It was another warm and windy day for running, as the Beresford cross country team traveled to the Pointe Golf Course in Elk Point on September 21, 2017, to race for the team title in the 12th annual Union County Quad – Battle of the Ol’ Canteen.
With just two varsity races and no junior varsity divisions, this unique meet pits the four Union County teams against one another in a battle for the lowest combined team scores in the boy’s and girl’s races. The winning team gets to take home the traveling canteen trophy for the year.
The girls race kicked off at 4:15 P.M., with the boys following approximately 30 minutes later. Much like 2016, Cait Savey and Alec Atwood would set out to lead their teams to victory on the 5000-meter course.
Savey and fellow seniors Hannah Ebert, Tianna Schlup, Brooke Larsen, Tayler Bauman, and Sophie Seivert readied themselves for their final canteen race. This is an event the runners really look forward to as it is a true team race with everyone running varsity.
The weather was unseasonably warm for the second consecutive week, as the upper 80-degree air was paired with a strong, humid wind out of the south.
The Beresford boys manned several water stations throughout the course, with the hopes the girls would benefit from a water break during the hot race.
Savey established a comfortable and relaxed lead by the first 2K of the girl’s 5K race, as she looked for her 4th race victory of the season. Alcester-Hudson’s Kendra Jensen was a minute behind Savey as they reached the halfway mark, and Beresford’s Anna Atwood and Gabrielle Engbarth were closing the gap on the Cub-runner with each stride.
The next two Watchdog runners to make the turn at the midway point were Katie Knutson and Hannah Ebert; they worked together, passing several runners from Dakota Valley and Elk Point-Jefferson.
Laura Bogue, Grace Quartier, and Sabrina Swee were 20-meters back and looking strong as the girls looked like a lock to win the team title.
With a very impressive time of 19:26, the senior standout Savey would once again find herself with a gold medal. Her work was done, but she quickly set her sights to the course, jogging back into the heat as she encouraged her teammates to the finish.
Atwood and Engbarth emerged around the clubhouse next, picking up their pace in the last 1K as they finally caught Jensen. Atwood and Engbarth finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in 22:03 and 22:09.
Knutson ended up in 7th (23:27) and Ebert had a great final Canteen race, finishing 8th in 23:33. Right behind Ebert was Laura Bogue as she closed hard to finish 10th in 23:40.
Racing in a close pack and earning top-20 medals were Grace Quartier (13th, 24:48), Sabrina Swee (14th, 25:31), Adyson Hansen (15th, 26:19), and Faith Weiland (17th, 26:32).
The girls would go onto win with 13 team points.
After the first 5K race of the day was complete, it was the girls chance to hand out water, as the boys readied themselves at the start line to do their part in securing the 2017 Canteen title.
The senior boys who would be running their final Union Co. Quad race were Jake Limmer, Hayden Brewers, Trystan Olbertson, Brian Klarenbeek, and Nick Casperson.
Atwood and company had a plan to sweep the top four spots for a perfect team score of 10-points, and doing so meant the group would have to go out slower than normal and run in a close pack through the first mile and a half.
Their plan worked, and with just a mile to go in the race, four Beresford runners comfortably secured the top four spots in the race. Atwood and Noah Hinrichs ran side by side, as did Limmer and Dallas Davis just seconds back.
Atwood picked up his cadence with 600 meters to go and Hinrichs fell back, unable to match the increased pace of his junior training partner.
Atwood would go on to win for the second consecutive year in 18:10, as Hinrichs was close behind for a runner-up time of 18:21.
Limmer raced to the bronze-medal with a time of 19:05, and Davis held on for the team sweep in 4th place, finishing with a time of 19:14.
Hayden Brewers and Brandon Andrews were not far back and the duo focused on catching two Panther runners before the finish line.
Brewers would unleash a strong kick to catch one of the Dakota Valley runners and finish 6th in 19:41. Andrews showcased his impressive speed at the end with an 8th place finish in 20:04.
Olbertson continued his quality senior campaign with a 13th place medal in 20:58. Also medaling for the Watchdogs was 8th grader Tommy Cordell as he crossed the line in 21:25, which was good enough for 16th place.
The boys accomplished their low-score of 10 points, giving Beresford a comfortable victory with 23 combined points (to go along with the girls 13). Final combined scores of the competing teams had Dakota Valley at 2nd with 93, Elk Point-Jefferson finished 3rd with 101 points, and Alcester-Hudson did not field a complete team for scoring purposes.
The Watchdogs have now won the Ol’ Canteen team race 11 of the 12 years the race has been run.
Congrats to all of the runners, and especially to the seniors on their great running careers and 5th straight canteen victory.
The runners return to action on Friday, September 29 as they wrap up the regular season with the Lennox Oriole Invitation at 4:00 P.M.