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THE BUSCH BASH: Hawk junior obliterates school record in discus at outdoor opener

Erickson powers SH?girls with gold in 200, 400 at Early Bird

GREENE COUNTY — Darrell Paulsen takes none of the credit. Zip. Nada. When it comes to South Hamilton junior thrower Austin Busch, the Hawks’ head coach says Busch is indeed a self-made man.

“All of the credit goes to him because he put in the time and did it,” Paulsen said. “It’s not anything we did.”

A year-long journey to become one of the best throwers in Class 2A appears to have paid off for Busch. Following a personal-best throw by nearly 10 feet in the shot put — a gold medal effort, by the way — at an indoor meet a week earlier, Busch opened the outdoor season on Monday by setting a school record in the discus as the Greene County Early Bird Classic.

And Busch didn’t just beat the record. He obliterated it by nearly 25 feet.

Riding the gusty wind and showing a technique that is nearly flawless, Busch chucked the discus 164 feet, 2 inches to win the event by almost 30 feet. It topped the Hawks’ former mark of 139-81⁄2, held by Brent Johnson (2007) and Jacob Bennett (2016).

Busch’s toss would have won the 2A state title by over 10 feet in 2019. He currently sits at No. 1 in 2A and No. 3 overall in the state regardless of class.

“I think (the discus) is the (event) that he practices more and he just said it felt really good,” Paulsen said. “He’s just got that spin down really well right now and he looks good in both rings. But I think this is just where we start. He’s looking for bigger and better things to happen.”

Busch also won the shot put (50-6), an event in which he also leads 2A and is No. 2 overall in the state with his heave of 53-10 last week.

South Hamilton claimed six gold medals and 10 in all at the meet. Team scores were not kept.

Freddie Lewis and Tanner Blue joined Busch as individual winners. Lewis fought the harsh winds to win the 400-meter dash in 55.29 seconds, and Blue covered the same distance, just with hurdles in the way, to take gold in 1:01.93.

Blue was joined by Brock Galetich, Kyler Hodnefield and Landen Skartvedt on the winning distance medley relay (3:58.35). The quartet of Clay Willadsen, Seth Godfredsen, Landon Grove and Eli Potter secured the top prize in the 4×800 (9:39.78).

Ty Skartvedt won a pair of medals — silver in the 800 (2:15.20) and bronze in the 1,600 (5:13.78). Blue was third in the long jump (19-11⁄2) and Galetich secured the same position in the 100 (12.28).

Erickson paces SH girls

Ashlyn Erickson certainly made quite the impression in her first varsity outdoor meet for South Hamilton on Monday.

The freshman was the best in the field at 200 and 400 meters, and she also anchored the Hawks’ sprint medley relay to first. But it was her competitiveness that most impressed her coach.

“She’s got a lot of focus, a lot of drive, and she wants to be good at this sport,” South Hamilton girls’ head coach Dan Brodie said. “She gets nervous and that’s typical for any athlete, but once it all settles and it’s time to go, she pounces on every opportunity. A lot of it has to do with how hard she works in practice.”

Erickson clocked in at 29.51 seconds in the 200 and 1:04.46 in the 400 — an event in which she left the field well back in the rearview mirror. She turned in a similar split on the anchor of the sprint medley (1:58.42), which also featured Kate Barkema, Zoey Duns and Kelbe Krumm.

The Hawks picked up nine medals in all, including five runner-up finishes.

“We told the girls to go out and compete and I thought in all phases of track and field, our girls did a great job with that,” Brodie said. “It was fun to watch and a great start to our season.”

Krumm (100, 14.59) and Mackenzy Grady (discus, 103-1) were individual silver medalists. The Hawks were also second in the 4×100 (55.98), 4×400 (4:36.37) and distance medley (4:55.96) relays.

Greene County Early Bird Classic

Monday at Jefferson

South Hamilton Girls Results

Discus — 2. Mackenzy Grady 103-1; 4. Emmaly Fields 95-7.

Shot Put — 5. Fields 30-5; 7. Grady 29-01⁄2.

High Jump — 4. Caleigh Hewitt 4-8; 9. Grace Neuberger 4-4.

Long Jump — 4. Emma Lewis 15-21⁄2.

100 Meters — 2. Kelbe Krumm 14.59; 12. Zoey Duns 15.82.

200 Meters — 1. Ashlyn Erickson 29.51; 13. Neuberger 33.43.

400 Meters — 1. Erickson 1:04.46; 8. Valerie Wagner 1:12.03.

800 Meters — 6. Abby Ervin 2:49.64; 7. Anna Lammers 2:52.69.

1,500 Meters — 7. Wagner 6:18.74; 15. Paige Doolittle 6:37.90.

3,000 Meters — 3. Doolittle 14:07.43.

4×100 Relay — 2. South Hamilton 55.98 (Thompson, Lewis, Barkema, Duns).

4×200 Relay — 4. South Hamilton 2:02.09 (Krumm, Lewis, Kailyn Northrop, Duns).

4×400 Relay — 2. South Hamilton 4:36.37 (Ervin, Tanna Thompson, Hallee Feaker, Erickson).

4×800 Relay — 5. South Hamilton 11:41.87 (Lammers, Wagner, Northrup, Marissa Jensen).

Sprint Medley Relay — 1. South Hamilton 1:58.42 (Kate Barkema, Duns, Krumm, Erickson).

Distance Medley Relay — 2. South Hamilton 4:55.96 (Thompson, Barkema, Feaker, Ervin).

South Hamilton Boys Results

Discus — 1. Austin Busch 164-2; 20. Kaden Schwandt 83-4.

Shot Put — 1. Busch 50-6; 11. Carter Balvanz 37-71⁄2.

Long Jump –3. Tanner Blue 19-11⁄2; 14. Landon Grove 16-7.

100 Meters — 3. Brock Galetich 12.28; 11. Evan Winkler 13.06.

200 Meters — 4. Galetich 25.06; 11. Kyler Hodnefield 26.81.

400 Meters — 1. Freddie Lewis 55.29; 13. Jack Moline 1:04.75.

800 Meters — 2. Ty Skartvedt 2:15.20; 4. Lewis 2:16.73.

1,600 Meters — 3. Skartvedt 5:13.78; 12. Clay Willadsen 5:48.52.

3,200 Meters — 10. Logan Halfwassen 14:10.24.

400 Hurdles — 1. Blue 1:01.93.

4×100 Relay — 7. South Hamilton 50.36 (Landen Skartvedt, Chayton Ewurs, Coy Johnson, Winkler).

4×200 Relay — 8. South Hamilton 1:46.20 (L. Skartvedt, Ewurs, Johnson, Winkler).

4×400 Relay — 5. South Hamilton 4:11.36 (Seth Godfredsen, Willadsen, Grove, Eli Potter).

4×800 Relay — 1. South Hamilton 9:39.78 (Willadsen, Godfredsen, Grove, Potter).

Sprint Medley Relay — 4. South Hamilton 1:44.35 (L. Skartvedt, Hodnefield, Galetich, Lewis).

Distance Medley Relay — 1. South Hamilton 3:58.35 (Galetich, Hodnefield, Blue, Skartvedt).

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