Cross country team opens with annual home meet
By Jay Davis
The Tiger cross country runners will open the 2014 campaign when they host the annual Mobridge-Pollock Invitational at Oahe Hills Golf Course on Saturday. Racing begins at 10 a.m.
The Tigers will look to make a move to the front of the pack more often with their sights set on qualifying and running in the State a Cross Country Meet in Huron in late October.
“We’re looking for improvement from last year,” said coach Stephen Hettick. “The goal is to get to Huron.”
Hettick has five runners who are returning letter winners in senior Justin Nobles, junior ReAnne Kohlus, sophomores Aaron and Justin Jacobs and freshman Emma Fulkerson.
Hettick is also looking for leadership and that starts with his senior.
“Justin has put in a lot of work,” said Hettick. “He looks stronger than he ever has.”
Nobles just missed qualifying for state last fall. He finished 23rd in the Region 4A meet. The Jacobs twins, after starting last year on JV, improved enough to finish 30th and 35th in the region. The boys have some added depth as freshman Kegan Pearman has joined the squad. The two Lady Tigers were also within striking distance of qualifying as Kohlus was 31st and Fulkerson (after starting the season on JV) was 32nd.
The next wave of Tiger runners has five middle schoolers out in seventh graders Tyler Blankartz, Jenna Jungwirth, Abigail Keller and Tyrel Thompson and sixth grader Eli Bohlander.
As cross country always goes, after Saturday the Tigers will spend the rest of the season on the road. They will run invitational meets in Redfield, Webster, Ipswich, Faulkton, Lemmon and Timber Lake. The Big Dakota Conference Meet is in Chamberlain and the Central South Dakota Conference Meet is in Gettysburg. The Tigers will start the postseason at the Region 4A Meet in Chamberlain.