SIOUX FALLS — While Deubrook Area captured it’s third consecutive Class B State Track and Field girls' title, White River sophomore Caelyn Valandra-Prue was the star of the Class B action on Saturday, adding to her 800-meter win on Friday with sprint wins in the 100- and 200-meter dashes at Howard Wood Field.
Led by Wall junior Andrew Law's two hurdle titles, the Eagles were a strong second in the boys' team race.
After winning the 100-meter dash by five thousands of a second (12.382 to 12.387 over Chester Area’s Makenna Larson) Valandra-Prue lost a shot at a fourth Class B gold medal when another area sophomore, New Underwood’s Cerington Jones, nipped her at the wire aided by a sprawling lean at the finish line to win the 400 meter dash, an event Valandra-Prue had won last year in Class A with Todd County.
“I’ve been running against Caelyn all year and I’ve lost to her every time,” Jones said as she described her quick start and a big lead early only to see Valandra-Prue almost overtake her in the homestretch. “My coach told me to just start fast and sprint the whole thing, and I’ve been trying that. I knew she was right behind me at the finish and knew that it would come down to the lean at the line.”
Jones capped off a double win day anchoring the New Underwood 4X200 relay team to a win as well. Teammates included Juli Schaub, Portia Wiebers and Jae Hanks.
Though tearful at losing in the 400 meters, Valandra-Prue bounced back an hour later, capturing the 200 meters helping her team to a fourth-place performance.
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“I just knew I couldn’t keep my head down after the 400, and knew I had to come back and run the 200 like I can, and I’m proud that I was able to do that,” Valandra-Prue said while describing her three title performances, including her first attempt at state in the 800. “I didn’t really see myself as an 800 runner, but I ran an 800 at regions and I qualified, and then I felt I could win it if I gave it my all. I feel really good with three out of four, but it would have been nice to go four-for-four.”
In Class B boys action, Viborg-Hurley (76) withstood the charge of a Wall team (63) led by Law, winner of the 110 and 300 meter hurdles as well as the Class B Track MVP award.
“I finished second last year and it feels a lot better than being below one guy,” Law said. “But I put in a lot of work last winter, and I was hoping to get on top this year, and it feels pretty good to reach my goal. About the eighth hurdle I couldn’t hear anybody behind me and though I didn’t dare look up I felt like if I finished strong I would win.”
Wall added a second-place by Cash Wilson in the 400, and the foursome of Cooper McConaghy, Tack Tines, Bradan McDonnel and Wilson finished second in the 4X100 and 4X200 relays.
White River’s Nick Sayler joined teammate Valandra-Prue as Class B 100-meter winners, besting the boys 100-meter field.
Complete results of Saturday's Class B action can be found online at rapidcityjournal.com.