By: Matt Coy
It was a hot and sunny day for the runners at the 2017 Sioux Falls Christian Charger XC meet, held Thursday, September 14 at Yankton Trials Park.
While the unseasonably warm temperatures hampered the possibility of fast times, the Beresford Watchdogs were ready to battle against their region competition in the highly competitive meet.
Cait Savey was dealing with a mild cold, and had plans to start the race a bit more conservatively than she had originally planned earlier in the week. However, after the first half-mile, the competitive juices were too much for Savey, and she surged ahead of the field, creating a 20-meter gap on the field.
At the halfway point of the race, Savey opened up a sizeable lead and pressed onto the meet victory in the 5K race with a time of 19:08. She outdistanced herself from runner-up, Micah VanKalsbeek of SF Christian who recorded a time of 20:45.
With no clouds in sight, the sun blasted down on the rest of the girl’s varsity field as they pushed on towards the tape. Eighth grader, Anna Atwood, ran another smart race as she cruised in with an 11th place time of 22:11.
Gabrielle Engbarth held strong for a top-20 medal in 22:30 for 16th place, as did Katie Knutson in 19th place with a 5K mark of 22:43.
Junior Grace Quartier had the best race of her season as she just missed a medal, finishing with a solid time of 23:32 and a 25th place finish.
Also running for the varsity girls were Sabrina Swee (28th, 23:39), Hannah Ebert (30th, 23:44), and Laura Bogue (32nd, 24:12).
The Lady Watchdogs placed 3rd overall with 44 team points in the 12-team field. Winning the team title was Sioux Falls Christian with 36 points and placing second was Lennox with 43.
The upper-80 degree heat was still the story of the afternoon as the boy’s varsity 5K race was underway at 4:30 P.M.
Alec Atwood set out to challenge several of the state’s best runners as he jostled for the early lead with Braden Peters of West Central, Lance VanZee of SF Christian, and Lennox’s Camden Wulf.
Atwood proved he was continually getting better with each meet and closed the gap on the Beresford Kickoff champion VanZee near the finish. Peters would go on to win with an impressive feat of 16:30. VanZee was 2nd in 17:01 and Atwood was closing hard in the final 400 meters as he crossed the line in 17:07 for 3rd place.
Noah Hinrichs and Dallas Davis held their own finishing in 14th and 23rd respectively.
Hayden Brewers (27th, 19:25) and Brandon Andrews (28th, 19:33) had great races to finish as the Dawg’s 4th and 5th runners.
Rounding out the scoring for the 4th place Watchdogs were Jake Limmer (36th, 19:49) and Trystan Olbertson (52nd, 21:30).
SF Christian won the boy’s title with 30 points, Lennox finished runner-up with 50, and Western Christian, IA was 3rd with 67 points. Beresford also finished with 67 points, but the Wolfpack’s pusher finished ahead of the Beresford pusher.
Faith Weiland had a remarkable final 600-meters as she passed over a dozen runners to finish 4th in the JV girl’s race in 19:43. The girl’s placed 7th as a team. Also runner for the JV girls were: Dani Larsen (43rd, 22:54), Abigail Zanter (49th, 23:53), Ashleigh Colford (50th, 23:54), and Tayler Bauman (57th, 25:05).
Caleb Weiland was the top finisher for the 7th place JV boy’s team as he finished the 4K course in 16:54 and 26th place. Freshmen Josh Limmer (37th, 17:47) and Cody Klungseth (42nd, 17:57) were the next Watchdog runners to cross the line. Senior Nick Casperson rounded out the scoring for Beresford with his 55th place time of 18:39.
Also running in the boy’s JV race were Noah Turner (59th, 19:09), Austin Tjaden (64th, 19:26), Caleb Larson (65th, 19:28), Aitor Eguliz (74th, 21:26), Brian Klarenbeek (76th, 22:02), and Jackson Heiberger (79th, 23:50).
The junior high girl’s had an exciting team race as four runners earned meet medals placing in the top 20. Adyson Hansen once again led the team as she finished 3rd with a time of 14:00.
The 7th grade trio of Lilly Traxler (10th, 14:35), Addy Wills (11th, 14:41), and Macy Quartier (12th, 14:41) teamed up during the 3K race and passed runners together as they sprinted to the chute. The JH girl’s would end up placing 2nd as a team with 36 team points.
Lucy Farley (26th, 16:12), Shae Jones (28th, 16:24), and Isabel DeLay (31st, 17:01) rounded out the JH girl’s team.
Classmates Gage Lyle and Nathaniel O’Hara guided the boy’s JH squad to a 5th place finish with their top-20 performances. Lyle sprinted to an 8th placed medal in 12:05, while O’Hara cruised to a 17th place finish in 12:26.
Running in a close pack for much of the race, the rest of the JH boys showed great progress from their first races of the year. Cameron Wells (29th, 13:20), Billy Roelke (33rd, 13:32), Kalub Bickett (35th, 13:34), Mason Heiberger (40th, 13:44), Spencer Upton (43rd, 13:50), and Caleb Turner (48th, 14:08) completed the JH team.
The Watchdogs travel to Elk Point for the Union County Quad and Battle of The Ol’ Canteen. The meet pits the Beresford team against the other Union county teams: Alcester-Hudson, Dakota Valley, and Elk Point-Jefferson.