The Milbank Area boys and girls track teams improved with each meet and are peaking now towards the end of the season. As a result, the list of qualifiers for the state Class A meet is growing.
At the Sisseton Legion Relays April 29, Jake Anderson made a state qualifying triple jump of 40 feet 11.75 inches. Jake Karges long-jumped a state qualifying total of 20 feet 8 inches, which broke his ninth grade long jump record and moved him to number six on the varsity all-time honor roll. Taylor Thue also qualified for the state meet in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of :15.37. That time moved her into the number two spot on the varsity honor roll. She also broke her school record time in the 300-meter hurdles with a qualifying time of :46.36.
The boys 400-meter relay, which qualified for State earlier this season, improved their time to :44.25 and moved up to third on the honor roll. Molly Rick triple-jumped 32 feet 3.25 inches which landed her tenth on the varsity honor roll.
“There were 34 season best times for the girls team and 35 season best times for the boys at the Sisseton Legion Relays,” said Bulldog head track coach Eric Townsend. “It was a great meet for the Dawgs. Each meet we get better and better. Hopefully, we can continue to improve, stay healthy, and have our best meets at the end of the season.”
Milbank hosted the Valley Queen Cheese Invitational May 3. “The VQC Invite was a great opportunity to compete at home for the last time this season,” stated Townsend. “We have been blessed with some decent weather this spring and were able to get in all of our home varsity meets. Both the boys and girls teams were able to compete against some of the NEC and region schools we will face in the coming weeks.”
With tough competition and windy weather, Taylor Thue led the girls team with a first place finish in the 100-meter hurdles. Despite the conditions, she finished in :15.90, a state qualifying time. The girls 3,200-meter relay team of Danica Schulte, Madi Thue, Christina Lusk, and Gabbi Cummins earned a first place finish, as did the 800-meter relay team of Mackayla Schuelke, Makayla Johnson, Elisabeth Schwenn, and Taylor Thue. Danica Schulte won the girls 800-meter run and was a member of the winning 1,600-meter relay team with teammates Elisabeth Schwenn, Makayla Johnson, and Taylor Thue.
On the boys side, three Bulldog sprinters earned a place in the state meet in the 100-meter dash. Tanner Gauer finished third with :10.91- his fastest time of the season. It also moved him into second on the varsity honor roll. Gauer had qualified earlier this season in that race. Derrick Aho finished fourth with a state qualifying mark of :11.14 and Cole Dockter took sixth place with a qualifying time of :11.18. The boys 400-meter relay tied the meet record with a time of :45.21. Team members were Kyle Montag, Cole Dockter, Jake Anderson, and Tanner Gauer. Gauer also hit the qualifying mark in the 200-meter dash with a time of :22.59. His time was good enough for third place on the honor roll and second overall in the meet. Anderson improved his state qualifying leap in the triple jump- flying 41 feet 7 inches.
“A huge thanks to Mark Leddy and the Valley Queen Cheese employees who helped make this meet a great event,” noted Townsend. “Without their help and so many other volunteers, none of our home meets would be nearly as successful.”
Milbank took a select number of athletes to the Howard Wood Relays May 6-7. Several relays qualified for the state meet. Punching their ticket were: the girls medley relay team of Elisabeth Schwenn, Makayla Johnson, Taylor Thue and Danica Schulte; the girls 800-meter relay of Mackayla Schuelke, Makayla Johnson, Elisabeth Schwenn, and Taylor Thue; and the girls 1,600- meter relay team of Elisabeth Schwenn, Makayla Johnson, Danica Schulte, and Taylor Thue. The 800-meter relay moved into seventh on the varsity honor roll. Thue also had a great race in the 300-meter hurdles and placed third overall.
The boys medley relay beat the state standard and qualified for the state meet. Team members were Derrick Aho, Jake Anderson, Tanner Gauer, and Cole Dockter. The boys 400 and 800-meter relays, who qualified earlier this season, placed fourth and third, respectively. The boys 1,600-meter relay team finished in eighth place overall and was just a second from qualifying.
“In the past two meets, there were 30 total season best times,” said Townsend. “That number late in the season is very good.”
Milbank will battle for the Northeast Conference title Friday, May 13, in Redfield.