State track notebook: Hutmacher adds two more state titles to his trophy case
TEA—Chamberlain junior Nash Hutmacher is no stranger to standing on top of a state championship podium.
But on Friday, the three-time South Dakota heavyweight wrestling champion his first pair of state titles at the South Dakota State Class A Track and Field Championships to the collection. Hutmacher did not compete at state last season due to injury and finished in the top-five of the shot put and discus as a freshman in 2017, but this year, he entered as a favorite.
He came into the discus throw as the No. 2 seed, but knocked off top-seeded Drake Peed, of Elk Point-Jefferson, by nearly three feet with a throw of 148 feet, 3 inches. Hours later, the No. 1 seed in the shot put once again squared off with Peed, but it went down to the wire.
Hutmacher and Peed both launched Class A-best throws of 54 feet, 1 inch, so the winner was determined by their second-best throw. After breaking his own school record previously, Hutmacher had the advantage on a toss of 53 feet, 4 1/4 inches.
"In practice, I've been throwing pretty well lately," Hutmacher said. "I had to compete and go hard. Obviously, there's a lot of other great guys out here. I wouldn't say it was an expectation (to win), but it was a goal and you have to chase after your goals."
Muddy conditions impacted the discus during the morning, as Hutmacher and Peed both threw more than 20 feet less than their seed marks. By the time the shot put began at 2 p.m., conditions improved and Hutmacher exceeded his previous top throw of 52-9.
As for standing on top of the podium for the fifth time in his high school athletic career? It's still special every time.
"Winning a state championship is great, no matter what sport you're in," Hutmacher said. "It's just great to get out here and compete."
Strong finishing kick sends Slaba to 800 crown
SIOUX FALLS—Reggie Slaba was in second place following the first lap of the Class B 800-meter run at Howard Wood Field, but that's where he wanted to be at that point in the race.
The Hanson High School junior was the top seed in the field, but he knew it wasn't possible to win in the first 400 meters. Instead, he drafted on Timber Lake's Kuper Heck for most of the race.
Slaba passed Heck in the waning stages of the race and crossed the finish line in 1:58.46 to win his first state championship.
"I wasn't (concerned) too bad," Slaba said. "I tried to sit behind Kuper Heck because I knew he was getting out fast and I tried to use that to my advantage."
Passing Heck with 300 meters to go was part of his typical racing strategy and Heck couldn't overcome his finishing kick, with Slaba winning by 0.7 seconds.
"Usually I try to kick it in at 350 (meters) and 300 is where I make my move," Slaba said. "Then, I just try to gut it out for the rest of the race."
Kinney snaps 23-year 100 sprint record
BRANDON—The last state meet record of former Mitchell sprinting standout Jill (Theeler) Schlekeway was broken on Friday.
Schlekeway graduated in 1997 and has held the Class AA state-meet record in the 100-meter dash since 1996, but her mark of 11.9 seconds was bested on Friday at Brandon Valley High School when Harrisburg junior Erin Kinney sprinted to a time of 11.85 in the 100 prelims.
Schlekeway's 1997 time of 11.66 seconds in the 100 still stands as the automatic-timed overall state record and she held the 200 and 400-meter dash records, but both have since gone by the wayside since graduating from Mitchell, where she was a nine-time state champion.