Newcastle runners struggle in Sturgis

Sonja Karp, NLJ Sports Editor

It was hot, it was dusty, and it was ripe with adversity. 

The Dogie Cross Country team was in the same boat as all runners at the meet in Sturgis Thursday, as each had to suffer through some miserable conditions. The challenges presented proved themselves difficult as nearly every participant put up slower times compared with recent weeks.

“It was about 85 or 86 degrees, which doesn’t feel too bad early in the season, but at this point it’s stifling,” head coach Kathy Beehler explained. “No one PR’d as far as times from previous meets this year, but I didn’t expect them to, given the conditions.”

Though there were no time improvements on the season, four runners did put up better times than they did last year on the Sturgis course. Thatcher Troftgruben (-14 seconds), Logan Olson (-31), Nick Lopez (-38) and Caleb Hoover (-1:09) all improved their performance from last season.

“Though the entire field was slower, we have some work to do,” Beeler admitted. “We have to drop our times because we’re coming up on the end of the season, so we don’t have a lot of time to do it — and we have to drop our times regardless of the weather.” 

A highlight of the day was that the boys pack-ran a little better than they have been so far this season. Troftgruben was way out front, however the next four runners were close.

“When we have been practicing our running form, I have seen it start to break down when we get tired,” Beehler began. “At this meet, I thought everyone was much better at holding their form, so that was good to see.”

Troftgruben finished 18th in 18:37.07, which was about a minute and a half faster than the next Dogie finisher. Between the next four, however, there was also just a minute and a half difference in their times.

Sam Scribner was 43rd in 20:05.15, Wyatt Cole finished 46th in 20:08.79, Lopez was just two places and four seconds behind Cole, and Olson came in 67th in 21:24.16.

In the junior varsity race, Ben Carter finished 43rd in 23:12.40 while Hoover was 51st with a time of 24:04.40.

Two runners competed for the Lady Dogies. Aspen Bloom crossed the finish line in 19th place in the varsity race with a time of 22:28.13, while Taylor Conklin competed in the JV division finishing 39th in 33:11.29.

The Dogies will travel to Glenrock for their meet on Friday. It’s been awhile since Newcastle has competed on that course, and Beehler said she is looking forward to having the opportunity to do so again.


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