MITCHELL – It was another big day for Aberdeen Central track and field athletes at the Corn Palace Relays on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles relied on their seniors in the girls’ division to record five individual wins and also a pair of relay victories.
“I felt we struggled a little bit early, but as the day wore on we really came into our own,” said Central girls’ coach Jim Appl, who credited senior Makenna Glanzer for jump starting the team. “The rest of girl hurdlers really struggled in the prelims. She comes out with the fastest time, wins finals. Meanwhile, at the same time she’s doing that, she’s also pole vaulting. She competes in two events; she wins two, but that’s what we expect from our seniors. We expect them to lead us. We expect them to go do things like that and they did. They stepped up.”
Another senior that played a key role was Melanie Jacobs who won the 800-meter run and ran on the all-senior 1,600-meter relay team.
“Mel is still in basketball shape,” Appl said. “She’ll be the first to tell you she’s not in track shape, yet.”
Speaking of basketball, Brooklyn Kusler played in an all-star game in the morning in Sioux Falls, then came over and ran on two winning relay teams for the Eagles.
“She’s all in. It’s amazing for a kid who’s an all-state volleyball player, one of the best in the state, she’s an all-state basketball player, one of the best in the state,” Appl said, “and she’s saying I want to do whatever it takes for me to have a part on this team and help this team.”
Appl said the majority of the members on his team improved during the meet.
“When we got done today we asked how many improved and it was close to 70 percent of the kids who improved today,” Appl said. “As a coach what more can I want?”
The Central boys also had a big day.
Sam Rohlfs won the 100-meter dash and the long jump, and also finished second in the triple jump.
“He is a phenomenal athlete. He’s worked to make himself a really solid three-sport athlete. He deserves all the accolades he gets,” said Central boys’ coach Greg Murley, “Unfortunately for Sam, he’s got the mindset, that he’s probably not going to go and celebrate the two first place finishes. He’s going to be bummed he got second by two inches.”
The distance combo of Josh Martin and Daniel Street also had another solid meet. Martin won the 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs, while Street was second in the 3,200-meter run and third in the 1,600. Both also ran on the winning 3,200-meter relay team.
Murley said that Zeb Mendel of Sioux Falls Lincoln looked pretty motivated to win the 3,200 after the events of last fall.
“Throughout the course of the cross country season, he was the best kid right up until the state meet when Josh beat him. He was the best distance runner,” Murley noted. “You could very much tell that when he showed up today he had a little chip on his shoulder against the Aberdeen kids. When the race is done, he’s one of the nicest kids ever, but I think that’s a really good sign of respect for what our program has become. Lincoln is the best team in the state. They’ve had the best cross country team for five or six years, and those kids respect what Aberdeen Central is about right now.”
Murley said a number of boys are off to a solid start this spring.
The Eagles are scheduled to compete in Brookings on Tuesday, weather permitting.
For now, Murley has a souvenir from the Corn Palace Relays.
“My face is a little bit sunburned. That’s kind of a nice start to the track to the season,” he said. “Now, the next step is getting the white legs a little bit tanned. Maybe I can get into some shorts next week.”
For complete meet results, please click on the following link:
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