OACOMA -- Chamberlain entered the Region 4A cross country meet with a veteran trio of girls that needed a fourth to step up Thursday at Chamberlain Country Club.
The Cubs managed to put three runners in the top-seven, including champion Allison Hough, which was enough to nip Winner Area from the team championship, as both teams advanced to the state meet on Oct. 26 at Broadland Creek Golf Course in Huron.
Five Warriors crossed the finish line before Chamberlain’s fourth, but the combination of nine points from its top three runners and Angelina Lopez, Samantha Peppel and Macy Martin placing 19, 20 and 21st, respectively, gave the Cubs a 26-28 edge.
“The top three managed to just hang on,” Chamberlain head coach Garry Winter said. “Actually, my fourth runner was a JV runner that I just moved up 15 minutes before the race.”
Hough and teammate Kinsey Evans led the pack through the first lap, but eventually, Hough began to pull away from the remainder of the field.
The Chamberlain freshman cruised to the finish line in 18 minutes, 44 seconds, which was 18 seconds faster than second-place Evans and 34 seconds faster than Mobridge-Pollock’s Heidi Olson. Chamberlain’s Ella Phillips was seventh in 20:13.
“I talked to a coach and she told me to act like the (guide) cart is a person,” Hough said. “Like the frontrunner and just chase the cart. That’s what I tried to do.”
Winner’s Sidda Schuyler finished fourth in 19:43, despite competing with a stress fracture in her foot that has kept her from practice and likely from the state meet. Saige Schuyler was sixth in 20:03, while Leila Balsiger (20:21.86) was 10th and Meagan Blare (20:59.23) was 14th.
Mount Vernon/Plankinton’s Kyia Schmidt advanced to state with an 11th-place finish in 20:50.
Meanwhile, the Winner Area boys entered four runners and each of them finished in the top-14 to capture the team championship after fielding only three runners a year ago.
Kade Watson placed second in 16:34, while Kylar Meek was seventh in 17:50.25, Dawson Phillips was ninth in 17:52 and Joseph Laprath was 14th in 17:59 to finish with 30 points, seven fewer than second-place Todd County and 18 fewer than third-place Chamberlain.
“I think this is the first time Winner has won in my eight years of coaching,” Winner head coach Jayd Schuyler said. “And the prior coach was here for six and he had never won regions. It’s exciting to come in here and win. They’ve had a good season.”
Chamberlain may have taken third in the team standings, but the Cubs also had two of the top three runners, including champion Dominic Santiago and third-place Declan Tveit.
Santiago led for most of the race, but a gust of wind on the second lap allowed Watson to catch up. With 100 yards to go, however, Santiago was able to pull away for a winning time of 16:23.
“There was a lot of leaning into it and small little things that help you run through the wind,” Santiago said.
Ethan/Parkston advances four to state in Region 3A
BERESFORD -- Ethan/Parkston is sending a quartet of runners to the state meet, including Lindsey Roth, who placed third in the Region 3A girls race Thursday.
Roth finished in 20:02.11, while Lennox’s Ali Bainbridge won the race with a time of 19:19.14. Kayleigh Royston also placed 17th with a time of 21:58.68.
Ethan/Parkston finished fourth with 62 points, just outside a team bid to state. Tea Area won the team title with 25 points.
On the boys side, Evan Bartelt and Riley Endres placed ninth and 10th, respectively. Bartelt recorded a time of 18:28.78 and Endres finished in 18:30.40 as Ethan/Parkston finished fifth with 76 points.
Vermillion took the boys team title with 16 points, 29 points ahead of Beresford, while Riley Ruhaak won the boys race in 17:31.75.
MCM sends two to state
GARRETSON -- Two McCook Central/Montrose runners qualified for the state meet out of the Region 2A meet.
Jordan Schock took 13th in the boys race in 18:08.39, while Vivian Koepsell was 19th in the girls race at 21:29.42. MCM placed 10th in the boys standings and seventh in the girls standings.
Sioux Falls Christian captured the boys team championship with 12 points, as Isaac Engbers won the individual title with a time of 16:49.81. The Chargers also won the girls race with 26 points and Taryn Whisler was the individual champion in 19:51.39.