Wildcat boys third at conference meet

Nathan Steele

The Custer High School Wildcat cross country teams raced in the Black Hills Conference at Hart Ranch last Thursday, with the boys coming in third place and the girls in sixth place.
Junior Sean Shipp was the top finisher for the Wildcats, coming in eighth place with a time of 16:21.97. Behind him was senior Drew Lehman, who finished with a time of 16:55.54, good for 12th place.
Earning 16th place was freshman Austin Drew with a time of 17:19.32. The rest of the boys’ pack finished  the 5K race within the next minute.
Sophomore Kian Rusch finished in 18th place with a time of 17:39.02.
Freshmen David Lewis and Dalton Marshall in 23rd and 26th place, respectively. Lewis finished in 18:03.38 and Marshall finished in 18:10.31.
In the girls race, senior Brit Wheeler was the top runner for the ’Cats yet again. She earned ninth place with her time of 20:13.79. Head coach Karen Karim said she wasn’t feeling her best this race, but “should be ready to go by next week.”
Senior Sierra Swanson, finishing 23rd, was the next Wildcat to finish with a time of 21:15.20.
In 30th place was sophomore Hailey Woodward, who crossed the finish line in 22:04.42 with the rest of the team not far behind.
Mattea Marshall, a freshman, finished 32nd in 22:11.16.
In 35th place was freshman Kelsey Stiefel, who finished in 22:23.87.
Eighth grader Makenzi Ham rounded out the girls roster, earning 37th place with her time of 22:38.64.
“We have to have a little focus to get ourselves through to the state meet next week,” said Karim.
The team participates in the regional meet today, as it was moved up a day due to the forecasted weather for Thursday.    
On the boys side, Karim said it “should not be horribly difficult to qualify” for state, but that the girls may have their work cut out for them.
Still, many of the girls achieved personal records at the meet; however,  “we still have a little more to give,” said Karim.
“We’ll see where we shake out. I have high hopes,” said Karim.

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