Dual-Sport Athletes Run onto Cross Country Podium

Led by a septet of dual-sport athletes, the girls’ cross country team finished second at the state meet.

By Stephanie Shuster

Pushing the limits of what can be done, seven dual-sport athletes led the Central girls’ cross country team to a second place finish at the state cross country meet in Sioux Falls. Of the seven girls Central took to state, six played simultaneously on the soccer team, while the seventh swam competitively.

“The girls went to state with high expectations for themselves,” assistant coach Brody Griffin said. “They finished in second place against a Lincoln team that was backed by three seniors. The team is young, and with experience in the coming years, we should be able to see great success.”

Five girls broke into in the top 25, a key to the excellent finish since the team’s score is compiled from its the top five finishers. Sophomore Delaney Kost took 9th place with a time of 18:58.21, one second shy of her personal best. Other runners placing within the top 25 include freshman Kylea Becker (12th), freshman Lilli Molitor (21st), freshman Makaen DeGeest (22nd), and eighth grader Gracin Larson (25th). Kazlyn Bachelor and Bella Glass also ran as part of the Central team.

“This group of girls is young and incredibly close,” head coach Thad Caldwell said. “They worked hard together and ran as a group. And I think that’s what made them so successful.”

Caldwell was particularly pleased with that dynamic of running as a group. “A lot of times you see cross country runners where you might have one or two runners way out front,” he said, “and with this group, they seemed to almost take pride in that all five of those front runners would just run together for most of the race, and throughout the year they seemed to take turns being the top Cobbler runner. And for me that makes it for a really exciting season and a really exciting future.”