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Dakota Relays Return To Howard Wood Field



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Howard Wood Field has a new track, turf, field, and even a press box. But in 2012 all those renovations cancelled a long tradition for track and field athletes and goers alike. But over the weekend, the Dakota Relays were back and despite the weather, everyone seemed to be pretty excited.

The new track, field and stands at Howard Wood Field made for a whole new experience at the 88th annual Dakota Relays. And for the 2,700 participants competing at the renovated field, the weather didn’t seem to put too much of a damper on the excitement.
     
"It's a really good group of teams running out there and I guess we all ran really well for the conditions,” said Baltic High School Senior Josiah Aberson.

Aberson and his teammate Tom Sittig said being able to run at the renovated field is a nice finish to their high school careers.
    
“This new facility is really amazing. And it’s really amazing that they got it done in about a year. And the track is just so much nicer,” said Baltic High School Senior Tom Sittig.

For Luverne High School Track and Field Coach Craig Nelson, being back at Howard Wood brings back 51 years of relay memories. His dad was a coach at Washington High School, so he’s been coming to the relays since he was 5-years-old. Coming back to an old familiar place with a new look, brings a smile to his face.

"It's just something we never want to miss, we enjoy being here, and the experience the kids have is just second to none,” said Nelson.

Mark Meile, the Coordinator of Athletics for the Sioux Falls School District said the new field has helped continue the long tradition of a little friendly competition.

"Less than ideal conditions, but we have a lot of hardy athletes and dedicated coaches out here,” Meile said.

Event coordinators said they’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on the field. The only complaint, parking. But they assure everyone in 2014 there will be plenty more.
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