Cross country shines in team scores

Charity Wessel

The Custer High School cross country team is now in its last month of racing cross country and competed well last week at the Sturgis Invitational.
Head coach Karen Karim said the girls varsity “had a solid showing” amid a blistering  “86 degree day and dusty Ft. Meade course.”
The Wildcat varsity girls came in third place with a team score of 104.
Competing against 22 schools, Karim said “the girls did well against pretty big schools from Wyoming and the Hills. Now we’re at the point where we’re competing as a team,” she said.
Looking at the varsity girls’ individual 5K times, Karim said “Brit (Wheeler) had a great race and received a medal.” Wheeler placed ninth at 21:38.
Custer’s Keira Alfson placed 14th (22:10), Sierra Swanson was 22nd (22:45) and Mattea Marshall placed 26th (23:00).
The girls varsity team’s results also reflected Hailey Woodward (24:37), Alice Sedlacek (24:58) and  Sadie Moore (25:44) finishing for Custer.
Karim said the girls “are really coming along and it’s exciting to see them race.”
Racing the varsity boys’ 5K run, Custer’s Drew Lehman (18:01) and Sean Shipp (19:47) “had a great race,” Karim said.
Custer’s varsity boys 5K  team also included David Lewis (20:42), Kai Rusch (21:25), Ethan O’Connor (22:48) and Sam Gaulke (24:49).
Custer’s boys junior varsity team scored sixth place at this invitational.
Also finishing high in a team score, Custer’s eighth grade boys earned fifth place for their 3K runs.
And Custer’s girls six and sevennth grade team were awarded a fourth place for their 3K.
Next up for Custer’s cross country team is the Black Hills Conference at Spearfish.
Karim said she expects good things from the Wildcats as they run against these other 12 schools.  She noted Spearfish and Hill City High School’s girls varsities are running at the top in state.
Similarly, Karim said Custer’s boys teams will be watching out for Red Cloud High School’s fast runners. Also, Belle Fourche is reportedly vying for a state title, so the Wildcats will also have them on their radar, she said.
Karim said the races ahead “will be a challenge but regionals and state are always a main focus.”

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