Raising the bar: Haring jumping for third state title
Carly Haring's has reached unprecedented heights this season and could add another state title today.
The junior jumper is a two-time Class AA high jump champion and could add a third to her résumé today in Sturgis during the South Dakota State Track and Field Meet.
Haring burst onto the scene when she won the state title as an eighth grader in 2015. After she was hampered by a leg injury for a majority of her freshman season in 2016, Haring claimed the high jump title again last season.
She enters today's event with the best mark in Class AA at 5 foot, 8 inches, which is the Mitchell High School school record. The mark is also top-10 in state history.
"Carly is an extremely hard worker and her and coach (Deb) Thill have been putting everything together here and working on the finishing touches," Mitchell coach Joe Shepardson said. "High jump is going to be a tough competition. I am excited to see how she ends up."
Watertown's Alayna Falak is right behind Haring with a 5-7 mark. The two Eastern South Dakota Conference foes have battled it out this season, while three other girls have cleared 5-5.
"There's several girls right up there," Shepardson said. "It's going to be exciting to watch and it's going to be a tough competition."
Mitchell senior Kyla Crago has qualified in 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes. Crago finished second in the 400 last season and enters this year's event with best time (58.84).
"Kyla's first goal is she's just got to get qualified for finals," Shepardson said. "That's her main goal right now is do what she can do to get to finals on Saturday."
"Normally Crago would run the mile relay," Shepardson added. "But we are going to keep her out of it to preserve some of her legs a little for finals on Saturday."
For the Mitchell boys, the Kernels have three athletes in a crowded field of pole vaulters. Kiel Nelson and Sutton Carpenter have both cleared 13-3, while Sam Jones has reached 12-9.
"Coach Travis Carpenter, he's been working on some final touches with them, as well," Shepardson said. "I think those guys should all be able to PR (personal record) and go higher than they've gotten throughout their high school careers."
Shepardson said the trio have pushed each other this season, while they also battled against some of the state's best in the event. Harrisburg's Nolan Hoback has the best mark in Class AA (15-0), while teammate Peyton Voss is just behind at 14-9.
"It's great for those three to be able to compete with each other and it helps because pole vaulting in the state this year is extremely tough," Shepardson said. "So that competition they are getting with each other is helpful for everybody else in the state. Because these guys are vaulting really high and they've got a lot of guys that are right around them, too."
Shepardson anticipates three of the Kernel boys relay teams—the 4x100, 4x200 and the medley—to possibly place. The 400 and 800-meter relays consist of Sam Edwards, Kiel Nelson, Miles Rolle and Courtney Miller. Edwards, Rolle, Miller and Jacob Jarding will run the medley. If they qualify for finals, Jarod Uher will run the 800-meter leg.
Senior Tate Larson has qualified for the 300 hurdles, which is still a relatively new sport for the multi-sport athlete.
"He went in just blind last year as a junior and this year he's becoming extremely competitive hurdler and it's just great to see his transformation in two years and he's rewarded himself by qualifying for state," Shepardson said.