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Burns wins boys state title, girls team finishes second

Carrie Moore
Published: Thursday, October 31st, 2013

The Custer High School girls cross country team took second place at the Class A state meet, held Saturday in Rapid City. The team had a total of 66 points to which first place finishing Garretson had 53 points. Pictured, from left, are assistant coach Walker Witt, assistant coach Mindy Knudson-Dooley, Tori Glazier, Clara Sedlacek, Jazmin Hitshew, Tayler Carlson, Julianne Thomsen, Mattisen Kelley and coach Karen Karim. [Submitted Photo/South Dakota Public Broadcasting]

 

By Carrie Moore
It was an unusually beautiful day in Rapid City on Saturday, making it the perfect day for the cross country season to come to a close. 
After a season full of hard work and consistent races, senior Logan Burns was rewarded with the state champion title in the boys Class A race. Just as he had all season, Burns finished in dominating fashion, covering the course at Robbinsdale Park in 16:27, nearly 30 seconds ahead of next closest competitor Eric Yager from Hot Springs and Lucas Julian from St. Thomas More.
“I wanted to start fast, but not quite as fast as I did,” Burns said. “It was good for everyone (to start out fast), but we died toward the end.”
Burns said he wanted to put enough distance between his two competitors, Yager and Julian, but once he was a mile into the race, they were still running together.
“It was a good race,” Burns said. “I’m really happy.”
Brennan Witt finished in fourth place in 17:19, making the top four places a Region V sweep.
“Brennan ran a gutsy race, battling Julian and Tobias Weddell from Todd County over much of the course,” coach Karen Karim said. “Brennan ended just getting nipped at the finish by Julian.”
Todd County took the team title with 75 points, only 10 points ahead of Custer, which ended up finishing fourth with 85 points.
“Although Custer boys were ranked first going into the meet, those rankings were based upon early season performances with Israel Parsons, who was hurt mid-season playing football, and a healthy Patrick Witt, who has been struggling with a foot injury the past few weeks,” Karim said. 
Patrick Witt finished the race in 47th place with a time of 18:38, running in pain the majority of the race, far back from where Karim said he would have finished if he were 100 percent.
“His complete commitment to the team’s goal of winning was evident by the effort he made,” Karim said.
Shane Herman was the fourth scorer for the team, finishing 64th in 18:52. Matt Dvorak finished in 80th place at 19:11 and eighth grader Ben Wahlstrom finished 103rd in 19:56, gaining valuable state meet experience. 
“The boys were disappointed with their finish in the team scoring, but they had a tremendous season and should hold their heads high,” Karim said. “The seniors — Logan, Brennan, Matt and Israel — have had an incredible run, collecting much hardware over the years. What a fantastic group of runners. A team like this, with talent and commitment, doesn’t come around very often. They will be missed next year.”
The girls team found itself in an entirely different situation with no seniors on the varsity team. 
“Four runners battled over the past three weeks just to make the state meet squad, alternating positions week to week,” Karim said. “This attests to the depth of this young team.”
The girls were led by Tori Glazier, who took 13th place after finishing at 15:41, with Mattisen Kelley not too far behind in 19th place in 15:51, also earning a medal for Custer. Jazmin Hitshew was the third scorer, just missing the medals with her 27th place in a time of 16:14. Seventh grader Clara Sedlacek came through with a big race to be the fourth scorer, finishing 41st in 16:43, in just her third race at the 4,000-meter distance.
Eighth grader Tayler Carlson ran her fastest time of the year, 17:17, to finish in 66th place and freshman Julianne Thomsen rounded out scoring for the Wildcats, finishing in 107th place in a time of 18:06.
The combined score of the top four was enough to earn the runner-up title with 66 points to compared to Garretson’s 53 points. 
“These girls came into the meet ranked fourth, so they surprised some teams with their performance,” Karim said. “I was convinced they had a legitimate shot at the title and they didn’t disappoint. The potential will be there for them to do great things next year as well.”

It was an unusually beautiful day in Rapid City on Saturday, making it the perfect day for the cross country season to come to a close. 

After a season full of hard work and consistent races, senior Logan Burns was rewarded with the state champion title in the boys Class A race. Just as he had all season, Burns finished in dominating fashion, covering the course at Robbinsdale Park in 16:27, nearly 30 seconds ahead of next closest competitor Eric Yager from Hot Springs and Lucas Julian from St. Thomas More.

“I wanted to start fast, but not quite as fast as I did,” Burns said. “It was good for everyone (to start out fast), but we died toward the end.”

Burns said he wanted to put enough distance between his two competitors, Yager and Julian, but once he was a mile into the race, they were still running together.

“It was a good race,” Burns said. “I’m really happy.”

Brennan Witt finished in fourth place in 17:19, making the top four places a Region V sweep.

“Brennan ran a gutsy race, battling Julian and Tobias Weddell from Todd County over much of the course,” coach Karen Karim said. “Brennan ended just getting nipped at the finish by Julian.”

Todd County took the team title with 75 points, only 10 points ahead of Custer, which ended up finishing fourth with 85 points.

“Although Custer boys were ranked first going into the meet, those rankings were based upon early season performances with Israel Parsons, who was hurt mid-season playing football, and a healthy Patrick Witt, who has been struggling with a foot injury the past few weeks,” Karim said. 

Patrick Witt finished the race in 47th place with a time of 18:38, running in pain the majority of the race, far back from where Karim said he would have finished if he were 100 percent.

“His complete commitment to the team’s goal of winning was evident by the effort he made,” Karim said.

Shane Herman was the fourth scorer for the team, finishing 64th in 18:52. Matt Dvorak finished in 80th place at 19:11 and eighth grader Ben Wahlstrom finished 103rd in 19:56, gaining valuable state meet experience. 

“The boys were disappointed with their finish in the team scoring, but they had a tremendous season and should hold their heads high,” Karim said. “The seniors — Logan, Brennan, Matt and Israel — have had an incredible run, collecting much hardware over the years. What a fantastic group of runners. A team like this, with talent and commitment, doesn’t come around very often. They will be missed next year.”

The girls team found itself in an entirely different situation with no seniors on the varsity team. 

“Four runners battled over the past three weeks just to make the state meet squad, alternating positions week to week,” Karim said. “This attests to the depth of this young team.”

The girls were led by Tori Glazier, who took 13th place after finishing at 15:41, with Mattisen Kelley not too far behind in 19th place in 15:51, also earning a medal for Custer. Jazmin Hitshew was the third scorer, just missing the medals with her 27th place in a time of 16:14. Seventh grader Clara Sedlacek came through with a big race to be the fourth scorer, finishing 41st in 16:43, in just her third race at the 4,000-meter distance.

Eighth grader Tayler Carlson ran her fastest time of the year, 17:17, to finish in 66th place and freshman Julianne Thomsen rounded out scoring for the Wildcats, finishing in 107th place in a time of 18:06.

The combined score of the top four was enough to earn the runner-up title with 66 points to compared to Garretson’s 53 points. 

“These girls came into the meet ranked fourth, so they surprised some teams with their performance,” Karim said. “I was convinced they had a legitimate shot at the title and they didn’t disappoint. The potential will be there for them to do great things next year as well.”

 



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