By: Matt Coy
For the 12thtime in the 13-year history of the event, the Beresford cross country team was successful in bringing home the Union County Quadrangular-Battle of the Ol’ Canteen title.
The meet was hosted on Thursday, September 20 under dark clouds and a rain-soaked course at The Pointe Golf Course in Elk Point.
The girls’ 5K, followed by the boys’ 5K. Alcester-Hudson, Beresford, Dakota Valley, and Elk Point-Jefferson would represent Union county and fight for the Ol’ Canteen.
Everyone runs in the varsity race, and the team with the lowest combined team score wins the traveling Ol’ Canteen trophy.
As the girls readied themselves at the start line, the skies opened up, the wind gusted hard, and a sideways downpour whipped through the golf course. The girls were told to retreat to the clubhouse until the small storm cell passed.
The southeast corner of the state that day, a cancellation was a real possibility. However, after just 15 minutes, the fast-moving clouds cleared out for the time being, and the meet was a go.
Already drenched from waiting at the start line in the rain, the girls in the 5K field were anxious to finally get racing at 4:15.
Alcester-Hudson senior, Kendra Jensen, quickly ran ahead of the pack and settled into a comfortable 15-second lead in the first mile.
After the first of two 2,500 meter laps, freshman Anna Atwood of Beresford made a big move and began to close the gap on Jensen. Atwood had her eyes set on her first ever varsity meet victory.
Atwood overtook Jensen with 1K to go, and continued to pick up her pace as she crossed the line in first place with a time of 20:45. Jensen was 2ndin 21:17.
After a difficult race at Bon Homme a few days earlier. She ran a steady race and crossed the tape in 3rdplace with a time of 22:05. Her sister, Jordyn, was not far behind with another consistent time of 22:23 and a 5thplace medal.
The Fischer sisters are juggling a full varsity volleyball and cross country schedule this year, and both have been great teammates and role models with their impressive work ethic.
Gabrielle Engbarth had another outstanding race, finishing with a time of 22:40, which was good enough for 7thplace, as she rounded out the team score of 16 points.
Laura Bogue, 12th23:33; Katie Knutson, 15th24:05; Grace Quartier, 17th24:26; Adyson Hansen, 18th24:32; Faith Weiland, 19th24:33; Lucy Farley, 20th24:37; Kylie Dressen, 22nd24:50; Macy Quartier, 24th25:36; Maria Reaves, 26th26:12; and Isabel DeLay, 28th27:09.
Senior Alec Atwood was looking for his fourth straight Ol’ Canteen victory, and fifth victory of the 2018 season.
With more storm clouds nearby, it was decided to start the boys race immediately following the finish of the 30thplace varsity girls’ runner. This would ensure the boys would get a chance to race.
The rain did not look to be a factor, and a light, damp breeze cooled off the runners nicely.
With the boys race underway at 4:45, it was not an unfamiliar sight after the first loop, as Atwood took command of the field.
After checking over his should to make sure his teammates were in good position to secure the team victory, Atwood pushed the tempo the final mile and claimed the gold medal in 16:48.
Atwood capped off his “Canteen career” with four 1stplace finishes and a bronze medal as an 8thgrader.
Nico Sanz Curros had an outstanding final 2K as he pulled away from the chase pack. Sanz Curros would finish runner-up with a time of 17:19.
Matthew Hoffman had another great race for the Watchdogs as he powered his way to a third-place finish in 17:45.
Dallas Davis, still battling some sickness held on for 5thplace in 18:23. Brandon Andrews was 9thin 19:06, and 7thgrader Andrew Atwood wrapped up the top six runners for Beresford with his 10thplace time of 19:10.
A crew of boys battled their way to top 30 finishes, and the depth of the team was evident as eleven boys secured top-20 t-shirt awards.
Tommy Cordell, 11th19:31; Cody Klungseth, 14th19:34; Caleb Weiland, 16th19:51; Gage Lyle, 17th20:37; Scott Ridley, 23rd21:28; Josh Limmer, 21:31; Isaiah Richards, 27th21:58; Cameron Wells, 28th22:14; and Nate Kropuenske, 29th22:15.
Beresford won the team title this year with 27 combined team points. Dakota Valley was runner-up with 90 points, and Alcester-Hudson and Elk Point-Jefferson did not field full teams.
With the sixth straight team title, he Beresford seniors, Alec Atwood, Dallas Davis, Grace Quartier, and Faith Weiland went undefeated in their careers at the Ol’ Canteen race.