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Platinum T&F Champions

This year on "Varsity Sports", we've been tracking the best high school marks in track and field from across North and South Dakota, and with the season in both states now over, we're excited to present out Platinum Medal champions for 2015! A few things to note:

- We only medaled events that are contested in both North and South Dakota, which explains why Javelin isn't included. (As an aside, Derek Murph of GFRR and Akealy Moton of West Fargo had the top jav marks in ND this year, but as South Dakota hasn't come around on throwing spears yet, they only get a shout-out in this blog, not a full Platinum award.)

- For consistency, we used fully automatic timing (FAT) to determine our champions and converted any existing hand-held marks accordingly. FAT is a more accurate - and therefore, slower - way of timing races, so if these times look off from what you've seen in the paper or on a website somewhere... Well, you'll just have to trust my math. (The Cliff's notes version of handheld to FAT conversion? Round up to the nearest tenth of a second and then add .24.)

- South Dakota was fairly dominant on the boys side, picking up 12 of the 16 Platinum awards to be had, while North Dakota had the edge for the girls, earning 10 of the 16 awards. 13 of the 16 boys' winners were seniors, and 13 of 16 were from the biggest class in their state. Not surprisingly, the girls winners featured a few more underclassmen (7 of 16) and a few more from smaller schools (6 of 16 from outside the state's biggest class).

-  16 of the 32 marks were set at the North or South Dakota State Track Meet, while 6 were established at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays and 3 more at the WDA Region Meet. (Again, not a shock that the best competition brings out the best marks.)

- Extra recognition to our three athletes who went Double-Platinum this year; Sioux Falls Lincoln's Will Lauer (1600m/3200m), Bismarck High's Mattie Shirley-Fairbairn (1600m/3200m), and Hazen's Dakota Wood (100m Hurdles/300m Hurdles). Will's running at Stanford next year, Dakota's going to NDSU...while Mattie will make the transition from Middle School to High School in Bismarck. Well done to those three and to all our winners this year!

2015 Boys Platinum Champions                                                                                 

100m : Mason Hericks, Watertown (11) – 10.73 seconds, Watoma Relays

200m : Damian Hall, Spearfish (12) ; Hunter Johnson, Bismarck (11) – 21.77 seconds, SD State Track Meet, Finals; WDA Region Meet

400m : Brennan Schmidt, Freeman (12) – 47.54 seconds*, SD State Track Meet, Prelims

800m : Jacob Simmons, Sturgis (12) – 1:52.38, SD State Track Meet

1600m : Will Lauer, Sioux Falls Lincoln (12) – 4:14.40, Howard Wood Dakota Relays

3200m : Will Lauer, Sioux Falls Lincoln (12) – 8:58.49, SD State Track Meet

110m Hurdles :  Talon Maxon, Rapid City Central (12) – 14.15 seconds, SD State Track Meet, Finals

300m Hurdles : Andrew Steinwand, Bismarck Century (12) – 38.56 seconds, ND State Track Meet, Finals

Shot Put : Jon Tharaldsen, Bismarck (12) – 63-6.5, WDA Region Meet

Discus : Chandler Nelson, Mitchell (12) – 178-1, Howard Wood Dakota Relays

High Jump : Jaxon Hinch, Spearfish (11); Nolan Hovland, Rugby (12) – 6-8, Howard Wood Dakota Relays; ND State Meet

Long Jump : Wes Dvorak, Ethan/Parkston (12) – 23-0.5, Wagner Relays

Triple Jump : Josh Dotson, RC Central (12) – 47-03, SD State Track Meet

Pole Vault : Kaleb Ellis, Brookings (12) – 16-0, Brookings High Invite

Totals: 12/16 from South Dakota, 13/16 from the biggest class in either state

*All-Time South Dakota State Record

2015 Girls Platinum Champions                                                                                  

100m : Alaina Klapperich, Rapid City Central (12) – 12.04 seconds, SD State Track Meet, Finals

200m : Ashley Rone, Grand Forks Red River (12) – 24.94 seconds, ND State Track Meet, Finals

400m : Cortney Dowling, Pierre (11) – 55.87 seconds, Track O’Rama

800m : Macy Heinz, Ipswich (10) – 2:11.19, Howard Wood Dakota Relays

1600m : Mattie Shirley-Fairbairn, Bismarck (8) – 4:56.89, ND State Track Meet

3200m : Mattie Shirley-Fairbairn, Bismarck (8) – 10:33.49, Howard Wood Dakota Relays

100m Hurdles :  Dakota Wood, Hazen (12) – 14.54, ND State Track Meet, Prelims

300m Hurdles : Dakota Wood, Hazen (12) – 44.10, ND State Track Meet, Finals

Shot Put : Akealy Moton, West Fargo (10) – 47-2, ND State Track Meet

Discus : Jessica Drady, Minot (12) – 141-2,WDA Region Meet

High Jump : Payton Johanneson, Andes Central/Dakota Christian (12) ; Payton Mark, Fargo Davies (12); Lexy Wittmayer, Rolette/Wolford (11) – 5-6

Long Jump : Macy Denzer, Watertown (11) – 18-5.5, Howard Wood Dakota Relays

Triple Jump : Kya Glenn, GFRR (12) – 37-6.25, ND State Track Meet

Pole Vault : Klara Lyon, Sturgis (12) – 11-9, SD State Track Meet

Totals: 10/16 from ND, 10/16 from the biggest class in either state

Congratulations again to our champions! See below for a montage of their best from this year: