Home > Lincoln girls surge to first CC title | USA Today High School Sports

Lincoln girls surge to first CC title | USA Today High School Sports

Lincoln's Jasmyne Cooper (670) runs in the girls Class AA race during the state cross country meet Saturday at Yankton Trail Park. Cooper finished ninth and Lincoln won the team title.

Lincoln’s Jasmyne Cooper (670) runs in the girls Class AA race during the state cross country meet Saturday at Yankton Trail Park. Cooper finished ninth and Lincoln won the team title.

Strength in numbers isn’t something the Lincoln girls cross country team had only a few seasons ago. In fact, four years ago the varsity and junior varsity teams had a combined nine runners.

How the time’s have changed.

Saturday at the state cross country meet at Yankton Trail, the Patriots finished six runners in the top 30 to claim the program’s first state championship.

“For these girls it’s been a long time coming. Four or five years ago we were second-to-last at state. We’ve gradually worked our way up,” said coach Eric Pooley. “These girls have really done an amazing job of being patient and progressive. And here we are today, and we had an awesome day.”

Eighth-grader Caroline Sudbeck paced the Patriots with a fifth-place finish in 19:06.86, and was followed closely by defending champion Jasmyne Cooper (eighth) and Brooke Infield (10th).

For Infield, the varsity team’s lone senior, the win was extra special.

“I’ve been there from every stage — from the start to now, the top,” Infield said. “It’s cool for me because I was able to help them through all of it.”

Infield improved upon her 14th-place finish a year ago, while Sudbeck moved up 19 spots after taking 24th a year ago.

“The second mile I was hurting a lot,” Sudbeck said, “but I decided coming around the curve to [the final] 800, I just knew I had to put it in gear.”

In all, the program has found another gear and is a far cry from the second-to-last-place team that Infield competed on as a freshman.

“Last year we finished second. Right afterward we’re like, ‘Next year is our year. We’ve got everybody returning,’” Pooley said. “It’s been a snowball that’s been building. You have these good teams and they’re all built around the chemistry aspect of it. You can’t coach that.”

Pooley said the consistent success of the boys team over the years provided a template for the girls team and probably helped increase their numbers. Surging to second place a year ago represented a milestone in itself.

“That success last year for them was huge. They knew they can do this, and they talked about it all season,” Pooley said.

Chamberlain's Ella Byers (315) runs in the girls Class A cross country meet Saturday at Yankton Trail Park. Byers won with a time of 18:41.21.

Chamberlain’s Ella Byers (315) runs in the girls Class A cross country meet Saturday at Yankton Trail Park. Byers won with a time of 18:41.21.

Brookings eighth-grader claims top prize

Brookings eighth-grader Ellie Abraham spent the majority of the 5,000 meters at the state meet content with the notion of a podium finish.

It was only in the final strides that a state championship seemed realistic.

“I had no idea that I was going to come out on top until maybe 20 meters before the end,” Abraham said, who edged Yankton’s Savannah Woods with a time of 18:44.74. “I had convinced myself that third place was good enough about halfway through, and then I just realized I was close enough to give it a shot.”

ESD rivals and Yankton teammates, Woods and Madison McClure pushed the pace from the race’s start. Abraham had raced against those two standouts throughout the season, though, and drawing on those experiences Saturday.

“Today she ran perfect,” said coach Chris Gruenhagen, who noted the strategy for Abraham was to start out in the top 10 and see where things went. “Gradually she moved from fourth to third, and really at that point she wasn’t going to finish any worse than fifth, so she just went for it. … That was the plan before the race and she executed.”

Woods finished second in 18:45.79, and McClure took home third with a time of 18:56.92.

Aberdeen Central claims second; Lynx finish fourth 

A year ago, Abraham burst onto the scene with a fourth-place finisher as a seventh-grader. This year, Aberdeen Central’s Melanie Jacobs filled the same role. Jacobs, a seventh-grader, finished in fourth at 19:04.41 and should be a lock to push the pace in future meets for the next five years.

As Jacobs led the way, five of her Golden Eagles teammates ran in as tight a bunch as possible. All five finished between the 19th and 25th place, which provided a boon in points to give Aberdeen a second-place finish (87 points).

Defending state champion Rapid City Stevens finished third, with senior runners Jamie Schweiss (ninth) and Kendra Dykstra (11th) unable to sustain the pace that netted them second- and third-place at last year’s state meet.

Brandon Valley five runners in the top 40, led by seventh-place finisher Courtney Klatt. The Lynx finished fourth as a team with 130 points, while O’Gorman came in fifth (143).

Yankton's Savannah Woods (left) and Madison McClure hug after running in the girls Class AA state cross country meet Saturday at Yankton Trail Park. Woods finished second.

Yankton’s Savannah Woods (left) and Madison McClure hug after running in the girls Class AA state cross country meet Saturday at Yankton Trail Park. Woods finished second.

Class A: Custer wins team title

The Custer girls pulled away for the Class A team title with three top 15 finishers, led by Tori Glazier in third place. Teammates Mallory Delmont (sixth) and Clara Sedlacek (13th) also paced the Wildcats, who finished with 38 points — well ahead of second-place Beresford.

Chamberlain ninth-grader Ella Byers claimed the individual crown with a time of 18:41.21, over twenty seconds ahead of Vermillion’s Maddie Lavin in second-place.

Rounding out the top five individual finishers were Madison’s Cami Streff (fourth) and Flandreau’s Sinona Flute.

In the team standings, Flandreau (81) finished third behind Beresford. Mt. Vernon/Plankinton (88) edged St. Thomas More (90) for fourth place.

Class B: Ipswich wins sixth straight title

Ipswich earned its sixth-straight Class B girls championship in a tight field at the top. The Tigers’ 23 points were just enough to hold off second-place Philip (28), Newell (34) and Gayville-Volin (38).

Ninth-grader Aleah Steger padded Ipswich’s points with the individual title, finishing 10 second ahead of Gayville-Volin’s Laura Nelson with a finish in 19:17.62. Steger’s teammate, eighth-grader Tessa Kilber, finished fifth.

Philip’s Ellie Coyle claimed third, while Sully Buttes sophomore Gracie Weinheimer took fourth.



Class AA

Team Points—SF Lincoln 58, Aberdeen Central 87, RC Stevens 117, Brandon Valley 130, SF O’Gorman 143, Yankton 163, Harrisburg 211, RC Central 217, Pierre T.F. Riggs 256, Watertown 274, SF Washington 294, SF Roosevelt 323, Brookings 347, Sturgis Brown 369, Douglas 376, Mitchell 396, Huron 463.

Top 40 (out of 115)—1. Eleanor Abraham (Brookings) 18:44.74.  2. Savannah Woods (Yankton) 18:45.79. 3. Madison McClure (Yankton) 18:56.92.  4. Melanie Jacobs (Aberdeen Central) 19:04.41.  5. Caroline Sudbeck (SF Lincoln) 19:06.86.  6. Aby Ripperda (SF O’Gorman) 19:07.81.  7. Courtney Klatt (Brandon Valley) 19:14.81.  8. Jasmyne Cooper (SF Lincoln) 19:20.18.  9. Jamie Schweiss (RC Stevens) 19:20.85.  10. Brooke Infield (SF Lincoln) 19:28.26.  11. Kendra Dykstra (RC Stevens) 19:34.47.  12. Kiah Pieters (Harrisburg) 19:37.60.  13. Lauren Eidsness (Yankton) 19:40.35.  14. Kelsi Kearney (SF Washington) 19:42.66.  15. Olivia Althoff (SF O’Gorman) 19:45.12.  16. Kasey VanZee (RC Stevens) 19:49.26.  17. Analise Levesque (SF Lincoln) 19:52.19.  18. Liz Bindert (SF Lincoln) 19:52.53.  19. Ava Riggs (Aberdeen Central) 19:53.92.  20. Sami Shields (Aberdeen Central) 19:54.72.  21. Abby Kopecky (Aberdeen Central) 19:55.04.  22. Ashton Vavra (SF O’Gorman) 19:55.36.  23. Katherine Erickson (Aberdeen Central) 19:56.15.  24. Carlie Kray (SF Washington) 19:56.50.  25. Zoe Douglas (Aberdeen Central) 19:58.87.  26. Meagan Schenk (Harrisburg) 20:02.44.  27. Sydney Huber (SF Lincoln) 20:08.61.  28. Lauren Wells (Brandon Valley) 20:10.24.  29. George Sugrue (SF O’Gorman) 20:10.98.  30. Ashley Wells (Bandon Valley) 20:12.96.  31. Maria Bunkers (RC Central) 20:13.30.  32. Haylee Waterfall (Brandon Valey) 20:13.60.  33. Danica Kocer (Brandon Valley) 20:17.41.  34. Emily Mikkelsen (Pierre T.F. Riggs) 20:21.03.  35. Delaney Kost (RC Central) 20:23.36.  36. Cortney Dowling (Pierre T.F. Riggs) 20:23.85.  37. Mikaela Birath (Brandon Valley) 20:26.82.  38. Isabella Glass (RC Central) 20:27.47.  39. Sydney Smith (RC Stevens) 20:31.23.  40. Allison Rief (Brandon Valley) 20:33.89.

Class A

Team Points—Custer 38, Beresford 74, Flandreau 81, Mt. Vernon/Plankinton 88, St. Thomas More 90, Todd County 105, Garretson 120, Hill City 132, Madison 147, SF Christian 155, Spearfish 196, Vermillion 200, Winner Area 202, Redfield/Doland 208, Webster Area 225, Milbank Area 229.

Top 40 (out of 129)—1. Ella Byers (Chamberlain) 18:41.21.  2. Maddie Lavin (Vermillion) 19:01.42.  3. Tori Glazier (Custer) 19:09.69.  4. Cami Streff (Madison) 19:15.06.  5. Sinona Flute (Flandreau) 19:16.56.  6. Mallory Delmont (Custer) 19:20.55. 7. Cait Savey (Beresford) 19:25.32.  8. Kaci Cooper (St. Thomas More) 19:28.57.  9. Lorna Gregerson (Mt. Vernon/Plankinton) 19:28.79.  10. Josie Heeren (Elk Point-Jefferson) 19:28.83.  11. Maisey Bainbridge (Lennox) 19:34.07.  12. Marisa Schulz (Dakota Valley) 19:34.79.  13. Clara Sedlacek (Custer) 19:37.29.  14. Nicolette Schmidt (Redfield/Doland) 19:44.86.  15. Ashlynn Atwood (Beresford) 19:45.47.  16. Rachel Kindt (Garretson) 19:51.49.  17. Lainey Gregerson (Mt. Vernon/Plankinton) 19:52.08.  18. Carmen Bohl (Garretson) 19:52.71.  19. Micah Van Kalsbeek (SF Christian) 19:53.34.  20. Kelsie Herman (Todd County) 19:58.67.  20. Marion Hohn (Hill City) 19:58.67.  22. Libby Hursey (Flandreau) 20:07.56.  23. Maddisen Larsen (Lead-Deadwood) 20:13.25.  24. Halie McMains (Canton) 20:14.96.  25. Hailey Streff (Madison) 20:14.96.  26. Caitlin Worth (Beresford) 20:24.11. 27. Klaire Kirch (St. Thomas More) 20:29.02. 28. Kaycee Thomsen (Custer) 20:30.87.  29. Madeline Hursey (Flandreau) 20:34.89.  30. Riley Hallman (Tri-Valley) 20:37.27.  31. Teresa Blote (St. Thomas More) 20:37.62.  32. Savannah Risseeuw (Mt. Vernon/Plankinton) 20:38.54.  33. Karli Prue (Todd County) 20:38.54.  34. Kadyn Comer (Hill City) 20:39.90.  35. Sydney Wickersham (Ethan/Parkston) 20:39.90.  36. Caelyn Valandra (Todd County) 20:40.91.  37. Vanessa Sawyers (Hot Springs) 20:42.45.  38. Haley Sage (Garretson) 20:43.53.  39. Ahsley Fosness (Britton-Hecla) 20:46.66.  40. Mariah Volesky (Webster Area) 20:50.78.

Class B

Team points—Ipswich 23, Philip 28, Newell 34, Gayville-Volin 38, Waubay/Summit 61, Northwestern 69, DR St. Mary 72, Dupree 74, Sully Buttes 85, Wolsey-Wessington 87, Potter County 96, Howard 97, Freeman 108, RC Christian 139, Hanson 147, Platte-Geddes 166.

Top 40 (out of 110)—1. Aleah Steger (Ipswich) 19:17.62. 2. Laura Nelson (Gayville-Volin) 19:27.27. 3. Ellie Coyle (Philip), 19:43.30. 4. Gracie Weinheimer (Sully Buttes) 19:49.9.  5. Tessa Kilber (Ipswich) 19:50.32.  6. Josie Clemens (Northwestern) 20:04.39.  7. Dilyn Terklidsen (Philip) 20:06.70.  8. Delaney Leber, Newell, 20:24.1.  9. Makayla Zirbel (Waubay/Summit) 20:26.13.  10. Kayden Steele (Newell) 20:46.37.  11. Christina Vogel (DR St. Mary) 20:58.22.  12. Morgan Edelman (Menno) 21:00.07.  13. Bobbi Smith (Timber Lake) 21:02.37.  14. Genevieve Clark (Gayville-Volin) 21:02.44.  15. Kendra Jensen (Alcester-Hudson) 21:02.56.  16. Ally Boomsma (Woosley-Wessington) 21:04.24.  17. Victoria Zirbel (Waubay/Summit) 21:06.92.  18. Jada Hirsch (Herreid/Selby Area) 21:08.47.  19. Reyna Beck (De Smet) 21:08.90.  20. Leannah TeKrony (Estelline) 21:10.40.  21. Kini Po Hart (Marty) 21:11.49.  22. Jacia Christiansen (Viborg-Hurley) 21:12.27.  23. Oakley Jandreau (Kimball) 21:17.77.  24. Hannah Weinheimer (Sully Buttes) 21:19.03.  25. Austin Alexander (Newell) 21:21.47.  26. Taylor Maurer (Ipswich) 21:24.88.  27. Anna Belle McIlravy (Philip) 21:25.72.  28. Miranda Thorson (Northwestern) 21:27.26.  29. Megan Warnke (Gregory) 21:30.26.  30. Bailey Bierle (Philip) 21:31.19.  31. Quinn Lulf (Lyman) 21:37.68.  32. Adrianna Whitewolf (Dupree) 21:42.02.  33. Heidi Stoltenburg (Elkton-Lake Benton) 21:42.02.  34. Ella Heinitz (DR St. Mary) 21:43.35.  35. Kiley Schuchard (Bison) 21:43.35.  36. Mia Paris (Dupree) 21:47.12.  37. Megan Hirsch (Gayville-Volin) 21:49.13.  38. Emma Neises (Howard) 21:49.27.  39. Ashley Robinson (Wolsey-Wessington) 21:49.13.  40. Rebecca Eberts (Freeman) 21:53.16.

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