After finishing third in the Class B cross country race a year ago, I'm guessing Ipswich sophomore, Macy Heinz put in work during the off-season.
She had too, because out in the south-eastern part of South Dakota was a talented freshman, soon-to-be sophomore in Gayville-Volin's Laura Nelson. Heading into the meet, the pair looked to be the clear favorites in the race as Nelson had beaten a crowded AA field at the Augie Meet of Champions and Heinz, had dominated the AA girls at the Huron Invite.
Something had to give.
And boy did it!
Nelson and Heinz broke away from the pack early in the first cross country race of the day and put the hammer to each other for the first half of the race. But this day belonged to Heinz, who pulled away late to win in dominating fashion - 15:09 to 15:32.
Philip's Ellie Coyle (15:43) finished third.
With Nelson and Heinz both being sophomores, we can expect some great races on the track and of course two more state cross-country duels while these talented young ladies are in high school.
Philip's Ellie Coyle leaves it all on the course in Huron as the Scottie junior finishes third in the Class B race.
23 50 Walker, Kaylee 10 Herreid/Selby Area 16:39.52
24 79 Clemens, Josie 10 Northwestern 16:40.07 16
25 34 Eberts, Rebecca 11 Freeman 16:46.46 17
Team race: Ipswich, with Heinz up front, is just so tough, but, they back that up with some pretty talented athletes behind her. Scoring three athletes in the B race, and having Aleah Steger finish 6th and Tori Moore finish 7th is a pretty solid bet the Tigers would take the title.
Gayville-Volin was a game second place and might have even challenged Ipswich for the title. Gayville-Volin's No. 2 runner, junior,Genevieve Clark Genevieve who was second a year ago, finished 11th Saturday - 16:23.86. Eighth grader, Ashley Emmick finished 18th with a solid time of 16:34.
Next year's team race is going to be something special.
Team scores: Ipswich 12, Gayville-Volin 24
6 60 Steger, Aleah 8 Ipswich 15:58.17 5
7 59 Moore, Tori 12 Ipswich 15:59.59 6
Looking for photos of your favorite Class B athletes, check out one of the premier sports photographers in South Dakota. Kernit Grimshaw of Mission, shot the state cross-country meet....his photos can be found at http://kernit.zenfolio.com/
You can follow me @panicgalore
Great job South Dakota athletes, can't wait to see you at the state track meet in the spring.