Strong start for Titan Boys and Girls at Beresford meet
The Tea Area High School Boys and Girls cross country teams kicked off their competitive season with an impressive performance at the Beresford Kick-off Meet held this past Friday, Aug. 25. After a determined off-season, both teams showcased their skills, resulting in a series of outstanding performances and a promising outlook for the upcoming season.
With all six varsity runners from the previous year making a return for the varsity boys, the team was poised for success. During the event, the Titan boys secured a total of five medals.
The day began with the varsity boys race where eight Titans squared off against a field of 99 runners. The Titans’ Freshman Reid Hammerquist set the pace with an impressive personal best time of 17:30, which earned him 16th place and the sixth spot on the School’s All-Time History list. Sophomore Jack Campbell clocked 18:09 for 25th place, while Senior Holden Jelen claimed 29th place in 18:15. Jonah Klemisch recorded his personal best time of 19:18, marking his debut in the Varsity race at 43rd place. Senior Peyton Sieber and Freshman Tate VanLaecken both achieved new personal best times, clocking 19:27 and 19:49 respectively. Senior Alex Kayser secured the 71st position with a time of 20:41. The collective efforts of the Titan boys varsity resulted in a sixth place finish in the team competition, their best performance since 2018.
The Titan varsity girl runners followed suit in their races, clinching eight medals, a team victory, and three new entries on the School’s All-Time Top Ten List.
Sophomore Jaycie Babb set the pace for the Titan girls varsity team, claiming a sixth place among a competitive field of 79 runners with a time of 19:42. Eighth grader Grace Bialas made an strong debut, securing 12th place in 20:43. Another 8th grader, Abby Hilleson, finished out the medals for the Varsity, earning 24th in 21:32, this also places her ninth on the 5K School History list. The Titans’ performances continued as Sophomore Meredith Decker claimed 32nd place in 22:20, and Senior Haley Korver secured 51st place in 23:18, closely followed by Sophomore Brooklyn Reiners in 52nd place at 23:19. Freshman Miah Thorstenson marked her varsity debut with a 64th place finish in 24:22, while Senior Scarlett Taylor completed the race in 71st place with a time of 26:35. The Titan varsity girls’ collective efforts earned them a third place finish in the team competition, the best they finished ever in Beresford.
The Junior Varsity (JV) races continued the Titan momentum, with both the JV Girls and JV Boys delivering strong performances. The JV Girls, featuring six Titans among 83 competitors. Eighth grader Logan Castle led the way, earning a medal with a 16th place finish and a time of 19:09. Freshman Erica Boterman secured 31st place with a time of 20:07, and fellow freshman Breslyn Rand followed closely in 37th place, recording a time of 20:57. Senior Brooklyn Korver finished in 40th place finish in 21:11. Sophomore Gracie Kramer clocked a time of 21:40 for 45th place, while Sophomore Kiley Pendergast secured 60th place in 23:10. The JV Girls collectively earned sixth place in the team scoring.
The JV Boys took to the course next, with five Titans competing among 134 participants. Their dedication paid off as all members achieved personal best times for the 4K race. Sophomore Jacob DeYoung led the JV Titans, securing 16th place with a time of 15:56. Freshman Noah Korver followed closely in 25th place with a time of 16:46. Freshman Riley Clark used a strong finish to claim 66th place in 18:24, closely trailed by fellow freshman Jaxon Johanneson in 68th place at 18:28. Freshman Malachi Kaiser secured 100th place with a time of 19:45. Their combined efforts earned the JV Boys a seventh place finish in the team competition.
The Middle School (MS) teams concluded the event with resounding success. The MS Girls, featuring 25 Titans among 109 competitors, dominated the race, claiming both the team victory and the individual race title. Seventh grader Jayna VanLaecken showcased her talent by winning the MS Girls individual race title, setting a new personal best time of 12:18. Sixth graders Taylor Davis and Evelyn DeGeest made impressive debuts in their first cross country races, securing 9th and 10th places respectively with times of 12:54 and 12:59. Eighth grader Daphne Decker claimed 15th place in 13:29, while seventh grader Taylor Boehnke followed closely in 16th place at 13:31. Two more Titans finished just out of the medals with sixth graders Janessa Kuipers grabbing 22nd place (13:44) and Emma Hilleson 23rd place (13:51). Sixth grader Allie Babb turned in a strong first race, clocking a 14:11 for 29th place. Sixth grader Raegan Rand finished in 38th place in a time of 14:28 with a slew of Titans close behind as 8th grader Kinsley Gass earned 40th (14:31), seventh grader Gretchen Curtis 42nd (14:32), seventh grader Lola Underberg 44th (14:38), eighth grader Bethlahym Swanson 45th (14:40) and sixth grader Harper Thompson 47th (14:50). Seventh grader Selina Bolte earned 58th place in a time of 15:06, with fellow seventh grader Natalie Hyronimus close behind in 64th place in a time of 15:28. Seventh grader Grace Chapman claimed 69th place in a time of 15:57, followed by another big group of Titans—sixth grader Ella Korver in 73rd (16:03), seventh grader Ella Kamps in 74th (16:06), seventh grader Mikayla Berg in 77th (16:14), seventh grader Kelsey Kramer in 81st (16:26), seventh grader Sophie Sherwood in 83rd (16:42), sixth grader McKinnley Meyer in 85th (16:53), eighth grader Harper Heier in 87th (17:07), and eighth grader Rachel Row in 106th (21:51).
In the final race of the day, the MS Boys displayed their potential, with three Titans clinching medals among 127 competitors. Seventh grader Cooper Thompson, making his race debut after recovering from a previous season-ending injury, secured an impressive seventh place finish in 11:18, claiming the fifth spot on the School History list for the 3K distance. Eighth grader Dawson Lowery started the season strong with an 18th place finish in 11:43. Another strong debut was made by sixth grader Reed Cerny, who secured 19th place with a time of 11:45 to medal. Sixth grader Caden Schuster impressed in his first career race, recording a time of 12:45 for 44th place. Eighth grader Kadin Zolnowsky started strong, finishing in 51st place in a time of 12:54. Seventh grader Grant Curtis grabbed 53rd place in a time of 12:56. Seventh grader Ayden Peterson earned 60th place in his first career race, turning in a time of 13:09. Sixth grader Grant Woodis used a mid-race surge to move up into 69th place in a time of 13:40. Sixth grader Phoenix Bak claimed 78th place in a time of 13:50. Seventh grader Ryker Kubik grabbed 104th place in a time of 15:40 with sixth grader Noah Sayler close behind in his first career race, earning 107th in a time of 15:56. Sixth graders Easton Meier and Simon Jelen finished back to back, earn-ing 112th (16:28) and 113th (16:32) respectively. Sixth grader Jace Ullom claimed 118th in his first career race (17:20) with eighth grader Jeremiah Waldner close behind in 120th (17:41). The collective efforts of the MS Boys resulted in a third place finish in the team scoring.
The Titans were scheduled to compete at Dakota Valley on Tuesday, Aug. 29 and will compete in the Augustana Twilight Meet on Friday, Sept. 1 at Yankton Trails Park in Sioux Falls. The event will begin with the JV girls race at 6 p.m., followed by the JV boys, Varsity girls, Varsity boys, College women, and College men.