CROSS COUNTRY FOOTNOTES
By John Entwisle
Adam Consoer capped off an exciting two weeks by placing 18th at the state cross country meet this past Saturday. Windy and cool is the nice way to describe the conditions at Yankton Trails Park in Sioux Falls, but when you are focused on what you need to do to be recognized by your peers from around the state, you ignore anything that does not matter, and that is what Adam did; finishing the race in a time of 17:18. The time Adam finished the race was yet another PR over last week’s region meet.
The “A” boys race kicked off at 12:30 central time and with 132 competitors in the race it is always a challenge to prepare a strategy for a large race like this, but Adam toured the course, picked out the spots where he could surge and areas that recovery could come into play. The most important part of this race will always be the start; with that many runners it is very important to get out to a quick start and maintain that effort. If you get locked up in the middle of a pack at the beginning it is almost impossible to work your way up and finish in the top 25 to earn a medal. Coming from the hills, which is an advantage as far as conditioning, is a hindrance on a flat course at the start. True to his training, Adam got out to a really good start; found the lead group and maintained his position throughout much of the race, coming from the 27th position to finish in the 18th spot overall. Walking to the medal stand, you could see the joy of medaling and the relief that this particular race was over. This was the hardest race of his tenure on the cross country team, and it was definitely his gutsiest race ever.
What would really be helpful is to have more runners on the team to help with the competition side of practice. Most people view this sport as an individual sport, and to some extent it is, but with the help of some other fantastic team members, Adam got a little extra help the week of state.
A very huge thank you to John Lane, Jinthe Umbach, and Jewel Brown, who came out the last week to challenge Adam in his quest for a medal. These kids gave up their time after school to help a teammate keep his competitive edge, even though these three did not qualify for a last run. You can call it an individual sport, but what you did not witness is the best definition of a true team sport, with very caring teammates.
Region 5 was very well represented on the boys’ side as there were five other region kids to medal; with STM placing 3rd and first place going to the Custer Wildcats. Some of you may remember Pierce Sword, he was one of the key members helping Custer to seal first place. Pierce is still a huge part of my life and it always nice to see a former athlete excel. Congratulations Pierce and the Custer team.
On the girls side of the race; Custer placed first followed by Hill City at 2nd and STM in 4th place. Individually Sawyer Clarkson of Belle Fourche placed 7th adding to the total of six boys out of our region to place in the top-25. Jade Ecoffey from Red Cloud placed 7th, Sarah Jones from Lead-Deadwood placed 13th, and Anna Birnbaum from Rapid City Christian placed 19th adding to the total of nine region five girls to place in the top-25. If you are a competitor and like competition, maybe you should be running cross country for Hot Springs because we are in the toughest region in the state. One other point to make is that if you have never experienced a state cross meet you are missing out on the best competition this state has to offer from all classes. Each race is special and you will never see the same support that we have and not just from our team but we all cheer for our conference and region competitors and appreciate kids who give their all no matter what the conditions, short shorts and skimpy tops; running not for the glory but for the desire to give your all no matter where you finish. Thank you for another successful season.