Jared Thomsen named outstanding track performer as boys pile up 106 points
Published: Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Going into last weekend’s Class A State Track Meet in Lennox and Sioux Falls, Custer head coach Craig Black was cautiously optimistic about his boys team’s chances of winning a state championship. It turns out he didn’t need to be so cautious.
The Wildcats dominated the state meet like few teams have, running away from the competition with 106 points, seven individual and relay championships, the meet’s outstanding male track athlete and Custer’s first track state championship since 1981.
“It was a great weekend,” Black said. “Sometimes things play out much better than other times. Iâï¿½ï¿½couldn’t be more proud of the kids. They got out and got down to business.”
Leading the charge for Custer was senior Jared Thomsen, whose accomplishments at the meet border on the unbelieveable for one meet: Two individual championships, two school records, one state track meet record and two relay medals. He was also named the meet’s outstanding male track athlete.
Both of Thomsen’s wins were thrillers, as he edged St. Thomas More’s Jay Cooper by nine-tenths of a second in the 110 hurdles and Chamberlain’s Traxton Priebe by two-tenths in the 300 hurdles.
Thomsen beat his own school records in both events, blistering the track to the tune of 14.83 in the 110 hurdles and 38.69 in the 300 hurdles, the latter of which tied the state track meet record.
“It’s a relief. Iâï¿½ï¿½have been wanting to win state in both a really long time,”âï¿½ï¿½Thomsen said. “I wasn’t expecting to win the 110s. It’s an added bonus.”
Thomsen said he was pleasantly shocked by the times he ran.
“I wasn’t expecting to run under 15 (in the 110 hurdles),”âï¿½ï¿½he said.âï¿½ï¿½“I had to run what I did. I wouldn’t have won either race had I run my normal times.”
Thomsen credited tapered-back workouts leading up to state, combined with the adrenaline and atmosphere of performing in the state meet as reasons for his record-breaking performance.
“I felt really confident going into the second day that I could win both of them,”âï¿½ï¿½he said.âï¿½ï¿½“Iâï¿½ï¿½felt faster than I had all season long.”
Thomsen also ran the second leg of the medley relay team that finished in first place, posting a time of 3:38.14. He was joined on the championship team by Cody Martinz, Chase Glazier and Brennan Witt, along with Clayton Wahlstrom and Logan Huntington, who ran on the team during qualifying.
Thomsen’s meet was rounded out by a fifth place finish in the 1600 relay, as he, Glazier, Joel Thomsen and Witt combined to run a time of 3:31.81.
If Thomsen had not have won the outstanding male athlete award at the meet, it probably would have been awarded to Witt, who won his third consecutive 800 meter state championship in a time of 1:57.12—over four seconds better than the second place finisher, while also edging out teammate Cody Herman in the 1600, running a 4:29.09 to Herman’s 4:32.90. Witt’s 800 time broke Jared Foote’s school record.
Witt only started running the 1600 on a whim at Howard Wood a few weeks ago, and qualified for state the first time he tried it. During the race at the state meet, Witt stayed back in the pack, knowing he could out-sprint everyone if he stayed close. At the 400 mark both he and Herman broke loose from the pack and took off, with Witt passing Herman at the 150 mark and getting the win.
“It was a total shock to me to win it. It was a nice treat,” he said.
Less of a shock was winning the 800, a race he has dominated for reasons he says he can’t fully explain.
“Iâï¿½ï¿½have no idea. I think it’s the training,”âï¿½ï¿½he said.âï¿½ï¿½“The coaches are the biggest part of it.”
Witt said he and his teammates were very excited to come away with the team title after falling just short last year.
“To win the team title after getting second last year was icing on the cake,”âï¿½ï¿½he said.âï¿½ï¿½“It felt good to have everything come together the way it did.”
Witt will enter his senior track season next spring looking for an unprecedented four consecutive 800 state championships, along with some other personal goals he said are between he and his coaches.
“I’d like to run it really, really fast,”âï¿½ï¿½he said with a laugh.âï¿½ï¿½“Iâï¿½ï¿½will say that.”
Herman collected his first state championship in the 3200, where he blew by the field with a time of 9:51.96, nearly 15 seconds better than second place finisher Logan Burns, who finished with a time of 10:06.83 for the ’Cats.
The boys’ final championship came via the legs of the 3200 relay team of Israel Parsons, Kenneth Myers, Glazier and Huntington, with a time of 8:18.18. Glazier added a fourth place finish in the 800 to his resume, while Wahlstrom finished second in the pole vault with a best height of 12-9. Rounding out the boys placewinners were Logan Heuer, seventh in the discus (144-7) and Adam Baker eighth in the triple jump (40-0 3/4).
Custer’s 106 points were nearly double that of second place finishing St. Thomas More, who finished with 58 points.
“It was a true team win,” Black said.âï¿½ï¿½“The kids were so relaxed, and kept pulling away from the field. Everyone else stalled out around that 50 point mark and we kept going. A lot of things fell into place.”
The Custer girls had a respectable showing at the meet as well, finishing in sixth place with 34.33 points.
The girls were led by a Wildcat who isn’t even in high school—and won’t be next year either. Seventh grader Tori Glazier had an outstanding meet, winning the 800 in a time 2:17.54, which broke the school record of 2:17.56 set a year ago by Karley Konkol. Glazier added another gold medal in the 1600, winning in a time of 5:14.84.
Glazier said at first she was intimidated to compete against girls much older than her, but said she knows she has worked hard enough to feel like she belongs in those races.
“I knew Iâï¿½ï¿½could stick with them,” she said.âï¿½ï¿½“Iâï¿½ï¿½get really nervous before my races, but I really like to do it because I’ve trained enough.”
Glazier said she wasn’t any more nervous to compete against high schoolers on a bigger stage like the state track meet, mostly because she said she is already plenty nervous any time she competes.
“Iâï¿½ï¿½freak out a lot before races,”âï¿½ï¿½she said.âï¿½ï¿½“The second day was a little more nerve-wracking because there were so many people there.”
Glazier won the 800 by over three seconds, while out-sprinting the competition to the finish line in the 1600, winning by less than a second.
“In the 800 there was one girl who took off really fast for the first lap. The second lap I knew I could catch her,”âï¿½ï¿½Glazier said.âï¿½ï¿½“The mile was a really close race. It was a fight to the finish between myself and (Savannah Childers of Spearfish).”
Sam McNeel and Moe Mack rounded out stellar athletic careers by placing at the state, with McNeel finishing sixth in the long jump with a leap of 17-0, while Mack was eighth in the high jump with a best height of 5-1. The final individual medal was won by Tori Dahstrom, who finished sixth in the 800 at 2:25.74.
Two relays placed for the girls. The 1600 team of McNeel, Glazier, Dahlstrom and Julianne Thomsen was third at 4:08.04, while the 3200 team of Thomsen, Matti Kelley, Destinee Fish and Jazmin Hitshew finished seventh at 10:08.82.
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