Gracelyn Leiseth becomes top shot put thrower in the nation

Hamlin junior is our Karl’s TV & Appliance Athlete of the Week
Karl's TV & Appliance Athlete of the Week
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 10:09 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - ”I watched my older sibling and I always thought it (track) was kind of cool because I had two older sibling that threw and then I had another brother that ran in track. Track was super inspiring to me.” Hamlin Junior Gracelyn Leiseth says.

Though her family had been in track for a while, Gracelyn Leiseth got off to a late start.

“In middle school and seventh grade, that’s when I started and then, in high school, around my sophomore year, it just started clicking.” Gracelyn says.

Having a teammate at Hamlin like Kami Wadsworth helped her improve.

“It’s awesome because in every practice we push each other, we encourage each other to be better. So yeah, it’s awesome!” Leiseth says.

As did having a rival like Custer’s Kelleyn Kortemeyer.

On Friday at the state track meet Gracelyn set a meet record in the discus with a throw of more than 160 feet.

The mark lasted about a minute since Kortemeyer stepped up and threw her discus more than 165 feet.

“It’s amazing, she’s a great thrower. We push each other.” Leiseth says of Kortemeyer.

Gracelynn was confident she’d do well in shot put the following day, aiming to surpass 50 feet after earlier in the season setting the state record of 49 feet, three and a quarter inches.

“I felt good in practice this week so that helped me mentally.” Gracelyn says.

It showed when Leiseth tossed her shot 52 feet, six and three quarter inches, setting a new mark for longest throw by prep in the country this year!

“I was not expecting that to happen but it’s an incredible opportunity! It definitely hasn’t really sunk in quite yet, my throw, but it’s an amazing feeling!” Leiseth says.

With one more high school season left, Gracelynn need only look in the mirror to challenge herself to throw farther.

“Just keep working hard I guess, keep working on my footwork, keep working out!” Leiseth says.

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