BROOKINGS – The Brookings cross country teams hosted the Russ Strande Invitational at Edgebrook Golf Course Thursday afternoon. Each team came in fifth place.
Aberdeen Central came in first place with 48 points. Sioux Falls Washington came in second (58) and Harrisburg rounded out the top three (85). Sioux Falls Lincoln finished in fourth (109) and Brookings had 123 points.
Sawyer Clarkson of Belle Fourche was the top individual finisher with a time of 16 minutes and 18.53 seconds. Aberdeen Central had the second and third place finishers in Josh Martin (16:23.19) and Daniel Street (16:25.39).
Samuel Conrad led the Bobcats finishing in fourth place with a time of 17:11.55. Talon Everding came in 20th (18:25.39) and Nick Diersen finished in 27th (18:49.44).
“Sam continues to improve and this course is deceivingly hard. … Sam maybe just kind of got stuck in no mans land. The guys up front are tough competitors and in the long run it’s going to help him. … Talon Everding had a great race. He’s a dual-sporter with soccer and soccer has been very busy these past few weeks. It was great to see him race,” said BHS head coach Chris Gruenhagen.
Igen Nyawanda came in 35th (19.01.91) and Kobe Bowser came in 37th (19:03.87) for the Bobcats. Ian Smith finished in 43rd (19:13.18) and Jack Schultz came in 50th (19:33.33). Jacob York came in 54th (19:43.35 and Quentin Eck rounded things out for Brookings and he finished in 58th (20:13.61).
“Our pack behind [Everding] had great communication. Just saying little phrases. They looked great as group. … With fifth place I feel like we’re closing the gap on the other [Eastern South Dakota Conference] schools that were probably well ahead of us three or four weeks ago,” Gruenhagen said.
Sioux Falls Washington won the event with 54 points. Harrisburg came in second (56) and Aberdeen Central finished in third (64). Sioux Falls Lincoln came in fourth (80) and Brookings had 86 points.
Aberdeen Central’s Melanie Jacobs won the race with a time of (20:16.72). Ella Kolb of Sioux Falls Washington came in second (20:22.32) and Lila Beltcher of Sioux Falls Lincoln finished in third (20:35.34).
Jaixai Reineke was the top finisher for the Bobcats and she came in 16th (21:48.31). Lily Murray finished in 21st (22:10.46) and Kayla Shoup came in 23rd (22:20.19), Ashton Scott came in 25th (22:25.14) and Jenna York came in 30th (22:45.66). Madison Kepner was the final finisher for Brookings and she finished in 39th (24:04.26).
“I think overall things looked really good and worked well for us. … I think we had some good [personal records] and personal bests on this course. For all of our girls it was the right step in the right direction as we head into the last five weeks of the season,” Gruenhagen said.
Gruenhagen added that he was proud of girls and the boys’ performances and likes where they’re going.
“I think we’re continuing to trend in the right direction and seeing improvements. Overall I think both our boys and girls had a great day. Excited to host with a good crowd and it was nice afternoon in terms of weather. Looking forward to where we end up next week,” he said.
Both the boys and the girls will participate in the Watertown Invitational on Oct. 1.