Girls relays highlight Kernels contenders at 98th Howard Wood Dakota Relays

Inside: Mitchell High School girls and boys outlook for the Dakota Relays, plus a preview of the top area athletes and relay teams likely to contend.

041723 CP Relays Ava Brannan medley relay.JPG
Mitchell's Ava Brannan breaks from the starting blocks in the girls sprint medley relay during the Corn Palace Relays track meet on Monday, April 17, 2023 at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — As the Mitchell High School track and field team competes at the 98th running of the Howard Wood Dakota Relays in Sioux Falls on Friday and Saturday, the Kernels’ standouts will be on display against the top talents in the region.

Among the best MHS will put on the track this weekend will be several girls relay teams.

The Kernels’ 4x100-meter relay is coming off its best performance of the season to date. Ava Brannan, Mia Mullenmeister, Lizzie Tyler and Brooke Bartscher combined to post a time 50.52 seconds — the No. 3 mark in Class AA and No. 4 in the state overall this season — at Mitchell’s home triangular on May 2. The mark broke a 32-year old school record for Mitchell.

Inside: Elite athletes to know, a further look at the special event fields and the small-school talents poised to perform.

In the 4x200, Carson Weich, Tyler, Mullenmeister and Bartscher own a season-best of 1 minute, 49.49 seconds, the 10th-best time in the class (4.35 seconds off the first-place pace). Lainee Forst, Weich, Bartscher and Tyler are seventh in the class in the 4x400 at 4:11.17. Rounding out the best relays on the girls side, the sprint medley quartet of Forst, Claire Hegg, Tyler and Weich ranks eighth with a time of 4:23.84.

Mullenmeister and Tyler could factor into individual sprinting events, as well, with each owning a top-10 time in Class AA. At 100 meters, Mullenmeister’s season-best of 12.75 seconds is sixth, while Tyler’s top mark of 1:00.82 in the 400 meters is eighth.


Mitchell's Treyson Schulz leaps during the boys triple jump at the Corn Palace Relays on Monday, April 17, 2023, at Joe Quintal Field.
Landon Dierks / Mitchell Republic

On the boys side, the 4x400-meter relay comprised of Jagger Tyler, Bryce Palmer, Alexier Padilla and Nathan McCormick check in at seventh in the Class AA standings with a time of 3:28.60 but are less than four seconds off the class’ best pace.

Palmer also owns a top-five Class AA time in the 300-meter hurdles (41.63 seconds) in his top individual event.

Treyson Schulz owns top-10 leaps in both the triple jump (42 feet, 1 inch) and long jump (21 feet, 5 inches) and could find his way into the mix in the all-class event. The same applies to Kellan Odell, whose javelin throw of 154 feet, 11 inches, ranks seventh in Class AA and Lincoln Bates, who has cleared 6 feet in the high jump this season.

041723 CP Relays MVP Reagan Rus 100 hurdles.JPG
Mount Vernon/Plankinton's Reagan Rus leads the pack in the girls 100-meter hurdles during the Corn Palace Relays track meet on Monday, April 17, 2023 at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell.
Marcus Traxler / Mitchell Republic

Area athletes to watch

Several area athletes and relay teams are also poised to finish on the podium across a wide array of events at the Dakota Relays.

Mount Vernon/Plankinton's Berkeley Engelland makes her second-straight appearance in the Dakota Relays girls special event, having finished as the runner-up in the 800-meter special event last year. Engelland will compete in the 200-meter dash as part of an invite-only field of eight (plus one alternate) carrying Class A's top times in the 200 (25.39 seconds), 400 (55.78) and 800 meters (2:10.78) and the No. 5 time in the 100 (12.76) into the weekend.

Another MVP standout, Reagan Rus ranks as the state’s top 300-meter hurdler (46.83) and is fifth overall in the 100-meter hurdles (15.59).

Among the Class A girls relays, Winner owns the No. 4 time in the 4x400 (4:15.89) with a team comprised of Lilly Barfuss, Livvy Audiss, Preslie Petersek and Keelie Kuil.


In the 4x800, Chamberlain's team of Kinsey Evans, Aine Graesser, Allison Hough and Kylah Biggins are fifth at 10:08.47.

Platte-Geddes' Lee Reiser paces Class A in the shot put (59 feet, 4 inches) and discus (159-1). In the shot put, Reiser could contend for the event title, as he's third overall in the state and within 18 inches of the marks set by the University of Nebraska-bound talents of Kael Miedema (Sioux Falls Washington) and Jason Maciejczak (Pierre).

A look at the top track and field athletes in South Dakota through April 29 meets

Ethan/Parkston's James Deckert is another area Class A field event athlete who could challenge for an all-class title. Currently, Deckert ranks No. 1 in the state in the triple jump (44-5) and is fourth in the long jump (22-3).

Among Class B athletes, Gregory's Daniel Mitchell should contend for the all-class high jump crown, having cleared 6 feet, 6 inches, the top mark in South Dakota so far this season. Sanborn Central/Woonsocket's Jeff Boschee figures to be in the mix, as well, with a season-best height of 6-4.25.

Led by Kade Stukel, who owns top-four times in Class B for the 100 and 200 meters, the Gregory boys 4x100 and 4x200-meter relays will look to contend for the Class B titles. The quartet of Eli Fogel, Luke Stukel, Paul Sinclair and Kade Stukel have a season-best time of 44.58 seconds, good for second in the class. At 200 meters, Daniel Mitchell slides in for Sinclair, as Gregory paces the Class B ranks at 1 minute, 33.64 seconds.

Menno will look to challenge at the top of Class B in the 4x400-meter relay, with Brayden Sattler, Bryce Sattler, Owen Eitemiller and Kadeyn Ulmer ranking fourth at 3:40.19.

Both Gregory and Menno are in the top five in the 4x800, in a mix of four teams vying for No. 2. Gregory's Luke Barreto, Finn Adams, Pierce Stukel and Luke Sinclair own the No. 4 time at 8:49.04, with Menno's Izayah Ulmer joining the Sattler duo and Kadeyn Ulmer to post the No. 5 time of 8:49.41. Again, Deubrook Area is the favorite with a standout time of 8:24.85, nearly 22.5 seconds faster than second place on the leaderboard.

Canistota slots in as the top Class B 1,600-meter sprint medley relay, with Tage Ortman, William Ortman, Noah Kleinsasser and Josiah Schroeder owning a season-best time of 3:44.67. Menno ranks fifth, with Cody Fischer joining both Sattlers and Kadeyn Ulmer for a time of 3:53.54.


Three Burke girls relay teams claim top five positions on the leaderboard heading into the weekend. In the 4x100, the team of Madyson Wendell, Breckynn Pistulka, Bridget Bartling and Braelyn Duerfeldt rank No. 4 at 53.50 seconds, just behind Corsica-Stickney's team of Sutten Eide, Paige Timmermans, Braylee Bordewyk and Avery Broughton (53.30). With Brylie Pistulka taking the place of Breckynn Pistulka in the 4x200, Burke ranks fifth at 1:53.60. Rounding out the Cougars' top relays, the 1,600-meter sprint medley team of Piper Hanson, Duerfeldt, Breckynn Pistulka and Kailee Frank stand at fourth (4:30.15).

Dierks covers prep and collegiate athletics across the Mitchell Republic's coverage region area, focusing on Mitchell High School football and boys basketball and area high school football, volleyball and basketball, as well as Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Gridiron Spotlight, producing video and providing live play-by-play for the traveling weekly prep football broadcast during its first season in the fall of 2021. Dierks is a Mitchell native who graduated from South Dakota State University with his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 2020. He joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in August 2021. He can be reached at and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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