Hill City Rangers track and field squads unleashed an outstanding string of performances at the blustery Center of the Nation
meet last Saturday in Belle Fourche. Many athletes had personal best marks and great performances, despite the wintry weather.
The Ranger girls, competing with just nine athletes, were the surprise of the meet with their second place finish in the
sixteen team meet. The girls received gutsy performances from several girls who competed in the maximum of four events.
Mariah Asheim, Makenzie Swanson, Jessica McDonald and Stephanie Qualm started out the meet on top by combining for the
win in the 4x800 relay (10:52.9). McDonald placed in three other events later in the day, adding a victory from the tough
lane 8 in the 200 meter dash (27.7), 4th in the 300 meter hurdles (53.15) and 4th in the high jump (4'2"). Qualm and
Asheim showed tremendous grit, running the 1600 meters and 800 meters later in the day. Qualm pulled away on the last lap
to win the 1600m (5:48) and Asheim ran 6:08.5 for 3rd in her first mile race. In the 800m, Qualm was 2nd (2:43) and Asheim
was 4th (2:44.6). Stephanie Burleson added points for the Rangers and continued to throw very well, finishing 5th in the
Shot Put (31'5.5") and 6th in the Discus (82'8").
Numerous boys placed for the winning Ranger squad and one meet record was set.
In the field events, Jacob Allen was 2nd in the triple jump, leaping 38'10.5" and 6th in the long jump (18'8'2.25").
The boys picked up several points in the relays as well. In the 4x800 relay, John Bintliff, Andy Quenzer, Josh Robison and
Nick Mercy ran through the wind to a 4th place finish (9:33.0). The Medley relay team of Chance Clason, Cody Skiles, Bintliff
and Quenzer crossed the tape in 5th place for additional team points. In the last track event of the day, the foursome of
Hudson Koel, Adrian Salinas, Clason and Andy Coy carried the baton across the line in 3:39.9 to win the 4x400 for the third
week in a row.
In the individual events, Allen and Coy each picked up a victory. In the 110 hurdles, Allen won in 16.0, this time just
seven hundredths of a second from qualifying for the state meet. Colton McLaughlin ran a big personal record in the same
race, finishing 5th (17.6). Allen came back to finish 4th in the 300 hurdle race later in the meet. Coy qualified for the
state meet and set a new meet record in the 800 meters (2:00.9). Koel was close behind for 3rd (2:03.5). Coy also run under
the previous meet record in the 1600 meters, but was nipped at the finish line for 2nd (3:39.1) with Koel again running strong
for 3rd (4:45.6). In the sprints, it was the sophomore Clason running to points, timed at 11.78 in the 100 meters for 6th
place in a tight race and 4th in the 200 meters (24.6).
Come support the hard-working Rangers this Friday at the Custer Invitational. Find the meet schedule, records and other
information on the Custer Meet at: www.heartofthehillsrunningclub.com.