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Area state track and field roundup: Mount Vernon/Plankinton’s Engelland wins MVP as girls track athlete

The three-day state track and field meet concluded Saturday at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls and multiple area athletes earned state titles in their respective class as well as MVP honors and Gold Medal Award recognitions.

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Mount Vernon/Plankinton's Berkeley Engelland was awarded the Class A girls track MVP award on Saturday, May 28, 2022 during the SDHSAA Track and Field State Championship at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
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SIOUX FALLS — Mount Vernon/Plankinton sophomore Berkeley Engelland took the Class A girls state track and field meet by storm and was honored accordingly by the state's track coaches on Saturday.

She was named the meet's Class A girls track MVP after winning the 400 and 800-meter races and placing in a third in the 100 at Howard Wood Field.

Engelland was awarded this honor for her outstanding efforts after competing in three separate races on Friday and Saturday. Not only was she a repeat champion at the state meet in the Class A girls 800-meter race, but she set the Class A meet record for the 800-meter race on Friday with a time of 2 minutes and 12.88 seconds, beating St. Thomas More’s Haleigh Timmer’s 2018 time by eight-tenths of a second.

On Saturday, she recorded the fastest Class A state time in the 400-meter race at 56.20 seconds. Her record breaking 400-meter time earned the Gold Medal Award as no other girl athlete, regardless of class, had a faster time than her in that event.

“It feels so good to have done everything I have this season. It’s exactly what I was hoping for,” Engelland said.

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Mount Vernon/Plankinton's Berkeley Engelland stands at the podium and receives her first-place medal in the girls 400-meter race during the 2022 SDHSAA Track and Field State Championship finals on Saturday, May 28, 2022 at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

Along with her back-to-back state titles in the 400 and 800, Engelland was runner-up in the Class A girls 200-meter dash, finishing four-tenths of a second behind first-place winner Lexi Even from Parker.

Engelland also finished seventh in the girls 100-meter dash and when asked how she managed to juggle her busy track schedule over the past three days, Engelland said she just had to persevere and realize she can rest once it’s all done.

“I’m not really sure how I’ve been able to do this, but I’ve been keeping a positive attitude and remembering to keep going because now that the meet is over, I can rest,” Engelland said. “I wanted to come out running hard every time and just put the thought behind me that I might be tired and just settle in.”

Aaron Monk claims his first state title in Class A’s 110-meter hurdles

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Winner's Aaron Monk competes in the boys Class A 110-meter hurdles race during the 2022 SDHSAA Track and Field State Championship finals on Saturday, May 28, 2022 at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

Winner’s Aaron Monk claimed his first state title as he raced to a 15.08 second finish in the Class A boys 110-meter hurdles race. The senior posted his personal best time at the right time of the year, edging Tri-Valley’s Michael Beyer who finished in second-place at 15.16.

Monk said this race had him nervous because of the competition he knew he was lining up with, but that pressure ultimately brought out his best performance.

“It was really nice to win, especially because there were a lot of good runners in this race,” Monk said. “We were really in a pack together all year long. I had battles with Michael Beyer’s, Mikael Grace, Reed Rus and (Reece) Risseeuw all year long so going in it was a tight race and I was very nervous, but it was nice to go out there and get the win.”

Monk has continuously improved at the state meet each year, going from an 18th-place finish his freshman year in 2019 to a third-place finish his junior year in 2021. This year, even though Monk had a job along with school, he found time every single day to work one-on-one with his track coach Glen Carlson to help him improve in any way he could.

On the Class A leaderboard, Monk was sitting in second majority of the year while the two Mount Vernon/Plankinton runners Reece Risseeuw and Reed Rus traded first-place times with Tri-Valley’s Michael Beyer.

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Monk ended up posting a 15.09 personal best time in the 110-meter hurdles at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on May 7, which gave him an extra boost of confidence coming into his final state meet.

“I was coming into state confident since I knew I just put up the PR, but it was still such a close race,” Monk said. “Michael (Beyer) was right behind me the entire time. I was scared he was going to catch me.”

Monk also ran in the boys 300-meter hurdles and the boys medley relay, finishing seventh in the hurdles and helping Winner place second behind Sioux Falls Christian in the medley relay. Monk, along with Michael Oslon, Karson Keiser and Kade Watson, finished with a time of 3:40.19 in the medley relay, just approximately a second a half behind Sioux Falls Christian.

MCM’s Brandy Pulse nabs first state title in Class A’s 300-meter hurdles

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McCook Central/Montrose's Brandy Pulse leaps over a hurdle during the girls 300-meter hurdle competition during the 2022 SDHSAA Track and Field State Championship finals on Saturday, May 28, 2022 at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

McCook Central/Montrose’s Brandy Pulse earned her first state title in the Class A girls 300-meter hurdles race.

Coming off a third-place finish last season at state, Pulse came into this season posting first-place finishes in her first three meets of the year. The junior only had one meet, the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on May 7, where she didn’t take home first-place bragging rights. On the same track, just three weeks later, Pulse eclipsed her own personal best time of 46.94 with a 46.09 on Saturday to claim the first-place slot on the podium.

Pulse also placed fifth in the girls Class A 100-meter hurdles dash as well.

Around the meet

Here’s a list of area placewinners and highlights from the final day of the 2022 state track and field meet:

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Colman-Egan's Daniela Lee competes in the girls 4x100-meter relay during the 2022 SDHSAA Track and Field State Championship finals on Saturday, May 28, 2022 at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

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  • In the Class B relays, Colman-Egan claimed first-place in both the 4x100 and the 4x200 for the second year in a row. Mackenzie Hemmer, Lanie Mousel, Abby Rhode and Daniela Lee won the 4x100-meter race in 51.21 seconds while Mousel, Lee, Elaina Rhode and Brynlee Landis won the 4x200-meter race in 1:48.96. The relay team of Landis, Elaina Rhode, Reese Luze and Presley Luze came in second in the 4x400-meter relay at 4:12.41. That time was just 2.09 seconds behind Potter County for first-place.
  • Bridgewater-Emery senior Lucas Mentele notched a first-place finish in the boys Class B discus with a toss of 173-01. Jack Ringling of Platte-Geddes came in third (149-06) and TJ Moran of Lyman came in fourth (149-00).
  • In the Class B boys high jump, which was won by Kadoka Area’s Dawson Reckling with a 6-06 leap, Freeman Academy/Marion’s Thalen Schroeder and Gregory’s Daniel Mitchell tied for second-place with a 6-02 jump.
  • The Class B girls triple jump was won by half an inch as Aberdeen Roncalli’s Morgan Fiedler won with a 35-10.5 while Colman-Egan’s Mackenzie Hemmer came in second with a total of 35-10. Lyman’s Skyler Volmer came in third-place with a 33-10.5 and Menno’s Ashton Massey came in fourth at 33-02.
  • Gregory’s Kade Stukel stood third on the podium of the boys 200-meter dash in Class B with a time of 23.03. He finished behind first-place Jovi Wolf of Chester Area and second-place finisher Ty Kadlec of Ipswich.
  • Simeon Birnbaum earned MVP honors as the top Class AA boys track athlete, following his Gold Medal Award performance in the Class AA 1,600-meter run in 4 minutes, 15.85 seconds. He also was a part of the Rapid City Stevens’ 1,600 medley relay team that posted a 3:32.00 time, also a gold medal award performance. His teammates in the medley were Ben Lust, Easton Ogle and Alex Otten.
  • Howard’s Melanie Calmus placed in the top-five of each of her individual events, coming in second-place in the girls Class B 100-meter dash (12.80) and fourth in both the girls 200-meter dash (26.65) and the girls 400-meter dash (1:00.79).
Related Topics: TRACK AND FIELD
Branden is a sports reporter that graduated from Purdue University Northwest with a bachelor's degree in communications and a focus in journalism. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 and covers prep and collegiate athletics. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Full-Court Press, providing a weekly web-exclusive look at high school basketball throughout all of South Dakota. Branden can be reached at bhull@mitchellrepublic.com and found on Twitter at @bhullreports.
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