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Dakota Relays notebook: Mount Vernon/Plankinton tops Class A girls 1,600-meter relay field

One day after winning the Class A’s 3,200-meter relay, the Titans earned the 1,600-meter relay and bested second-place Beresford by six seconds.

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Mount Vernon/Plankinton's Berkeley Engelland runs the anchor leg of the 1,600-meter relay at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on Saturday. She took the hand off from teammate Maria Baker. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

SIOUX FALLS -- The Mount Vernon/Plankinton girls track and field team padded its top marks in a pair of relays this weekend.

Already the Class A’s leaders in the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter relays, the Titans captured both races at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays.

One day after winning the Class A’s 3,200-meter relay, the Titans earned the 1,600-meter relay and better second-place Beresford by six seconds. MVP finished in four-minutes and :09.97 seconds, while Beresford clocked in at 4:15.31.

“I know we came in nervous because our times were close,” said MVP junior Maria Baker, who was on both relays. “But we improved a lot from this meet. So it was good competition.”

On Saturday, MVP entered the 1,600-meter relay with the top mark of 4:18.89. However, the quartet of Baker, Emilee Fox, Reagan Rus and Berkeley Engelland bested their previous mark by just over nine seconds.

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On Saturday, Baker was the third leg of the relay before handing the baton to Engelland, who had a comfortable lead and closed out the relay in convincing fashion.

What was Engelland’s mindset entering the final 400 meters?

“Go time and just not let anybody catch me,” Engelland said.

Baker, Fox and Engelland were on both winning relay teams.

“This will give us a lot of confidence,” Engelland said. “It gives us a lot more competition than we normally do at normal track meets.”

Suri Schmidt was on Friday’s 4X800 relay team. They finished with a time of 9:54.10, finishing three seconds ahead of their previous top mark.

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Hanson's Thailan Hallman anchors the 1,600-meter relay on Saturday at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

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Hallman breaks Hanson school record

Hanson’s Thailan Hallman sprinted into the record books on Saturday.

The senior broke a 23-year record in the 400-meter dash, finishing with a time of :50.67 seconds. He broke the previous record set by Brian Dewald (:50.81) in 1998.

Hallman, who finished seventh in the event, was aware he had broken the record after seeing the time flashed on the video board.

“I have been chasing it for quite a while now,” Hallman said. “It was a pretty big goal and probably one of my main goals going into this meet.”

Now, he’s got his sights set on lowering the record. He hopes to reach a sub-50 mark and get into the lower 49 seconds by the end of the season.

“It kind of boosts my confidence a little bit,” Hallman said. “But I still have a bigger goal in mind to win at state and possibly multiple events and do well in the relays as well.”

On Saturday, he anchored Hanson’s 1,600-meter relay that finished third in Class B at 3:35.23. On Friday, Hallman, Kade Waldera, Hadley Wallace and Isaac Tucshen won the sprint medley in 3:49.04.

“We are going to improve this season and I think our team did a very good job,” Hallman said about this weekend’s relay marks. “We all hit our times very well and it was a new PR today.”

Related Topics: TRACK AND FIELD
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