NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. | Travis Ohl and his teammates had plenty of time to recover in between sprints Thursday night.
Thirty-five minutes after winning the 100, Ohl was part of victorious 4x200 relay at the Region 4A Meet held at sun-splashed Robert L. Peterson Memorial Field. Ohl, the 100 winner (11.31), was joined in the first-place 4x200 (1:32.80) by Tadd Green, Eli Gaiani and Cole Schulz.
Green and Schulz finished second and third, respectively in the 100 with their 11.42 and 11.43 times. Schulz, incidentally, defeated the qualifying standard of 11.46 to reach next week’s Class A state meet at Rapid City for a team that took first place in the final team standings.
“(Green) has pushed me all season long,” said Ohl, who also won the 200 (23.33) and took part in the first-place 4x100 (45.18). “It’s great to see him joining me at state. I’m hoping to see him take the next step at state and hopefully next year too.”
Dakota Valley’s Cole Bergmann reached state in the high jump for the second straight year, clearing 6-2. Bergmann, who cleared 6-5 for third at last year’s state meet, missed three chances at 6-4, the height he cleared for his season-best last month in Yankton.
“I feel like I have a good standing going into state next week,” said Bergmann. “I just have to keep it steady, keep going the same pace, keep doing what I’m doing in practice. I need to be more patient when I’m up in the air, keep my form tight and follow through when I get close to the bar.”
Pole vault champion Michael DeWaal (9-0) of Dakota Valley and his teammate, second-place Christian Weinandt (9-0) also qualified for the state meet. The Panthers will also be represented at state by 110 hurdles runner-up Parker Moss (15.65).
Vermillion freshman Tommy Nikkel won the 400 (52.12) and was also part of the first-place 4x800 (8:28.46) and 4x400 (3:32.56) relays along with 800-meter champion A.J. Plitzuweit (2:00.95). Teammate Matt Bierle, also part of the winning 4x400, reached state with a runner-up time of 42.47 in the 300 hurdles, while a runner-up 3:51.44 in the sprint medley also gave the Tanagers a state spot.
Elk Point-Jefferson’s Drake Peed reached state as the runner-up in the shot put (48-5.50). Peed also defeated the qualifying discus standard of 140-5 with his third-place 142-11 finish.
Vermillion’s girls finished second in the final team standings, thanks to victories in four relays, including the medley, where Ellie Schroeder, Makenna Drucker, Mack LaBrune and Maddie Lavin posted a Region 4A record of 4:21.76, defeating Canton’s 4:22.44 set in 1991.
“Our medley was totally unexpected,” said Lavin. “I had no idea until I was 10 yards from the finish. I looked at the clock and it was 4:18 or 4:19 and the record was 4:22, so I said I got to finish. It was so cool that we got that.”
Lavin, the 3,200 winner (11:59.24), was also part of the winning 4x800 (9:56.57), a quartet that included 1,600 champ Whisler (5:38.97). Vermillion also won the 4x200 (1:49.73) and 4x100 (51.95) relays.
The long jump was one of the best girls events at the Region 4A meet. Six individuals met or topped the 16-1 standard, including champion Riley Donnelly (16-10.75) of Elk Point-Jefferson, Dakota Valley’s third-place Alyssa Johnson (16-9.50) and Vermillion’s fifth-place Taylor Weber (16-7.50).
Johnson’s personal best long jump was a thrill, since it’s her first year in the event. The Dakota Valley senior also reached state with seconds in both the high jump (4-11) and the 200 (27.03).
“I hit the board really well today,” said Johnson, Class A’s defending high jump champ, who was two inches short of teammate Nikita Reinschmidt’s winning 5-1. “I got right to the edge of it and gave it my best jump. Right now, I have to bring more speed.”
Donnelly also established a season-best long jump. A year ago at state as a freshman, she took seventh at state in the triple jump.
“Coach wanted me to go big because it’s my last one before state, so I can try to get qualified,” said Donnelly. “Today in the jumping part, I got up in the air a lot more, so that was really working. My work on the runway really helped.”
Donnelly’s sophomore classmate, Kenna Curry, took first in both the discus (132-7) and the shot put (39-4.50). Another EP-J soph, Calli Davis, won the 400 (1:00.70) for the second straight year, and also anchored the team to victory in the 4x400 (4:16.23).