ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Golden Eagles go the distance, send two to state meet

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.

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.

"Given that we've been a small and a young team all season, it's super exciting," Asbenson, a first-year coach, said. "It's well deserved because they've worked pretty hard to get to this point."

Heading into the Region 4B meet in Chester on May 19, Nelson was already qualified for the state meet for reaching the state-qualifying standard in the two-mile race. But he went ahead and won the region race for good measure with a better time of 10 minutes, 34.4 seconds.

ADVERTISEMENT

"He didn't have anyone to compete with him but he went out and ran a good time, one that was better than what he had qualified with," Asbenson said.

Nelson wasn't on the roster at the beginning of the season but his coach said he missed the competition.

"I think he realized he made a mistake," she said. "He's a great kid. He's a team player and he's a great encourager."

Plastow, on the other hand, ran the best race of her young career to take second-place at regions and clinch her trip to the state meet. With a personal-record time of 5:59.3, Plastow navigated traffic in the latter stages of the race and stuck to race leader Christina Vogel, of Dell Rapids St. Mary, to run a top time.

"Adaya is a great competitor and she will always push her body to the max," Asbenson said. "She decided to stick with Vogel and ran hard and kept getting boxed in. Adaya felt she could have taken first if she could have run a bit differently but she had a great kick and had a great race."

Nelson will run at 5:25 p.m. Friday in the Class B 3,200-meter race and Plastow will run at 11 a.m. Saturday in the one-mile run for Class B girls. Both races are at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.

Nelson is seeded ninth in the field of 22, with Burke/South Central's Kray Person as the top-seeded runner in the 3,200-meter race. Asbenson said Nelson hopes to make his way onto the medal stand as a top-8 runner but could slide further up the podium with the right race.

"He's strong and he's got a great kick," Asbenson said. "He's certainly capable of being in the mix."

ADVERTISEMENT

One of four seventh-graders in the her state race, Plastow is seeded 19th out of 20 runners in Class B's one-mile run, which features Ipswich's Macy Heinz as the race's top seed. Regardless of how it turns out, Asbenson said there's plenty to be proud of.

"We're looking forward to this weekend," she said. "Adaya is going to have some fun and we'll see how it turns out. At her age, making the state meet is a great accomplishment."

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.
What To Read Next
Prep basketball action from around the state for Thursday, Jan. 26.
Coyote men fall on buzzer-beater in Macomb
Members Only
Mitchell, Madison and Brookings compete in gymnastic triangular.
Members Only
"Maybe not a lot of other people thought we'd be in the situation we're in right now, but we knew," said senior guard Dylan Soulek of the Kernels' 7-2 start.