Men claim victory in Belle

By: 
Sonja Karp

It was an uncharacteristically hot day for the 2018 season as the Dogie and Lady Dogie cross country team competed in Belle Fourche last Thursday. Though not accustomed to running in the heat, the team fared pretty well regarding their finishes, resulting in the ladies coming in third and both the varsity and junior varsity men taking first.

The women’s third place finish was made better by the fact that they bested Cheyenne-Eagle Butte by eight points, when the week prior the South Dakota team had beaten Newcastle by five at the end of the Spearfish meet. 

“The girls are coming along, and Alaina [Laurence] and Lara [Lopez] both ran a really good race,” head coach Kathy Beehler began. “Lara especially had a good day. For most of the race, she ran right up with Hailey [McGuire]. She was behind her the whole way, but when I looked at her mile splits she was within eight seconds in the first mile and at the two mile they were within two seconds of each other, so that’s great to see.”

Beehler continued by noting that both Lopez and Laurence beat the times they put up last season on the Belle course, which bodes well for where the runners are at this point in the season.

McGuire has been the team’s lead runner thus far, and Thursday was no exception. The junior finished the race in 19th with a time of 24:46.26, and Lopez wasn’t far behind in 24th, picking up a new personal best time of 25:19.33. 

Laurence was 32nd, Shelby Stith finished 40th and Avery Alicehouse closed it out for the Lady Dogies in 46th.

While Beehler was very pleased that both the varsity and JV men won their events, she admitted she was a little disappointed with some of the times she saw.

“I was really excited that the boys took first, but we are going to have to step up our game a little,” she began. “I was very pleased with how we finished, but as far as our times go, I would have liked to see us drop more than we did.”

Dylan Talley crossed the finish line first for the Dogies in second place overall, while freshman Tristan Troftgruben nabbed seventh in the first varsity race of his career. Zach Purviance finished in 19th, Avery Chick in 20th, Carson Bock was 24th and Jacob Rhoades finished in 26th place. 

“Tristan ran a nice race, and though there is not time to compare to from last year when you look at how he finished last week you can see that he had a good day,” Beehler exclaimed. “He was within 40 seconds of his time in Spearfish, and given the Belle course is harder with the big hill, he did really well.”

Purviance was one Dogie who improved his time from last year, finishing 21 seconds faster despite having to stop two or three times due to some breathing issues he was experiencing as he raced. 

“I’m not sure what was going on with him, but I was impressed with the way that he fought through the problems he was having for the sake of his team,” Beehler smiled. “It seemed as though he knew he had guys who were counting him, so he had to get there for them.”

Other Dogies who improved their times from 2017 included Collin Dudzinski by 30 seconds and Gunnar Wainscott by 21.

At the meet on Thursday, only six members of the squad were allowed to compete in the varsity division, but at the Custer meet this Thursday teams are allowed an unlimited number. Then in the following two meets, up to 10 may race at that level.

“It’s nice that we will be able to do that because it gives that top group the opportunity to run with, and against, each other,” Beehler nodded. “They are very competitive, so it’s nice to let them run together.”

Upcoming for the Dogies is the Custer meet on Thursday, and then on Tuesday the 18th they will be in Hot Springs for a meet there.

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