SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) —The O’Gorman girls’ track and field team is the defending back to back state champions in class ‘AA’, winning their first ever state championships.

O’Gorman has been dominant over the past two seasons and this year, they return plenty of girls looking to continue that success.

“I have nine amazing coaches. With 150 kids out and 60 girls out. It takes a lot of people to get them going in the right direction to support those girls support those guys, and our coaches are just awesome,” head coach Aaron Strand said.

The Knights graduated several talented runners, including star-distance athlete Alea Hardie. Despite the loss of that talent, O’Gorman knows hard work can get them back to their end goal.

“What’s really great about track is we have a lot of people for multiple different activities that come together to work as one and that’s really great. And I think this year to win another state championship, we’re just going to try to work hard and keep having fun because that drives our success,” sprinter/relay runner Jenna Krouse said.

Bad weather has played a factor for the team, forcing them to practice indoors early in the season. Now that the weather has improved, the Knights have returned outside.

“We really try to focus on what we call pre-meet, and that’s a chance to practice your long jump, triple jump, hone in on your starts, your handouts, all that good stuff. That stuff you just can’t really get done in a gym,” coach Strand said.

The Knights have seen plenty of success over the last few seasons and that’s only helped to inspire the next group of girls in the program.

“I really feel this started four years ago, we had a great group of girls that went to state got runners up that year and just miss winning it by two points. You know, they kind of started the tone for us and our girls are motivated. We’ve had some girls really step up, we’re looking to peak and be there at the end of the season, hopefully competing for that third title,” coach Strand said.

The Knights return to action this weekend in the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. The meet begins Friday at 1 p.m.