AC runs away with ESD titles; six Lynx harriers make all-conference

Jill Meier, Journal editor
Aberdeen Central once again swept both team titles Saturday in the Eastern South Dakota Conference Cross Country Championships at Cattail Crossing Golf Course in Watertown.
But the Lynx also made their presence known, boasting a second-place team finish in the varsity girls’ race and a third-place ending for the boys, in addition to landing a trio from both programs on the All-ESD Conference roster. 
“The teams looked solid with some very strong races, all-conference awards, and good team standings,” head coach Larry Beesley said.
After tying the Golden Eagles in their last two meetings, the AC girls bested the Lynx by 15 points, despite narrowing the gap of their one through five runners by 44 seconds. Senior Haylee Waterfall and junior Allison Rief were the fourth and fifth runners to parade across the finish line; junior Lauren Wells was the 13th. 
Katie Wentzy (17th) and Kylie Foss (18th) just missed out on all-conference honors.
“It was a good team effort and I’m looking forward to where this group will end these next two weeks of the season,” Beesley said.
Ellie Abraham of Brookings repeated as the girls’ division champion, while Aaron Ryan of Aberdeen Central, won the varsity boy’s race.
Britton Elkin (fourth), Eli Cheever (seventh) and Tom Redford (14th) came away from the ESD race with all-conference honors. Teammates Colter Elkin were the 25th and 26th runners to complete the 5,000-meter course and help the Lynx boys to a third-place team ranking.
“Third place at ESD was a big step for this group since seven of them have never raced in the meet before Saturday,” Beesley said. “The next two weeks will also be an important stretch for this group, seeing where we can finish among the state teams.”
BV’s junior varsity and middle school runners also generated some success at the ESD level on Saturday. Caitlyn Hanson and Hannah Hendrick earned all-conference status behind their fourth and sixth place finishes, respectively. The girls placed third as a team. 
“The third-place finish was indication that this group has improved throughout the season,” Beesley said.
Blake Thompson (ninth place) was the lone JV runner for the boys to collect all-conference honors, and Riley Peyton became the second BVMS runner to win the ESD middle school race. Zoey Mandery, Emma Kirkland and Chantel Bickler captured second through fourth in the girls’ middle school race.
The Lynx head to Yankton Trails Park for the Metro Conference Championships Thursday, with races starting at 3:30 p.m.
Girls Division
Team scores: Aberdeen Central 42, Brandon Valley 57, Yankton 82, Pierre 92, Brookings 132, Harrisburg 146, Watertown 188, Huron 212, Mitchell 264.
Lady Lynx results (5,000 meters, 65 runners): 4.) Haylee Waterfall 19:53; 5.) Allison Rief 19:57; 13.) Lauren Wells 20:21; 17.) Katie Wentzy 20:37; 18.) Kylie Foss 20:37; 24.) Mikaela Birath 21:08; 27.) Megan Pickering 21:26; 28.) Natalie Moose 21:26; 34.) Hannah Sprecher 21:51.
Boys Division
Team scores: Aberdeen Central 39, Harrisburg 65, Brandon Valley 74, Pierre 113, Brookings 116, Yankton 154, Watertown 212, Mitchell 223, Huron 240.
Lynx results (5,000 meters, 74 runners): 4.) Britton Elkin 17:07; 7.) Eli Cheever 17:39; 14.) Tom Redford 17:55; 25.) Colter Elkin 18:31; 26.) Zach Hentschel 18:36; 31.) Jace Christoffer 19:02; 36.) Caleb Klatt 19:08; 46.) Luke Kocer 19:42; 48.) Josef Zahn 19:46; 57.) Dustin Green 21:19.
Boys Division
Team scores: AC 39, Harrisburg 47, Yankton 54, BV 81.
Lynx results (5,000 meters, 44 runners): 9.) Blake Thompson 15:56; 13.) Quinn Gienap 16:18; 22.) Jack Scholten 17:28; 27.) Brian Wynia 17:54; 31.) Curtis Callahan 18:13; 42.) Marshall Elkin 20:02.
Girls Division
Team scores: AC 31, Brookings 56, Brandon Valley 67, Harrisburg 89, Watertown 106.
Lady Lynx results (5,000 meters, 37 runners): 4.) Caitlyn Hanson 18:37; 6.) Hannah Hendrick 18:43; 18.) Ava Caron 19:54; 24.) Lexy HAmner 20:24; 30.) Mackenzie Hochhalter 21:15; 37.) Kelsey Frost 23:49.
Boys Division
Team scores: Brookings 38, Yankton 58, BV 64, Aberdeen Central 100, Harrisburg 127, Watertown 169, Mitchell 191.
Race winner (3,000 meters, 68 runners: Riley Peyton, Brandon Valley, 10:14.22.
Girls Division
Team scores: AC 46, BV 46, Brookings 47, Mitchell 115, Watertown 131, Harrisburg 167, Huron 193.
Lady Lynx results (3,000 meters, 62 runners): 2.) Zoey Mandery 11:53; 3.) Emma Kirland 11:57; 4.) Chantel Bickler 11:57; 17.) Caremen Moeller 12:48; 25.) Makenzie TeKrony 13:07; 31.) Tyreese Zacher 13:20; 32.) Elaina Rice 13:22; 53.) Ava Mitzel 14:45; 56.) Savannah Waterfall 14:50.



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