The Bulldog cross country teams are headed to State this Saturday, October 21. The races will be held at Yankton Trails Park in Sioux Falls. The boys from Class A start at 1 p.m. The girls follow at 2:30 p.m.The top three teams and top 20 individuals from Regions qualify for State.
Region 1A Meet
According to the Bulldogs’ head coach, Eric Townsend, the Milbank boys “dominated the region meet by placing four guys in the top five spots. The boys team won their fourth Region 1A title in a row and qualified a team to the state meet for the seventh year in a row.” Individually, all six varsity boys ranked in the top 20.
“The girls placed second to a tough Clark-Willow Lake team, whom we had beat the week before,” Townsend said. “The Milbank girls have placed in the top two at Regions the last six years, and qualified a team to the state meet for the 12th consecutive season.” Individually, four varsity girls finished in the top 20.
Senior Payton Brown won the Region 1A meet for the second year in a row. “Payton has been battling some illnesses this season, but seems to be overcoming them as of late” Townsend noted. “Payton is one of the top cross country winners in the state, and will have a great chance to place high in the state meet this weekend.”
Sophomore Ashlynn Batchelor brought home the girls Region 1A championship title. Coach Townsend predicts she will also be on the awards stand this weekend.
Girls Varsity – 5K Run
A. Batchelor earned first place for the Lady Bulldogs. She crossed the line in 19:12.60 – a long 46 seconds before Kamryn Nesheim of Clark-Willow Lake came in at 19:59.14. Bianca Berry was next for Milbank in seventh place with her time of 20:55.91. Ella Koplin followed Berry in eighth place at 21:10.15. Kynlee Speidel finished in 20th place at 22:20.63. Zayda Townsend finished in 22nd place at 22:25.82. Tyra Berry took 28th at 23:37.66.
Team Rankings: 1. Clark-Willow Lake 2. Milbank 3. Aberdeen Roncalli 4. Deuel 5. Florence-Henry 6. Groton Area.
Boys Varsity – 5K Run
Brown was the first of 52 runners to cross the line in the boys 5K run. His winning time was 16:36.04. He surpassed Kaleb Foltz of Tri-State who came in second at 17:14.73. Milbank then collected the next three places. James Batchelor was third at 17:45.75. Bryan Meyer was fourth at 18:00.60, and Isaac Graham was fifth at 18:20.49.
Berry Beckham made the top 20 in 17th place at 19:28.60, and Grant VanPeursum was hot on his heels in 18th place at 19:29.27.
Team Rankings: 1. Milbank 2. Deuel 3. Clark-Willow Lake 4. Aberdeen Roncalli 5. Great Plains Lutheran 6. Tri-State 7. Florence-Henry 8. Webster Area.
JV Mixed – 3K Run
Stella Wendland of Milbank claimed second place for Milbank with her time of 14:36.17. She was just behind Rylee Pickrel of Clark-Willow Lake who won the race at 14:25.24. Macy Mueller came in third for MIlbank at 14:45.37. Aria Prasnicki was fourth 14:47.17. Elexia Quintanilla took seventh place in 15:25.34. Leah Meyer also made the top 10 in 10th place at 15:57.19.
Raina Untalan was 13th at 16:19.61. Yanderyn Olivares, 15th, at 16:36.12; Jaclyn Wiik, 16th, at 16:40.04; Sophia Gastineau 17th, at 16:48.81; Bree Townsend, 18th,at 16:52.68. Jazmynne Ronke finished 22nd at 17:22.87; Camrynn Sovell, 23rd, at 17:28.30; and Kylynn Schwandt, 34th, at 22:49.43.
Team Rankings: Milbank won first place and Deuel was second.
Milbank runners took the top four places and all the runners landed in the top 25. Liam Heller was the champion at 12:40.85. Bennett Graham was second at 12:47.26. Jose Hernandez was third at 13:06.56. Ryland Wendland was fourth at 13:16.20. Franco Flores was seventh at 14:00.62. Armando Chan was 10th at 14.16.12.
1. Milbank 2. Great Plains Lutheran 3. Deuel
Coach Townsend, said, “The 2023 Northeast Conference Cross Country meet held in Webster on October 5 was an outstanding meet for both the boys and girls teams. The conditions turned colder and windier last Thursday, but both teams continued a great run of team and individual success.”
The boys varsity won their third NEC team title in a row and fifth in the last six years. Payton Brown won his second NEC individual title to help lead the Milbank varsity boys to a top-three finish. Six Bulldogs – Brown, Isaac Graham, Bryan Meyer, Beckham Berry, Grant Van Peursem, and Bennett Graham earned top-20 all-conference status.
“The girls varsity team won their third NEC team title in four seasons reclaiming the team title from the Clark-Willow Lake girls,” Townsend said, “The girls team beat Clark-Willow Lake who had pretty handily beaten us the week before at the Border Battle in Grand Forks.”
Ashlynn Batchelor was the individual varsity girls champion. Six Lady Bulldogs – Batchelor, Ella Koplin, Bianca Berry, Kynlee Speidel, Tyra Berry, and Zayda Townsend earned top-20 All-NEC status.
“Overall, both varsity teams and the JV teams ran very well. They are in a great position to finish strong the last couple weeks of the season.,”Townsend observed. ”A few runners have been battling illness and hopefully we can continue to make progress in getting them better.”
Varsity Boys –
Milbank bagged the top three places in the varsity boys 5K run. Brown won first at 17:17.60. Isaac Graham was second at 18:05.00, and Brian Meyer took third at 18:22.75.
Beckham Berry earned eighth place when he finished in 19:12.70. Grant Van Peursum, who ran his best race of the season according to Coach Townsend, came in at No. 12 in 19:42.78. Bennett Graham was 16th with his time of 20:02.91. Rylan Wendland crossed the finish line at 20:50.45 for 22nd place, and Jose Hernandez was close behind in 23rd place. He finished in 21:05.35. Jacob Johnson took 30th place for Milbank. He finished in 22:23.87.
Milbank– average time of 18:14.52
Clark-Willow Lake– 19:55.11
Webster Area– 22:18.85
Groton Area– 23:14.45
Girls Varsity – 5K Run
Batchelor took first place in the varsity girls 5k run. She crossed the finish line in 19:27.63. Ella Koplin took fifth place for the Lady Bulldogs with her time of 20:56.44. Bianca Berry was right behind her in sixth place at 21:01.34.
Kynlee Speidel took 11th place at 21:47.32. Tyra Berry earned 16th place in 22:22.41. Zayda Townsend cracked the top 20 at 18th place with her time of 22:32.13. Elexia Quintanilla was 23rd at 22:59.98. Macy Mueller at 32:21.78 took 25th place, and Aria Prasnicki came in 26th with her time of 23:49.87.
1. Milbank– average time of 20:48.19
2. Clark-Willow Lake– 21:05.37
3. Roncalli– 21:32.07
4. Deuel– 23:44.98
5. Groton Area– 23:03.62
JV Mixed 3K Run
The Milbank girls took first place ahead of Deuel who came in second. Bree Townsend was the top JV runner for Milbank. She clocked in at 15:54.57.Raina Untalan and Yanderyn Olivares were right behind her in fourth and fifth places. Untalan’s time was 16:06.00 and Olivares came in at 16;13.56. Jaclyn Wiik took seventh place in 16:38.51. Sophia Gastineau was ninth in 17:18.18. Jazmynne Ronke took 11 place and Camryn Sovell was nipping at her heels in 12th place. Ronke in 17:25.58, and Sovell in 17:28.08. Kylynn Schwandt earned 21st place with her time of 22:34.56. (No team rankings were available.)
Franco Flores came in third and Armando Chan in fourth. Flores crossed the line at 14:15.66; Chan at 14:34.82. Tate Pew cracked the top 10 in 10th place with his time of 15:47.60. Deuel took the top spot as a team. (No team rankings were available.)