Babb takes fifth place at opening meet, junior girls finish third

By Anne Homan,

Sports Reporter

Jaycie Babb lead the Titan girls’ varsity team, earning fifth place at the opening meet in Beresford. Photo: Anne Homan


On Friday, Aug. 26, the Tea Area High School cross country team opened up their season with the Beresford Invite. Over 570 athletes competed from 27 area schools. The Titans held their own, earning ten medals on the day and breaking a school record in the Junior Varsity race.


Action began with the Varsity girls’ 5K race. Jaycie Babb led the Titans with a fifth-place finish on the day, clocking in with a time of 19:50. Jaydin Mitchell ran strong for the Titans, grabbing 39th place in a time of 22:51. Meredith Decker was close behind in 42nd place (22:58) and Lydia Decker claimed 44th place (23:10). Haley Korver finished 45th (23:19), Brooklyn Reiners 48th(23:43), and Scarlett Taylor 62nd (24:56). As a team the Titan varsity girls finished seventh.


The Titan Varsity boys were led by Holden Jelen who set a personal record in the opening meet of the season, clocking a time of 18:37 in the 5K race to take 36th place. Jack Campbell captured 45th place in a time of 18:56. Reid Hammerquist also set a new personal record with his time of 19:15, placing him 48th. Alex Kayser grabbed 62nd place in a time of 20:50 and Peyton Sieber clocked a 22:04 for 73rd place. The Varsity boys finished ninth in the team scoring.


For the Junior Varsity girls, seventh grader Grace Bialas started the season on a high note, winning her first career JV 4K race in a new school record time of 16:23. Miah Thorstenson captured 17th place finish in a time of 18:54. Kiley Pendergast grabbed 52nd place in a time of 22:08 and Gracie Kramer 56th place in a time of 22:45. Aiden Pearson earned 66th place (24:23) and Brailey Groeneveld finished close behind in 68th place (25:10).


The JV girls finished second in the team competition.


The JV boys race featured two Titans making their cross country debut in the 4K race. Jacob DeYoung used a great second half in his race to grab 36th place with his time of 17:14. Matthew Rogers used a strong kick to move up a few spots to earn 76th place in a time of 18:57.


Junior High 3K races were also held and three Titans earn medals.


For the Junior High girls, Abby Hilleson earned 11th place in a time of 12:58. Jayna VanLaecken took 13th place (13:06) with Erica Boterman close behind in 14th place (13:08), all earning a medal. Breslyn Rand just missed out on the medals with her 23rd place finish in a time of 13:42. Taylor Boehnke claimed 30th place in a time of 13:53, Gretchen Curtis 32nd (13:55); Natalie Hyronimus 33rd (14:00); Elena Mehlbrech 35th (14:01); Daphne Decker 37th (14:03); Kinsley Gass 43rd (14:11); Logan Castle 46th (14:19); Lilly Turek 53rd (14:34); Lola Underberg 58th (14:40); Mikayla Berg 65th place (15:04); Selina Bolte 79th (15:42); Ella Kamps 80th (15:45); Sophie Sherwood 83rd place (15:55); Kelsey Kramer 87th (16:22); Emerson Smolik 94th (16:33); Brekkyn Quigley 95th (16:35); Grace Chapman 102nd (17:56); and Rachel Row 108th place (20:26). The Titan Junior girls finished third in the team competition.


For the Titan Boys, Tate VanLaecken recorded a new personal best time of 11:30 to earn an eighth place and rank him number seven in the Junior High School rankings. Jonah Klemisch also recorded a new personal best time of 11:38 to claim 12th place, while Dawson Lowery ran a new personal best time of 11:48 for 18th place. Kadin Zolnowsky finished 63rd in his first career race in a time of 13:04, with Noah Korver close behind in 70th place in a personal best time of 13:14. Cameron Hallvin recorded a new personal best time of 13:20 for 75th place. Grant Curtis earned 82nd place (13:35) in his first race. Riley Clark ran a new personal best time of 13:43 for 87th place, with Max Bengford close behind in 88th place (13:53) in his first race. Ayin Waltner claimed 94th place (14:07) and Malachi Kaiser ran a new personal best time of 15:14 for 108th place. The Titan Junior High boys finished third in the team competition.


The Titans will compete in the Augustana Twilight Meet this Friday, Sept. 2 at Yankton Trails Park. Action begins with the Junior Varsity girls at 6 p.m. followed by the Junior Varsity boys, Varsity girls, Varsity boys, College women, and College men. On Sept. 6 the team will compete in Canton.