Beulah-Hazen XC start season
By Jarann Johnson
At the start of any season there are always questions to be answered. Who will replace the leaders, who will show significant improvements, and what kind of heart do we have?
A few of those questions were answered for the Beulah-Hazen cross-country team last weekend. The Beulah-Hazen cross-country team competed in the Jamestown “Orr”iginals meet Saturday.
The boys took third and the girls took sixth. Katie Duttenhefer didn’t have enough practices to compete in the race but did attend and cheered on teammates.
Adam Becker led the boys to a seventh place finish by taking 30th overall. Becker’s early race strategy to be aggressive seemed like a gamble.
When the Beulah-Hazen cross-country team bolted out of their race box Becker jolted to second overall, only trailing New Town’s Ryan Wheeling, the best returning Class B boy in the state.
Becker finished the race with a time of 19 minutes and 36 seconds, but his effort out of the box may have sent a telepathic signal to sophomore runner Jacob Weigel – “run with confidence and worry about results later.”
Weigel joined Becker for much of the race and finished 33rd overall (19:45.42). With that performance, Beulah-Hazen coaches got an answer for who their No.1 and No. 2 runners for the season may be.
Assistant Coach Brooke Haugstad said the tandem running strategy Becker and Weigel employed wasn’t a coaching tactic, just something that happened during the race.
“From what Adam said, Jacob was the one that came alongside of him and kept him going,” Haugstad said.
Assistant Coach Brian Sitz said the duo has been performing well in practice and will more than likely continue to work together well.
“Those two, from what I’ve seen, the few practices that I’ve been to, those two run together and they probably will throughout the year. They are good,” Sitz said.
Beulah-Hazen also got good performances from other young runners. Logan Miller, sophomore, took 42nd overall (20:30) and Spencer Matthias, running his first cross-country meet ever, took 47th (20:52).
Ethan Johnson earned the No. 5 spot for Hazen-Beulah and took 50th overall (21:21). Overall it was a good day for the boys, taking seventh at a meet mixed with Class A teams and third for Class B teams.
Coach Sitz said it was a good day for the boys overall, but hard to tell anything about the times because the meet was at a trail. Most cross-country meets are hosted by golf courses.
“I think for the most part, the boys we expected to run well did and they ran at a decent pace. I don’t know if this was the course to put that 7-minute time [mile pace] on this course because I think it was a little rough. I don’t think this was an ideal course to go for time.” Sitz said.
Kaylene Klein proved that she is still one of the best runners in the state at the first meet of the year. Klein ran well taking third overall.
The only Class B runner to top Klein was the No. 2 – ranked runner in the state, Sargent Central/Lidgerwood’s Peyton Frolek. The Class A runner who topped Klein was an unranked runner from Mandan, Kelby Rinas.