Nathan McCormick's 400-meter title leads Kernels at ESD track championships

May 12—BROOKINGS — Nathan McCormick's triumph in the boys 400-meter dash led the way for the Mitchell High School track team at the Eastern South Dakota Conference meet Saturday at Brookings High School.

McCormick won the race in 50.05 seconds, a new personal best and finishing more than 1.7 seconds ahead of second place in the race. The effort ranks sixth-best in all of South Dakota and third-best in Class AA this season. McCormick also had a season-best time of 11 seconds flat in the 100-meter dash, good for third in the meet and was fourth at 200 meters (22.23).

The Mitchell boys took sixth as a team, scoring 64 points. Harrisburg won the conference title with 171.5 points, followed by Brandon Valley (117.5), Yankton (106), Aberdeen Central (94) and Pierre (78).

Other top-eight finishes for Mitchell included Hunter Patton taking third in the 3,200-meter run, with a PR of 9:56.38. Grayson Hetland had a fourth-place finish in the 800-meter run, a personal-best time of 2:02.44. Carter Harris was a sixth-place finisher in the pole vault (13-3).

The Kernel boys were solid in the relays. In the 4x200-meter relay, Mitchell had a second-place time of 1:31.07, run by DJ Sheets, Carter Lee, Will Prunty and Connor Singrey. Caden Olegario, Lee, Prunty and Singrey teammed up in the 4x100-meter relay to finish third (43.45 seconds). Singrey, Will Prunty, Hetland and Nathan McCormick finished third in the 4x400-meter relay (3:28.56).

The Mitchell girls were also sixth on the day as a team, scoring 61.75 points. Brandon Valley was the top girls team with 201.75 points, followed by Harrisburg (144), Aberdeen Central (110.25), Watertown (89) and Pierre (69) in the top-five.

The Kernels' Taylor DeJong was third in the discus with her top career throw of 119 feet, 4 inches, while Macey Linke was also third in the javelin at 97 feet, 5 inches. Denaesia Aldridge finished fourth in the triple jump, with a PR of 36 feet, 3 inches. Lilly Young had a sixth-place finish in the shot put (35-8.75) and DeJong was eighth in the shot (35-7). Emerson Smith was seventh in the high jump (4-11).

Smith had the top individual finish on the track with a fourth-place run in the 800-meter race, a personal-best time of 2:22.95. Carsyn Weich and Denaesia Aldridge both posted PRs, with Weich taking seventh in the 400-meter dash (1:00.72) and Aldridge finishing eighth in the 200-meter run (26.79).

Mitchell's top relay efforts came in the middle-distance races. The Kernels were second in the 4x400-meter relay in a time of 4:07.77, run by Lainee Forst, Weich, Addie Siemsen and Smith. The team of Avrie London, Forst, Ryan Keys and Londyn Schroeder brought home second in the sprint-medley relay (4:25.75), while Weich, Ava Prunty, Schroeder and Smith were third in the 4x800-meter relay (9:58.67).

Mitchell will compete at the Huron Last Chance Meet at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 16 at Tiger Stadium in Huron in the final tune-up prior to the Class AA state meet starting on May 23.