Pack running has its advantages

Sonja Karp

Sonja Karp

NLJ Sports Reporter 


Times were slower than Newcastle Cross Country Head Coach Kathy Beehler would have liked for this point in the season, but the Dogie cross country team competed hard at the meet in Custer Thursday.

“I wasn’t particularly pleased with our times, but I thought we ran alright and made some good moves in their race,” Beehler began. “For example, Carson Bock had two Custer kids in front of him and two behind him and he passed one so he did his job for the team.”

There were other Dogies who found themselves in similar situations as Bock, but at the end the men tied with Custer for first place with 27 points.

“We had a Custer runner .5 of a second behind us so we’re right there, but if we could have had just one runner beat one person — regardless of where they were from — we would have won,” Beehler frowned. “Their pusher beat our pusher so we have to get the mentality that sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper and get one more runner and good things could happen.”

Dylan Talley led his team once again this week finishing third in 18:54.53. Freshman Tristan Troftgruben was 40 seconds behind in seventh, while Carson Bock was 11th in 19:57.31.

Zach Purviance was 15th, PJ Martin finished in 17th, Avery Chick in 19th and Jacob Rhoades in 24th.

Unlike other meets, in Custer, teams could run unlimited numbers in the varsity division so three more Dogies were able to compete at the highest level. Peyton Purviance finished 32nd, Collin Dudzinski in 34th and Max Makousky rounded it out in 38th place.

“Our younger kids are continuing to move up and as a team, we are pack running pretty well. Now we have to improve our times,” Beehler stated. “Carson dropped time from last season, Avery is coming along and jumping right in there at the top, and Jacob Rhoades is also doing really well.”

The Lady Dogies didn’t have numbers for a team score, but individually they made great strides in tightening up their finishes.

Only three runners competed in the varsity division, with team leader Hailey McGuire coming in 20th, Alaina Laurence in 23rd and Lara Lopez was right on her heels in 24th place.

Beehler had entered Avery Alicehouse in the JV division due to a hip injury that was plaguing her, so she also entered Shelby Stith in the lower division in order to give her a teammate. Unfortunately, the decision was made to hold Alicehouse out of the race altogether, so Stith was on her own. She finished 16th in a time of 22:34.33.

On Tuesday, the squad traveled to Hot Springs for competition and, once again, Beehler divided the ladies into the varsity and JV divisions. McGuire and Laurence were the only two representing Newcastle at the upper level while Lopez, Stith and Alicehouse ran in JV.

“We are having some issues with hip flexors with those girls, and the Hot Springs course is pretty hilly which can exacerbate the problem,” Beehler began. “That’s why I decided to have them run JV since it’s a shorter course.”

On Friday the Dogies head to Rapid City for their meet at Hart Ranch. Unlike Custer and Hot Springs, this is a relatively flat and therefore a fast course where Beehler is expecting to see improved times across the board for her team.


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