Personal records galore for ’Cats

Jason Ferguson

It was a personal record  bonanza for the Custer High School track team last Saturday in Belle Fourche, as over 20 such records fell for the Wildcats at the Center of the Nation Track Meet.
The meet was the only meet of the week for the Wildcats, as the Track-O-Rama scheduled for Friday in Rapid City was cancelled due to poor weather.
“It was good after two weeks of work to get a meet in,” head coach Karen Karim said, as both the Track-O-Rama and last week’s Queen City Classic in Spearfish were cancelled recently. “That was important for us to have that chance to race.”
The boys team had a particularly good day the the Center of the Nation meet, with several first place finishes.
Mikael Grace was a double-winner at the meet as he swept the hurdle events, winning the 110 hurdles in a time of 15.96 while also grabbing the gold in the 300 hurdles at 41.97. Both times were personal records.
Blake Boyster had another strong day in the springs, capped by his winning the 100 in a personal best time of 11.21. Gage Tennyson was the other Wildcat individual champion, as he won the triple jump with a top leap of 39-10 1/2, which was also a personal record. It’s only the second time Tennyson has done triple jump competitively.
One Wildcat relay team was victorious on the day, as the team of Daniel Sedlacek, Sterling Sword, Jace Kelley and Miles Ellman combined to win the medley relay in a time of 3:46.74.
Second place finishes were plentiful as well, as Boyster finished second in the 400 in a personal-best time of 5.149, while Miles Ellman had a personal-best time of his own in the 1600 at 4:39.79 in grabbing the silver medal. Dossen Elmore was the final Wildcat to earn a second-place finish, doing so in the discus with a best distance of 136-7, which was also a personal best.
Two relay teams brought home silver medals for the boys squad. The team of Kelley, Grace, Ellman and Boyster finished second in the 1600 relay at a time of 3:40.30, while the team of Sterling Sword, Alex Van Horn, Pierce Sword and Jackson Drew did the same in the 3200 relay at 9:16.60.
A third place finish was earned by the 400 relay team of Grace, Tennyson, Nolan Saufley and Tony Plaisted at 46.15, while fourth-place finishes came from Sedlacek in the 200 (24.19), Kaleb Wragge in the 1600 (4:48.95, personal record), Saufley in the 300 hurdles (45.03, personal record), and Elmore in both the shot put (42-4 1/2, personal record) and pole vault (9-6, personal record).
Wragge picked up a fifth-place finish in the 800 at a personal-best time of 2:09.44, while Custer’s second 400 relay team of Sterling Sword, Wragge, Van Horn and Sam Gaulke placed fifth at 3:54.00.
Individual sixth place finishes came from Tennyson in the 100 at a personal-best time of 11.83, and Gage Grohs in both the 800 and 1600 at times of 2:09.51 and 4:50.55, respectively (both personal records). The Wildcats’ second medley relay team of Landon Leighton, Sam Wise, Preston Drew and Van Horn also finished sixth at 4:14.53.
Seventh-place finishes came from Saufley in the 200 at a personal-best time of 24.57 and Preston Drew in the 3200 in a personal-best time of 11:07.33.
On the girls side, the Wildcats boasted four championships, including Anna Lewis in the 100 hurdles at a personal-best time of 16.44, Hannah Golder in the shot put at a personal-best 37-5 1/2, Taylor Henrichs in the discus with a personal-best throw of 100-01 and the medley relay team of Shaylee Gramkow, Sydney Gaulke, Jordyn Larsen and Ramsey Karim at 4:29.85.
Eva Studt finished second in the 800 at a time of 2:32.81, while Kadense Dooley was second in the 1600 at 5:37.00. Laney Carlin rounded out the individual second-place finishes by grabbing the silver medal in the discus with a best throw of 99-4, which was also a personal record. One Wildcat relay team placed second, as the team of Ava Jaure, Rachel Miklos, Studt and Lewis did so in a time of 4:27.31.
Paige Fitzler grabbed a third-place finish for the girls in the 110 hurdles at a time of 18.92, while Lewis took the bronze medal in the 300 hurdles at a time of 49.87. Bailey Cass was the final individual third-place finisher for Custer, tying for third in the high jump with a best jump of 4-4. Two relay teams placed third as well, as the team of Studt, Britt Wheeler, Shayleigh Forgey and Maya Tennyson did so in the 3200 relay at a time of 10:49.34 while the 800 team of Gramkow, Gaulke, Miklos and Lewis was third at 1:54.5.
Karim finished fourth in the 3200 in a personal-best time of 11:57.09, while Tori Virtue also set a personal record in finishing fourth in the shot put with a best throw of 31-8. The 400 relay team of Gaulke, Miklos, Tennyson and Fitzler was fourth at 55.84.
Custer had two fifth-place finishes, with Dooley placing fifth in the 3200 at 12:02.74 and Emily Korkowski doing the same in the discus with a personal-best throw of 88-6.
Sixth-place finishes came from Keilana Altman in the 100 hurdles in a personal-best time of 19.69, Bentley Broderick in the shot put with a personal-best throw of 30-9 1/2 and Gaulke in the long jump with a best leap of 14-9.
The Custer placing was rounded out by Nicole Johnson, who placed eighth in the shot put with a toss of 29-7.
Karim said she wasn’t surpised by the number of personal records set at the meet, and there likely would have been more had some athletes not missed the meet due to ACT testing.
“The first couple of meets were figuring out where we were and who to put in what,” she said. “I expected (the personal records) when we had a nice day. It was a good thing to see, and I expect the records to keep falling.”
The Wildcats will “host” the Custer Invitational Thursday, but the meet has been moved to O’Hare Stadium at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology over concerns the Custer track won’t be dry enough for the meet by Thursday. The meet will still start at 9 a.m.
The following day the team is scheduled to travel east to the Pierre Invitational. The Wildcats are scheduled to be back in Belle Fourche next Tuesday for the Northern Hills Invitational.
 Karim said the athletes will likely only compete in select events at each meet rather than have a full schedule at both meets.

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