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LRC meet impacts state-wide leaders

Faulkton Area’s Simon Bowar, left, takes off with the baton passed from teammate Roman DiMaria, back right, during the 3200 meter relay Tuesday at the Lake Region Conference track meet in Ipswich. The Trojans won the race with the fifth best time in Class B this season. Photo by John Davis taken 5/10/2022

While most of the attention this past week was on the annual Howard Wood Dakota Relays in Sioux Falls, a much smaller meet was producing its own major results.

The Lake Region Conference meet in Ipswich on Tuesday had a major impact on this week’s state-wide track and field leaders. From middle distance races to relays to jumps, LRC athletes took advantage of the weather and the competition to record season-best times and distances.

“I always look forward to this meet,” said Faulkton coach Chad Spicer. “There’s quite a few meets that we have where we face some good competition, but here you bring nine teams in and all of them have something. It’s just so fun to go and compete. The competition is always ‘A’ level. It’s great.”

The LRC is comprised of Aberdeen Christian, Faulkton, Frederick, Ipswich, Langford Area, Leola, North Central, Northwestern and Warner.

Spicer said his athletes knew before they showed up at the meet that the competition would be intense.

When asked if the quality competition leads to better marks, Spicer responded, “Oh, absolutely, and there is plenty there.”

Faulkton won the 3,200-meter relay and recorded the fifth best time in Class B in the process. They also clocked the seventh best time in the class in the 1,600-meter relay.

While there were many top performances on the day, Spicer pointed to one in particular: the boys’ 800-meter run. The race produced six of the top 16 times in Class B this season.

“Very rarely do you go and say, ‘Boy was that 800 a great race.’ It was phenomenal,” Spicer said.

The coach knew the event was going to be something special long before the gun went off to start the race.

“I could see beforehand on the heat sheets, oh, this 800 is going to be phenomenal,” Spicer said. “We had a kid that we wanted in the fast heat, because we wanted him to lower his time. Well he was part of the second heat and he won and got 2:07. I mean that’s the second heat.”

Among the other notable performances on the day was Peyton Jung of Warner who clocked the second best time in Class B in the 400-meter dash, the Ipswich boys’ 400-meter relay team which ran the fastest time in the state, the Frederick boys’ 1,600-meter relay team which turned in the second best time in the class, and the Northwestern girls’ 400-meter relay team which ran the third best time in Class B.

That does not even include Ipswich’s Colby Sylte who long jumped for the first time in three years and produced the fifth best distance in the state.

“That just tells you the caliber of athletes we have in the LRC,” Spicer said. “It’s great.”

Spicer said the conference meet serves as a good tune-up for the upcoming state meet in a couple of weeks because many of the state’s top athletes are from the LRC.

“We look and it is a preparation for state, because of the competition that we get to face here,” he said. “It’s exactly what we get to face at state.”

Spicer also pointed out something else that is worth noting. The conference is full of up and coming athletes who get to experience that big meet atmosphere because the LRC runs a middle school meet in conjunction with the high schoolers.

“What really speaks well for this conference is, you go to a lot of places and there’s not a lot of junior high kids that are out,” Spicer said. “Look at the LRC. I bet there was not one team that probably had less than 30 kids out for junior high.”

That means the Lake Region Conference will likely remain one of the premier track and field conferences for years to come.

“I love going to the LRC,” Spicer said. “You have to up your game. If you don’t up your game, then you’re left behind.”


Simeon Birnbaum of Rapid City Stevens continues to lead three events in Class AA this spring. The distance ace tops the field in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs.

There are currently 16 other athletes who lead a pair of individual events, including Aberdeen Central’s Sam Rohlfs in the Class AA long jump and triple jump, and Ella Boekelheide of Northwestern in the Class B 1,600 and 3,200.


Chester Area sets the pace among the team leaders topping eight events in the Class B boys.

Other team leaders include Brandon Valley in the Class AA boys (five events), Sioux Falls Lincoln in the Class AA girls (seven events), Sioux Falls Christian in the Class A boys (six events), Sioux Falls Christian in Class A girls (six events), and Colman-Egan in the Class B girls (seven events).

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