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HIGH SCHOOL TRACK

Stevens wins sprint medley at Nike Outdoor Nationals

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Stevens sprint medley

Rapid City Stevens' Simeon Birnbaum (left), Tanner Lunders, Justin Juniel and Alex Otten pose for a picture after setting the school record in the 1600-meter sprint medley relay May 17 at O'Harra Stadium.

The Rapid City Stevens relay team of Tanner Lunders, Justin Juniel, Alex Otten and Simeon Birnbaum took home first place in the sprint medley at the Nike Outdoor Nationals on Friday in Eugene, Oregon.

The foursome won the event with a time of 3:25.12, beating out competition from around the country and winning it by 1.78 seconds. Their time also set a new South Dakota state record.

After Lunders, Juniel and Otten ran their legs, keeping the Raiders in the top three, the baton was handed off to Birnbaum, who moved into second place on the first of two laps before pulling ahead in the first 200 meters of the last lap.

The victory marks the second national title won by Birnbaum, who claimed the 1-mile at the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle on Wednesday.

The squad qualified to compete at the Nike Outdoor Nationals when they ran a 3:27.52 sprint medley time at the Last Chance Track and Field Meet on May 17 at O'Harra Stadium in Rapid City. 

That mark, eclipsed on Friday by 2.4 seconds tied the fastest time in the event in the United States for 2022 among high school athletes, and also broke the South Dakota state record, as well as the school record that had stood for 46 years.

The Raiders also won the Class AA state championship in the sprint medley back on May 28 at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls, winning the title by more than two and a half seconds. 

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