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Competing twice this week, Custer senior Max Oesterling has an appreciation for even just an average spring weather day that he saw Friday in Rapid City.

It's better than running in six inches of snow, something he and his teammates did getting ready for some actual competition. Thursday's meet was also pushed up one day with an expected big snowstorm again on Friday.

Oesterling and his teammates had a good day at the Rapid City Track-O-Rama Friday at O'Harra Stadium, winning a pair of relays, the sprint medley and 4X800.

"We hit Tuesday really hard (at the Queen City Classic in Spearfish), and a lot of our guys PR (personal records) their times and qualified for state," he said. "Today, we weren't expecting much. I ran the 4X8 earlier and we qualified that too."

While Oesterling said they had some good practices between meets, he would still rather compete as scheduled.

"We were running in six inches of snow sometimes, and we ran seven miles in the gym one day because it was really bad weather," he said. "Sometimes it is harder."

Custer has year-in and year-out been a Class A state contender in both boys and girls competition, and this year could be no exception.

"As a team, we're going to try to win state in the 4X8. I'm going to try to get first or second in the 800 too," he said. "I have a chance of that, but we will see. I have a teammate, Daniel Youngblood, who is right there neck-and-neck with me there. We'll push each other all season."

Central senior Hannah Young won a pair of events — her specialties — the 100-meter dash (12.38 seconds), beating Belle Fourche standout Shayla Howell (12.54), and the 200 (25.21), topping Stevens challenger Kyah Watson (26.41).

It was a good day in a lot of ways for Young, who said she is excited to see what happens and how far she will go. 

"I have been working pretty hard indoor because of this weather," Young said. "It sucks, but you just have to remember to work hard whenever you can."

Inside, Young said they have been doing some longer distance to help their endurance.

"When you are running outside, it is totally different than running inside. You have to keep that endurance up," said Young.

Young, who finished third in the 200 and fourth in the 100 in last year's state meet, is excited for her final year with the state meet in Rapid City this year.

"It's my senior year, so I am excited for my friends and family to watch," said Young, who will specialize in the 100- and 200-meter dashes this season, as well as the 4X100 relay.

Last season Central's Ryder Gary struggled at the end of the 200 with tightness in his legs.

He's more loose this year and so far, so good. He won the 200 Friday in 22.65. he was also second in the 100 in 11.36.

"I'm just focusing on my own race and nobody else," Gary said. "And that is what has been working for me now."

Gary is one who has kind of liked the extra time inside, as he said it has helped them continue to get better.

He said the Cobblers have been doing short little sprints on their small track inside the school and a lot of speed drills.

"Our team as a whole is growing so well," he said. "We have way more depth than we did last year, and we're working so hard. It's going to be a really good season, I think."

 Gary has a huge goal of winning the state championship in the 200. He was ninth last season, so he has a lot of room to move up.

"That has him excited.

"It feels good, defenitely," he said of moving up.

Maybe the athletes who dislike being inside the most are the field event participants. Triple jump leader Sage Hagen of Rapid City Central enjoyed Thursday about as much as anyone.

He won the event in 46 feet, 6 inches.

Inside, the jumpers have no where to land, with no sand pits.

"It's been tough not getting outside, getting the rhythm beneath us," Hagen said. "We'll do a lot of triple jumps without a landing — left, left, right and run out of it. It is always tough because you can't ever go full speed inside."

Thursday, Hagen got his top jump on his second jump. That jump felt good, he said. The last time he competed — March 23 at Sioux Park in the Developmental Meet — he jumped a career best 47-4.

"We competed three meets indoor. I had felt good components of the phases, but we were just never able to pull it together all of the way," said Hagen, who also won the long jump at 22-0. "I told everybody that a 47-foot jump was when I finally felt like a triple jumper. Everything felt like it was flowing nicely and it came together."

The state record is 47-11 3/4, and Hagen said that is what he will focus on at the state meet in Rapid City.

"I'll pretty much have to go 48 feet to do it," he said of the getting the state record.

Like basically all of the athletes who competed on Thursday, Hagen said this week was great for just the ability to come out and compete.

"We had two meets this week (in three days). It is always tough for the body to come back, so we didn't jump on Tuesday," he said. "But I will take it any way I can get it."

Also in the meet, Rapid City Stevens’ Riley Stonecipher had a nice day, winning both the long jump at 16-10 ¾ and the triple jump at 34-8.

Other girls’ winners were Marion Hohn of Hill City, in the 400 (1:01.32); Kesley Moore of Gillette Thunder Basin, in the 800 (2:28.58); Tori Glazier of Custer, in the 1,600 (5:30.53); Erica Dykstra of Stevens, in the 3,200 (11:59.33); Emilee Nickel of Central, in the 100 hurdles (15.66), Gabby Drube of Thunder Basin, in the 300 hurdles (48.63); Shayla Howell of Belle Fourche, in the high jump (5-6); Kealy Hill of Thunder Basin, in the pole vault (11-3); Mackenzie Rush of Pierre, in the shot put (40-0) and Jordan Fink of Gillette Campbell County, in the discus (116-90).

Other winners in the boys competition were: Preston Barr of Aberdeen Central, in the 100 (11.30); Noah Krull of Hill City, in the 400 (52.99); Caleb Lusk of Pierre, in the 800 (2:06.33); Aaron Ryan of Aberdeen Central, in both the 1,600 (4:42.73) and 3,200 (10:03.18); Hunter Vatne of Thunder Basin, in the 110 hurdles (15.39); Kayleb Twomey of Central, in the 400 hurdles (41.53); Tod Stephens of Central, in the high jump (6-0); Davis Cathey of Campbell county, in the pole vault (12-9); Erick Coleman of Pierre, in the shot put (53-5) and Ryan Kienzle of Thunder Basin, in the discus (162-0).

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Sports Editor

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.