’Cats compete in Belle, Sturgis cancelled

Jason Ferguson

Weather once again wreaked havoc on the Custer High School track team season when it caused the cancellation of the Black Hills Track Classic last Saturday in Sturgis.
The team did get in a meet April 23, however, when it competed in the Northern Hills Invitational in Belle Fourche. A limited numer of Wildcats participated in this meet, however.
“In hindsight I would have taken the entire varsity to (previous meet in Belle Fourche) because it’s the nicest day we have had,” head coach Karen Karim said. “Things got all mssed up last week. The weather just does not cooperate.”
The Sturgis meet was supposed to be the last opportunity for athletes to qualify for this week’s Howard Wood Invitational. As such, its cancellation means some athletes were not able to get qualified to compete at the meet.
Top finishers for the Wildcats in Belle Fourche included Ciana Stiefel, who won yet another gold medal in the pole vault by clearing a top height of 11-3.
The Wildcat girls picked up four third-place finishes, with Karyn Ellerton placing third in both the shot put and discus with top throws of 33-10 and 107-4, respectively, and Brook Bennett throwing the javelin 101-1, topping the school record she set just last week. Tenlee Stiefel rounded out the bronze medals by clearing 9-3 in the pole vault.
Avari Dorrance picked up the team’s lone fourth-place finish by throwing the shot put 33-5. Dorrance also placed seventh in the discus with a top toss of 93-9.
Kelsey Stiefel was the third of the Stiefel sisters to place in the pole vault with a top height of 9-3, which was a personal record, while Keira Alfson was sixth in the 3200 with a time of 13:03.43.
Finally, Bennett picked up an eighth-place finish in the discus with a best throw of 93-9.
On the boys side, David Lewis was the team’s top placewinner, as he cleared a personal-record height of 11-3 to finish third in the pole vault.
“That was a big day for him. That was awesome,” Karim said.
Roland Sedlacek set a personal record of his own in the javelin with a top toss of 131-1, while Lincoln Golder also had a personal best throw in the discus with a best throw of 122-1. That throw was good for fifth place.
The final boy to place was Wyatt DeFreece, who was seventh in the pole vault with a top height of 8-9, which was also a personal record.
“It wasn’t a huge meet but there was some good competition there for some of the events,” Karim said.
This weekend the team heads east where it will participate in a pair of meets in Sioux Falls, the first being the Sioux Falls O’Gorman meet, which begins Friday morning at 9 a.m. On that same day and into Saturday the Wildcats will participate in the annual Howard Wood Dakota Relays, one of the bigger meets of the year that features competitiors from regional states.
“It’s a huge meet. Great competition,” Karim said. “It’s in the venue the state meet will be held in. It’s good for our younger kids to experience that and for the older kids to prep for the state meet.”


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