Personal bests are atop state goals for Mitchell heading to Class AA meet

Both the boys and girls teams are looking to improve their team scores while all the athletes look for new personal bests

Mitchell's Lainee Forst (front), Lizzie Tyler (middle) and Carsyn Weich (back) work through hurdle drills before practice on Tuesday, May 25 at Joe Quintal Field.
Dylan Jespersen / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — With only the most important track and field meet of the season left on the schedule, the Class AA state meet, the top athletes for the Mitchell High School team are spending the week preparing for their last meet of the season.

With many of the team’s goals still on the table, the Kernels are hoping to accomplish as much as possible this weekend at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.

Improvements over the past

Overall, hopes are high for the Mitchell team heading into the state meet. Almost all the athletes' goals are still on the table and they are looking to turn in their top performances of the season.

“This is what you work all season for is the state meet,” head coach Deb Thill said.

For the Kernels headed to Howard Wood this weekend, one goal is on the docket for everyone: set new personal records whenever they compete.


“Everyone wants to PR at the state meet. That means you’re peaking at the right time,” Thill said.”

For Kernels in the field events, the main team goal is to place top eight and find themselves on the final podiums of the year. For the relay teams, their goal is to be competing on Saturday, because that would mean they qualified for the finals.

The coaching staff and athletes all want to improve their scores from what they finished with at last year’s state event. Despite some successful individual performances in 2021, the Mitchell boys scored just 10 points, while the girls scored just two.

“We didn’t score many points last year. We have some pretty strong relays we think could place this year,” Thill said.

Groups to watch for

On the boys' side, the jumpers are the most competitive group, with Carter Moller and Lincoln Bates leading the high jumpers, Treyson Schulz looks to compete in the long jump while Joseph Haddon leads the triple jumpers.

Mitchell's Lincoln Bates works on high jump exercises during practice on Tuesday, May 25 at Joe Quintal Field.
Dylan Jespersen / Mitchell Republic

For the girls, confidence is swelling behind Taylor Haring in South Dakota’s newest event, the javelin throw. She reached a big milestone last week with her first 100-foot throw, logging a personal-best mark of 101 feet, 5 inches at the Mark Wendelgass Relays on Thursday, May 19.

The coaching staff is hoping the girls in the 4x100-meter, 4x200-meter, and 4x400-meter relays find success. Coach Thill believes all three groups all have a chance to find their way to the podium.

“We’re looking for all our girls relays to place in top eight. They are pretty close coming in based on their times,” Thill said.

Dylan is sports reporter for the Mitchell Republic. A native of Michigan, he graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelors of science in journalism before joining the sports staff in March 2022. He covers 35 high schools along with NAIA's Dakota Wesleyan, which are all within Mitchell Republic's 17 county coverage area. Before joining the Mitchell Republic, Dylan covered sports in Michigan for a year, coached baseball for the Lakeland High School freshman team in White Lake, Mich. and played baseball and basketball in high school.
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