Benson Co. girls finish runner-up at Class B meet
Benson County was in a familiar position at the Class B girls track meet – in the mix for a state title.
The Wildcats had lead with six events remaining, but Rugby would eventually regain the lead BC’s bid for another title will have to wait at least one more season.
A runner-up finish is still impressive. BC (Leeds-Minnewaukan-Maddock) scored 57 points behind the efforts of junior Sharisa Yri and seventh grader Alyssa Anderson.
Yri won the long jump and also placed in the 100 and 200 meters and triple jump.
She entered the state meet with the best jump in the long jump at 17-11.5, and although she didn’t reach that mark, she still won her first state title. Yri’s jump of 17-3.25 won good enough. “I didn’t expect that to win it,’ she said. “My goal was to go for a personal best.”
She also placed in the two sprints. “I didn’t run a very good race int the 100 meters, but had a better race in the 200,’ she said.”
Yri placed eighth in the 100 in a time of :13.39. Sharisa was fifth in the 200 with a time of :27.22. In the triple jump, her best jump of 35-3.5 was good for third place.
The four top eight finishes was a career-best for Yri, who placed in three her freshman year.
Anderson won the 3200 meters and placed second in the 1600.
She became the third sister from her family to win the 3200 meters, and marked the ninth straight for the family. “I wanted to keep it going,’ Anderson said, about the titles.
She grew up watching standout sisters Krista and Lindsay compete in the distance events at the state meet, and was excited to finally get her opportunity. Both sisters were on hand to see Alyssa’s victory. Her time was 11:34.48.
“I wanted to get to the front pack, and then make a move on the last mile,’ she said.
Alyssa had the fastest time going into the race, and said she was just hoping to run her best. Her best, like her older sisters, was good enough for a state crown.
A day earlier, in her racing debut at state, Anderson made a strong bid to win the 1600 meters. She led briefly on the third lap. She finished second in a time of 5:19.36.
BC also had a third place finish by Sara Schwanke in the 1600 meters with a time of 5:19.70. “I wanted to improve on my fourth place seeding, so I’m happy I did,’ the eighth grader said. “I competed last, but I didn’t place. I was just too nervous to run a good race.”
Junior Erin Leier of Maddock came on strong to finish fifth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:24.18 – a season-best.
“It was a very fast pace and I was boxed in a little on that first lap,’ Leier said. “I just broke away (on lap two).”
BC also had a strong race in the 3200 meter relay, finishing second. The Wildcats had the lead on the final lap, but were passed by Watford City. BC was ranked fifth going into the race. Its time was 9:57.18. Team members were: Leier, Katelynn Engh, Schwanke and Anderson.
Benson County, which won state titles in 2005 and 2007 returns all of its state qualifiers and will be a strong favorite to win the crown next season.
BC boys place in two relays
Benson County finished eighth in the boys 400 and 3200 meter relays, accounting for its two points at the Class B state meet.
The eighth place finish in the two-mile was perhaps more impressive, since the team had to compete in the slower of the two heats. The Wildcats won that heat, and its time of 8:47.29 was just good enough to place. Team members included: Derek Engh, Jason Smith, Beau Beuhler and Andy Backstrom.
“We knew it was going to be close (the time),’ said Smith.
The 400 meter relay finished in a time of :46.04.. Team members were Daniel Luhman, J.D. Schmid, Matt Knudson and Blake Darling.
Senior Daniel Luhman competed in the 100 meter prelims. Backstrom competed in the javelin, but did not place.
R-W 400 meter relay competes
Rolette-Wolford’s girls 400 meter relay competed, but did not advance out of the preliminary heats. Relay members were: Kelsey Tofte, Kaylee Scott, Taylor Armstrong and Katie Henry.
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