HURON — Some of the top athletes from the eastern half of the state will gather in Huron on Saturday for the Eastern South Dakota Conference Track and Field Meet at Tiger Stadium.
Field events will begin at 11:30 a.m., with the running events scheduled to begin at noon.
“It means a lot,” Huron coach Tom Baszler said of hosting the marquee event. “I am excited for the rest of the conference to get to see our new facility that the community has graciously allowed us to create out at Tiger Stadium.”
Joining Huron in the meet will be teams from Aberdeen Central, Brandon Valley, Brookings, Harrisburg, Mitchell, Pierre, Watertown and Yankton.
Baszler is looking for his team to have a strong showing against some of the state’s top athletes.
“I am hoping that we can finish toward the middle of the pack as a team and win three or four ESD individual titles,” he said.
One of the best opportunities for the Tigers to claim an ESD title will come in the boys’ pole vault, where Trent Framcom will look to improve on his mark of 15 feet, 6 inches. He used the mark to win the event during the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on Saturday in Sioux Falls and in the process established a new Huron High School record in the event.
“Trent is one of the best vaulters that this state has seen in some time,” Baszler said. “Every time he vaults its exciting. He will be ready and more than up for the challenge.”
Challenging Francom for the top spot will be Noah Sparks of Watertown, who finished second on Saturday with a vault of 14-3.
Travis Kleinsasser will also be looking to contend for a spot spot in the boys’ pole vault for the Tigers. He was sixth on Saturday at 13-3.
Cole Korkow will be looking to defend his ESD title from a year ago in the boys’ long jump for Huron. He finished third on Saturday at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays with a distance of 21-7, which put him as the highest finisher from the ESD.
“The long jump will be a battle as well,” Baszler said. “Two of the top three in the state will be here, including Cole, and Cole is always tough in his home pits.”
Also figuring to make strong pushes at ESD titles for the Tigers are Shannon Katz in the girls’ pole vault and Deyona Little in the 300-meter hurdles.
Katz was sixth with a vault of 10-3 at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on Saturday, while Little was 12th in the 300 hurdles with a time of 48.12 seconds.
“I also think we have a shot in a couple of relays,” Baszler said.
In the race for ESD team championship, Baszler gives the nod to Brandon Valley in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions.
“Brandon Valley could get a clean sweep in both the boys and girls,” he said. “They have a girl special runner in Krista Bickley, only a sophomore who could end up as one of the all-time greats in South Dakota. As a team they are very deep.”
Following the ESD Meet, Huron will host the Mark Wendelgass Relays on May 18, before closing the season at the Class AA State Meet on May 26-27 in Brandon and Sioux Falls.