BRANDON -- Things didn’t go as planned for the Mitchell High School track and field team.
It had two athletes place on Friday at Brandon Valley High School, but failed to qualify anyone to the second day of the Class AA state meet. The Kernels finished the day in 17th place with two points on the boys side and in 14th with the girls scoring four points.
“Sometimes things don’t go as planned,” Shepardson said, who struggled to find words. “And that’s why sports are so great because you learn a lot about yourself and life. … You just got to get yourself back up, and the sun will come out tomorrow.”
Carly Haring and Watertown’s Alayna Falak had been back-and-forth in the high jump all season. But while Falak won with a leap of 5 feet, 7 inches, Haring struggled.
The Mitchell senior cleared 5 feet, 1 inch on her second attempt, but missed all three of her attempts at 5 feet, 3 inches to place fifth. Mitchell assistant coach Deb Thill chalked it up to an off-day, saying there wasn’t anything unusual with her jumps.
“Sometimes that happens to jumpers,” she said.
Both she and Shepardson know one off-day doesn’t define the three-time state champion’s career. Haring will compete at the University of South Dakota next season.
“She’s got a tremendous future ahead of her,” Shepardson said. “One off-day at the (state) meet isn’t going to take away anything she’s done and accomplished. She’s done so many great things.”
The lone athlete to place on the boys side was Sutton Carpenter in the pole vault. He cleared 13 feet for the Kernels to take home seventh after he had three “good attempts,” at 13-6, which would have been a personal record.
“He was happy to get on the award stands, but I know he wanted to go higher,” Shepardson said.
Ryley Johansen nearly placed in the high jump as he cleared 6 feet. However, he finished 11th based on attempts. In the 110-meter hurdles, Isaac Kitchens finished in 13th, crossing the finish line in 16.74 seconds.
Mitchell nearly had two sprint relays qualify to the second day. Its 4x100 boys relay finished in 9th in 44.87 seconds, which was 0.9 seconds from eighth-place Rapid City Central. And on the girls side, the Kernels’ 4x100 finished in 11th. Their time of 51.19 seconds was 0.47 seconds from eighth-place Aberdeen Central.
“(I was) hoping to get a couple of those relays into the second day,” Shepardson said. “Hoping for the kids to finish with a PR. We were hoping to have a higher note to end the season on. Just didn’t get that today.”
The Kernels concluded their season on Friday, but the Class AA state meet concludes today, with field events starting at 9 a.m. and running events at 9:30 a.m. at Howard Wood.