Tennyson flies past school record

Jason Ferguson

It is frequently said that records are meant to be broken. While that may be true, it takes much, much longer for some records to fall.
Such was the case with the Custer High School boys long jump record, which for the past 49 years has stood at 21-5. Mark Pendleton set the record in 1972, and it has remained in place as one of the oldest school track records in Custer.
That was until last Thursday, anyway.
Junior jumper Gage Tennyson is the new king of long jump for Custer High School, as he beat Pendleton’s mark by the slimmest of margins—one-quarter of an inch—when he stuck a 21-5 1/4 jump at the Custer Invitational. It was a jump that won the meet as well.
Custer head coach Karen Karim said it was just a matter of if, not when, Tennyson would break the mark.
“He is super-talented, super-athletic and it was only (a matter of) which meet he was going to break it at,” she said.
Tennyson’s leap was one of the highlights of a busy track weekend for the Wildcats, which began Thursday at the Custer Invitational—which was actually held at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City due to snow in Custer—and culminated with the Pierre American Legion Relays Friday in Pierre.
The Wildcats didn’t field a full squad for either meet, instead cherry-picking teams for the meets, with the Wildcats who have fared better early in the season heading to the Pierre meet, which included much stiffer competition, including Class AA schools from around the state.
That didn’t keep the Wildcats from putting together a strong day (despite cold, windy weather—a recurring theme this spring) that included a pair of double winners in Kellyn Kortemeyer in the girls’ throws and Mikael Grace in the boys’ hurdle events.
Kortemeyer won both the throwing events handily at the meet, with a best shot put toss of 41-0 and a top discus throw of 129-5.
“Kellyn just keeps doing what she does. If we get a nice warm day I’m guessing some personal records will be in store for her,” Karim said. “It’s tough to throw, especially the shot put, in cold weather.”
For his part, Grace set personal records in both of the hurdle events on his way to victory in both, running the 110 hurdles in 15.5 and the 300 hurdles in 41.58.
“It was really impressive Mikael was able to set a personal record in both of those races. He is rising to the competition,” Karim said. “I was excited to see him step up to the plate against some pretty good competition.”
Jordyn Larsen brought home the lone second place finish for the girls at the meet, as she placed second in the 400 at a time of 1:03.21. Ramsey Karim was the lone Wildcat to place third at the meet, doing so in the 1600 at a personal-best time of 5:28.3. Teammate Kadense Dooley was fifth in the same event at a time of 5:30.35.
Hannah Golder was another Wildcat female to place at the meet when she got fifth in the shot put with a best throw of 33-0, while Anna Lewis finished fifth in the 100 hurdles at a time of 16.57.
Three relay teams placed for the girls, led by the 1600 team of Karim, Dooley, Larsen and Rachel Miklos placing sixth at a time of 4:24.58.
The medley relay team of Shaylee Gramkow, Sydney Gaulke, Josey Wahlstrom and Eva Studt finished in seventh place at a time of 4:44.17, while the 3200 team of Studt, Brit Wheeler, Shayleigh Forgey and Maya Tennyson was eighth at 10:51.70.
On the boys’ side, Blake Boyster had another strong day in the sprints at the meet, as he finished in second in the 200 at a personal-best time of 22.59 while finishing third in the 400 at 52.81.
Gage Grohs brought home a third-place medal for the ’Cats in the 3200 at a personal-best time of 10:29.94, while Tennyson was fifth in the triple jump with a personal record of 40-3 1/2. Daniel Sedlacek rounded out the individual placing with an eighth-place finish in the 200 at a personal-best time of 24.02.
Grohs had never run the 3200 before this meet.
“Now he’s seeded in the state. That was exciting,” Karim said.
One Wildcat relay team was able to reach the podium, as the 3200 team of Alex Van Horn, Jackson Drew, Pierce Sword and Sam Gaulke finished seventh at 9:07.72.
Competitors at the Custer Invitational, much like at Pierre, were greeted with cold weather and at times howling wind. That didn’t stop plenty of personal records from falling.
The Wildcat boys had three other individual championships besides Tennyson in the long jump. Jace Kelley ran the 200 for the first time and raced his way to a win at a time of 23.74, while Nolan Saufley was first in the 300 hurdles at a time of 45.60. Dossen Elmore was the third Wildcat to win a gold medal, throwing a personal-best distance of 143-8 in winning the discus.
One Wildcat relay team placed first, as the team of Daniel Sedlacek, Tennyson, Grace and Blake Boyster combined to run the 800 relay in 1:33.22 for an easy win.
The Wildcats picked up one second place finish from Justin Doyle in the shot put with a best throw of 43-11. Third place finishes came from the 1600 relay (Alex Van Horn, Sam Gaulke, Jackson Drew, Mical Grace) at 3:53.76 and the 3200 relay (Drew, Landon Woodward, Drew Lehman, Joel Tramp) at 9:53.49.
Mical Grace picked up a fourth place finish for Custer with a personal-best time of 19.65 in the 110 hurdles, while fifth-place finishes came from Elmore in the pole vault at 9-6, Mikael Grace in the 400 at a personal-best time of 52.86 and the medley relay team of Sam Furse, Woodward, Drew and Landon Leighton at 4:20.88.
Sixth place finishes included Kelley in both the 400 (53.72) and high jump (5-6), Furse in the pole vault (8-6) and Sedlacek in the long jump (18-6 1/2).
The Wildcats received seventh place finishes from Tony Plaisted in the 100 (12.11), Sam Gaulke in the 800 (2:15.44 PR), Pierce Sword in the 1600 (5:05.94 PR), Tramp in the pole vault (8-0), Doyle in the discus (117-0) and the 400 relay team of Wiley Shorb, Robbie Emery, Jaxon Heger and Sam Wise at 49.15.
Rounding out the boys placewinners at the meet was Ty Dailey, who finished eighth in the shot put at 37-7 1/2.
On the girls side, Kortemeyer swept the throwing events, winning the shot put by over nine feet over teammate Hannah Golder, with a throw of 44-7 1/2. Golder’s best throw was 35-3 1/2. Kortemeyer set a personal record in winning the discus with a top throw of 133-0.
Josey Wahlstrom returned to athletic competition for the first time since tearing her ACL last summer and had a strong showing, as the defending state champion in pole vault won that event with a top height of 8-0. The 1600 relay team of Brit Wheeler, Shayleigh Forgey, Bailey Cass and Maya Tennyson also placed first at a time of 4:46.15.
Second place finishes came from Sydney Gaulke in the 100 at 13.91, Larsen in the 200 at a personal-best time of 27.18, Wheeler in the 800 at a personal-best time of 2:41.49 and Golder in the shot put. The 800 relay team of Anna Lewis, Rachel Miklos, Gaulke and Larsen also finished second at a time of 1:52.64.
Kenley Parker ran her way to a fourth-place finish in the 400 in a personal-best time of 1:04.40, while Torri Virtue was fourth in the shot put at 31-6 1/2 and Taylor Henrichs was fourth in the discus at 98-7. Fifth place finishes came from Cass in the high jump (4-4), Alice Sedlacek in the discus (86-7) and Forgey in the 800 in a personal-best time of 2:49.72.
Emma Helfer placed sixth for Custer in the 400 at a time of 1:06.85, while Bentley Brodrick was sixth in the shot put with a best throw of 29-0.
Rounding out the Custer placewinners were three eighth-place finishers—Sierra Swanson in the 800 in a personal-best time of 2:50.59, Paige Fitzler in the 300 hurdles at 55.47 and Laney Carlin in the shot put with a best throw of 86-5.
The Wildcats will head east this week for the Howard Wood Dakota Relays in Sioux Falls Friday and Saturday. Some of the athletes will also participate in the Sioux Falls O’Gorman meet on Friday as the schedule allows.
It appears the Wildcats will go from one extreme to the other in terms of competition weather, as the forecast for Sioux Falls for the weekend calls for temperatures in the 80s Saturday.
“It gets us both ways,” Karim said with a laugh. “When it’s that hot it’s not so good either. As long as our kids are showing that improvement as the weeks go on we get what we need out of our meets. We have to keep them healthy and put it all together.”

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