Dickinson High cross country star junior Brady Yoder returned with a vengeance Tuesday. After being out for a month with a minor injury, Yoder ran away with his fourth consecutive first-place finish and helped the men’s team place fourth overall at the WDA Cross Country Championship.
Since Sept. 14, Yoder had been unable to compete due to a minor leg injury. In his return to competitive racing, Yoder left nothing to chance by continuing his dominant season with a time of 15:40, defeating the second-place runner, Sean Korsmo from Bismarck High, by nine seconds. In every race Yoder has competed in this season, he has placed first. The team would end in fourth overall with 114 points, placing behind Bismarck with 107, Century with 52 and Williston with 48.
“It was a lot of fun to come back,” Yoder said. “I just tried to be confident. It’s hard to be confident after a month out, but I just tried to look at all the positives and I felt like I was mentally refreshed.”
Among the other Dickinson runners, Aiden Jung would place 14th overall with a time of 16:47. Griffin Obridgewitch and Hunter Gregoire would later follow placing 31st and 32nd overall, with a time of 17:30 and 17:32 respectively. Caleb Hanson would later come in with a time of 17:34.
“Overall we were pretty happy with how the boys ran,” head coach Greg Jung said. “Brady was really good, I think he was pretty nervous since he hadn’t raced (in a month)...He was a little nervous...I just thought Brady raced smart...I think Aiden and Caleb would probably admit they had a little sub-par performance, they were a little down after the race...I was extremely happy with Hunter Gregoire and Griffin Obridgewitch, they raced really, really strong today.”
For Yoder, with all the expectations and main focus being on his return and his health. He never wavered, but had only one goal in mind: win.
“My goal is always to win and to just always do my best. I’m very competitive and it’s always to try and do the best I can, and give (the race) everything I got, most importantly,” Yoder said.
For the women, they would end the race in eighth overall as a team with a total of 213 points, falling shortly behind Jamestown, which ended with 210 overall points. Peyton Laser would help lead the team by placing 22nd with a personal season best time of 20:57. Symone Beld would later follow, placing 34th with an official time of 21:46. Aleigha Villars and Macy Leiss would shortly follow with times of 22:13 and 22:26, respectively. The winner of the race was
Jamestown athlete Meghan Ford, who blazed to the finish line, ending with a time of 17:49, over a minute before the second place finisher, Hayley Ogle from Watford City, who finished with a time of 19:01.
“Our girls ran OK today, I know they might be a little disappointed overall with their finish, but I think they’re going to be ready to go (at state,)" Jung said.
Following the meet, both teams will now prepare for the state meet at Minot on Oct. 26.