When Rapid City Christian’s Levi Vanden Bos passed Ethan Brenneman with one lap to go in the 1,600-meter run Tuesday at the Rapid City Qualifier, Brenneman knew it was go time.
The Sturgis junior kicked it in and caught and passed Vanden Boss with about 200 meters remaining and picked up the victory with a couple of seconds to spare.
“I really didn’t know who was going to be in there and what I should be going at,” Brenneman said. “I really felt him coming on, and I really didn’t know where to put the burners on at. I just started going. He’s a tough competitor; he’s quick.”
When a runner sees another pass him on the final lap, Brenneman said it starts a fire inside.
“It’s like a mental game,” he said. “You don’t know if you want to go to dial it in, go later. It burns inside of you to think how bad do you really want this?”
Brenneman, who competed in the Special 800 last Friday at the Howard Wood Dakota relays in Sioux Falls, has run the 400 this season as he looks to pick up some speed work. He said it has been fun running the 400 as he likes to try out new events.
“I’ve been pretty decent at my final kick. The 400 just shows me where I need to start my kick at or how hard I need to go,” he said. “The 400 is a mental game. It helps you push hard at the end.”
So far Brenneman has qualified for the state meet in the 1,600, 800, 400, 4X400 relay and sprint medley relay. He said he will likely run the 800, 4X400 and the 1,600 at state.
He was relatively pleased with his time of 4 minutes, 37.10 seconds, considering it was just the second time this season he has competed in the 1,600.
“It’s not the fastest that I have ever run; last year I ran 4:34,” he said. “I can most definitely pull it down with some more training."
St. Thomas More sophomore Kaci Cooper has a little late kick of her own, and that gave her the win in the 800-meter run after running evenly for about three-fourths of the race with teammate Brigit Blote.
“My coach just said to get out fast and run with my teammate (Blote), so that is what I tried to do,” Cooper said.
Cooper and Blote ran stride-for-stride for the first lap and a half before Cooper reached down for another gear and finished in a time of 2:21.48, to Blote’s 2:23.87
“That is where I am supposed to push,” she said. “We’re just getting practice for conference right now.”
With the season in the down stretch that also includes Friday’s Black Hills Conference meet in Douglas and next Monday’s regional at Belle Fourche, Cooper said the busy next few days is good practice for the Cavaliers, who once again will be challenging for the Class A girls’ title.
“We’re just simulating state, so we know what we are going to feel like in those two days,” Cooper said. “And we’re working on working together for those races.”
Cooper said she will probably run the 4X800 relay, 800, 400 and spring medley relay. She hopes she is beginning to peak at the right time.
“There have been some disappointments here and there, but last week went really well,” she said.
Other individual winners in the boys’ division were: Jacob Hyde of St. Thomas More, in the 100 (11.76) and the 200 (22.63), Noah Wamsher of Sturgis in the 400 (51.64), Trinity Brady of Lead-Deadwood, in the 800 (2:04.32), Rhaecine Sam of Wakpala, in the 3,200 (10:26,62), Grant Huber of STM in the 110 hurdles (16.33), Gavin Haefs of Lead-Deadwood in the 300 hurdles (40.10), Colton Cogdill of New Underwood in the shot put (43-4 ½) and the discus (135-11), Isaiah Morin-Baxter of Rapid City Stevens in the high jump at 6-1, Jake Person of Stevens in the pole vault (12-6), Bransen Kuehl of Stevens in the long jump (21-1) and Carter Nesland of Stevens in the triple jump (42-7 ¼).
Other individual winners in the girls’ division were: Bailey Carlson of STM in the 100 (13.39) and the 200 (27.15), Loralee Stock of Sturgis in the 400 (1:01.14), Abby Pierce of Rapid City Christian in the 1,600 (5:59.46), Macy Martin of Dupree in the 3,200 (15:04.57), Skylar Sullivan in the 100 hurdles (16.85), Sydney Shaw of Sturgis in the 300 hurdles (48.87), Kyla Sawvell of Wall in the shot put (41-7) and the discus (111-0), Ashlyn Simons of Sturgis in the high jump (5-0), Ceringtion Jones of New Underwood in the long jump (17-5), Makayla Keffeler of Sturgis in the triple jump (33-10) and Carolyn Groeger of Lead-Deadwood in the pole vault (11-0).