Boys team wins third straight conference crown
Published: Thursday, May 16th, 2013
It took some planning, some athletes in some new events and an all-around team effort, but the Custer High School boys track team won its third consecutive Black Hills Conference championship last weekend in Hot Springs.
The boys team piled up 188 points at the meet, 56 more than second place St. Thomas More. The race was closer than the score might indicate heading toward the end of the meet, but Custer head coach Craig Black had an ace in the hole. Three aces, in fact.
The 3200 is the second-to-last event run at the meet, and Custer boasts the two fastest two-milers in Class A this year in Cody Herman and Logan Burns. Herman won the event, Burns placed second and teammate Chris Pinkerton placed third, giving Custer 24 points out of one event to seal the title.
The Cavaliers of St. Thomas More are stacked with capable sprinters, so Black and his fellow coaches chose Jared Thomsen as the Wildcat to put into the sprints and steal some points from More. Thomsen, normally a hurdle and relay specialist, took the challenge and literally ran with it, placing second in the 100 at 11.59 and placing fourth in the 200 at 23.27.
“We were looking over our shoulder and planning,”âï¿½ï¿½Black said.âï¿½ï¿½“They (More) have a lot of good sprinters and great athletes who show up who we don’t necessarily see at all the meets. They have a lot of fast kids.”
When he wasn’t placing in the sprints, Thomsen was doing his usual yeoman’s work in the hurdles, winning the 110 hurdles at 15.21 and placing second in the 300 hurdles at 39.17. Thomsen’s 300 hurdle time eclipsed his old school record of 40.37 that he set a year ago.
Brennan Witt brought home a pair of first place finishes for Custer in the 400 and 800, but saved his best work for the 1600 relay. Witt took the baton from Graysen Trandem as the anchor of the team and trailed Spearfish’s Luke Wietgrefe—who has run the fastest 400 time in Class A this year—by five meters. Witt didn’t blink, however, running down Wietgrefe with a blistering 49.67 split to bring the gold to Custer. Earlier in the meet, Witt had edged Wietgrefe in the open 400.
The Wildcats picked up a bevy of second place finishes at the meet, including Logan Heuer in the discus, Paul Climenti in the shot put, Clayton Wahlstrom in the pole vault and Dakota McGee in the high jump. Third place finishes came from Chase Glazier in both the 400 and 800 and the 3200 relay team of Kenneth Myers, Matt Dvorak, Shane Herman and Israel Parsons. Fourth place finishes came from Burns in the 1600, Joel Thomsen in the 110 and 300 hurdles, Brandon Erwin in the shot put and Angelo Climenti in the discus.
The Wildcats also had two more state qualifiers come from the meet, the first being Cody Herman, who won the 1600 in 4:35.75, and the other David Sigdestad, who topped the 11-0 qualifying mark in the pole vault on his way to a fifth place finish.
The Wildcat girls squad placed fourth at the meet with 55 points, led by a strong showing in the relays and first place finishes by Tori Glazier in the 800âï¿½ï¿½(2:22.57) and Moe Mack in the high jump (4-11).
The girls had a state-qualifying performance from its 1600 relay team, as Sam McNeel, Tori Dahlstrom, Julianne Thomsen and Glazier combined to post a time of 4:14.35, good for second place. The 3200 relay team of Thomsen, Glazier, Destinee Fish and Jazmin Hitschew was third at 10:06.82, while the medley team of Mack, Thomsen, Fish and Billie Wicks was fourth at 4:38.48.
Other placewinners on the girls side included Sam McNeel, third in the long jump, fifth in the 200 and fifth in the 400, Mattiâï¿½ï¿½Kelley fifth in the 3200, Dahlstrom sixth in the 1600, Hitschew sixth in the 1600 and Lauren Esser sixth in the discus 98-10.
Tomorrow the team heads to Spearfish for the region meet, which is the last chance for athletes to qualify for the state meet. The top two finishers in each event already qualify for the state meet. As always, Custer will focus more on getting more team members qualified for state than it will on trying to win a team championship.
“We’re going to have a few kids looking to qualify by time, distance or height and get into that first or second spot,”âï¿½ï¿½Black said.âï¿½ï¿½“We expect to take over 20 kids to state, and it could even be close to 30.”
Click Here To See More Stories Like This