RC Stevens track athletes qualify for Nike Outdoor Nationals
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Rapid City Stevens recently wrapped up another successful track and field season.
The Raiders had 25 boys and 30 girls place at the state track meet with four individual champions and one relay championship team.
Now four of those athletes are gearing up to compete on a national stage.
Stevens athletes Tanner Lunders, Justin Juniel, Alex Otten and Simeon Birnbaum have qualified for the 2022 Nike Outdoor Nationals in the 1600 sprint medley relay.
The track meet will take place June 16-19 at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
The Stevens relay team is scheduled to compete on Friday, June 17 at approximately 3:30 p.m. MT.
Back on May 17, the team from Stevens ran the sprint medley relay and posted a time of 3:27, which at the time was the top time in the nation.
That also broke the 40-year old school record by over six seconds and is the second best time in state history.
“We’re expecting tough competition,” said Alex Otten. “We’re not expecting to go in there and being able to lead the race right away. So it’s just going to come down to our mentality. Being able to come from behind and take out whoever’s in front of us.”
“I would say that it’s pretty important just to not think about it that much,” said Simeon Birnbaum. “It’s just the same as any other race. You get on the track and you run hard. If we do that, we’ll run really well.”
This isn’t the first time that Stevens High School has sent a relay team to a national competition.
The Raiders qualified relay teams to nationals back in 2004 and 2006.
So the Stevens athletes are excited about this rare opportunity to compete against the best runners in the country.
“When we first found out that we were number one in the nation and we possibly had a chance to go to Eugene, Oregon and run at Nationals, it was almost like unreal,” said Tanner Lunders. “I didn’t even believe it like I would get the opportunity. It was something I never even thought I would be able to do in high school.”
“This will be my last ever high school event,” said Justin Juniel. “So I’m just going into it just wanting to enjoy it and hopefully come away with a W. I think we have a really special opportunity to do something big for this program and for ourselves.”
If you would like to make a donation to help send the Stevens relay team to Oregon, you can contribute the following ways:
– Call Coach Fierro at 605-431-0272.
– Deliver or mail your donation to the Rapid City Stevens High School Activities Office.
Attn: SHS Track and Field
4215 Raider Road
Rapid City, SD 57702
– Call the Stevens High School Activities Office at 605-394-4016 for more information.