Mitchell girls hoping for top-10 finish at state cross country meetDespite dealing with injuries lately, first-year Mitchell High School cross country coach Scott Munsen is still hoping the girls’ team can finish in the top 10 at the Class AA state cross country meet today at Yankton Trail Park in Sioux Falls.
By: Justin Rust, The Daily Republic
Despite dealing with injuries lately, first-year Mitchell High School cross country coach Scott Munsen is still hoping the girls’ team can finish in the top 10 at the Class AA state cross country meet today at Yankton Trail Park in Sioux Falls.
“We certainly had a goal of being in the top 10 like we were last year, but we haven’t been kicking well the last couple of weeks,” he said. “So we are concerned about that, but we have to put that behind us and hopefully the girls respond.”
Last year, the Mitchell girls finished in 10th place out of 16 teams. Junior Jesse Volek finished in 39th place in 16 minutes, 23.32 seconds to lead the Kernels last year, and junior Berkley Rietveld finished in 41st place (16:23.62).
Both Volek and Rietveld have dealt with injuries this year, but Munsen said both should be ready to go today.
Eighth-grader Naomi Munsen finished in 46th place (16:34.52) last year and has stepped up this year with Volek and Rietveld injured.
“Berkley was a little banged up after she had a great race in Brookings, and after that, Naomi was one of our top runners,” Scott Munsen said. “She could be one of our top runners (today).”
Eighth-grader Karlie Brown finished right behind Naomi Munsen in 47th place in a time of 16:35.27. Eighth-grader Tevyn Waddell also ran in last year’s state meet and finished in 80th place (17:31.92).
Freshman Julie Knight and seventh-grader Mary Krause will be Mitchell’s other two runners at the state meet.
Scott Munsen said he is hoping for the group to put forth an aggressive pace today.
“The key will be how many girls we can get in the top 25 and then in the top 40, so that will be the key to see who we will get up there and who will do that,” he said. “We would be really, really excited if we can finish in the top eight.”
For the first time since 2007, the Mitchell boys’ cross country team will have a full team competing at the state meet.
Munsen said it will be a young team that is going to compete at the meet, though.
“We have some young guys who aren’t ready for it, but they will give it a try,” he said. “We are just hoping that we can get everyone across the line.
“If we finish 11th to 14th place, we would be ecstatic. We are hoping not to be as far back as 16th, but the guys will try.”
Mitchell does have two runners who competed in state meet last year — eighth-grader Gray Determan and sophomore Sam Dee.
Determan finished in 89th place in a time of 18:57.02 and Dee ran in a time of 19:55.57 to finish in 100th place.
Freshman Cole Koons, eighth-graders Riley Cowins and Christian Fossum and seventh-grader Josh Loecker are the other four runners for the Kernels.
“We are hoping if all six of these guys finish, it’s the start of building the program back up,” Munsen said. “It’s a long ways to go, but it’s a start. If we can get a score, whether it’s 11th or 16th, it’s a step in the right direction."
The Chamberlain girls go into the state meet after winning the Region 4A title. The team is led by sophomore Maci Burke, who finished in 14th place at last year’s state meet. She is one of four runners who competed at the state meet for Chamberlain last year.
The Platte-Geddes girls also bring a full team to the state meet, led by senior Rochelle Wynia, who finished in 15th place at last year’s meet. Three other Platte-Geddes’ runners competed at the state meet last year.
Other area teams that will have runners competing in the Class A girls’ state meet are Bon Homme (two runners), McCook Central/Montrose (two runners) and Wagner (one runner).
For the Winner boys, senior Donovan Brother of All looks to be in the top two again. Last year, he finished in second place. Junior Cole Phillips also will compete at the state meet for Winner.
Five of the six Platte-Geddes runners competed at the state meet last year. Of the six runners Ethan/Parkston has at this year’s state meet, only one — David Schoenfish — competed at the state meet last year.
The Chamberlain boys are bringing four runners to the state meet and MC/M and Wagner both have one runner at the state meet.
Sophomore Becca Glanzer will represent the Mitchell Christian girls at the state meet. Last year, Glanzer finished in 18th place in a time of 16:30.39. MCHS coach Mark Miedema said the goal is to have Glanzer finish in the top 15.
“Becca has improved her time by over a minute, and I would say a reasonable goal would be to shoot for the top 15,” he said. “She is only a sophomore, so she has plenty of time to get further up there.”
Wessington Springs’ senior Mindy Kraft finished in fourth place last year in a time of 15:45.94. Spartans’ coach Becky Bell-Krueger said Class B is open to anyone and that Kraft has a shot at the title, along with Tia Carlson of Kadoka Area and Tori Moore of Ipswich.
“Hopefully Mindy can pull off the state championship during her senior year,” she said. “It’s been back and forth among those three, and I think it will be a good race.”
Canistota has five runners competing at the girls’ state meet after winning the Region 2B title.
For the MCHS boys, junior Adam Rasmussen and eighth-grader Isaak Peitz will both be running in their first state meet. Miedema said the expectation is for both of them to run their best times of the year.
“Since it’s their first year at the state meet, I am not looking for places, just looking at their times,” he said. “It would be nice if Adam got in the low 18 minutes, and if he can break 18, that would be great.
“At regions, Isaak ran the best I have seen him, so low 19 minutes would be reasonable and I think he can handle that.”
Sophomore Jase Kraft will lead the Wessington Springs boys’ team to what Bell-Krueger is hoping will be a top-four finish.
“That is one of our goals; we are looking at third place or fourth place,” she said. “It will be a dogfight with Irene-Wakonda and Parker for the top spot, and we are looking to get on the medal stand.”
The Spartans won Region 4B and Jase Kraft won the individual region title. Jase Kraft finished second at the state meet last year in a time of 17:04.36. Parker junior Duane Jongeling won the meet last year.
“I am looking for Jase to be one of the top two again,” Bell-Krueger said of Jase Kraft. “I am looking for a really good race between those two.”