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Titans find success at Nike Heartland Meet


The Tea Area High School girls and boys cross country team competed in the Nike Heartland Pre-Regional Meet on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Yankton Trails Park in Sioux Falls. The Nike Meet is another one of the premier meets in the region, drawing over 500 athletes from five States in the girls’ races.

The Titans recorded a number of new personal bests, four top 20 finishes, and one new school record.

The Middle School girls were the first to compete and the Titans set the tone for the day. 6th grader Evelyn DeGeest used a strong start and finish to earn 5th place in a personal best time of 12:09 (#2 All-Time School Rank) to record the second medal finish for a MS athlete at the Nike Meet in school history. 6th grader Taylor Davis also posted a personal best, clocking a 12:35 for 10th place (#8 All-Time School Rank). A trio of Titans finished soon after, all posting new personal best performances. 6th grader Janessa Kuipers claimed 23rd (13:02), 6th grader Allie Babb 24th (13:03), and 7th grader Taylor Boehnke 25th (13:04). 6th grader Emma Hilleson grabbed 28th place in a personal best time of 13:10. 7th grader Gretchen Curtis finished in 63rd place in a time of 14:04. 6th grader Raegan Rand claimed 67th place in a new personal best time of 14:07, with 7th grader Lola Underberg right behind in 68th place (14:07). 7th grader Natalie Hyronimus posted a season best 14:43 for 87th place. 6th grader Harper Thompson grabbed 88th place in a new personal best time of 14:44. 7th grader Kelsey Kramer earned 96th place (14:52-new PR), 7th grader Selina Bolte 105th (15:04), 8th grader Harper Heier 124th (15:48-new PR), 7th grader Grace Chapman 141st (16:16), 6th grader McKinley Mayer 146th (16:35—new PR), 7th grader Sophie Sherwood 159th (17:08), Rachel Row 190th (19:38), and Sky Kowa 194th (20:49). The MS Girls finished second in the team scoring.

The Varsity girls competed next and saw great runs from all seven Titans. Sophomore Jaycie Babb led the Titans, running a strong race from start to finish to run a new personal best (and school record) time of 19:21 to earn 18th place. 8th grader Grace Bialas continued to impress, clocking a 20:02 for 38th place.

Sophomore Meredith Decker ran near a personal best, clocking a 21:57 for 111th place, with senior Haley Korver close behind in 113th (21:57—season best), and 8th grader Abby Hilleson 114th (21:59). Sophomore Brooklyn Reiners ran a season best time of 22:50 for 135th place. Senior Scarlett Taylor ran a season best 25:04 for 152nd place. The Varsity girls finished 13th in the team scoring (4th out the SD Class A teams).

The JV girls competed last and the Titans shone once again. 7th grader Jayne VanLaecken continued her medal streak, earning 2nd place in a time of 20:22 (#3 School Rank 5K). This is the first time a Titan JV athlete has medaled at the Nike Meet. 8th grader Daphne Decker ran a new personal best time of 22:53 for 48th place with fellow 8th grader Logan Castle close behind in 51st (22:58—new 5K PR). Freshman Breslyn Rand claimed 102nd (24:56) in her first 5K race. Sophomore Gracie Kramer ran a new personal best time of 25:41 for 120th place. Senior Brooklyn Korver grabbed 144th place in a time of 27:14 in her first career 5K. Sophomore Kiley Pendergast earned 149th place in a time of 27:48. The JV Girls finished 7th in the team scoring.

The Titan boys also took on a strong field of runners at the Nike Heartland Meet. With nearly 700 athletes from 6 States competed in the boys’ meet, the Titans set numerous new personal record times.

The middle school boys were the first to compete, with 13 Titans in the field. 6th grader Reed Cerny led the Titan effort, running a personal best 11:25 (#8 School Rank) for 16th place. 6th grader Caden Schuster also ran a personal best time of 11:52 for 33rd place, followed closely by 7th grader Grant Curtis in 34th place (11:53—new PR). 7th grader Ayden Peterson used a strong finish to claim 39th place (new PR—11:59). 6th grader Grant Woodis ran his best race yet, earning 43rd place (12:07—new PR). 8th grader Kadin Zolnowsky grabbed 98th place in a time of 13:23, with 6th grader Phoenix Bak close behind in 100th (13:24—new PR). 7th grader Ryker Kubik finished in 108th place (13:30), 6th grader Noah Sayler claimed 112th place (13:37-new PR). 8th grader Jeremiah Waldner also posted a new PR, running a 14:10 for 140th place. 6th grader Simon Jelen earned 161st (14:31—new PR). 6th grader Jace Ullom ran near a personal best, clocking a 15:21 for 188th place. 6th grader Easton Meier posted a new personal best time of 15:41 for 197th place. The MS Boys finished 4th in the team scoring.

The Varsity boys competed next, with all five Titans posting great times. Freshman Reid Hammerquist led the Titans, clocking a near personal best 17:31 for 95th place. Senior Holden Jelen became the third Titan to break 18:00 this season, running a personal best 17:49 for 115th place. Freshman Jonah Klemisch continued his PR streak, earning 149th place in a new best time of 18:26. Senior Peyton Sieber posted a new personal best time of 18:38 for 158th place. Freshman Tate VanLaecken clocked a personal best time of 19:26 for 180th place. The Titan Boys finished 22nd in the team scoring.

The JV boys were the last to race and six Titans were in the field. 8th grader Dawson Lowery led the Titans with his 76th place finish in a personal best time of 19:32. Sophomore Jacob DeYoung posted a personal best time of 20:04 for 102nd place, followed closely by Freshman Noah Korver in 106th (20:04—new PR). Freshman Riley Clark claimed 163rd in his first 5K race, clocking a time of 21:46, followed by fellow freshman Jaxon Johanneson in 164th (21:48). Freshman Malachi Kaiser posted a 23:47 in his first 5K race, earning 203rd place.

The Titan boys finished 18th in the team scoring.

The Titans will compete in the Dell Rapids Invite on Monday, Sept. 18. Races begin at 2 p.m.

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