Track racks up conference titles

Jason Ferguson

Several Custer High School track team members were crowned conference champions at last Friday’s Black Hills Conference meet, while both the boys and girls teams fared well as the season enters the home stretch.
The Wildcat girls finished in third place in the team race, with 133 points, while the boys finished fourth at 88 points. Both the boys and girls squads were only bested by the Class AA schools in the conference. Sturgis won the girls team title with 182 points, while Spearfish won the boys with 172 points.
“I would like to beat the AA schools, we just don’t have the numbers,” head coach Karin Karim said. “That kind of stinks, but it is what it is. We had some great performances.”
The girls team brought home six gold medals from the meet, once again led by the throwing prowess of Kellyn Kortemeyer, as the junior breezed to the titles in both the shot put and discus, winning both by several feet with top throws of 44-4 and 131-3, respectively.
“We tried to ride (the throwers) backs to a conference championship,” Karim said. “Those throwers scored a ton of points for us.”
Ramsey Karim brought home an individual 3200 title for the Wildcats, doing so in a personal record (PR) time of 11:49.59, while eighth-grader Jordyn Larsen won the 200 in a PR time of 26.96.
Two relay teams claimed conference championships for the girls, including the 3200 team of Karim, Brit Wheeler, Emma Helfer and Eva Studt, which finished in a time of 10:05.09. Also place first was the medley team of Wheeler, Shaylee Gramkow, Sydney Gaulke and Josey Wahlstrom in a time of 4:29.07.
Second-place finishes were plentiful as well.
Anna Lewis placed second in both of the hurdle events, running the 100 hurdles in a time of 16.40, while finishing in 49.39 in the 300 hurdles.
Kadense Dooley finished second in the 1600 in a PR time of 5:20.50, While Hannah Golder was second in the shot put with a best throw of 35-7. The Wildcats also brought home second place in the discus, as Nicole Johnson threw a PR distance of 102-9 to take the silver medal.
Alice Sedlacek finished third in the discus, making it a first-second-third Wildcat sweep of the event. Sedlacek had a top throw of 97-0.
Wahlstrom finished third in the pole vault with a best height of 9-3, and Wahlstrom was joined by Gramkow, Gaulke and Rachel Miklos to claim third in the 800 relay at a time of 1:51.72.
Torri Virtue was the lone Wildcat to grab an individual fourth-place finish, doing so in the shot put with a best throw of 33-5 3/4. The 1600 relay team of Miklos, Dooley, Studt and Wahlstrom finished fourth at 4:18.76.
Paige Fitzler brought home a seventh-place finish for the Wildcats in the 100 hurdles at a time of 18.46, while the 400 relay team of Goldie Whitaker, Maya Tennyson, Bailey Cass and Fitzler was also seventh at a time of 54.97.
Gramkow also grabbed an eighth-place finish for the Wildcats at the meet, doing so in the long jump with a best leap of 15-2.
On the boys side, the Wildcats brought home a pair of relay titles, with the same four boys combining to win the 400 and 800 relays. Daniel Sedlacek, Gage Tennyson, Jace Kelley and Blake Boyster joined forces to win both races, running the 400 relay in a time of 44.21, while running the 800 relay in 1:31.13. The boys broke the school records in both events, one of which (400 relay) they had broken only a week earlier. They also set the conference record in the 400 relay.
Boyster did well on his own in the sprints too, as he was second in the 100 at a time of 11.32, while finishing third in the 200 at 22.55.
Tennyson grabbed a second-place finish of his own in the long jump, with a best leap of 20-4 1/4. Third place finished came from Miles Ellman in the 800 at a PR time of 2:03.15 and the medley relay team (Nolan Saufley, Kelley, Tennyson, Sterling Sword) at 3:51.60 and the 3200 relay team (Gaulke, Alex Van Horn, Pierce Sword, Jackson Drew) at 9:02.60.
The 1600 relay team of Sam Gaulke, Kaleb Wragge, Sterling Sword, Ellman finished fourth at 3:41.64. Wragge also grabbed an individual fifth-place finish in the 1600 at 4:42.19, which was  PR.
Kelley was the only Wildcat to finish fifth in an event, doing so in the high jump with a best height of 5-10. Sixth place finishes came from Sedlacek in the 200 at 23.58, which was  PR, Gage Grohs in the 1600 at 4:44.82 and Justin Doyle, who placed sixth in both the shot put and discus with top throws of 43-10 3/4 and 126-0, respectively.
The Wildcats picked up two eighth place finishes, one from Preston Drew in the 3200 (11:05.31) and one from Dossen Elmore in the discus (121-10).
On May 11 the team was back in Rapid City for the Rapid City Qualifier meet, and it was more of the same in terms of strong performances, particularly for the Wildcat girls throwers, who had a (forgive the pun) field day at the meet, including placing seven in the top eight in shot put.
Kortemeyer again led the charge, winning the event by seven feet with a best throw of 43-9 1/2. Golder finished second with a top throw of 36-10 3/4, while Virtue was fourth at 32-5 1/2. Johnson finished in fifth place at 29-9 1/4, while Taylor Henrichs was sixth at 29-4 1/2. Bentley Brodrick finished seventh for the Wildcat at 28-11 3/4.
The girls did almost as well in the discus, as Kortemeyer won the event at 131-0, followed by Sedlacek in third at 109-4, while was a PR. Henrichs placed fourth with a top throw of 99-0, while Johnson was fifth at 94-3.
The throwing was capped by Laney Carlin, as she won the javelin throw with a top distance of 89-0.
Karim took the lone second place finish for Custer, as she brought home the silver medal in the 800 at a time of 2:23.17, which was a PR. Another second-place finish for the girls came on the legs of the medley relay, as Whitaker, Miklos, Tennyson and Shayleigh Forgey combined to post a time of 5:01.01.
Third place finishes came from Larsen in the 400 in a PR time of 1:01.88,  the 400 relay team of Gramkow, Gaulke, Wahlstrom and Larsen at 53.36, the same four girls in the 800 relay at 1:52.12, the 1600 relay team of Miklos, Wahlstrom, Forgey and Kenley Parker at 4:28.08 and Wahlstrom in the pole vault with a best height of 8-3.
Lewis picked up a pair of fourth-place finishes in the hurdle events, running the 100 hurdles in a time of 16.55 while running the 300 hurdles in 50.56. Dooley finished fourth in the 800 in a PR time of 2:24.25, while Gramkow was fifth in the long jump with a PR distance of 15-8 3/4.
The final Wildcat place came from Skyler Ludemann in the pole vault with a best height of 7-3.
The boys had two championships at the meet, including Boyster winning the 400 in a PR time of 50.36, and Boyster again joining Sedlacek, Kelley and Tennyson to win the 800 relay at 1:32.06.
Robbie Emery pole vaulted his way to a second place finish in that event with a top height of 10-3, and Emery was also a part of the 1600 relay team that finished second at 4:04.42. He was joined on that team by Drew Lehman, Landon Woodward and Mical Grace.
Landon Leighton, Wiley Shorb, Hadyn Yackley and Sam Wise finished third in the 400 relay at 48.93, and the medley relay team of Yackley, Emery, Lehman and Wiley Shorb also placed third at 4:15.81.
The Wildcat boys got two fourth-place finishes, one from Preston Drew at 4:57.58, and Eli Steele in the javelin at 114-9. Saufley finished fifth in the 300 hurdles at a time of 45.55.
Ellman grabbed seventh in the 800 at time of 2:05.14, while Elmore was seventh in the discus at 126-5. The final place for the Wildcats came from Doyle, who was eighth in the shot put at 42-0.
 The Wildcats head to the Region 8A Track Meet Thursday at 10 a.m., and while the meet won’t determine who goes to the state meet as it has in the past, it will still be important in terms of strategy, as more athletes try to get into the top 24 in their respective events (the top 24 in each event qualify for state) while relay teams on the bubble of the top eight try to get to or stay in the “fast heat” at the state meet, since there will be no preliminary races in relays at this year’s meet due to the condensed schedule.
“Now we are at the point we have to make decisions what to enter at the state meet,” Karim said.


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