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Wagner’s Ashlyn Koupal earns second consecutive title in Class A high jump

A new personal best helped the Red Raiders' eighth-grader earn the title

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Wagner's Ashlyn Koupal clears 5 feet, 7 inches to win the girls Class A high jump title during the second day of the Class A state track and field meet at Howard Wood Field on Friday, May 27, 2022 in Sioux Falls.
Hunter Dunteman / Mitchell Republic
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SIOUX FALLS — Before entering high school this upcoming fall, Wagner’s Ashlyn Koupal will have already hoisted two state titles.

The eighth-grader notched her second consecutive Class A high jump title, recording a jump of 5 feet, 7 inches to claim first place at the Class A track and field state meet held at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls on Friday.

“It feels really good,” Koupal said. “Audrey Nelson from Madison and I had a battle. I also had some nerves coming into this one but experience from last year helped. I’m glad to be back in this position.”

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Wagner's Ashlyn Koupal stands at the podium after receiving her first-place medal for the girls Class A high jump during the second day of the Class A state track and field meet at Howard Wood Field on Friday in Sioux Falls.
Hunter Dunteman / Mitchell Republic

Koupal had the state title in her hands technically before her final attempt, but it took a personal best effort to do so as Nelson put some pressure on Koupal with a 5-foot, 6-inch jump of her own.

The two athletes both posted personal bests at the state meet and it was nothing short of what Koupal expected. Nelson was only one inch off of Koupal’s 5-foot, 6-inch jump earlier in the year, which placed her second on the state leaderboard in Class A.

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A hamstring injury that lingered from the basketball season limited Koupal in the first three weeks of the season, but she started to peak right on time, posting her five best jumps of the year in the final five meets of the season.

“Last year, I didn’t really have anything to lose. This year, I felt I did,” Koupal said. “It was a rough start at the beginning of the season, but then I started to PR as the season went on and then today at state, it was pretty good.”

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Wagner's Ashlyn Koupal clears 5 feet, 7 inches to win the girls Class A high jump title during the second day of the Class A state track and field meet at Howard Wood Field on Friday in Sioux Falls.
Hunter Dunteman / Mitchell Republic

Koupal's next goal is to continue to improve and eventually break the school record of 5-8, which is held by her aunt Mandy Koupal, who set that record in 1998.

Bon Homme's Erin Heusinkveld and Winner's Kelsey Sachtjen each took eighth in the event at 4-foot-10.

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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