Boys, girls teams are state-bound

Nathan Steele

Both the Custer High School boys and girls cross country teams are state-bound after qualifying in the regional meet at Hart Ranch last Wednesday. The girls team placed second with 30 points, and the boys team placed third with 33. Both teams finished behind the Hill City Rangers, winning both championships at regions.
“I was relieved to get there,” said head coach Karen Karim.
With tough teams on both the girls and boys sides in the region meet, and after going back and forth with Belle Fourche in recent meets, the teams had their work cut out for them.
In the boys race, Sean Shipp, a junior, led the pack, earning fourth place with his time of 16:09.85, his best time of the season so far.
“He really went out and ran hard,” said Karim.
Senior Drew Lehman finished eighth in the meet with his time of 17:15.03.    
Next across the finish line was sophomore Kian Rusch with a time of 17:22.46, good for ninth place.
Coming in at 17:26.42 was freshman Austin Drew, who finished in 12th place.
Earning 17th place was junior Jackson Wiles, who finished in 18:28.28.
In the girls race, Brit Wheeler, a senior, cracked the top three with her time of 19:53.97, which earned her third place.
Keira Alfson, a sophomore, earned ninth place with her time of 20:49.71.
In the 11th place spot was senior Sierra Swanson, who finished in 21:06.63.
Hailey Woodward, a sophomore, earned 18th place with a time of 22:04.81.
Earning 20th at the meet, freshman Kelsey Stiefel finished the race in 22:23.44.    
Mattea Marshall, a freshman, finished in 22nd place with her time of 22:37.44.
“They stepped up, ran better and competed well. I was proud of our girls’ effort,” said Karim.
Both teams are going to have their work cut out for them again, however, with the state meet, the toughest competition of the season. Karim expects Sioux Falls Christian and Hill City to be the teams to be beat.
The meet also marked the end of the season for many of the junior varsity runners, and many ran their best races of the season.
“The experience the younger kids gained should help us in the future,” said Karim.

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