PARKSTON — This season, the Scotland High School track team is testing out its skills in a new event. Because of an outdated track and lack of space, the team has never been able to compete in the pole vault.

“Our track was falling apart and we didn’t have a pole vault pit, but the community and the school board got together and decided to build us a new track with the pit and everything,” Scotland track coach Gary Pepper said about the change.

Even though it’s the first year, Pepper said there are already some young athletes excelling in the event. On Tuesday, freshman Blake Konstanz jumped 9 feet, six inches and took sixth place. Pepper said he’s using this year to get a feel for the event. So far, athletes have been doing well, but there definitely are some growing pains.

“It’s kind of a struggle,” he said. “We’re a small school and we’ve just got a couple coaches and somebody has to be over at the pole vault all the time, but we have some good things going on.

“We have to work with a lot of different things, run them a little bit, strength training; we’re working for next year and the year after that.”

Pepper said he’s really excited about being able to compete in the pole vault, and it’s fun to see the athletes take so quickly to the new event.

Konstanz also said he was excited about competing in the pole vault this year.

“It’s pretty challenging … but it’s very cool and it’s my favorite event by far,” he said.

Konstanz said he doesn’t think that he’ll make it to the state meet this year in the pole vault, but he is hoping to improve and get better so he can make next year as a sophomore.

Southeast South Dakota Track Meet

By: Claire Meador, The Daily Republic


Blake Konstanz

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