole the show in the first day of the Dakota Relays.

Caldwell clocked in a time of 23.59 seconds to win the girls Special 200 and crush the meet record of 24.27, set by former Mitchell Kernel Jill Theeler in 1997. Caldwell's time was the fifth fastest time in the United States this season.

Caldwell, a senior who will be running for the University of Kansas next year, also won her preliminary 100 heat by a large margin with a time of 11.71. Her time broke the meet record of 11.98 set by Rapid City Central's Jasmyne King in 2009.

Both of Caldwell's times were personal bests for the Minnesota standout.

In the boys special event, Sioux Falls Roosevelt's Josh Goehring won the 800 with a time of 1:53.34. Goerhing's time was the third-best 800 boys time in meet history.

Related Topics: TRACK AND FIELD
Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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