2014 South Dakota State Meet Special Features are written by South Dakota MileSplit Special Guest, Rich Winter. 
You can follow Rich Winter's blog at http://panicbutton.sportsblog.com/.
Photo via Kernit Grimshaw (kernit.zenfolio.com)


By Rich Winter

     Yankton's Annie Kruse and Rapid City Stevens athlete Tamara Gorman are the two premier distance runners in the state of South Dakota.

   Kruse is the defending AA champion in cross-country and Gorman is the defending champion in the 3200 meters at the South Dakota state meet.

     When the two line up for that 3200 on Friday afternoon, something's gotta give.

  Gorman comes in with the top qualifying time, a 10:42 she cranked out very early in the season, at the Brandon Valley Invite.

   Kruse beat Gorman to the line of the AA, 4000 meter race by about 20 seconds.

  Both are very experienced and gutty racers, so I expect a duel to develop and both girls might be around 11:00 for this race. (Too bad South Dakota runs the 2-mile in the heat and wind of Friday afternoon).

  If there is one area where Gorman might have an advantage is she'll have teammate Emily Person around with her for much of the race (11:13). Person being around could help keep Gorman fresh because Kruse is a heck of a runner as evidenced by that 14:03, 4000 meters at the state cross country meet.    

3200m Run
Automatic - 11:35.70
1. Gorman, Tamara 10:42.60 RC Stevens        
2. Kruse, Annie 10:48.50 Yankton        
3. Person, Emily 11:13.20 RC Stevens        
4. Propst, Rachel 11:15.90 Pierre T.F. Riggs        
5. Green, Allison 11:19.70 Sturgis Brown        
6. Klatt, Courtney 11:25.50 Brandon Valley        
7. Bailey, Jessica 11:25.90 RC Stevens        
8. Woods, Savannah 11:29.50 Yankton        
9. McClure, Madison 11:35.20 Yankton
    The 1600 on Saturday afternoon at historic Howard Wood could be a site to behold!

 Kruse dipped under 5:00 earlier this year (4:59) with Gorman right there at 5:03. These two are the class of the field so again, expect a really good battle in these races.

1600m Run
Automatic - 5:20.30
1. Kruse, Annie 4:59.50 Yankton        
2. Gorman, Tamara 5:03.20 RC Stevens        
3. Person, Emily 5:10.20 RC Stevens        
4. Cooper, Jasmyne 5:10.50 Harrisburg        
5. Propst, Rachel 5:15.50 Pierre T.F. Riggs        
6. Childers, Savannah 5:16.00 Spearfish        
7. Woods, Savannah 5:16.80 Yankton        
8. Dykstra, Renae 5:17.00 RC Stevens
      Stevens, of course, has distance depth all over the place and the Raiders will be looking to score big in everything from the 800 - 3200 to medley, mile relay and 3200 meter relay.

   Kruse and Gorman will be looking for state titles as Aberdeen Central's Hannah Kastinger was the distance queen last season. 

  Stevens finished second to Aberdeen Central last season (108-99) so look for every Raider athlete to give it everything they've got in every race. 

  The photo used for the cover of this story came from Kernit Grimshaw. Grimshaw will be shooting for milesplit.com at the state meet and will be posting tons of photos from the 2014, South Dakota state meet.

  You can find his work at www.kernit.zenpholio.com