Dogies runners speed through Spearfish course

By: 
Sonja Karp

Dogies runners speed through Spearfish course

Sonja Karp

NLJ Sports Editor

 

The Dogies were fleet of foot Friday in Spearfish, S.D. Universally, both the men’s and women’s teams carved significant time off their individual races from last week here in Newcastle, some setting personal best times in the process.

After finishing second last week, Avery Chick cut 55 seconds off his time to finish in 17:53.10, which was not only a goal for the senior, but a personal record as well. 

Competition was a little tougher in Spearfish, however, with most schools in attendance ranking amongst the 4A type schools in Wyoming. As such, Chick’s much improved and rather impressive time had him finishing in 22nd place.

“Everyone ran really well and most were a minute or two faster than last week,” said head coach Kathy Beehler. “Avery was really fun to watch, and seeing him get into the 17s was great. There were also two varsity runners gone so we put two freshmen in and they also did a really good job!”

Thatcher Troftgruben and Sam Scribner were the two freshmen who made the jump to the varsity ranks, and they performed admirably coming in 33rd and 36th with times of 18:40.03 and 18:49.59, respectively. For Troftgruben, this was not only his first varsity meet of his career, it was also his first meet of the season, and Scribner cut 1:30 off his time from the previous week in Newcastle. 

Teegan Hatheway was the next Dogie across the finish line coming in right on Scribner’s heels in 37th place with a time of 18:49.96. His time was 1:20 faster than his race in Newcastle. Finally, Mathew Drake finished in 43rd place with a time of 19:52.60, which was just four seconds shy of being an impressive two minutes faster than he ran the week prior.

Travis Scribner was the lone participant in the JV race, and he finished 32nd with a time of 24:06.73, 1:19 faster than his time in Newcastle.

As a team, the Dogies finished in fifth place behind Sheridan, Sturgis, Thunder Basin and Douglas. 

“The course in Spearfish is pretty flat so times there are always faster. This is really a good shot to get a fast time and everyone did that,” Beehler nodded. “We also talked about race strategy last week, and with their first meet under their belt, they had a better idea of what to expect so I think that really made a difference.”

Only the varsity divisions and the men’s JV division ran a 5k on the day, so the remaining Dogie and Lady Dogie athletes each were tasked with a 4,000-meter race.

In the boy’s freshmen division, Logan Olson and Ben Carter battled it out for 10th and 11th place, finishing just .41 of a second apart with Olson edging out Carter. Tayson Wheeler was 20th, Caleb Hoover 24th and Richard Smith was right behind in 25th place.

“Logan and Ben both performed really well and they definitely have some potential,” Beehler analyzed. “The freshmen in general are doing great and we are going to have a few of them that will really step up this year and do some good things.”

On the girls side of things, once again freshman Aspen Bloom had the best finish of the day, coming in 6th in the JV race with a time of 17:22.87. Tara Carter made her first appearance of the season having missed the home meet, and she crossed the finish line in 19th with a time of 20:01.29. Janaya Ralls was right behind in 20th place with a time of 20:17.41. 

Rachel Baird was the first across the finish line in the freshmen division coming in 7th with a time that would have put her right behind Ralls in the JV race, Taylor Conklin was 8th with a time that would have given her 21st place in JV, while Julie Morris finished 12th in 21:20.43.

“Aspen had another great race and all the girls ran well and improved their times over last week,” Beehler said. “We jumped three girls up to JV this week, and we’ll keep working on moving them up to varsity. They may be running a bit above their grade level, but I think they are ready.”

Though the girls and the freshmen boys all ran a 4k, a little figuring puts all of them finishing with times much improved over their first meet.

“I’m just really pleased because they were ready and excited and they said they had fun,” Beehler grinned. “At the same time, I’m always a little scared when they say they had fun, because then I wonder if they worked hard enough.”

This Thursday the team travels to Belle Fourche, S.D., which is a much more challenging race. The course begins with a hill, only to build to two more hills and they have to run two laps. 

“They need to be strong on the uphills, and then be strategic on the downhill portion of the course to keep on the pace they want to keep,” Beehler strategized. “But, they all seem like they are ready to take on whatever gets thrown at them.”

 

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