The MHS track and field teams traveled to the 2022 South Dakota State High School Championships in Sioux Falls. Over 2,800 athletes competed from May 26-28 in the 117th annual event.
The Bulldogs’ 1600-meter relay team composed of Kaden Krause, Nick Batchelor, Garrett Mertens, and Bennett Schwenn, were crowned the state Class A champions. They also broke their own school record with a time of 3:26.08.
According to Milbank’s head coach, Eric Townsend, both MHS teams had their best meets of the season. “The boys’ team placed second for the second year in a row. It was an incredible team accomplishment!”
He also noted, “A three-day state meet was different for everyone and provided a great atmosphere.” Townsend was referring to the format used this year. All the events took place at Howard Wood Field instead of at several locations around the city, and the traditional, two-day meet was expanded to three days. Some of the excitement stemmed from the Milbank boys taking the race for the second-place team trophy down to the wire. Townsend said, “We were down three points coming into the last event. It all came down to the 1600-meter relay between us and Custer. When our relay team won the event, we also secured the second-place team trophy.” Custer had to settle for third place. Sioux Falls Christian finished first.
Individually for Milbank, senior Bennett Schwenn won his third consecutive Class A triple jump title with a leap of 45 feet 11.75 inches. He placed second in the long jump with a leap of 20 feet 8.75 inches, ran a leg on the aforementioned 1600-meter relay team, and completed the 200-meter dash in 23.29 seconds to place ninth. Schwenn was also selected as the MVP in the Class A field division.
Senior Nick Batchelor capped off his extraordinary high school track and field career by running in the aforementioned title-winning relay and placing in three individual events. Batchelor placed second in the 3200-meter run, second in the 800-meter run, and third in the 1600-meter run. His time of 1.56.79 in the 800-meter run broke his own school record. Townsend said, “Nick also nearly broke the school record in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:23.90.” There was less than a second difference.
All of the Bulldog and Lady Bulldog athletes, however, contributed to Milbank’s success at the championships. Townsend said, “Overall, there were 23 season bests at State between both teams. In the 3200-meter relay, the team of Kaden Krause, Payton Brown, Bryan Meyer, and James Batchelor took second place and cracked the MHS varsity honor roll with a time of 8:16.34. They now sit at No. 3. The medley relay team of Laney Forrette, Maurina Street, Siera Wenzl, and Ashlynn Batchelor packed up eighth place and brought it home for the Lady Bulldogs.
The girls’ 400-meter relay team of Forrette, Jacy Dexter, Addisyn Krause, and Wenzl earned 10th place and moved into a tie for No. 5 on the MHS varsity honor roll with a time of 51.83. A. Batchelor wrapped up 10th place in the 3200-meter run with a time of 11:34.59. She improved her time as No. 2 on the MHS varsity honor roll, but missed toppling the school record by less than a second.
Jayden Johnson took fifth place in the pole vault competition and moved up to No. 3 on the MHS varsity honor roll with a vault of 13 feet 0 inches.
Ryker Trevett took fifth-place in the shot put competition. Townsend said, “There were a number of other performances that were also very close to cracking the varsity honor roll. The girls 1600-meter relay team (Maurina Street, Isabella Anderson, Dexter, and Wenzl); Payton Brown in the 1600-meter run; and Anderson in the 400-meter dash. All were just a couple of tenths of a second from making the top-10 list in school history.”
Complete results for the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs include:
Thursday, May 26 3200-Meter Relay – Maurina Street (2:37.44), Ellie Neugebauer (2:40.38), Leah Meyer (2:48.87), Kinlee Speidel (2:47.54). Total – 10:54.57.
High Jump – Garrett Mertens – No height recorded. 3200-Meter Relay – Kaden Krause (2:05.87), Payton Brown (2:03.60), Bryan Meyer (2:02.86), and James Batchelor (2:04.04). Total – 8:16.34. Second-Place Finish. Moved to No. 3 on MHS Varsity Honor Roll. 400-Meter Relay – Laney Forette, Jacy Dexter, Addisyn Krause, and Siera Wenzl.10th-Place Finish. Moved to No. 5 on the MHS Varsity Honor Roll. 400-Meter Relay – Mason Meister, Aidan Foell, Jayden Johnson, and Karson Weber – 46.71. Medley Relay – Laney Forrette, Maurina Street, Siera Wenzl, and Ashlynn Batchelor.
Friday, May 27 3200-Meter Run – Ashlynn Batchelor – 11.34.59. 10th-Place Finish. Moved to No. 2 on the MHS Varsity Honor Roll. Pole Vault – Maggie Kruger – 8 feet 6 inches, Rylee Scoular NH, and Jacy Dexter 8 feet 0 inches.
3200-Meter Run – Nick Batchelor 9:43.15. Second-Place Finish. James Batchelor 10.21.53. 800-Meter Relay – Laney Forrette, Isabella Anderson, Maurina Street, and Siera Wenzl. 1:52.38. 800-Meter Relay – Karson Weber, Garrett Mertens, Aidan Foell, and Kaden Krause – 1:37.14. 110-Meter Hurdles – Max Lightfield – 16.63. 400-Meter Dash – Isabella Anderson – 1:02.92. Triple Jump – Bennett Schwenn – 45 feet 11.75 inches. First-Place Finish. 300-Meter Hurdles – Max Lightfield – 43.21. 800-Meter Run – Ashlynn Batchelor – 2:29.70.
Shot Put – Ryker Trevett – 48 feet 5 inches. Fifth-Place Finish. Pole Vault – Karson Weber 12 feet 0 inches, Jack Sandvig 11 feet 0 inches, Jayden Johnson 13 feet 0 inches. Fifth -Place Finish. Moved to No.3 on the MHS Varsity Honor Roll. 800-Meter Run – Nick Batchelor 1:56.79. Second-Place Finish and a New MHS School Record. Payton Brown 2:03.57. Bryan Meyer 2:04.36. 200-Meter Dash – Bennett Schwenn – 23.29. Ninth-Place Finish. 1600-Meter Relay – Maurina Street (1:03.62), Isabella Anderson (1:04.61), Jacy Dexter (1:06.34), and Siera Wenzl (1:03.26). Total 4:18.54. 1600-Meter Relay– Kaden Krause (52.90), Nick Batchelor (51.35), Garrett Mertens (51.47), and Bennett Schwenn (3:26.77).
Saturday, May 28 Long Jump – Bennett Schwenn – 20 feet 8.75 inches. Second-Place Finish.1600-Meter Run – Ashlynn Batchelor – 5:29.02. 1600-Meter Run – Nick Batchelor – 4:23.90 – Third-Place Finish. James Batchelor – 4:45.81. Payton Brown – 4:40.65. Medley Relay – Laney Forrette, Maurina Street, Siera Wenzl, and Ashlynn Batchelor – 4:30.30. Eighth-Place Finish.
1600-Meter Relay – Kaden Krause (52.52), Nick Batchelor (50.59), Garrett Mertens (51.58), and Bennett Schwenn (50.91). Total 3:26.08. Championship Title and New MHS School Record.
All Photos courtesy of South Dakota Public Broadcsting