After a long, hard winter that still has outdoor facilities firmly in its grip, track and field athletes from five high schools were happy to take advantage of the Barnett Center indoor facilities.
Aberdeen Central hosted the annual John Huth Invitational on Saturday indoors on the Northern State campus.
The highlight was watching the kids compete, said Central girls' coach Jim Appl. We've had three or four weeks of running inside. We've been out on the track one day. We have some girls that competed really hard. There were a lot of good things that happened, but we can't wait to get outdoors.
Watertown's Brittany Stangl was the lone multiple individual winner in the girls' competition. Stangl won the 55-meter dash (7.6 seconds) and the pole vault (12 feet, 2 inches). One new meet record was established in the 200-meter dash where Macy Denzer of Watertown won in a time of :27.9.
Central excelled in the distance events where the Golden Eagles won three events. Hannah Kastigar crossed the finish line in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:41.5. Morghan Waage (5:27.8) and Kaitlyn Volk (5:30.3) went one-two in the 1,500-meter run. In the 3,000-meter run the Golden Eagles swept the top three places including Courtney Neubert in first, Kaylee Kappes second and Madisyn Waage in third.
Our distance runners from the 800 through the 3,000 were solid. Hannah Kastigar will be solid. We got three places in the 1,500 including the top two places. Courtney Neubert is back and that is awesome. She had back surgery last year and came back and had a great cross country season. We took three places in the 3,000, said Appl.
The Aberdeen Roncalli girls won three places in the shot put and two in the triple jump on Saturday. The Cavaliers also participated in the Al Sahli Invitational on Friday, also at the Barnett Center.
Christy Renner, Abby Dockter and Anna Sayler placed third, fifth and sixth respectively in the shot put. Hailey Kline and Dockter went five and six in the triple jump.
This was really good, said Roncalli girls' coach Mark Stone. We don't know when we're going to get in the sand outdoors. Our jumpers got to be in the sand today. We don't know when our vaulters will get going outside. There's a lot of value to be gained competing against kids from other schools. The big thing is we're looking forward to getting into a groove; a little bit of rhythm.
Watertown won all three relays.
We're just trying to get in a little bit of rhythm, said Stone. It's been a little tough to get anything going. Not only the weather hasn't been very cooperative but our basketball team had great success and those kids are just starting to join us now. We're moving in the right direction but waiting for that day where we have a little rhythm going.
In the boys' competition, Central's Tanner Abens had a part in three first place finishes. Abens won the 55-meter dash (:06.7) and 200-meter dash (:23.6). His 200 dash time set a new meet record. Abens ran the anchor leg of the 960-meter relay team that won in a time of 2:00.7. Other relay members were Josh Hilgemann, Jason Weber and Greyson Phillips.
Tanner was a big highlight, said Central boys' coach Brian Lowery. We were competitive in a bunch of areas. We knew that we were up against some pretty good athletes. I was happy to see our competitive level. In every race every kid was doing his best. That's what we want. We wanted to establish bench marks and we did it. It's been a while since we put people in the shot put and we got two (Mike VanBeek and Nick Schuchardt).
For the Roncalli boys, Chris Malsam placed third in the 55-meter dash (:06.7) and the 200-meter dash (:24.2). Sean Schmidt finished second in the long jump at 18-4 .
The number one thing that we always look for is, 'Are we going to compete?' said Roncalli boys' coach Terry Dosch. I don't mean, 'Are we going to win races or lose races?' I told the kids, 'You're coming around the corner and you have to catch a guy and run him down. Or you hold this guy off or you come up with a big throw or big jump on your last effort.'
Malsam slightly injured his leg so Schmidt took his place on the lead leg in the 1,600-meter relay. For the second day in a row the Cavaliers won the relay, this time in 3:41.8. The other relay runners were Andrew Holmstrom, Nick Goehring and Christian Cox.
Our kids that we thought coming in were going to be solid, looked pretty good, said Dosch. We had some young kids that ran pretty well. We have a pretty good batch of freshmen and they did some good things. We have a great corps of seniors that are going to do well. It's a good starting point. We just hope to get outside even to practice.
Aberdeen Central will return to action on Saturday in the Al Sahli Invitational, another indoor meet, at the Barnett Center beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Participating Teams: Aberdeen Central, Aberdeen Roncalli, Huron, Pierre, Watertown.