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Titan athletes find success at State Track & Field Meet




The Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls witnessed an impressive display of athleticism as the 2023 State Track and Field Championships took place for all three classes, AA, A, and B. Among the competing schools, Tea Area High School athletes emerged with notable achievements, including personal bests and podium finishes in Class A.

As a team, the Titan boys captured fifth place with Sioux Falls Christian winning the State A title. The Titan girls finished in 12th place at State. Sioux Falls Christian took the title.

Blake Thompson finished with State A runner-up honors in the long jump, jumping 21’2.25”. Winning the State A title was Jayden Munroe of Aberdeen Roncalli who just edged Thompson with a jump of 21’6.5”. Tea Area’s Ethan McKnelly finished his high school high jumping career tying for fourth place after clearing 6’ at State.

Haidyn West took fifth place honors at State in the 400 meter dash with a time of 1:00.8. This time sets a new school record for Tea Area. MVP’s Berkeley Engelland won the State title with a time of 56.11.

Mya Neuhardt took sixth in the 200 meter dash, clocking a time of 27.40 seconds. MVP’s Engelland won the State title in the event with a time of 26.12. Neuhardt also competed in the 100 meter dash at State but was unable to make it out of the preliminary round.

The boys’ 4x200 meter team of Juv Banza, Ethan Vis, Ethan McKnelly, and Blake Thompson took fourth at State with a time of 1:33.07. Sioux Falls Christian won the State title.

The boys’ 4x100 team of Juv Banza, Tyler Rhead, Ethan Vis and Blake Thompson captured sixth place with a time of 44.63. Platte-Geddes won the State title in the event.

The girls’ 4x400 meter relay team ran the second fastest time in prelims to qualify for the finals and earned fourth place at State. Team members included Heidi Hofer, Brooklyn Reiners, Mya Neuhardt, and Haidyn West.

The girls’ 4x800 meter relay team of Grace Bialas, Abby Hilleson, Jaycie Babb and Haidyn West captured fifth place honors with a time of 9:56.54 in the event. This time crushed the old Titan school record by 20 seconds. Sioux Falls Christian won the State title with a time 9:37.47.

The girls’ 4x200 meter relay team of Mya Neuhardt, Kendra Nielson, Payton Cuppy, and Sami Van Tol took sixth place honors with a time of 1:48.60. Sioux Falls Christian won the State title in the event.

In the boys’ 110 meter hurdles, Matthew Rogers clocked a personal best 15.72 seconds to capture fifth place honors at State. This time gives Rogers the second fastest 110 meter hurdle time in Titan history. Josiah Adams of Sioux Falls Christian won the State title with a time of 14.78.

Kara Knutson found a place on the awards stand in the pole vault competition, taking eighth after clearing 9’. This marked a school record. Custer’s Diana Stiefel won the State title, clearing 12’8”, a new meet record.

The boys’ 4x800 meter relay team of Holden Jelen, Alex Kayser, Jack Campbell and Peyton Sieber finished with a time of 8:54.41, taking 20th. The time marked a season’s best.

The girls’ Sprint Medley relay team of Kendra Nielson, Payton Cuppy, Shealey Geelan, and Jaycie Babb finished in 13th place with a time of 4:30.34.

In the 1600 meter run, Jaycie Babb improved her school record to 5:28.01 to finish 16th and Grace Bialas finished in 5:32.82, taking 21st. Babb also competed in the 800 meter run, taking 14th with a time of 2:27.06, setting another school record.

In the girls’ triple jump, Reese Hammerquist finished in 20th with a jump of 31’5”. Hammerquist, along with Natalie Gass, competed in the high jump. Both cleared 4’8” but were unable to reach the podium.

Connor McKinney competed in the boys’ shot put and recorded a throw of 43’7.5” to take 16th place.

The boys’ 4x400 meter relay team of Chase DeBoer, Ethan McKnelly, Holden Jelen and Nathan Babb were unable to make it out of the preliminary rounds, finishing with a time of 3:38.08 in the event. However, the time was a season’s best for the group.

The girls’ 4x100 meter relay team of Sage Hoffman, Kendra Nielson, Payton Cuppy, and Sami Van Tol failed to make it out of the preliminary round.

Both Blake Thompson and Juv Banza competed in the 100 meter dash at State but were unable to make it out of the preliminary round.

Brooklyn Reiners competed in the 300 meter hurdles at State but was unable to make it out of the preliminary round

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