Four Jimmies qualify
It was good running weather and the Jimmies didn’t waste it.
The Jimmies had four of the top seven finishers, topped by a dominating performance from race-winner Aleona Reyes.
“I was really happy with the girls across the board,” Jimmie women’s coach Jim Clark said. “It wasn’t an easy course. It was a good, legitimate cross country course that tested you.”
Reyes finished 40 seconds ahead of teammate Samantha Goff in a winning time of 18 minutes, 30 seconds. Reyes appears poised to make a run at her third All-American honor when the national meet is held back in Lawrence Nov. 23, although on a different course.
Joining Reyes will be the very steady Goff and Christa Lysne, who has emerged as a top-flight runner as a freshman. The Devils Lake native crossed fourth in 19:19.45.
“All three of them competed very well. They didn’t finish where they did because nobody was there,” Clark said. “They ran really good races.”
Katie Blais finished her season on a high note, placing seventh overall. Blais was undergoing knee surgery when the rest of the team was beginning practice.
Kayla Byle, the former soccer goalie, completed her only season with a strong 14th-place effort. Freshman Brooke Grooters was inside the top 20 at 19th.
The Jimmies did not qualify team-wise since the meet was not a national-qualifier. The NSAA has just three teams, while the Midlands has six. The two leagues decided to combine for a meet early in the season and Clark was happy with the results.
Andre Aguinaga continued to excel as a 2-sport athlete.
The freshman from Chubbock, Idaho, placed 10th in the men’s race in a time of 28:45.90 to earn the final spot to nationals. He had to finish strong, running down Dakota State’s Taylor Hauge in the last 200 meters.
“With about a half mile to go I was screaming at him to go,” men’s coach Ed Crawford said. “He outkicked him at the end. I think his wrestling background, being aggressive and his toughness, is the reason he qualified for nationals.”
The Jimmies finished fifth as a team, just one spot behind York (Neb.), a national-qualifier last season.
Conner Doppler, beset by health ailments late in the season, gutted out a 15th-place finish, earning high praise from Crawford.
Joe Jensen “really stepped it up,” Crawford said of the former Blue Jays’ 25th-place finish.
Senior Scott Roemmich went out with a solid effort, Crawford said, leading across teammate Klinton VanHeuveln in 34th and 35th.
“I was really proud of how the guys ran. It was our best team effort of the season by far,” Crawford said. “Hopefully, it’s something we can use as a springboard into next season because we do have the potential to be a pretty decent team if we can get all the pieces in place at the right time.”
Valley City State won the team title and a trip to nationals. The Vikings had five of the top seven finishers. The men’s meet was a national-qualifier.
North Star-Midlands Championships
At Lawrence, Kan.
1, Jamestown 28; 2, St. Mary (Neb.) 56; 3, Haskell Indian College 75; 4, Oklahoma Wesleyan 84; 5, York (Neb.) 118; 6, Valley City State 180; 7, Dakota State 192; 8, Waldorf (Iowa) 210; 9, Central Christian (Neb.) 228.
1, Aleona Reyes, UJ, 18:30.59; 2, Samantha Goff, UJ, 19:10.79; 3, Emily Weber, StM, 19:17.93; 4, Christa Lysne, UJ, 19:19.45; 5, Talisa Budder, Haskell, 19:28.02; 6, Allie Antrim, OWU, 20:09.96; 7, Katie Blais, UJ, 20:37.59; 8, Stephanie Albert, StM, 20:40.91; 9, Paige Orth, StM, 20:45.15; 10, Sarah Sharp, OWU, 20:47.35.
Other Jimmie results
14, Kayla Byle, 20:58.80; 19, Brooke Grooters, 21:12.89; 25, Leah Oien, 22:01.01; 53, Ashley Mueller, 25:09.89.
1, Valley City State 22; 2, Dakota State 54; 3, Haskell Indian, 93; 4, York 114; 5, Jamestown 119; 6, Oklahoma Wesleyan, 126; 7, Central Christian 187; 8, Waldorf, 231.
1, Michael Hoffman, DSU, 27:23.73; 2, Richard Langdeaux, VCSU, 27:28.27; 3, Richard Wright, VCSU, 27:44.09; 4, Malik Jackson, VCSU, 28:05.50; 5, Chad Upshaw, Haskell, 28:10.50; 6, Austin Albrecht, VCSU, 28:28.75; 7, Misael Herera, VCSU, 28:31.20; 8, Michael Carson, DSU, 28:36.14; 9, Jeff Austin, York, 28;36.65; 10, Andre Aguinaga, UJ, 28:45.90.
Other Jimmie results
15, Conner Doppler, 29:21.35; 25, Joe Jensen, 29:54.55; 34, Scott Roemmich, 31:11.24; 35, Klinton VanHeuveln, 31:15.33; 47, Nathan Long, 33:25.87; 50, Adrian Paet-Bullaoit, 34:04.49.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org