Photo by Brett Nachtigall/Fall River County Herald-Star
Hot Springs junior Matt Close outruns a pair of fellow Black Hills Conference athletes down the stretch to finish seventh overall in the 800m finals in a time of 1:58.64, which is more than three seconds quicker than Close’s eighth place finish at state last year.
By Brett Nachtigall
SIOUX FALLS – Hot Springs junior Matt Close ran a personal-record (PR) time of 1:58.64 in the 800-meters to place seventh overall at the S.D. State Track & Field Class “A” Championships in Sioux Falls at Howard Wood Stadium last Friday, May 26.
His finish was Fall River County’s lone medal brought home over the three-day competition, which also saw a few other individuals and relay teams fall short of a top-eight spot on the podium.
“I’m proud of all of the kids and their effort and hard work leading up to the state meet and giving it all they had at the meet,” said Hot Springs head coach Dana Nachtigall. “Matt’s medal-winning performance was for sure a highlight of the weekend. It’s always fun to watch Matt run, as he leaves it all out there on that track and this weekend was no different. He should be very proud.”
Close’s finish this year was one step higher on the podium and more than three seconds faster than his eighth place finish last year (2:02.15), as this year’s loaded field saw the meet record get broken by gold medal winner Isaac Davelaar of Sioux Falls Christian (1:51.11) with the fastest time of all three classes.
Others from Hot Springs coming close to medals included the Boys Sprint Medley Relay which placed 10th (3:42.45) with Kayden Hansen, Dylan Webb, Caleb Rickenbach and Matt Close. Other top individual finishes for the Bison included junior Carlie DeBoer who tied for 16th in the high jump (4-10) and freshman Ashlynn Elshire who moved up from her 21st seeding to finished 16th overall in the 400-meter dash with a new PR time of 1:02.6.
Edgemont also had a pair of runners in the Class “B” 400-meter dash as junior John Heisler finished 15th (53.56) in the boys’ division and senior Bridget Neville finished 16th (1:03.57) in the girl’s division.
Hot Springs’ girls 4x400m relay team finished 17th (4:19.73). Team members included DeBoer, Alyssa Koffler, Autumn Westinghouse and Elshire, while the girls 4x100m relay team finished 21st (52.88) with Meredith Ramacher, Destiny Webb, DeBoer and Jenna Ellis.
Koffler also competed in the high jump and tied for 27th (4-08). DeBoer also ran in the 300m hurdles and finished 24th (51.45).
Hot Springs’ boys 4x400m relay team was 23rd (3:45.44). Team members included Rickenbach, Hansen, Micah Burchfield and Close.