Dakota Relays Day 1 recap: Gregory boys surge to Class B relay triumph

A busy first day of the Howard Wood Dakota Relays included a surprise relay title from Gregory

050523 HWDR-1 Gregory boys 4x200 finish.JPG
Gregory's Kade Stukel carries the baton to the finish line in the boys Class B 4x200-meter relay against Warner's Logan Permann during the opening day of the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on Friday, May 5, 2023 at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

SIOUX FALLS — Win and wait.

That was all the Gregory boys 4x200-meter relay team could do racing in the second of three heats to decide the Dakota Relays Class B champion in the event.

A late surge put on by anchor leg Kade Stukel to clip Warner satisfied the win requirement, and as the final heat came in slower than the second, meaning the Gorillas’ quartet of Eli Fogel, Luke Stukel, Paul Sinclair and Kade Stukel claimed the 4x200 title in a time of 1 minute, 32.71 seconds.

“Normally I start my 200s off at about 85% for the first 100 (meters) and then really give a kick, but I knew I didn’t have time to start off that slow,” Kade Stukel said. “I heard Eli (Fogel) yell, ‘You’ve gotta get going,’ so I gave it my all the whole way, and I’m feeling it right now.”

The mark edged Faulkton Area’s 1:32.91, the top time from the third heat, as Warner finished third at 1:33.06.


What’s more impressive: Gregory was running with a substitute for one of the relay legs. With normal starter Daniel Mitchell contending for the high jump title at the same time as the race, the Gorillas looked to Sinclair, a starter alongside Fogel and the pair of Stukels in Gregory’s 4x100-meter relay, itself ranked No. 2 in South Dakota Class B entering the weekend.

“Paul Sinclair came in and filled in pretty well,” Stukel said. “We’re a well-rounded team with a lot of athletes to move around and flex with, so it’s really amazing.”

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Mount Vernon/Plankinton's Berkeley Engelland crosses the finish line in a heat of the 100-meter dash during the opening day of the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on Friday, May 5, 2023 at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

Moving on

Mount Vernon/Plankinton had a trio of athletes advance through Friday’s preliminary and semifinal rounds to secure a place in Saturday’s finals.

Berkeley Engelland advanced in the 100-meter dash semifinals, taking third place and advancing to Saturday’s final (12.18 seconds). Engelland was also fourth in the girls special 200-meter dash in a time of 24.88 seconds, in an event won by Fargo Davies’ Bariborve Deebom (24.39 seconds). It was Engelland’s second consecutive year competing in the girls special event.

Fellow Titans Reagan Rus came in eighth in the girls 100-meter hurdles in 15.31 seconds, while brother Reed Rus was eighth in the boys 110-meter hurdles in 15.07 seconds.

050523 HWDR-1 Claire Hegg Brooke Bartscher 4x200.JPG
From left, Mitchell's Brooke Bartscher takes the baton from teammate Claire Hegg in the girls 4x200-meter relay during the opening day of the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on Friday, May 5, 2023 at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

Meet records

Friday had no shortage of record breakers at the Dakota Relays.


Rapid City Stevens’ Simeon Birnbaum broke the meet record in the boys special event 800-meter run, posting a time of 1:50.37. Birnbaum’s run broke the previous record set in 2009 by Parkston’s Alex Muntefering at 1:52.46.

Hamlin’s Gracelyn Leiseth rewrote her own shot put record with a heave of 52 feet, 0.5 inches. Her prior mark was set at 48-11 last season.

Colman-Egan girls set a pair of new Class B relay records at the Dakota Relays. First, the 4x800-meter team of Presley Luze, Finley Luze, Brynlee Landis and Reese Luze ran 9:49.42. Later, the 4x200-meter squad of Reese Luze, Elaina Rhode, Lanie Mousel and Josie Mousel set a mark of 1:47.32.

Sioux Falls Christian 4x800-meter relay teams also had big afternoons. The girls quartet of Corinne Braun, Natalie Smith, Ellie Maddox and Anna Vyn set a new Class A meet standard at 9:20.53, while Alex Oberloh, Connor Pruis, Davis Buck and Isaac Develaar did the same on the boys side in a time of 7:56.90. The Chargers also broke the Class A meet record in the boys 4x200 meters, as Jahaeim Reuer, Noah Schroder, Carter VanDonge and Josiah Adams won in 1:28.10.

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Platte-Geddes' Lee Reiser reacts during the boys shot put event on the opening day of the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on Friday, May 5, 2023 at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

West Central topped the Class A girls record book in the 4x200-meter relay, with Emma Goehring, Rayna Goehring, Sadie Berg, Molli Thornton combining to run 1:43.86.

In the third straight year of winning the 4x400-co-ed relay, Sioux Falls Jefferson lowered its meet record mark to 3:39.27. The winners included Taryn Hyronimus, Chloe Hansen, Griffin Wilde and Jensen Hyronimus.

Bismarck (N.D.) Legacy’s 4x200-meter relay comprised of Talen Farland, Dylan McGlothlin, Reece Snow and Nathan Mathern set the new Class AA meet boys record at 1:26.05.

Kelsie Belquist, of New Rockford-Sheyenne (N.D.), ran the first 100-meter hurdle prelim heat in a meet-record time of 14.40 seconds.


Top finishers

  • Gregory’s Daniel Mitchell took second place in the boys high jump at 6 feet, 4 inches. Colman-Egan’s Jack Mousel won the event by clearing 6-5. Sanborn Central/Woonsocket’s Jeff Boschee finished tied for third (6-2) and Reed Rus finished eighth (6-2). 
  • Ashlyn Koupal, of Wagner, finished in third place in the girls high jump with a leap of 5-foot-4. Madison’s Audrey Nelson won at 5-6. 
  • Platte-Geddes’ Lee Reiser was a seventh-place finisher in the boys shot put with a throw of 56 feet, 0.25 inches. Rosemount, Minnesota’s Hayden Bills won at 61 feet, 11.5 inches. In the girls shot put, MVP’s Clara Fink took eighth place (40-1.75), while Hamlin’s Gracelyn Leiseth won by nearly 10 feet (52-0.5). 
  • Mitchell’s Treyson Schulz finished 10th in the boys high jump with a leap of 20 feet, 10 inches. Minot’s (N.D.) Anthony Brown won at 21 feet, 7.75 inches. 
  • The Mitchell mixed 4x400 relay team of Jagger Tyler, Carsyn Weich, Lizzie Tyler and Bryce Palmer took fifth place (3:47.66). Sioux Falls Jefferson won in a meet-record time of 3:39.27. The Kernel girls finished eighth in the 4x200 relay in a time of 1:46.70. Lainee Forst, Claire Hegg, Brooke Bartscher and Mia Mullenmeister made up the Kernel foursome. Rapid City Stevens won in 1:43.49. 
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
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