The trilogy of West Region XC kicked off on Tuesday in Beulah, as the Beulah-Hazen XC squad hosted west region foes at Black Sands Golf Course. The outcome showed promise for the Bulldogs, while keeping in mind the significance of regular season meets.
“We had a good showing this afternoon, but we have to keep our focus on the main prize; regional and state meets,” said Jonathan Jahner, head cross country coach.
With most of the west region teams in attendance, the bulldogs got a sneak peak of where they stand.
On the boys side, optimism is high after the Bulldogs defeated the No. 2 ranked Rugby Panthers, however, their determination will far outlast the successes of the day. Andrew Miller once again led the boys team with a fourth place finish, but teammate Camden Wokal pushed him to the limit. Wokal finished on his heels in sixth place. The Bulldogs were not done there, as they stacked five runners in the top 20. Brian Miller placed 11th, Samuel Rodakowski finished in 16th, and Austin Wanner rounded out the scoring in 19th. Though the scorers were through, the bulldogs continued to inflict damage to their opponents, as Ethan Fischer (32nd), Dillon Eagon (52nd), and Noah Wokal (54th) raced to push opponent’s scores up. “It was probably our best team race of the year, and that is a product of our leadership, as well as the buy-in from our younger runners.” Stated Coach Lora Miller.
In the JV division, Caleb Sarsland raced to a fifth place finish in a blistering time of 12:13. The bulldogs showed a lot of promise as their young squad placed 5 runners in the top 20. Sarlsand was followed up by Levi Kelly (11th), Ben Knopp (13th), Antoine Kaddouri (16th), and Brady Hendrickson (20th). Rounding out the runners for the bulldogs were Luke Fischer (25th), Kevin Fischer (34th), and Dylan Kalstrom (38th).
The girls fielded a complete team (5+ runners) for the first time all season, and with it, came an abundance of knowledge. Alexius Miller held form by leading the bulldogs with a seventh place finish, while Abigail Bartholomay claimed 11th place. From then on, the bulldogs learned a lot about their standing in the region. Seventh grader Paysha Rex, running in her first varsity race, claimed 25th place. She was followed up by Vanessa Fischer in 34th, and Meggie Fischer in 39th. Brenna Wokal (45th) and Becki Fuchs (47th) rounded out the competitors for the bulldogs.
In the JV division McKaylee Kalstrom steadily climbed through the field to finish in seventh place. She wasn’t alone there as teammate Kaylee Kinsey was right on her heels, finishing in 10th place. Audrey Lazzara (26th) and Michaela Fischer (32nd) rounded out the scoring for the JV girls.
“This year is truly a transition year from losing those veterans last year. The upper classmen are doing a good job of gradually filling those leadership roles. Our younger girls are starting to realize what they are capable of with each opportunity that we give them. I strongly believe that by the end of the season they will all be confident in the role that each one of them play on the team.” said coach Dakota Hayes. The bulldogs next opportunity to grow will be on Friday as they travel to Dickinson to compete in the Becki Wells Invitational. On Tuesday, they will go to Watford City for part II of the B’s and culminate the trilogy with the West Region Championships in Bowman on Oct. 14.
Full results of the Beulah-Hazen Invite can be found at www.bowman.k12.nd.us/crosscountry.