Colman-Egan top sprinters Reese Luze and Daniela Lee look to bring home relay team titles at state
Sitting atop Class B in four individual events and three separate relay races, Colman-Egan’s Daniela Lee and Reese Luze not only hope to earn first-place finishes individually, but on the same relay team as well.
COLMAN – Colman-Egan’s top girls sprinters Daniela Lee and Reese Luze are on the cusp of winning individual state titles this weekend at the Class B state meet, but the one goal they hope to accomplish is sharing a state title together as relay partners.
The two dynamic runners have run with or against each other all season long, pushing one another to get the most out of the other. Safe to say the regimen has worked as they've won five of their 4x200-meter races together and are one step away from earning a state title as relay teammates.
Lee and Luze, along with Lanie Mousel and Brynlee Landis, hold the fastest 4x100 and the 4x200-meter relay time in all of Class B this season. On May 7 at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays, the team finished the 4x100-meter relay race in 52.58 seconds. They also posted a 1:50.33, the fastest 4x200-meter relay time, on May 12 at the Dakota Valley Conference meet.
Across the board, Lee and Luze have managed to sit atop the leaderboards in Class B in the 100-meter, 200-meter, 400-meter and 800-meter dash, but Colman-Egan head coach Julie Preheim said it’s a blessing to have both these star athletes run on the same relay team this year.
“Having two amazing athletes run in the same race for you as a coach is just the best feeling,” Preheim said. “Every time we take the track we have confidence because of those two and it’s a blessing they're both on our side and not the other way around.”
Luze, who is also a part of the reigning Class B 4x800-meter relay state championship group with Presley Luze, Brynlee Landis and Elaina Rhode, is looking to add more hardware to her collection. As a sophomore, Luze also claimed first-place in the 800-meter dash in a time of 2:23.80.
Her junior year has only come with more success throughout the season, as she’s helped her 4x800 relay team set a time 15 seconds faster than the time that won them the state title last year. That same core group also has the second fastest time this season in the 4x400-meter relay. Individually, she surpassed her personal best time in the 800-meter dash with a 2:18.11 at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on May 7.
Running in the 400-meter dash and 200-meter dash for the first time this year, Luze is coming into state with the fastest 400-meter time at 59.16 and the second fastest 200-meter time at 26.12. Despite all her success as an individual, Luze would be quite ecstatic with a team-title in as many events as they can.
“I’ve been running since junior high but this year in particular I’ve just been working hard, training and trusting the process,” Luze said. “Not just me but all the girls have been improving, especially our relay team, so it’s nice that me and everyone on the team proves what they’re capable of. I hope we’re all on the right side of the podium this weekend.”
As for Lee, the Class B leader in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash, she’s continued her progression on the track after training with Boom Athletics prior to the season. Her training consisted of quick sprints and an abundance of time spent in the weight room, helping improve her endurance and speed.
“If I’m stronger, I can do everything a lot faster so I feel quicker than ever before and that makes my overall performance better,” Lee said.
Lee was a part of Colman-Egan’s 4x100-meter relay team that won state last year, but this year she hopes to repeat in that regard and add an individual title along with it. Last year as a freshman at state, Lee finished second in the 100-meter dash but her coach Preheim said her improvement mentally is something that could help her get over the hump in this year.
“Mentally she keeps getting stronger and she’s matured over the years,” Preheim said. “I’ve had the honor of coaching her since seventh grade and she’s become more coachable, which has really helped her improve in all facets. She’s starting to blossom and realize she can be a great athlete and she’s growing into that in front of our eyes.”
When asked about her goals coming in the state tournament, Lee said she aspires to finish first in every event, but especially in the relay event with her teammates.”
“Hopefully this year we get the first position,” Lee said. “There’s a lot of good girls out there so there’s plenty of competition, but we’ve worked hard all year so we’re going after it. It depends how well we’re feeling that day, but hopefully we can bring it home.”
Lee and Luze will compete Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28 in the Class B state meet at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.