SPEARFISH – The Flandreau girls tied for 16th in the Class A State Track & Field Meet at Lyle Hare Stadium, May 28-29.
“All the coaches and I were really impressed with the efforts of our Flier tracksters and fieldsters out at the state meet,” said Head Coach Owen Parsley.
“The weekend was such a neat experience, from the supportive pep rally and the police and first responders escort to I-29, to the community members that made the journey out west or watched from home. The students really fed off the energy from the local encouragement as well as the state meet hype! Praise God for such a fantastic weekend and close to the 2021 season,” Parsley added.
West Central took the team crown with 82 points and Custer (66) was second.
The Fliers totaled 18 points.
Parsley remarked that, “The girls had their best state performance since 2000, as they finished 16th out of 37 teams - accumulate 18 team points, and just missed the top eight by only 9.5 points.”
“Bella Pavlis and Faith Wiese both proved their talent in their individual races by nabbing medals with Bella in the 100 meter dash (5th place 13.14) and Faith in the 3200 meter run (4th at 11:54.02),” said Parsley.
“I’m proud of their hard work all year on our relays, but especially in their individual performances. Any athlete who can bring home an individual medal has to be proud of their drive and skill. It truly is a remarkable accomplishment.”
Seeded sixth, the medley relay team of Claire Sheppard, Lizzie Pavlis, Isabella Pavlis and Libby Hursey ran to a third place with a time of 4 minutes, 25.2 seconds.
“Claire Sheppard started with a strong 200, Lizzie Pavlis maintained that power, Bella Pavlis powered forward with a splendid quarter, and Libby brought it home to finish third by fighting her way to a remarkable 2:26 800 split,” said Parsley. He noted that it was the perfect way for his senior leader and role model to close out her final high school running season.
“This now stands as the second fastest medley time in school history, a record we hope to shatter in the near future,” he said.
Lily Klein, Hursey, Maria Parsley and Wiese posted a sixth-place showing in the 4x800 with a 10:08.12 clocking.
“They ran a courageous race and just fell short of the 1988 school record by less than a second. But you can bet in the future that we are going to give it all we have to chase after that record,” noted Parsley.
Even though he loses two seniors, Hursey and Cassidy Keith, Parsley said he is excited to see how strong the girls’ come back next year and how they can keep improving.
“The future is bright.”
Sioux Falls Christian dominated the Class A boys’ division with 133.66 team points. Milbank (66) was second.
“The boys team improved nearly all of their relay times and I was so glad to send thirteen of them out to the state meet,” said Parsley.
“They grew and developed both physically and mentally throughout the year and they really have set a strong and determined tone for our boys’ team for now and in the future.”
In the final boys’ event of the meet, the Flier 4x400 meter relay surpassed their 12th place seed to end the state meet on a high note. The foursome relay of Tathan Headrick, Liam Streitz, Ethan Hoffman and Alex Anderson were seventh in 3:35.07.
“They showed what heart was all about in that race through their speedy and committed efforts. So glad they’ll all be back next year and look forward to what other finishes and times they will track down.”
Parsley had high praise for others at the state meet.
“Though Chase Reed did not throw what he wanted, I’m so proud of his conference and region championships and his development as a thrower and team leader. This year he got a taste of state, now we hope he can place there next year.”
“Our state seniors, Johnny Deloera, Bradon Weber, and Sam Gassman went out on a high note helping their 4X100 (Deloera and Weber) and 4X800 (Gassman) relays run their best times of the season. I appreciated having them these past seasons and I look forward to what they will accomplish beyond high school. If they use the same work ethic they had in track and field, their collegiate and working careers will certainly be nothing short of excellent.”
Flandreau’s team scored their first team points at a State meet since 2015.