A rain-filled week and extremely soggy ground conditions, led to a course change for the Big East Conference cross country meet in Beresford on Thursday, October 5.
Several inches of rain in a two-day period ruled out the possibility of running our normal route at The Bridges Golf Course and Runner’s Point. Other area courses were not an option either, as they too experienced similar issues as low spots were inches deep with water.
The Beresford administration worked tirelessly to construct a spectacular secondary route that connected the north baseball field complex, gun range, and the Beresford Area Radio Flyer’s fields into a top-notch cross country course.
The newly labeled “North Course” would be the temporary home to the 2017 Big East meet, and as teams arrived at 3:00 P.M., they were welcomed with a great course set-up, loud music, and a favorable temp in the mid-50s.
With 2017 being the inaugural year for Beresford in the new Big East Conference, the Watchdogs kicked off their membership in dominating fashion, winning the boy’s varsity race, placing runner-up in the girl’s varsity race, and winning both the boy’s and girl’s JV races at the conference XC meet.
Beresford’s Cait Savey and Alec Atwood continued to lead the way for the Watchdog cross country team, as both runners raced to individual championships in the varsity divisions on the flat and wet course.
Savey put on a show for the large home crowd, outdistancing herself from a very respectful field in the varsity girl’s 5K race as she led from start to finish. Savey won with a fantastic time of 19:13, as Flandreau standout, Sinona Flute was the Big East runner-up in 19:55.
Anna Atwood was again the number two runner for the ladies with a strong 4th place time of 21:00. Beresford’s first two runners placed 1st and 4th, while Flandreau placed 2nd and 3rd. It would be a battle of both teams’ 3rd and 4th runners to determine the Big East title.
Freshmen Gabrielle Engbarth and Laura Bogue both ran tough and confident races as they placed 9th (21:45) and 12th (22:02). Sophomore Katie Knutson has become one of the most consistent runners on the team racing to a meet medal in 14th place (22:21). Senior leader Hannah Ebert rounded out the varsity team in 27th place in 24:56.
After a mistake at the finish chute was corrected, Flandreau would end up edging Beresford 21-24 for the Big East team title. Garretson was third with 42 points.
The girl’s ran the best team race of the year and fell just short of knocking off one of the top teams in Class A.
Alec Atwood and the boys crew looked confident during their 30-minute warm-up, as the group looked to establish their reign as the top team in the Big East.
Atwood would not wait too long to set the pace he wanted, and was the front-runner from the onset. He found himself alone after the first mile, with teammate Noah Hinrichs the only runner within range to catch him.
Atwood would go onto win with a comfortable time of 17:07. Atwood’s classmates would be the next two Watchdog runners to cross the line, as juniors Hinrichs (2nd place, 17:41) and Dallas Davis (5th, 18:17) raced to the finish line in strong fashion.
Seniors Jake Limmer (7th, 18:25) and Hayden Brewers (8th, 18:29) wrapped up the team title for Beresford as the Watchdogs win the team championship 15-31 over Sioux Valley. Brandon Andrews also cracked the top 15, as he continued his breakthrough year earning a medal with his 12th place time of 19:14.
The JV girl’s race featured several girls who just missed making the top-six on the Big East varsity team.
Grace Quartier and Sabrina Swee both looked to challenge each other as they would duel it out for an epic finish for the conference title.
Quartier grabbed the outright lead with a mile to go in the race. She would hold that spot as she followed Mr. Field on the lead bike.
Rounding the final turn around the baseball fields, Quartier eyed the finish, with Swee right on her tail. Swee unleashed a ferocious kick in the final 200 meters, and Quartier was able to hold her off, winning by two tenths of a second over her training partner with a 4K time of 18:18.3. Swee was second in 18:18.5.
The JV girls were dominant in winning the team title with 11 points (out of a possible perfect score of 10). Securing top-15 finishes for the Watchdogs were: 3rd, Adyson Hansen 18:44, 5th Faith Weiland 19:15, 6th, Addy Wills 19:34, 7th, Lilly Traxler 19:53, 9th, Tianna Schlup 19:58, 13th, Lucy Farley 20:12
The JV boys wrapped up the day with big shoes to fill and a team goal to bring home the team title to end the day.
Senior Trystan Olbertson held back the first mile and settled into 3rd place as a Flandreau and Sioux Valley runner jostled for the lead. The wily veteran made a big move as he ran by the home crowd on the first of two loops, and surged into the lead.
Olbertson would power to the finish winning the JV conference title and first race of his career in 15:30. Eighth grader Tommy Cordell was trying hard to catch his teammate and finished in 2nd place with a time of 15:32.
Behind Olbertson and Cordell’s 1-2 finish, the rest of the Beresford pack closed hard to capture the team title with a score of 19 points. Flandreau would finish second with 29 team points.
Top-15 finishers for the JV boys were: Caleb Weiland (7th, 16:00), Jerry Chen (9th, 16:09), Josh Limmer (13th, 16:19), and Gage Lyle (15th, 16:28).
The Watchdogs have the Region cross country meet this Thursday in Beresford. The top three varsity teams and top-20 individuals automatically qualify for the state cross country meet in Rapid City.
Boys 2017 Big East Conference Champs Girls 2017 Big East Conference Runner Up