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HARD work pays off as VALANDRA-PRUE SCORCHES Class A 400 field
May 29, 2017

By Rich Winter

By now most sports lovers in south-central South Dakota know that Todd County 8th-grader, Caelyn Valandra-Prue won the 400 meters at the recently completed South Dakota state track meet.


In the process of winning that race, Valandra-Prue took down one of the hallowed State A meet records, that of former Vermillion standout, Alicia Brown.


An 8th-grader from Todd County just ran 56.52...




What you might not know is some of the hard work this young lady put in to reach the rarified air of the fastest Class A 400 ever run at the state track meet. 


About a month ago happened onto practice at Todd County high school. The kids were running repeat 800's and suffering silently as they worked to get in shape. And there was Valandra-Prue mixing it up with the boys during the workout. She wasn't up with Jesse Allen and Jacob Wike, but, let's just say she wasn't very far behind either.


And so, at the Howard Wood track meet about three weeks ago now, Valandra-Prue came for home in a hotly contested 400 meter final against some of the best athletes in the upper-midwest. She had the lead with 100 to go, but was caught in the final meters of the race and finished third despite running a low 57.


Caught up to another track practice about ten days ago now. The sprinters were running repeat 200's and then jogging across the track and doing it again and again and again. I gotta tell ya, TC junior Brendan Waln and Valandra-Prue put on a show that day, and did so, while going through a TUFF workout.


Waln, who was going about 90 percent on the repeats, had Valandra-Prue, who was going about 95 percent on his ass for every repeat.


They did like six of those with Valandra-Prue two steps behind every time. 


Then they took a break....


And then they did about six more of those with Valandra-Prue right there every time.


I knew right then the rest of the Class A field was in trouble.


During the 400 final at Howard Wood field in Sioux Falls on Saturday, Valandra-Prue ran a nice controlled 250 meters, keeping even with St. Thomas More 8th-grader Haleigh Timmer. As the pair turned for home, Valandra-Prue absolutley CHARGED for home.


The minute she went by Timmer, EVERYONE knew it was over. A lot of hard work on the track and some extra work outside of track, all came together in one splendid moment as Valandra-Prue just TORCHED the field coming down the stretch.

1st - Valandra-Prue: 56.52

2nd - Timmer: 57.7 (Over a second back)

3rd - RUD - Madison - 58.36


Brilliant day for Valandra-Prue who earlier in the day finished 3rd in the 100 meters.


Of note here, that hard work paid off in the 200 meters as Valandra-Prue didn't have a great start in the final. She entered the home-stretch in last, but fought, clawed and scratched her way all the way up to second place.


Magnificent 8th-grade year in the books.

Podium at State cross-country meet.

2nd-team All-State in basketball

STATE CHAMP in 400 meters.


Hmmmm, hard work does pay off.

Well done young LADY FALCON....

Note: Not sure if everyone is aware of how the state meet works with prelims and stuff...

On Friday Valandra-Prue ran...

100 meter prelim

400 meter prelim

200 meter prelim

400 leg on Mile relay...

On Saturday Valandra-Prue ran...

100 final

200 final

400 final


Seven races....

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