By Rich Winter
Well the high school basketball season is just over a month gone and already South Dakota is seeing an explosion of talent from those basketball teams tearing it up in track and field. With that in mind, let's look at five All-State girls basketball players that are getting better by competing in Track and FIELD.
Aberdeen Central's Paiton Burckhard - AA player of the year
Second in the Class AA shot put competition a year ago, Aberdeen Central senior Paiton Burckhard has the leading throws so far in the AA ranks in the shot put and discus. Shot put 42'2.5 and discus 117'4"
Burckhard averaged 25 points and 11 rebounds for Aberdeen Central this season.
Rapid City Stevens sophomore Kyah Watson
One of the rising stars in AA basketball, Watson is the anchor of a very talented Rapid City Stevens sprint relays. Already pre-qualified in the 100 and 200 meters, Watson anchored Stevens to the leading times in the 400 and 800 relays at Thursday's Pierre Invitational. Last season, helped Stevens to an all-time state record in the 4x100. Watson was a second-team AA selection averaging 9.2 ppg, 5 rpg
Tori Glazier - Custer
One of the most decorated track athletes in South Dakota history, Glazier has won five consecutive 800 meter state titles and will be going for a 6th in May. Glazier has been a stalwart on the Custer track and cross-country programs for the last six seasons. On the basketball court, Glazier continually improved through her high-school career and ended up as 3rd-team Class A selection this season with averages of 21 points and 8 rebounds per game.
Todd County 9th-grader, Caelyn Valandra-Prue
The Todd County 9th-grader is the defending Class A champion in the 400 meters and has started her track season off with a bang, qualifying in the 100/200 and 400 meter events. Valandra-Prue has the fastest Class A 200 meters in the state and won the 400 meters in Pierre with a time of 58.53. On the court, Valandra-Prue was a second-team Class A selection averaging 19 points and 6 rebounds. Just short of 1000 points after her ninth grade season.
Lauren Sees - Avon
Avon junior Lauren Sees finished second in the long jump at the state meet in 2017. So far this outdoor season, Sees has pre-qualified in the 100 meter and her specialty, the long jump. 100 meters: 12.94 Long jump: 16'11.75" Both marks are No. 2 in the Class B ranks of South Dakota. Sees was a Class B first-team selection this season posting some monster numbers for Avon - 19.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.3 apg, 2.4 spg, 40% 3FG, 46% FG