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Titans set school records, reach podium at 2021 State Meet

On Friday, May 28 and Saturday, May 29, hundreds of athletes headed west to compete in the 2021 State A Track and Field Meet.

Among those athletes were several from Tea Area High School who had earned the right to compete among the top in the State.

The boys’ 4x200 meter relay team of Austin Lake, Sam Schmitt, Tyler Duffy and Braden Beach have enjoyed success all season long and the success continued at State as the team earned a second place finish setting a new school record with a time of 1:29.27 in the event. That time was just shy of a State meet record and would have won the State title at the Class AA Meet. Winning the title in Class A was a team from Sioux Falls Christian who did set a new State meet record with a time of 1:29.14.

Lake, Schmitt, Duffy and Beach combined again to compete in a highly competitive 4x100 meter relay race. The group of seniors earned second place in the event with a time of 43.72 in the event. Sioux Falls Christian once again grabbed the State title, with a time of 43.12.

Individually, Lake had a strong showing as well, finding a place on the podium in both the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes. In the 200, Lake ran a personal record time of 22.51 seconds in the event. This places him second all time in school history and earned him sixth place honors at the State meet. In the 100, Lake clocked a time of 11.20 seconds to place seventh among the top runners in the State.

Duffy finished just out of the finals in the 100 meter dash, clocking a 11.34, taking ninth. Schmitt finished 18th with a time of 11.47 seconds. In the 200 meter dash, Duffy didn’t reach the podium but still clocked a personal record in the event with a time of 22.99, placing him fourth all time in school history.

Beach also found success individually, finishing with State runner-up honors in the long jump after recording a jump of 21’9”. Winning the event was Milbank’s Bennett Schwenn who jumped a distance of 22’6”.

Also competing strong for the Titan boys was senior Luke Rettedal. This was Rettedal’s first year on the track and field team and he earned a spot on the State podium in the shot put, throwing a personal record with a distance of 49’6.5” in the event to place fourth. Winning the event was Elk Point Jefferson’s Drake Peed who threw a distance of 57’11”.

Ethan McKnelly also reached the podium for the Titan boys. He tied for eighth place in the event after clearing 5’9”.

For the Titan girls, the 4x100 meter relay team ran a season’s best time of 51.36 in the event to earn them third place among the top teams in the State. Team members included Olivia Ritter, Shealey Geelan, Kennedi Johannsen, and Samantha VanTol.

Katie Vasecka earned her spot on the podium in the triple jump and high jump, capturing fifth place in both events. In the triple jump, Vasecka jumped a distance of 34’5.5” in the event. Winning the State title was Aberdeen Roncalli’s Morgan Fiedler with a jump of 35’7.25”. Titan Carson Quigley was just one place off the podium in the event, taking ninth with a jump of 33’2.5”.

In the high jump, Vasecka cleared 5’ to place fifth. Winning the State title was Wagner’s Ashlyn Koupal who cleared 5’4”.

Senior Allison Kint also found herself on the podium in fifth place after clearing 8’3” in the pole vault event at State.

Eighth place honors went to the 4x800 meter relay team of Haley Korver, Aubrey Kenyon, Haidyn West, and Jaycie Babb who finished the event in a new school record time of 10:17.35.

Babb also set a new school record in the 800 meter run, finishing off the podium in 17th place with a time of 2:29.01 in the event.

Other Titans competing at State included VanTol and Johannsen in individual events. Both competed in the 100 meters, just missing the finals with a ninth place finish for VanTol and a 12th place finish for Johannsen. Kenyon also competed individually in the 3200 meter run, taking 19th place with a time of 12:47.23.

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