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Titan cross country team finds success at Dak12 Conference Championship in Vermillion

The Tea Area High School boys and girls cross country teams began the Championship phase of their season this past Thursday, Oct. 5 by traveling to Vermillion for the DAK12 Conference Championship Meet at the Bluffs Golf Course.

The Titan boys had a strong day with two Titans earning All-Conference honors and a number of personal bests.

For the Varsity boys, Sophomore Jack Campbell led the Titans, earning 16th place in a time of 17:16 with Reid Hammerquist close behind in 19th place (17:17). Campbell and Hammerquist earned All-Conference honors with their top 20 finishes. Jonah Klemisch used a strong middle race surge to move up the field and grab 26th place in a time of 18:16. Peyton Sieber clocked a new personal best, running 18:24 for 30th place. Holden Jelen was close behind in 32nd place in a time of 18:36. Tate VanLaecken claimed 44th place in a time of 19:32 and senior Alex Kayser finished in 49th place in a time of 20:31. The Varsity boys finished sixth in the team scoring.

For the Titan girls, three athletes earned All-Conference honors and recorded many new personal bests.

Jaycie Babb used a strong start and great final mile to earn fifth place in a new school record time of 19:10 to lead the varsity girls. Grace Bialas also started strong, positioning herself in the lead group, and finished well to post a season-best time of 19:44 and claim 11th place. Jayna VanLaecken used a strong middle pace to record a new personal best time of 20:19 for 20th place. Babb, Bialas, and VanLaecken all earned All-Conference recognition with their top 20 finishes. Abby Hilleson ran her best race of the season, attacking the start and middle to record a new personal best time of 21:18 (#8 All-Time School Rank). Meredith Decker matched her season best, running 21:56 for 34th place. Haley Korver rounded out the Titan effort, grabbing 43rd place in a time of 22:37. The Varsity girls finished fourth in the team competition.

The JV boys race saw two Titans post all-time top ten races. Jacob DeYoung ran the second fastest 4K time in school history, posting a 14:38 for ninth place. Dawson Lowery also recorded a new personal best, clocking a 15:08 (#8 All-Time School Rank) for 19th place. Noah Korver claimed 27th place in a time of 15:38, while Riley Clark took 51st place in a time of 16:47. Malachi Kaiser recorded a new personal best time of 17:41 for 63rd place. The JV Boys finished fourth in the team scoring.

The JV girls’ race saw four Titans claim spots in the top 20 and two of the five fastest 4K times ever run by a Titan JV girl.

Brooklyn Reiners led the JV girls. Reiners took a spot in the lead pack and battled throughout, clocking a time of 16:48 (#3 All-Time School Rank) for third place. Logan Castle went stride for stride with Reiners and others in the lead group, finishing in fifth place in a new personal best time of 16:52 (#4 All-Time School Rank). Taylor Boehnke and Daphne Decker both used strong midrace moves to move up the field. Boehnke recorded a new personal best time of 17:59 for 18th place, with Decker close behind in 20th place (18:10). Scarlett Taylor finished next, claiming 22nd place in a near personal best time of 18:25. Erica Boterman ran a new personal best time of 18:41 for 25th place, with Breslyn Rand close behind in 28th (18:57). Kiley Pendergast matched her 4K PR, running 19:51 for 39th place. Brooklyn Korver recorded a new personal best time for 19:56 for 40th place. Natalie Hyronimus claimed 47th place in a time of 20:36, while Gracie Kramer earned 64th place in a time of 21:51. The JV girls finished third in the Conference team scoring.

The Middle School boys were led by Reed Cerny once again paced the Titans, recording a 12th place finish in a time of 11:47. Caden Schuster took 15th place in a time of 11:59, with Ayden Peterson close behind in 17th place (12:06). Grant Woodis ran near a personal best to claim 19th place (12:13). Kadin Zolnowsky ran a season-best 12:47 for 29th place. Ryker Kubik also ran a season-best time, recording a 13:23 for fourth place. Noah Sayler ran near his season best, earning 44th place in a time of 13:45. Simon Jelen grabbed 47th place in a time of 14:17, with Easton Meier close behind in 50th place 14:24—new PR). The MS boys finished third in the team competition.

The Middle School girls had posted one of the best team seasons in school history with three team wins on the year. The MS Titans went in looking to go for their Second Conference Title (the MS Girls won the Conference Team Title in 2021) to cap their season. Janessa Kuipers, Evelyn DeGeest, and Taylor Davis led the Titans as Kuipers took 2nd (12:02—new PR; #4 All-Time School Rank), DeGeest 3rd (12:20), and Davis 4th, 12:30). Allie Babb ran near a personal best 12:47 for 6th place, while Emma Hilleson posted a new best time of 12:53 for 9th place. Gretchen Curtis grabbed 15th place in a time of 13:31, with Raegan Rand (17th place; 13:40) and Harper Thompson close behind (19th place; 13:42—new PR). Ella Kamps led a group of Titan finishers, with Kamps claiming 26th place (14:26), Kelsey Kramer 27th place (14:34—new PR), Ella Korver 28th place (14:36—new PR), Sophie Sherwood 30th place (14:43—new PR), and McKinley Mayer 36th place (15:44—new PR). The MS girls won the team competition, with a score of 15 points.

The Titans were scheduled to compete in the Region Meet at Yankton Trails Park on Wednesday, Oct. 11. The State A Meet will be held in Huron on Oct. 21.


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