After rain showers washed through the area the day before, cross country runners from 14 schools navigated through chilly, damp and slippery conditions at the Heart River Golf Course to compete in the Becki Wells Invitational on Friday, Sept. 21.
As has been the case throughout the fall, Midgets sophomore Brady Yoder was well ahead of the pack.
Yoder, the top-ranked runner in Class A, ripped through the 5K course in 15 minutes, 47.05 second, capturing his fourth victory in as many events this season and his second consecutive win in Dickinson's home meet.
With Turtle Mountain senior Jacob Jensen in tow, early in the event, Yoder sped away down the stretch, outpacing Jensen, the eventual runner-up, by 30 seconds.
"I think coming into the last mile was my strongest point of the race," Yoder said. "I felt my strongest there, felt a little bit more comfortable too and started to run away with it a little bit more from that spot.
"The home meet is fun because you got a lot more people that you know here and a lot more people cheering you on."
Aided by a third-place finish from junior Aiden Jung, sophomore Hunter Gregoire taking 10th and sophomore Griffin Obrigewitch earning 16th, the Midgets ended the day on top of the boys leaderboard with 55 points. Bismarck Century took second with 97 points, followed by Williston and Shiloh Christian.
Bowman County rounded out the top five. The Bulldogs were led by sophomore Brian Miller, who completed the course in 17:20.93, earning ninth.
"It was pretty wet in parts, but it felt pretty good though," Miller said. "The wind wasn't too hard and everybody around me just pushed me harder. ... Building toward the finish line, most definitely within the last 500-600 meters, I really stepped my game up."
The weather conditions yielded mixed reactions from the sea of runners racing through the front nine of the golf course.
Temperatures were in the low 40s as the starter pistol let out a bang to begin the girls meet shortly after 10 a.m.
For Midgets sophomore Symone Beld, who led the Dickinson contingent in 13th, the frigid weather was a pleasant change of pace.
"I think the cold really helped with my lungs. I used to run in the heat very well, but now I don't because I got really sick from it," Beld said. "I think up the hills, getting my knees higher and pumping my arms, it helped me out a lot."
Six spots behind Beld was Hettinger-Scranton sophomore Sidra Sadowsky, ending with a time of 20:56.16. Much like her Dickinson counterpart, Sadowsky says she prefers competing in the cold.
After her run, while holding her Yorkshire Terrier and Chihuahua mix named "Mochi" in her arms, she also commented on how the cold may have an effect on others.
"You know when it's cold out, it's going to be a little rough, but personally, I like running when it's cold out," Sadowsky said. "I think it was decent day out, but the cold air is what I think got to people."
Mandan junior Kelby Rinas had the fastest mark in the morning, ending with a time of 18:16.52. Bismarck Century sophomore Emily Goldade and freshman Erin Palmer were right behind in second and third, respectively.
With runners taking five of the first 15 spots, the Patriots was first overall with a total of 40 points, 27 points ahead of Mandan. Williston, Dickinson and Watford City closed out the top five.
"We had a slow start (to the season), so we've been improving each week," Bismarck Century girls head coach Julie Stavn said. "We kind of felt like this week was would maybe be our breakthrough week. We had some of our top runners that haven't been running with us for one reason or another, so today was the time of the season where we feel like we are getting in very good shape."
Becki Wells Invitational
At the Heart River Golf Course
Boys team scores: 1, Dickinson High, 55. 2, Bismarck Century, 97. 3, Williston, 100. 4, Shiloh Christian, 158. 5, Bowman County, 167. 6, Watford City, 173. 7, Beulah-Hazen, 180. 8, Killdeer, 190. 9, Turtle Mountain Community, 233. 10, Mandaree, 247. 11, Stanley, 264.
Boys individual top 10: 1, Brady Yoder, D, 15:47.05. 2, Jacob Jensen, TMC, 16:17.71. 3, Aiden Jung, D, 16:43.05. 4, Gavin Jorgensen, W, 16:55.33. 5, Noah Rolfe, S, 16:58.21. 6, Patrick Wrigley, SC, 17:00.47. 7, Fynn Krenz, W, 17:03.03. 8, Grayson Swain, W, 17:03.51. 9, Brian Miller, BC, 17:20.93. 10, Hunter Gregoire, D, 17:23.90.
Other area finishers: 13, Jace Andersen, K, 17:29.59. 15, Ian Busche, BH, 17:39.04. 16, Griffin Obrigewitch, D, 17:39.66. 17, Owen Duttenhefner, L, 17:40.97. 19, Isak Olson, BH, 17:44.06. 21, Camden Wokal, BC, 17:49.73. 25, Brayden Groll, D, 18:16.39. 27, Caden McCormick, D, 18:31.49. 28, Reece Anderson, D, 18:38.09. 31, Jack Homiston, D, 18:44.79. 33, Ethan Fischer, BC, 19:04.05. 34, Garin Anderson, D, 19:06.79. 35, Austin Wanner, BC, 19:09.65. 36, Stephen Westarp, K, 19:13.74. 39, Jacob Shilman, D, 19:28.72. 41, Kyler Smith, D, 19:47.52. 43, Matthew Meschke, D, 20:06.45. 45, Garrett Mahin, BH, 20:11.92. 50, Brady Alexander, BH, 20:47.64. 51, Roy Morsette, BH, 21:04.94. 52, Bradlee Kraft, BH, 21:07.74. 55, Garrett Calkins, K, 21:33.28.
Girls team scores: 1, Bismarck Century, 40. 2, Mandan, 67. 3, Williston, 84. 4, Dickinson High, 112. 5, Watford City, 136. 6, Shiloh Christian, 205. 7, Stanley, 212. 8, Beulah-Hazen, 225. 9, Killdeer, 245. 10, Hettinger-Scranton, 253. 11, Bowman County, 255.
Girls individual top 10: 1, Kelby Rinas, M, 18:16.52. 2, Emily Goldade, BC, 18:28.21. 3, Erin Palmer, BC, 18:42.80. 4, Kayla Ogle, WC, 19:00.92. 5, Eleni Lovgen, W, 19:10.05. 6, Aislin Anderson, BC, 19:38.18. 7, Acey Elkins, M, 19:43.57. 8, Ava Marburger, W, 19:59.85. 9, Hayley Ogle, WC, 20:00.37. 10, Maria Moore, M, 20:02.43.
Other area finishers: 13, Symone Beld, D, 20:32.73. 18, Macy Gress, D, 20:54.67. 19, Sidra Sadowsky, HS, 20:56.16. 21, Alexius Miller, BC, 21:10.20. 23, Aleigha Villars, D, 21:18.57. 28, Delaynee Zubke, D, 21:30.06. 29, Shenise Klein, BH, 21:32.31. 30, Mattilyn Biel, D, 21:38.41. 33, Danielle Dobitz, K, 21:55.99. 34, Mattie Obrigewitch, D, 21:56.36. 35, Raghyn Murphy, D, 22:02.37. 42, Macy Leiss, D, 23:02.84. 46, Baylee Vondra, BH, 23:25.46. 47, Cera Mullikin, BH, 23:25.71. 49, Hannah Benz, K, 23:51.45. 50, Kiana Olson, BH, 24:07.51. 53, Erin Walcker, BH, 25:43.01. 55, Melayna Four Bear, K, 26:37.87.