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Scotties at Faith's cross country meet

Solid start ... The beginning of the girls’ junior varsity run.

The Philip Scotties were back in action at the Ryan Day Memorial Cross Country Meet at Durkee Lade, south of Faith, Friday, September 2.

Though the season is young, ending week 2 of the season, these smaller local meets give us a good sense of how the Scotties stack up with our conference and regional competition.

With lake side temps in the 60s and a light southerly breeze, the day's conditions helped bring out quality performances from many of the day's competitors.

The first races of the day were elementary one-mile runs for boys and girls, grades one through six.

Jasmine Ferguson, the day's lone Scottie girl, ran well in her first race of the 2011 season earning eighth place in a time of 7:46.

Ethan Ferguson ran his first ever mile race in 7:13, placing him 17th of 24 boys entered.

The junior varsity girls began their high school competition. Philip entered four girls in the race. A very nervous Ellie Coyle lead her team throughout the race as her strategy for the day was to let the field dictate the early pace and make a definitive move to break the field, if possible, at the one mile mark of the 3,000 meter race. When Coyle made her move, only a Wakpala runner gave chase. Coyle was able to gap the runner by 18 seconds through the final leg to win her first ever cross country race in 12:09.

Seventh grader Peyton Kuckenbecker in just her second race, began with the thought of settling in the upper third of the field, and found a Kadoka runner a good early pace setter. This pair lead the secondary group through the bulk of this race with Kuckenbecker going on to finish strong, earning sixth place in the field of 16.

Sophomore Allison Pekron began her race near mid-field and let the endurance factor take effect throughout the race. Pekron made a great uphill run near the race's end, giving her 12th place and clocking 14:44.

Eighth grader Tyshia Ferguson is one of three girls who play volleyball and came in at 6:00 a.m. to train for cross country. Ferguson paced with a Rapid City Christian runner through the early race. Ferguson pulled away from the runner by over two minutes to stop the clock at 15:44. A well run race by a very young bunch of girls.

Philip entered seven boys in the day's junior varsity race. Three hard-working freshmen lead the Scotties with Blake Martinez taking the early reins, third overall behind Kadoka and Wakpala runners.

Freshmen teammates Tristen Rush and Nelson Holman were the next two runners, though several seconds back. Just three runners separated our front three from senior Kelvin Ferguson and eighth graders Keegan Burnett and Garrett Snook and one more between them and seventh grader Damian Bartels.

A strong move at the one mile mark gave Philip the one, two, three positions with Rush now leading his teammates downhill. That same hill found all four remaining Scotties in places 11 through 14.

Rush went on to out-lean Holman at the finish to win the 3,000 meter race in 10:49. Holman also clocked 10:48 and took second place. Martinez placed third, clocking 11:11, this was a 41 second improvement over the 2010 Faith run for Martinez. Burnett, Snook, Ferguson and Bartels finished 11 through 14, 12:39, 13:11, 13:17 and 13:18, respectively. Great race for this predominately young group of runners. No team points were kept in the junior varsity races.

Junior Holly Iwan, Philip's lone varsity girl in the race, began another smart race, starting in eighth position, setting toward the back of the girls' breakaway. The race begins a steady ascent from the quarter mile mark to the one mile mark. Iwan used this hill to push herself into second place behind a Kadoka runner, and then used the downhill to gap a strong group of four runners. Iwan finished second to the Kadoka runner and a full 40 seconds in front of another Kadoka runner. Iwan's time of 16:24 was a personal course best by 14 seconds.

Senior William Coyle was Philip's lone varsity boy in the field of 16 runners. Coyle went with the lead group of four runners early on, however as the boys began their climb, a Bison runner broke away with Coyle in pursuit, this early move proved deadly for the boys as mid-race found Coyle in more pain and unable to challenge his conference rivals.

Strength and determination allowed Coyle to finish a still stellar race in 19:24, holding off a 2010 state medalist from Lemmon, to earn fifth place in the 5,000 meter race.

A very good day overall for the Scotties. Though we did come away with a good understanding of what we need to work on.

The Scotties' homecoming week competition will be in Pierre, Thursday, September 7. Kadoka's Friday meet has been canceled.