Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Multiple teams in the mix for Class AA girls track and field title
Sioux Falls O'Gorman's Alea Hardie, right, Sioux Falls O'Gorman's Libby Castelli, center, and Sioux Falls Lincoln's Ali Bainbridge compete at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays.
(Ryan Deal / 605 Sports)
May 25, 2022

By 605 Sports Staff

A year ago the Class AA girls team race was as tight as they come. Sioux Falls O’Gorman and Brandon Valley each scored 124 points with Sioux Falls Lincoln right behind with 117. 

Expect another close contest as teams begin competing on Thursday afternoon. 

Sioux Falls O’Gorman: 

The O’Gorman girls will rely heavily on the distance trio of Alea Hardie, Libby Castelli and Ruth Pardy. Castelli comes in with the top time in the 800-meter run (2:13.40). Hardie enters her final state meet leading the 1,600 meter run (4:44.25) and leading the 3,200 meter run with a state record (10:10.83). The Knights have the top time in the 3,200 meter relay (9:17.24).

In the field events Megan VanDenHemel and Avery Wittry have the No. 2 and No. 3 throws in Class AA this season. Wittry has the top discus mark (136-10) and freshman Julia Eggert could pick up valuable points in the 400-meter dash. 

Brandon Valley: 

Senior Meghan Walker will be a factor in the sprints entering the meet with the No. 2 ranking in the 100-meter dash (:12.19), the top time in the 200-meter dash (:25.14). Walker and teammate Mia Wentzy have the top two times in the 400-meter dash. 

The Lynx will score big points in the relays as they have the top time in the 800-meter relay (1:43.73), the No. 2 time in the 1,600 meter relay (4:00.43) and the top time in the sprint medley relay (4:08.06). Eighth grader Jayaunna Stroh has Class AA’s leading high jump (5-7) while teammate Kennedy Keiper has a leap of 5-3. 

Sioux Falls Lincoln: 

The Lincoln girls enter the state meet led by sisters Lauren and Ellen Merkley. Lauren has Class AA’s fastest time in the 100-meter dash (:12.19). Both have top-four times in the 200-meter dash and the Patriots have the fastest 400-meter relay (:48.87). The Merkley sisters have the top two long jumps in Class AA with Ellen leading the state (18-8.25). 

The Lincoln girls will be looking for junior Dymond Nave to score points in the hurdles. She has the No. 3 time in the 100-meter hurdles (:15.29) and the top time in the 300-meter hurdles (:46.88). Distance runner Ali Bainbridge has No. 2 clockings in the 1,600 meter run (5:01.14) and 3,200 meter run (10:38.29). Norah Christiansen is Class AA’s leading shot putter (41-7.5) while Kyra Knudtson has the No. 2 discus mark (130-5). 

Athletes to watch:

Myah Norris, Watertown: Leads Class AA in the 100-meter hurdles (:15.17)

Matayah Yellow Mule, Rapid City Central: Class AA’s top triple-jumper (39-9). Ranked No. 3 in the Long jump (17-9.25) and No. 5 in the 100-meter dash (:12.29). 

Peyton VanDeest, Spearfish: Only a seventh grader, VanDeest is ranked No. 7 in the 3,200 meter run (11:04.31) and the No. 9 time in the 1,600 meter run (5:15.37). 

Shae Rumsey, Yankton: Rumsey clocked a :57.74 in the 400-meter dash and has the third fastest time in the AA ranks. Part of Yankton’s 1,600 meter relay that has the top AA time (3:57.70). 

Class AA state meet records

100-Meter Dash: Erin Kinney, Harrisburg, :11.85, 2019

200-Meter Dash: Cortney Dowling, Pierre T.F. Riggs, :24.27, 2016

400-Meter Dash: Krista Bickley, Brandon Valley, :54.08, 2016

800-Meter Run: Allison Eckert, Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 2:11.24, 2006

1,600-Meter Run: Ramsey Kavan, Yankton, 4:46.84, 2005

3,200-Meter Run: Allison Eckert, Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 10:38.66, 2005

100-Meter Hurdles: Nevada Sorenson, :14.12, 2009

300-Meter Hurdles: Anne Volmer, Rapid City Central, :43.44, 1992

400-Meter Relay: Sioux Falls Lincoln, :47.84 (L Merkley, Jerstad, Nesheim, E Merkley), 2021

800-Meter Relay: Watertown, 1:41.29 (Lauseng, Cox, Hauck, Page), 2006

1,600-Meter Relay: Rapid City Stevens, 3:53.49 (Pagel, DeVries, Jansen, Garner), 2006

3,200-Meter Relay: Rapid City Stevens, 9:10.26 (Blackler, Pagel, Hattervig, Schwengler), 2004 

Sprint Medley Relay: Brookings, 4:08.57 (Tetzlaff, Rystrom, Gray, Abraham), 2017

High Jump: Beth Wahl, Pierre T.F. Riggs, 5-9.25, 1993 

Long Jump: Jasmyne King, Rapid City Central, 18-10.75, 2008

Triple Jump: Alexis Gannon, Brookings, 40-3.75, 2014

Discus: Karen McDonald, Watertown, 151-11, 1980

Shot Put: Jasmine Greer, Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 47-00, 2019

Pole Vault: Leslie Brost, Watertown, 12-10, 2008