The Custer Cross Country team kicked off the 2017 season at the Douglas Early Bird meet last Friday.
“The kids had a strong showing for their first meet,” said Coach Karen Karim.
On the girls side, Mallory Delmont led the way in third place, followed by seniors Tori Glazier in eighth and Tayler Carlson coming in 10th, and Mackenzie Laverick at 23rd.
All four girls are starting their season ahead of where they were last year, and that bodes well for our future,” said Karim.
Even though the girls varsity team was not able to field a complete team (AA meets require five runners), the girls looked good.
Karim said that Hill City, who was Black Hills Conference champion last season, looked strong as well.
“This week eighth graders Kadense Dooley and Nancy Falkenburg-Brown ran the junior varsity race because it was a 4K instead of a 5K. They ran super, placing second and third respectively. Adding them to the varsity roster will strengthen the team. We will have to see where we will fare against Hill City in the following weeks once Kadense and Nancy compete in the varsity race,” she said.
Also competing in the junior varsity race at Douglas were Katy Bradeen, Josey Dvorak and Emma Helfer.
For the boys team, Joe Rush gave notice to runners around the state with a dominating win. His time of 16:37 was not far off his personal record last season, which is tough to do the first race of the season.
“Douglas is not a fast course with a big hill heading into the final mile, so Joe’s effort was impressive,” said Karim.
The rest of the team was definitely in the mix of things with three others finishing in medal positions: Max Oesterling in fifth, Ben Wahlstrom in ninth and Nathaniel Youngblood in 11th. The other varsity boys were not far behind with Jace Oesterling coming in at 16th, Logan Block at 20th, Mitchell Snyder finishing at 33rd and Wyatt Dooley at 37th. In the junior varsity race, the boys were led by Tucker Youngblood in eighth place, followed by Danny Nelson in 23rd, Derek Dueker in 27th and Nathan Steele in 31st.
The junior high runners also had their first competition on Friday at the Mallo meet which was hosted by Newcastle. For some runners, this was their first cross country race ever, said Karim. The results were as follows: Sixth grade girls — Sierra Swanson in first place, Emma Arp at 17th, Jordyn Clevenger in 19th. Seventh grade girls — Ramsey Karim in first place, Sierra Oesterling in second, Ryken Falkenburg-Brown in fourth, Kylie Hetley in eighth, Peyton Helfer in 10th, Ella Allen at 11th, Sadie Moore at 13th and Megan Snyder coming in 14th place. Eighth grade girls — Eva Studt coming in first place, Serenity Meyers in sixth and Sadie Glade in seventh. Sixth grade boys — Drew Lehman coming in first and Mical Grace at 10th. Seventh grade boys — Landon Woodward coming in second and Roman Schmidt at 14th. Eighth grade boys — Preston Drew came in sixth place.