Cross country team competes in Lead meet

The Scotties cross country team traveled west to compete on the Tomahawk Golf Course six miles south of Lead, September 27.

The day saw clear skies and 87 degree weather for the 2:30 p.m. start time for the girls' varsity. Junior Holly Iwan, sophomore Allison Pekron, eighth grader Ellie Coyle and seventh grader Peyton Kuchenbecker lined up for this A division race. Iwan lead her team and at times, the entire field during the first mile.

Coyle ran at the front of the main group, Kuchenbecker, mid-pack and Pekron close behind her young teammate. This race circled Strawberry Hill so spectators do not see the bulk of the race. When the girls returned to sight, Iwan was in third place and finished a strong race in 17:45. Coyle finished just 25 seconds behind her mentor at 18:10 and sixth place. Kuchenbecker, completing her first varsity race, placed 21st at 20:53. Pekron finished in 23rd place with a 1:18 course improvement, and a course best at 22:00. The girls placed fourth as a team with 42 points.

At 3:00 p.m. 35 boys lined up with Philip seniors William Coyle and Marcus Martinez, freshman  Blake Martinez and for the first time ever, eighth graders Garrett Snook and Keegan Burnett to complete the day's varsity team.

Running around a small mountain meant an unusual start. The boys had to travel a half mile around the hill to the start line. With that, the boys were strung out by the time we could see them. Coyle trailing only eventual race winner, Colten Njas, of Belle Fourche. The Martinez brothers ran mid-pack and newcomers Snook and Burnett ran with a pair of young Belle Fourche runners.

Coyle lead his team across the finish line at 19:39 to place fifth. B. Martinez earned the 15th and final medal place with a time of 22:06. M. Martinez became as he put it, "the first non-medalist" for 16th place with a time of 22:23.

Snook and Burnett placed 32nd and 33rd with finish times of 25:26 and 25:55, respectively.

The other race of the day was junior high with 44 youngsters toeing the line. Eighth grader Tyshia Ferguson and seventh grader Damian Bartels chose this race. Ferguson, who came into this race with a strained calf muscle chose to wrap it down tight and tough it out. She finished a very courageous race, placing 21st with a time of 22:05. Bartels placed 10th amongst the boys with a 3,000 meter time of 15:24.

The Scotties came into the race at the peak of heavy training so the strong performances that day took great fortitude on each young person's part.