High school track season is upon us. Before long, we’ll gather at Howard Wood Field for the Dakota Relays, and a few blinks later we’ll be ready to crown a new set of champions at the state meets.
As we spring forward into another season, here’s a look at some of the top boys athletes our state has to offer.
(The girls edition of track athletes to watch will run in Tuesday’s print edition alongside our coverage of the Dan Lennon Invitational.)
Lincoln Gibbs, Langford Area (Class B), junior
Gibbs finished second at state last season in the 100 meter dash and placed seventh in the 200. The Lions’ football standout is primed for another strong season on the track.
Korder Cropsey, Lyman (B), senior
Cropsey will be in the mix for multiple sprint titles after taking third in the 100 and second in both the 200 and 400 at last year’s state ‘B’ tourney.
Jonah Rechtenbaugh, West Central (A), senior
Like the two above him, Rechtenbaugh is a multi-sport standout primed for a big season on the track. Rechtenbaugh finished second last year in the 200 and 400 to Groton Area’s Landon Larson, who graduated, leaving room at the top for the Trojan senior.
Mason Hericks, Watertown (AA), senior
Strong state showings a year ago in the 100 and 200 set Hericks up for a big season. He’s already in the Watertown record books and his success at state includes a third-place finish in the 200 as a sophomore.
Isaiah Feterl, Washington (AA), senior
A burner for the football team, Feterl is at his best in the 400. He finished second there last year to then-senior Ned Sudbeck of Lincoln, and should be in the mix in the 200 as well.
Luke Julian, St. Thomas More (A), junior
Julian earned a state crown in the 800 and 1,600 last year as a sophomore. He’s also got range, finishing fourth in the 3,200. Julian will be a favorite in both middle and long distances this season.
Caleb DeWeerd, Sioux Falls Christian (A), junior
DeWeerd will try and push Julian in the 800 and 1,600 after second- and third-place finishes, respectively, at the state meet last season.
Josh Goehring, Roosevelt (AA), senior
Goehring’s bronze finish at state in the 800 was the highest among non-seniors. The Rough Rider will also be leaned on heavily in the 4×400 and 4×800 relays.
Dan Armstrong, Roosevelt (AA), senior
Known for a relentless motor on the mat in wrestling, Armstrong carries a familiar will to the 1,600 and 3,200. Those two events were largely dominated by seniors at state last season, helping clear the way for Armstrong.
Tiegen Lindner, O’Gorman (AA), senior
The state cross-country runner-up had the highest non-senior finish in the 1,600 at state last season.
Bryce Malsam, Edmunds Central (B), senior
Malsam claimed gold in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles a year ago. Enough said.
Bennett Fierro, RC Stevens (AA), senior
Fierro medaled in the 110 (third) and 300 (second) last season. As the top junior finisher then, consider him this year’s favorite in both events.
Jaxon Hinch, Spearfish (AA), senior – high jump champ
Defending high jump champion will be pushed by O’Gorman’s Jack Peery (second) and Lincoln’s Evan Hieber (third).
Luke Fritsch, O’Gorman (AA), senior
The future Augustana football player would like to go out as a triple jump champion after a silver medal at the state meet last season.
Zack Anderson, Parker (B), senior
No high school athlete in South Dakota jumped higher than Anderson did at the ‘B’ meet last year (6-7.5). Anderson could double-up with a triple jump crown as well.
Noah Vettrus, West Central (A), senior
Vettrus won the Class A high jump last year, and figures to have competition once again from Sioux Valley’s Collin Kramer.
Ty Hoglund, Dell Rapids (A), senior
The hoops standout has ups, as demonstrated by a bronze finish in the long jump and silver in the triple jump.
Noah Huber, Clark/Willow Lake (A), senior
Huber can throw his weight around in football, and throw a lot of weight in track. Had the highest shot put finish among non-seniors at the state meet.
Carter Van Gorp, Sioux Falls Christian (A), senior
Like Huber, finished fourth at state — only in the discuss. Like Huber, highest non-senior finish.
Austin Haushild, Lincoln (AA), senior
State meet last season saw Haushild take second in the shot put and fourth in the discus. Primed for big senior season.