Catching up with former area athletes: USF’s Aaron Voigt leads Cougars on course

A weekly look at what area athletes are accomplishing in college sports

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SIOUX FALLS — Gregory native Aaron Voigt, a junior on the University of Sioux Falls men’s cross country team, capped a standout season on Nov. 6 at the NCAA Division II Central Regional championships.

Voigt finished 28th in the race, which was held in Joplin, Missouri, and was one of four Cougars to finish in the top-70 in the race in a personal-best time of 30 minutes. 53.14 seconds in the 10,000-meter race. USF finished ninth as a team. He ran an average mile pace of 4:58.2 and moved up six spots in the second half of the race.

At the Northern Sun Intercollegiate meet earlier on Oct. 23 in Wayne, Nebraska, Voigt helped the USF men’s team finish third. With a time of 25:36.77, Voigt finished in a team-best 12th place and received all-NSIC honors.

Person part of Augie’s top finish at D-II national meet

SIOUX FALLS — Burke High School graduate Kray Person was part of the Augustana University men’s cross country team’s strong finish at the NCAA Division II national cross country championships in St. Leo, Florida on Nov. 20.

The Vikings were fourth overall in the men’s race, scoring 222 points. It was the best Augustana’s best men’s national team finish since 2014, while the Viking women took third place, the best finish for the Vikings since 2012.


"Having both teams on the podium is such an unbelievable performance from our teams," Augustana Director of Cross Country Tracy Hellman told the school website. "The coaching staff is so proud of what these teams accomplished today. It was a very tough race but we battled and persevered.

Person, a junior, placed 78th in 32:13.7 to round out the team scoring for the Vikings as the team’s fifth finisher.

Witte caps Carleton career with strong play, academics

NORTHFIELD, Minn. — Wessington Springs native John Witte recently completed his senior season playing football for NCAA Division III Carleton College.

On the field, Witte and the Knights had a 7-3 record, the program’s best showing since 2008 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. That included a 48-45 win over Macalester College in the season finale to win the Book of Knowledge traveling trophy for the second time in the season.

Witte was recently selected to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District team for District 6 which includes all Division III schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.This is his third consecutive selection to the Academic All-District team.

Witte, who played defensive end, is a computer science major with a 3.61 GPA. He had 39 tackles in eight games and finished with 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, seven quarterback hurries, a forced fumble, and fumble recovery.

Haggerty wraps run as a Red Raider soccer standout

ORANGE CITY, Iowa — Freeman Academy graduate Brennan Haggerty finished his collegiate soccer career earlier this month in the NAIA men’s soccer national tournament.

The Red Raiders, who finished 10-1 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference and 16-4-1 overall, fell 1-0 to the No. 2 seed in the tournament, the University of Rio Grande (Texas) in Columbia, Missouri on Nov. 18.


The 16 wins tied a program record for a single season, and the Red Raiders earned the program's second-ever GPAC title – first since 2004 – and claimed an automatic berth to the NAIA tournament for the first time since 2007.

Haggerty, a midfielder, scored his lone goal of the season in game-winning fashion in the GPAC tournament semifinals on Nov. 6 in a 2-1 win over Morningside. It was just his second career goal. He played in all 21 games, starting in 10 and had one goal and five assists on the season.

Byers finishes strong in 2021 for USD cross country

VERMILLION — With the conclusion of the University of South Dakota’s cross country season, Chamberlain High School graduate Ella Byers concluded her best season as a collegiate runner in 2021.

Byers, a third-year sophomore for USD, was the Coyotes’ leading runner at the NCAA Midwest Regional on Nov. 12 in Iowa City, Iowa. Byers finished 59th in the race, completing the 6,000-meter course in 21:45.96. It was her second-fastest time for 6,000 meters in her career. This also marked her fourth race of the seven in 2021 where she finished as USD's lead runner.

The Coyote women finished 15th in the team race with 431 points, second among Summit League teams.

Byers was a two-time Summit League women’s cross country runner of the week during the season. She was 40th at the Summit League conference meet (23:24.14) on Oct. 30 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at
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