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Widener, Guthmiller capture State B titles

Ipswich’s Marley Guthmiller tries to clear the bar in the high jump at the Groton Area Invitational track meet. The seventh-grader won the Class B state championship in the pole vault on Friday. Photo by John Davis taken 4/27/2021

RAPID CITY – Langford Area’s Zander Widener won the boys’ 110-meter high hurdles and Warner’s Cody Larson was second in the 3,200 meters to highlight the boys’ individual action on the opening day of the Class B State Track and Field Meet Friday in Rapid City.

On the girls’ side, Ipswich’s Marley Guthmiller and Kaitlyn Williams claimed the top two spots in the pole vault with the seventh-grader Guthmiller going 9-feet, 6-inches to best her teammate by 3 inches.

Widener, a senior, clocked a time of 14.61 seconds in the hurdle finals to best an area-heavy field. Warner’s Landon Leidholt was third and Josh McQuarie was fourth. Leidholt and McQuarie are both seniors, as well.

Larson, a heavily-decorated distance runner who had his sights set on a repeat victory in the 3,200-meters, came up just short on that bid. Jonathon Burkhalter of Bison edged out Larson by 10 seconds.

Jackson McNeil added a second runner-up finish to the Monarchs’ tally, finishing a close second in the boys’ discus. Ipswich’s Eric Severson was third and Zach Geditz was seventh for the Tigers.

Peyton Melius of Faulkton was third in the girls’ high jump and Jessica Boekelheide of Northwestern finished fifth in the girls’ 100-meter dash.

But as noteworthy as the individual action was Friday, the teamwork was also on full display, particularly in the boys’ 800-meter relay. Ipswich finished second in that event, followed by Langford Area in fourth and Frederick Area in fifth. Frederick’s foursome was anchored by Isaac Sumption, who was fifth individually in the 100-meters.

Aberdeen Christian finished 16th in the 4×200 with its crew of Abe Kretchman, Andrew Brennan, Walker Larson and Ben Rohl.

“There’s such little room for error in those (relay events),” said Christian head coach David Rohrbach. “They were close. They were right there. It wasn’t the best they’ve ran all year, but it was a solid day.”

Hailey Moeller was 13th individually for the Knights in the girls’ 3,200 meters. Ben Rohl was also 13th in the boys’ 100.

“For the first day, it was a good day for us,” Rohrbach said. “For a few of our kids, it’s their first time being in a state meet, especially on the girls’ side. It was a really good experience for them.”

With this year’s state meet being split into three different sites for the duration of the state meet, Rohrbach said the day had a little bit different feel to it.

“Howard Wood was almost more stressful with everyone being together,” he said.

The Class B meet will conclude Saturday in Rapid City. Classes A and AA will continue their action at their respective sites rather than joining the Class B athletes in Rapid City.

To view complete first day results click on the following link:

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