Cross country wraps seasons

Photos courtesy South Dakota Public Broadcasting The boys’ Class B cross country field sprints from the starting line Saturday, at the State Cross Country meets, held at Yankton Trails in Sioux Falls.

SIOUX FALLS — Three teams and one individual earned repeat titles Saturday, as the 2023 State Cross Country meets were held in both boys’ and girls’ divisions, in all three classes.

The Phillip Scotties boys’ team earned its second consecutive team title in dominating fashion, Sioux Fall Christian climbed to the top of the mountain in Class A girls’ and Potter County reclaimed the girls’ Class B championship.

And Emery Larson of Chester was the first Class B girls’ runner across the line, as she earned her second straight individual title.

Here is how each class finished, including Heartland area teams. All runners in each class and division who finish in the top 25, earn All-State recognition.


Class AA
Sioux Falls Lincoln claimed the team title in a very competitive Class AA boys’ division, with 115 points. Sturgis was second with 129 and Rapid City Stevens was third. Huron finished 19th in the field.

Jared Lutmer of Pierre climbed the podium after his third-place finish last year, to take individual medalist honors in 2023. He was followed across the line by Grady Loos of RC Stevens and Peyton Cast of Douglas.

Huron was led by Teagan Lien’s 120th place finish. Angelo Medina, Will Knippling and James Weir were 122-124, while Antwon Flying Hawk was 127th and Cameron Cutshaw was 130th in the field.

“Angelo Medina ran just a couple of seconds off of his personal record from the ESD Meet a couple of weeks ago,” said HHS coach Angie Thomas. “Will Knippling and Cameron Cutshaw both ran a season best and Antwon Flying Hawk ran a personal record.”

Class A
Hill City moved atop the heap in Class A, edging Sioux Falls Christian and Belle Fourche, respectively. Last year, Belle won the title, followed by Hill City and SFC, so the power remains at the top of the division. Miller finished 9th in the team standings and Clark/Willow Lake was 15th.

Luke Rupert of Hill City won the individual title, followed by Lane Krautschun of Belle Fourche and Payton Brown of Milbank. Heartland runners earning All-State recognition included Pierce Baumberger of Miller, who finished fourth in the race, as well as teammate Alex Schumacher, who was 16th.

Other Heartland finishers included; 64, Isaiah Gortmaker; 76, Cooper Pommer, C/WL; 96, Taylor Merkel, C/WL; 97, Damian Severson, C/WL; 100, Chase Hurd, Miller; 103, Payton Moore, Redfield and 112, Jeff Boschee of Sanborn Central/Woonsocket.

Class B
The Phillip Scotties finished the team race with 13 points, putting five runners in the top 11 and all of their scorers in the top seven. Mitchell Christian was second and Northwestern was third. Highmore-Harrold finished 9th in the team race and Sunshine Bible Academy was 14th.

Mitchell Christian’s Silas Holdeman won the boys’ individual title, moving up from his sixth place finish at last year’s meet. Wakely Burns of Phillip finished second and Tavin Schroeder of Freeman Academy/Marion finished third, dropping one spot from his finish last year.

Heartland area runners and their finishes included: 32, Brooks McPeak, H-H; 34, Jimmy Burma, SBA; 41, Jordan Erfman, H-H; 44; Josiah Wiebe, Hitchcock-Tulare; 45, Kaden Ober, James Valley Christian; 60, Regan Sandness, SBA; 68, Carter Webb, H-H; 71, Trey Thieman, SBA; 78, Edwyn Reyes, Wolsey-Wessiongton; 87, Ranick Fjerstad, Wessington Springs, and 99, Chase Temme, De Smet.


Class AA
The Brandon Valley Lynx dominated the Class AA girls’ race, finishing atop the final standings with 52 points. Spearfish was a distant second and Harrisburg finished third. Brandon Valley had four runners in the top 12 and all five finished in the top 20. The Huron Tiger girls were 17th in the field.

Libby Castelli of O’Gorman moved up one spot to earn the 2023 individual title in a time of 17:31.91. Spearfish’s Payton VanDeest finished second, followed by Brandon Valley runner Mia Wentzy.

Josie Vlieger finished 76th to lead the Huron runners across the line. Other Tiger finishers included: 84, Lily Meyer; 87, Tatum Peterson; 123, Reva McGough; 124, Kinsley Armstrong; 128, Kayeleigh Bowden.

“Tatum Peterson ran a great race,” Thomas noted. “She was only a few seconds off of her season best and she came out focused and ready to run.

Girls A
The Sioux Falls Charger girls’ ran away with the team title for the second straight year, finishing with 27 points to easily outdistance Chamberlain and Vermillion. Clark-Willow Lake finished 7th in the team race.

Corinne Braun of SFC won the individual title, finishing in a time of 18:02.59. Braun is the lone runner who did not finish in the top 20 last year. Faith Wiese of Flandreau was second and Isabelle Bloker of Sioux Valley was third. Earning All-State recognition in Class A girls for Heartland runners was Camryn Nesheim of Clark/Willow Lake, who finished 11th.

Other Heartland finishers included: 45, Hadley Gjerde, C/WL; 53, Cadence Bochek, C/WL; 60, Madeline Nye, Miller; 67, Emma Bochek, C/WL; 86, Alexa Schmidt, C/WL.

Girls B
Potter County finished with 22 points in girls’ Class B, as the Battler girls won their second straight title. Arlington was second and Lemmon finished third. Locally, James Valley Christian was 5th in the field, Highmore-Harrold was 16th and Wessington Springs finished 19th.

Larson clocked a time of 18:21.47 as she ran to her second straight individual title. Ella Boekelheide of Northwestern was second and Dannika Kaup of Potter County finished third.

Several Heartland athletes earned All-State recognition. Autumn Fallis of Highmore-Harrold was sixth, with Hadasah Olson of JVC one spot back. Kendal Uttecht from Wolsey-Wessington finished 21 and JVC’s Lily Swanson was 23rd.

Adalyn Gross of De Smet finished 42nd, Rhayonna Hood of JVC was 44th and Wessington Springs’ Abby Kolousek was 68th. Alexis Roesler of Wessington Spirngs was 69th and Jaylynn Knox Highmore-Harrold finished 73rd.