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Scotties race in Pierre cross country meet

Philip boys' cross country team. photo courtesy of Tim Huether, Bennett County Booster

Change can be difficult, as the Scotties found out at a relocated Pierre Invitational Cross Country Meet, Thursday, September 8.

Due to flooding, this race was held on a park adjacent to the Heritage Museum in Pierre. A smaller area meant running three loops around a low-lying marsh, combined with heat, but you must race the competition not the course - a task that many took very well.

Junior varsity girls ran 4,000 meters. Eighth grader Ellie Coyle's strategy was to go out with the lead group and let them dictate the early pace. After the first mile, Coyle made a push to lead her group, with only Pierre T.F. Riggs' Samantha Ullmann giving chase. Coyle stayed in control throughout, putting 22 seconds between herself and Ullman, to win her second consecutive race, clocking 19:27.

Eighth grader Tyshia Ferguson's plan was to run strong in the main group and let conditioning take affect as the race wore on. She finished in 18th place, clocking 33:04.

The Scotties entered eight boys in the junior varsity race; seniors Marcus Martinez and Kelvin Ferguson, freshmen Tristen Rush, Blake Martinez and Nelson Holman, eighth graders Keegan Burnett and Garrett Snook, and seventh grader Damian Bartels.

Rush led the Scotties throughout, placing third in the 4,000 meter race and clocking 17:27. An ever-improving B. Martinez finished fifth in 18:11, with Holman just 18 seconds back placing sixth and M. Martinez seventh crossing the timer at 18:29 and 18:41 respectively. Ferguson challenged a Pierre runner at the finish line for 17th place, with Burnett following just one second back clocking 22:45 and 22:46 respectively. Bartels and Snook finished 23:01 and 24:32.

Senior Kianna Knutson, junior Holly Iwan and sophomore Allison Pekron ran the 4,000 meter girls' varsity race. Iwan went out with the lead group, with Knutson in her first ever varsity race and Pekron in her first varsity race of 2011.

Iwan went on to finish well among many of South Dakota's finest runners from the AA, A and B divisions. Her time of 18:43 earned her seventh place. Knutson slipped past a Cheyenne-Eagle Butte runner for 28th place at 22:57. Pekron finished a courageous race in 24:35 for 31st place.

Once again, senior William Coyle toed the varsity start line alone for the Scotties. After last week's hard start that led to a harder finish, a more subdued mid-pack start proved itself as Coyle began near the back of the main group and worked his way up throughout. He put 15 seconds between himself and Wall rival Kale Lytle for the 13th place medal and a time of 20:24.

This race seemed to be more of a mental challenge than most. Though some of the times on this course may not reflect it, many Scotties did shine among their peers.

The Philip Scotties's next cross country meet was White River, Monday, September 12. A Western Great Plains Conference meet in Wall will be at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 21.