The gun will go off on the South Dakota High School State Track and Field meet tomorrow morning with the Class AA meet beginning in Brandon, the Class A competition going in Tea and Class B athletes in Sioux Falls ... before all three classes will descend on Howard Wood Field for a day of finals on Saturday ...
The spring weather hasn't exactly been conducive to peak performance as athletes have been cooped up indoors with meets being cancelled what seems like every other week ... But Rapid City Stevens head coach Paul Hendry said that's simply part of life as a track athlete in South Dakota and that it could actually be beneficial this weekend as weather is forecasted to be in the mid-70s this weekend.
Hendry said, "I think both boys and girls teams are ready to go, we've been working hard, a lot of adversity with the weather and even some minor injuries throughout the year, but I think we've been able to weather the storm and I feel like we're going to be ready to go and compete at a high level. You're still going to see some great performances from all of the great athletes throughout the state, it might even be a blessing in disguise, not to have been beating them into the ground these last few weeks and maybe we'll go in with some fresh legs and have some outstanding performances."
While the Raiders get ready, a Black Hills Conference team from the Northern Hills is also looking to make a splash this weekend. Sturgis has a returning state champion in 800-meter standout Ethan Brenneman and the Scoopers are looking for a strong finish to the spring.
"YOU KNOW I THINK ITS REALLY GOOD. I THINK THE TEAM BOYS AND GIRLS IS REALLY GOOD. YOU KNOW THE BOYS ENDED UP WINNING CONFERENCE. I THINK WE ARE A LITTLE DEEPER THERE. YOU KNOW IT HAS BEEN OUR GOAL ALL YEAR TO GET IN THAT TOP SIX. TO END UP ON THE PODIUM BUT WE GOT SOME GOOD KIDS RIGHT NOW AND WE ARE REALLY LOOKING POSITIVE THINGS TO HAPPEN SO. WELL IM REALLY EXCITED FOR I MEAN THE BOYS TEAM I GUESS. THE GIRLS HAS A GREAT CHANCE TOO, BUT I THINK WE HAVE A CHANCE AT GETTING FIFTH IN STATE OVERALL AS A BOY TEAM. IM REALLY EXCITED FOR THE TEAM. YEAH ITS REALLY EXCITING."
The Sioux Falls Lincoln boys enter the Class AA meet as the three-time defending state champs ... while Brandon Valley's girls won the team title last season. Events begin at 8:30 Mountain Time tomorrow at all three sites. Final day action gets going at 8 a.m. Mountain on Saturday.
The Legion baseball season has also gotten off to a bit slower than normal start thanks to the weather ... but Rapid City fans will get right into it tomorrow night as Post 22 and Post 320 will meet for the first time this season at 7 o'clock at Pete Lien Field. The Hardhats come into the game with a 4 and 5 record after having their home opener against Gillette rained out. Post 22 hasn't had an official result since a May 13th loss against Missoula. The Stars enter the game with a 6 and 2 record after a couple of big wins over Spearfish last week. The two teams will also play a second regular-season game on July 9th at Fitzgerald Stadium.
And in other local baseball news, the Spearfish Sasquatch will open their second Expedition League season Saturday night with their home opener against the Hub CIty Hotshots out of Aberdeen. First pitch for that game is scheduled at 6:35 Saturday at Black Hills Energy Stadium. The two teams will play again Sunday 1:35 in the afternoon. The Sasquatch went 24 and 38 last year in their inaugural season ... finishing third in the Clark Division. The Western Nebraska Pioneers won the 2018 league championship.