Area XC runners compete at Belle Fourche

Spearfish's Paul Hourigan, right, and Bison opponent William Burkhalter are in a mad dash to the finish line in the varsity boys' race. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

BELLE FOURCHE — Cross country runners from Spearfish, Lead-Deadwood, Belle Fourche, Sturgis, and Newell competed at Thursday’s Belle Fourche Invitational. Belle Fourche Country Club hosted the event.

Sawyer Clarkson of Belle Fourche earned top honors in the varsity boys’ division. His time for the 5,000-meter course was 17 minutes 7.77 seconds.

Sturgis claimed the varsity boys’ team crown at 40 points.

Custer won the varsity girls’ team title by scoring 24 points. Kadense Dooley of Custer placed first individually at 21 minutes 10.14 seconds.

“The girls ran as a team today,” Spearfish head coach Andy VanDeest said. He cited Donovan’s runner-up finish, along with Josie Tobin (seventh place), Halle Fjelland (12th), Maria Eisenbraun (13th), and Elizabeth Van Osdol (19th). Spearfish placed second at 32 points.

As for the Spartan boys’ team, VanDeest said, the grouping concept was also evident. VanDeest added that Urdiales (fifth place) wanted to be closer to the top. Paul Hourigan finished 24th, followed by Evan Roles (26th place), Max Ensor (29th), and Ben Baloun (32nd).

“I’m happy to see that team camaraderie,” VanDeest said in describing the Spearfish boys’ team. “Hopefully, they will feed off each other for the rest of the year.” The Spartans were seventh at 81 points.

“We had some kids really step up and run well,” Belle Fourche head coach Chris Riley said. He cited junior varsity boys Harley Rivera (fifth in 21 minutes 30.04 seconds for 5,000 meters), Dustin Kolb (seventh in 22:08.15), and Jadon Jensen (12th in 22:41.31).

Riley said the Broncs looked a bit tentative at the Douglas Invitational but were more in what he called “racing mode” on Thursday.

“Those guys were more aggressive,” Riley explained. “We ran a solid, whole 5,000 meters.”

Riley praised Ava Allen (fourth place), Alanah Pomrenke (31st), and Anika Main (34th) for their varsity girls’ efforts. He said they were moved up to the varsity so the Broncs could turn in a team score (fourth at 58 points).

“Sawyer (Clarkson) had an awesome day,” Riley said. “He got after it the whole way.”

Aiden Voyles (16th among varsity boys) competed hard in his first varsity meet, according to Riley.

“We had great performances, girls’ and boys’,” Sturgis head coach Blake Proefrock said. He added this is the first-ever cross country season for Iris Zylstra, who placed third in the varsity girls’ division.

Proefrock also praised Paige Willnerd (10th place) and Josie Kaufman (20th) for their efforts in the varsity girls’ division.

“We have a deep group of boys: a lot of them,” Proefrock said. “I think they’re just getting used to where they can run in a race, where they feel good and have some confidence.”

Newell head coach Kyle Sanderson said many team members really impressed him.

“They looked like they were running aggressively,” Sanderson explained. “I saw them being more competitive out in the race. That’s what we needed at a tough course like this.”

Sanderson praised David Morell (14th place in the JV boys’ division at 23 minutes 6.23 seconds) and Stacy Mahaffy (10th among JV girls at 25:40.69) for their efforts. Both times were for 5,000 meters.

Team scores, top-five finishers, and other area runners follow.

VARSITY BOYS

Team scores

1 Sturgis 40 points

2 Custer 51

3 St. Thomas More 53

6 Belle Fourche 79

7 Spearfish 81

Top 5 individual

1 Sawyer Clarkson (Belle Fourche) 17 minutes 7.77 seconds

2 Jonathan Burkhalter (Bison) 17:37.19

3 Lane Krautschun (Bison) 17:54.08

4 Miles Ellman (Custer) 18:03.08

5 Keenan Urdiales (Spearfish) 18:31.60

Other area finishers

6 Taylor Tobias (Sturgis) 18:40.58

9 Ray Henderson (Sturgis) 19:00.10

12 Beck Bruch (Sturgis) 19:03.60

13 Morgan Papenfuss (Sturgis) 19:10.66

14 Traeton Monahan (Sturgis) 19:16.97

15 Ty Petrocco (Sturgis) 19:19.06

16 Aiden Voyles (Belle Fourche) 19:31.15

22 Ryan Hohenberger (Newell) 20:20.07

24 Paul Hourigan (Spearfish) 20:38.66

26 Evan Roles (Spearfish) 20:47.29

29 Max Ensor (Spearfish) 20:59.59

31 Devin Nowowiejski (Belle Fourche) 21:04.70

32 Ben Baloun (Spearfish) 21:21.25

33 Nic Lambert (Belle Fourche) 21:25.42

41 Isaac McKenney (Belle Fourche) 23:19.04

VARSITY GIRLS

Team points

1 Custer 24 points

2 Spearfish 32

3 Sturgis 43

4 Belle Fourche 58

5 St. Thomas More 63

Top 5 individual

1 Kadense Dooley (Custer) 21 minutes 10.14 seconds

2 Madie Donovan (Spearfish) 21:18.12

3 Iris Zylstra (Sturgis) 21:39.03

4 Ava Allen (Belle Fourche) 21:51.54

5 Sierra Swanson (Custer) 21:52.00

Other area finishers

7 Josie Tobin (Spearfish) 22:15.69

10 Paige Willnerd (Sturgis) 22:55.21

12 Halle Fjelland (Spearfish) 23:23.80

13 Maria Eisenbraun (Spearfish) 23:24.98

15 Allison Hayes (Belle Fourche) 23:33.35

16 Lexa Burtzlaff (Newell) 23:41.11

17 Madelaine Rogers (Lead-Deadwood) 23:41.99

19 Elizabeth Van Osdol (Spearfish) 23:44.02

20 Josie Kaufman (Sturgis) 23:49.60

21 Rachel Erk (Newell) 23:58.90

24 Josie Reedy (Sturgis) 24:49.51

31 Alanah Pomrenke (Belle Fourche) 25:46.90

33 Clarissa Heisinger (Lead-Deadwood) 25:58.27

34 Anika Main (Belle Fourche) 26:28.98

36 Zariah Jones (Lead-Deadwood) 27:30.60

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