SIOUX FALLS -- A pair of area teams positioned themselves for state titles, while a host of athletes collected individual championships during the opening day of the State B track and field meet at Howard Wood Field Friday.
Whether on the track or in the field, in the sand or in the air, local athletes ripped it up by collecting one first place after another.
Ipswich and Herreid-Selby Area led the victory parade.
The Ipswich girls' squad secured four state titles on the way to racking up a whopping 60 points, which is likely already enough to defend its state team title.
Tigers coach Todd Thorson figured his team would score anywhere from 45-to-68 first-day points.
“We're right there,” Thorson noted. “I thought that absolute best-case scenario would be 68 and we're only eight points off it. That's amazing.”
The Herreid-Selby Area boys' team won three state titles and scored 30 points, just 3.5 less than Parker.
“We're sitting about as good as we could have ever expected,” said HSA coach Rick Quaschnick. “We're very happy.”
The Wolverines, who have plenty of performers primed to score more points today, might now be the favorite to win the team title when action resumes this morning.
“I wouldn't know about that,” Quaschnick said. “We're definitely in the hunt. We're very excited. It's the best day we've ever had.”
Here is a look at each area state champion:
Dakota Thorstenson of Herreid-Selby Area. The junior won both the high jump and the long jump, despite just going out for track a couple of weeks ago.
“I was just going to take track season off, because my hip was bothering me from basketball,” Thorstenson said.
Instead, he decided to venture back into the sport and it paid off in a big way.
“I came in really nervous, because I didn't know how I was going to do,” he said, “because I had only jumped twice this year.”
Thorstenson was runner-up in the high jump last spring. However, his biggest shock came in the triple jump, where he topped the field despite not even being in the top eight heading into the state meet.
“I was just so surprised,” Thorstenson said. “I was hoping I would just get any place. But first? I had no idea that was coming.”
When asked if he was going to think about sitting out the track season again next year, Thorstenson left no room for doubt.
“I'm going to go right into it next year,” he assured.
Kristie Mettler of Timber Lake. The senior dynamo showed off the spring in her legs by winning both the long jump and the triple jump. Mettler set personal records in both events.