The weekly look at some of the area’s top high school performers

The weekly look at some of the area’s top high school performers

Slowly, but surely, the pace of the 2024 high school spring sports season in South Dakota is picking up pace.

There were some events again postponed or cancelled because of weather last week, but there were still plenty of events held.

Here are some of the top area performers from April 29-May 5.

Boys Track & Field

Landen Johnson, Jaxon Quail and Gavin Landmark, Deubrook Area — The trio ran on the Dolphins’ winning Class B medley (3:41.16), 1,600 (3:30.26) and 3,200 (8:14.39) in the 99th Howard Wood Dakota Relays.

Trevor Heinz, Kyle Hettich, Maxwell Kulesa and Casey Geditz, Ipswich — The quartet won the Class B 400 (44.33) and 800 (1:32.23) relays in the 99th Howard Wood Dakota Relays. Heinz also took third in the open long jump (21-10).

Cristhian Rodriguez, Hamlin — Rodriguez won the open discus (160-8) in the O’Gorman Invite on Friday and also added a fourth-place finish in the boys’ javelin (169-2) in the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. Both meets were held in Sioux Falls.

Mattix Hausman, Estelline-Hendricks — Hausman won the 200 (24.25) and 400 (51.53) dashes and also ran on the winning 1,600 relay (3:45.11) in the Estelline Alumni Invite.

Gavin Kloos, Deuel — Kloos won the high jump (5-8) and ran on the winning 400 (45.63) and 800 relays (1:35.12) in the Estelline Alumni Invite.

Joe Perkins, Aberdeen Roncalli — Perkins won the 1,600 (4:46.79) and 3,200 (10:44.79) and ran on the winning 3,200 relay (9:06.09) in the Sisseton Twlight meet.

Brayden Sumption, Gavin Nickelson and Noah Kippley, Frederick Area — Sumption won the long jump (18-10.5) and ran on the winning 400 (47.11), 1,600 (3:45.45) and medley (3:56.96) relays with Nickelson and Kippley in the Sisseton Twilight meet.

Girls Track & Field

Grace McElroy, Watertown — The seventh-grader put herself in the Watertown High School record book with an 11:08.55 showing in 3,200-meter run in the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. The previous record of 11:18 was set by Jessica Fox in 1999.

Isabelle Bloker, Sioux Valley and Ella Boekleheide, Northwestern — The two distance standouts each placed in two races at the 99th Howard Wood Dakota Relays. Bloker took second in the 3,200 (10:34.35) and fifth in the 1,600 (5:03.42). Boekelheide finished seventh in the 1,600 (5:05.78) and took eighth in the Girls Special 800 Run (2:15.07).

Kylee Johnson, Kadence Bowne and Nora Olsen, Deubrook Area — The three runners ran on the Dolphins’ winning Class B medley (4:22.25) and 3,200 (9:54.27) relays in the Howard Wood Dakota Relays.

Boys Golf

Chet Peterson and Tucker Kadlec, Ipswich — The Tigers shot 247 to win the Lake Region Conference tourney with Peterson winning with a 79. Kadlec was second with an 83.

Logan Vavruska, Florence-Henry — Vavruska shot an even-par 72 to win the Great Plains Lutheran Invite at Cattail Crossing Golf Course by five shots.

Aiden Abraham, Hamlin — Abraham led Hamlin to the Northeast Conference Class B boys championship by earning medalist honors with a 6-over 76. He also shot a 77 and took second in the GPL Invite.

Girls Golf

Olivia Braun, Emma Dohrer and Kyley Wirebaugh, Aberdeen Central — Braun shot a 4-over par 76 to win the Yankton Girls Invitational and lead the Golden Eagles to the title with a 333 score. Dohrer (79) was fourth and Wirebaugh (82) fifth. Braun also won the Huron Invite with a 1-over 73 and Dohrer took third (76) to lead the runner-up Golden Eagles (315), who lost to Mitchell by one shot.

Gabi Olson, Watertown — Olson took second with 5-over 77 and led Watertown (343) to a third-place finish in the Yankton Girls Invite. The Arrows also shot 342 and took third in the Huron Invite. Olson led by the way by placing fifth with a 79.

Olivia Mikkelsen, Potter County — Mikkelsen shot an 85 to notch a two-shot victory in the Eureka Invite.

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Mollie Simon, Ipswich — Simon shot a 93 to win medalist honors in the Lake Region Conference tourney by three shots.

Anika Mueller, Faulkton Area — Mueller took second (96) to lead the Trojans to the team title in the Lake Region Conference tourney.

Claire Crawford, Aberdeen Roncalli and Carly Guthmiller, Groton Area — Crawford shot an 82 to win medalist honors by two shots over Guthmiller in the Roncalli Invite at the Lee Park Golf Course.

Brynn Roehrich, Clark-Willow Lake and Eva Koisti, Hamlin — Roehrich won medalist honors in the Northeast Conference Class B championship with an 81, 10 shots ahead of runner-up Koisti. Roehrich also won the Great Plains Lutheran Invite with an 84.

Boys Tennis

Curtis Sneden and Evan Meester, Watertown — In their only action last week, the Arrows dropped a 5-4 dual against Mitchell. Sneden won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1 singles and Meester 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2. They also teamed for a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 1 doubles.

Aric Tennant, Aberdeen Central — The Golden Eagles dropped duals to Brookings 5-4, Yankton 9-0 and Huron 7-2. Tennant went 2-1 at No. 4 singles and teamed with AJ Prehn for a win at No. 1 in his only doubles’ match of the day.

Palmer Johnson, Gannon May, Ezra Feickert, Cason Hellwig and Landon Zikmund Aberdeen Roncalli — The Cavs finished second in the Pierre Invite by getting runner-up finishes from Johnson at No. 2, May at No. 3 and Feickert at No. 6 in singles. Hellwig and Zikmund took second at No. 2 doubles.

Jayden Reecy, Aberdeen Roncalli — The Cavs split duals against Rapid City Christian, losing 8-1, and Piere, winning 7-2. Reecy went 2-1 at No. 5 singles and split two doubles matches with partner Will Haskell at No. 3.

Joe Schulte, Dan Shelstad and Alex Baugh, Milbank — In a tournament at Pierre, Schulte went 2-1 and finished third at No. 1 singles. Shelstad and Baugh also went 2-1 and took third at No. 3 doubles.


Lauryn Hirsch and Kynslee Johnson, Watertown — Hirsch hit a two-out, run-scoring triple in the top of the seventh to snap a 5-5 tie and Johnson followed with a run-scoring single to give Watertown a 7-5 win over Mitchell on Friday in Sioux Falls. The Arrows also lost to Sioux Falls Lincoln 6-3 and Sioux Falls Jefferson 2-1. Hirsch also drove in three runs in an 8-1 win over Pierre.

Cydni and Sophia Kudrna and Claire Horn, Castlewood — Castlewood beat Colman-Egan 9-6, Avon 11-2 and Redfield 10-4. Horn posted three wins in the circle with a combined 30 strikeouts. Cydni was 3-for-3 with five runs , a double and a homer and her sister Sophia 4-for-6 with a double, homer, four runs and two RBIs in the final two games.

Savana and Summer Guthmiller, Sioux Valley — The Cossacks beat Flandreau 7-3 and lost to Alcester-Hudson 12-4 and Tri-Valley 7-6 despite solid efforts from the Guthmiller sisters. Savana, a junior, went 2-for-3 against Flandreau, doubled against Alcester-Hudson and hit a two-run triple against Tri-Valley. Summer, a freshman, had two hits in each of the two losses.

Grace Overland and Elsy Larsen, Mobridge-Pollock — The Tigers recorded two 17-2 wins over Sisseton with Overland allowing only two hits over seven innings in the two wins. Larsen went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and five RBIs in one game.

Chloe Zens, Redfield — Zens tossed a five-inning no-hitter with seven strikeouts in a 7-3 win over Avon.

Katrina Hagberg and Hope Bjerke, Deuel — Hagberg tossed a five-inning one-hitter and five-inning no-hitter with a combined 21 strikeouts in 5-1 and 10-1 wins over Milbank. Bjerke went 3-for-3 with a grand slam homer and six RBIs in the second game.

Elizabeth Reiter and Andi Rislov, Florence-Henry — The Falcons beat Elkton-Lake Benton 7-1, Canton 22-7 and Colman-Egan 10-0. Reiter fanned nine batters against ELB, 12 battters against Colman-Egan and went a combined 5-for-6 at the plate with four runs and four RBIs in the wins over ELB and Canton. Rislov was 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, three runs and six RBIs against Canton.

Harley Johnson, Arlington — Johnson went 3-for-4 with a double, triple and four runs scored in an 8-5 win over Flandreau. The Cardinals also lost 3-2 to Flandreau and 19-0 and 13-1 to Dell Rapids. Johnson also won the high jump (4-9) and long jump (16-1.25) in the Estelline Alumni Invite track and field meet.

Lindsey Geier, North Central — Geier won the long jump (15-0) and triple jump (34-7.5) and ran on the winning 800 relay (1:55.74) in the Eureka Legion track meet.


Christopher Moberg and Levi Loban, Sioux Valley — Moberg and Loban each went 3-for-4 in an 8-3 win over Elkton. Moberg also had two hits in a 5-2 loss to Groton Area.

Watson Grantham and Jyler Tharaldsen, Hamlin Area — Hamlin Area went 1-3 over the weekend, getting swept by Colman-Egan/Flandreau in a doubleheader, beating Oldham-Ramona-Rutland 15-0 and losing to Groton Area 8-1. Watson tossed a three-inning no-hitter with five strikeouts in the win over ORR. Tharaldsen had two two-hit games.

Elijah Morrissette, Redfield Area — Morrissette had the only hit and allowed only two hits and one earned run over six innings in a 2-0 loss to Howard.

Colby Dunker, Gavin Englund and Dillon Abeln, Groton Area — Groton Area beat Oldham-Ramona-Rutland 34-1 and Hamlin 8-1. Dunker drove in six runs in a 21-run first inning against ORR with a three-run homer, hit by pitch and a two-run double. Englund hit a grand-slam homer in the first and also had six RBIs. He tossed a six-hitter with nine strikeouts in the win over Hamlin. Abeln had two hits and fanned seven batters in a complete-game 5-2 win over Sioux Valley.

Levi Little, Warner-Ipswich-Northwestern — WIN fell to Madison-Chester 13-7 and 9-5 on Sunday. Little went 3-for-3 in the opener.

Follow Watertown Public Opinion sports reporter Roger Merriam on X (formerly known as Twitter) @PO_Sports or email: [email protected]