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Hanson's Emily Hanson, left, and Bon Homme's Maddison Hajek, second from left, battle for the early lead Saturday at the Mitchell Invitational. They are followed by Mount Vernon/Plankinton's Savannah Schmidt, Bon Homme's Jenna Rezac, and Platte-Geddes' Reganne Engebretson. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)
Hanson's Emily Hanson, left, and Bon Homme's Maddison Hajek, second from left, battle for the early lead Saturday at the Mitchell Invitational. They are followed by Mount Vernon/Plankinton's Savannah Schmidt, Bon Homme's Jenna Rezac, and Platte-Geddes' Reganne Engebretson. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)

Dion, Hajek win at MHS Invitational

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sports Mitchell, 57301

Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Wagner's Nick Dion and Bon Homme's Maddison Hajek had to battle sloping hills and hot temperatures, but both prevailed at the Mitchell Invitational Saturday at the Mitchell Middle School.

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Dion, a junior, finished with a time of 18 minutes, 55 seconds in the 5,000-meter race, defeating Miller's Mason Breitling, who finished second, and Miller's Cole Sargent, who finished third. For more results, see page B2.

Breitling finished with a time of 19:07, while Sargent had a time of 19:44.

"I am not good at running in the heat, so I didn't get as good of a start as I wanted to," Dion said. "Those hills were killing my legs. I knew Breitling placed above me at state, so I had to get a big start to stay ahead of him."

Dion built a lead of 15 yards over Breitling by the 2,500-meter mark. The Wagner senior, who finished 19th at the Class A state meet last year, maintained the lead as he coasted across the finish line. Breitling, a junior, finished 16th at the cross country state meet last season.

"I am looking for a top three finish at state," Dion said. "It is going to be tough, but I can do it. Running in events and conditions like (Saturday) will help me get better."

No team results were kept for either the boys' or girls' varsity races. Participating teams were Mitchell, Wagner, Miller, Avon, Bon Homme, Mount Vernon/Plankinton, Chamberlain, Lyman, Wolsey-Wessington, Platte-Geddes, Hanson and Bridgewater-Emery.

Like Dion, the Bon Homme sophomore Hajek is aiming toward making a mark at the Class A state meet in October. Hajek took her first step toward the state meet Saturday as she finished first in a field of 20. The girls competed in a 4,000-meter race.

Hajek had a time of 16:34, defeating Savannah Schmidt, of Mount Vernon/ Plankinton, and Reganne Engebretson, of Platte-Geddes. Schmidt finished second with a time of 17:11, and Engebretson took third with a time of 17:26.

"Coming into the race I just told myself that I was going to win, and that is what I did," Hajek said. "It was difficult to run in the heat. We have been practicing in the heat so that helped a little bit and there were some spots of shade, so that helped as well."

In addition to Hajek, Bon Homme had two other runners finish in the top 10. Jenna Rezac took fourth with a time of 17:39 and Morgan Rothschadl finished seventh with a time of 18:40 for the Cavaliers.

"We have all three of our varsity runners back from last year," Hajek said. "We are all training really hard and working to get better, so we can make it to state."

No Mitchell girls competed in the varsity competition.

Mitchell Cross Country Invitational

Saturday at Mitchell Middle School

BOYS

1. Nick Dion, Wagner, 18:55; 2. Mason Breitling, Miller, 19:07; 3. Cole Sargent, Miller, 19:44; 4. Brant Blaha, Avon, 19:55; 5. Kyle Klinnert, BH, 20:02; 6. Trey Waldrop, Miller, 20:03; 7. Coby Lee, Mitchell, 20:21; 8. Luke Bartl, Mitchell, 20:44; 9. Hunter Russell, Miller, 20:51; 10. Trajan Holiday, Wagner, 20:57; 11. Jacob Mathis, Wagner, 20:59; 12. James Mayclin, MVP, 21:00; 13. Stas Sutera, BH, 21:01; 14. Jacob Lopez, Chamberlain, 21:02; 15. Derek McManigal, Lyman, 21:40; 16. Derek Wing, PG, 21:45; 17. Darian Ogunjemilusi, WW, 21:48; 18. Jason Manning, Miller, 21:54; 19. Beau Keeter, Miller, 22:10; 20. Cole Cahoy, BH, 22:18; 21. Lucas Simpson, Miller, 21:21; 22. Liam Swanson, Avon, 22:23; 23. Austin Kemnitz, WW, 22:52; 24. Hayden Schelske, Lyman, 22:57; 25. Emmitt Houchin, Lyman, 23:00; 26. Aaron Diekhoff, WW, 23:19; 27. Carter Langbehn, WW, 23.57; 28. Josiah Brink, PG, 24:31.

GIRLS

1. Maddison Hajek, BH, 16:34; 2. Savannah Schmidt, MVP, 17:11; Reganne Engebretson, PG, 17:26; 4. Jenna Rezak, BH, 17:39; 5. Anna Byers, Chamberlain, 18:07; 6. Emily Hanson, Hanson, 18:28; 7. Morgan Rothschadl, BH, 18:40; 8. Quinn Lulf, Lyman, 18;51; 9. Abby Hanson, 19:01; 10. Brittany Goodlow, Chamberlain, 19:18; 11. Alayna Steckelberg, Chamberlain, 19:50; 12. Chesney Garnos, Lyman, 19:53; 13. Becca Glanzer, MVP, 20:07; 14. Heidi Cap, Avon, 20:11; 15. Kelsey Barnett, Wagner, 20:21; 16. McKeely Merkwan, BH, 20:51; 17. Phoenix Choal, Lyman, 21:02; 18. Ashley Robinson, WW, 21:17; 19. Kylen Swanson, Avon, 22:08; 20. Grace Brink, PG, 22:42.

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