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Sebern hopes to continue success at Dakota Relays

BURKE--In her final season, Allison Sebern has been a step ahead of both competitors and herself. The Burke/South Central senior middle-distance runner is entering the last month of the season with her eyes on improving on her second-place finish...

Burke/South Central's Allison Sebern runs in the 400-meter dash at the Jaguar Invite on Tuesday in Corsica. (Eric Mayer/Republic)
Burke/South Central's Allison Sebern runs in the 400-meter dash at the Jaguar Invite on Tuesday in Corsica. (Eric Mayer/Republic)

BURKE-In her final season, Allison Sebern has been a step ahead of both competitors and herself.

The Burke/South Central senior middle-distance runner is entering the last month of the season with her eyes on improving on her second-place finish in the 400-meter dash at last year's Class B state meet.

"At every meet, she's been ahead of where she was in other years," B/SC head coach Erik Person said. "That's a pretty good sign."

All signs, and results, have been strong so far this spring for Sebern.

She bested a field of more than 25 runners in Class AA, Class A and Class B to win the 400 with a time of 59.67 seconds at the First Dakota Relays on April 29 in Yankton. Sebern topped 50 runners in the 800 and set a meet record with a time of 2:21.59-which is the top time in Class B, even surpassing Ipswich standout Macy Heinz (2:22.80).

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Ten days before her performance in Yankton, Sebern had another strong showing at the Jaguar Invite in Corsica when she won the 400 with a time of 59.60, crossing the finish line four seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Her top time this spring in the 400 is 59.1, which currently sits as the top time in Class B.

Person said Sebern's knowledge of running and the strategy stands out among her many traits on the track.

"She's just so more savvy that she's ever been," Person said. "She just knows what to do and that experience is really paying off."

While Sebern's top finish at the state meet was in the 400 last year, Person said he believes Sebern's best event is the 800.

"She's got more strength than she does raw speed," Person said. "She's really mastered pace at this point in her career. That wasn't there as much in past years."

Heading into the Howard Wood Dakota Relays in Sioux Falls - one of the biggest track meets of the season - Sebern will look to showcase her skills in front of a statewide audience. At last year's Dakota Relays, Sebern foreshadowed her second-place finish in the 400 with an eighth-place finish in the 400 at the Relays. She also placed eighth in the event in 2013 as a freshman.

"She'll be racing against the best competition in South Dakota and probably a three-to-four-state area," said Person, who added Sebern and the team have been well-rested in preparation for the two-day meet. "It'll be fun to see."

Person noted the team's coaches help push runners a little extra but Sebern is very self-motivated.

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"Allison is one of those rare kids that can run really close to her best times even when she's a little bit by herself," Person said. "She knows what she has to do and she know exactly how she's suppose to feel. It's been fun to see those things come together."

With only two meets after the Dakota Relays before the Region 6B meet on May 19 in Gregory, Sebern is hoping to keep her winning pace going.

"Right now, she's so focused and just having a lot of fun racing," Person said. "That's one of the greatest joys as a coach, when things are going well and a kid is having fun. It's fun to be a part of."

Person added Sebern will continue work hard at practice as the group will start to focus more on speed drills during the final stretch of the season.

"When you have an athlete like Allison, the best thing you can do is not mess her up," Person said. "We're going to try a hone that speed aspect."

Related Topics: TRACK AND FIELD
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