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Reifenrath decides to run track at USD

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Alan Dale

Cedar County news

HARTINGTON — Not only has Cedar Catholic’s Sara Reifenrath excelled in track, but she has done so at a rate so high, she has found a way to continue her career close to home.

Reifenrath signed a National Letter of Intent
to run for the University
of South Dakota’s track program on Nov. 14 beginning in the fall of 2020 following her graduation from Cedar Catholic.

“I really like their campus and it felt like home to
me,” Reifenrath said. “Their coach is a really great guy and I really like their track program. I also like to be close to home and my sister Anna goes there so she

will be able to show me the ropes.”

Reifenrath will likely run the 200 and 400 for the Coyotes after running both and the 100 for the

Lady Trojans. She has been running ever since she was a seventh grader.

“I defnitely didn’t think
I was going to be anything special and thought all my junior high classmates would beat me,” she said. “I was actually more of a distance runner in junior high, so I didn’t expect this. Freshman year I didn’t even start out running the 400 but someone got sick or injured so they put me in, and I ended up getting second, so they gured I was pretty good at it. They kept putting me in it and I kept getting better.”

So much better that she has collected state titles in 2018 and 2019 and also won the 100 and 400 top crowns last spring.

Cedar Catholic track coach Chad Cattau sure
is pleased to see his star senior’s work ethic pay off.

“Sarah signing with USD is so exciting to me as a coach because I know she

is going to do great things there,” Cattau said. “She has the ability to run the sprints and some relays for them, so I am excited to see how they ultimately use her. This is something that she really deserves and has worked hard to achieve.

“Sarah is such a coachable girl and she is so respectful that there will not be any issues for her tting in at the college level. I know she took a lot of visits to some bigger schools, but she felt this was the best choice for her and her future. It will be great having her close to home so we can go watch her run. I can’t wait to see what she is able to accomplish at that level.”

Reifenrath embraced the sport because of the sense of accomplishment.

“It’s about the feeling
after the race,” Reifenrath said. “That feeling of knowing you did your best and got good results out of it. My

sophomore year the biggest moment was when I won the state 200-meter dash. That’s when I knew I loved it. It’s a really good feeling knowing your hard work paid off.”

She is not taking her current success for granted and is aware that she will have to turn her game
up a notch to compete in Vermillion for the Coyotes.

“It will be a lot tougher competition and I think it
will be good for me and push me to be a better runner,” Reifenrath said. “It will be tough, but I do cross country and I don’t always win in that so that’s mentally prepared me for having to push myself as people pass me.”

Her personal bests are 12.18 in the 100, 24.66 in
the 200 and 56.83 in the 400.

“They want to get a 4x4 to nationals so to do that would be really cool,” she said. “I’d like to (win all three titles) again and get another All- State medal again this year.”