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Cross Country

Batchelor finishes second, Milbank boys third in Class A

Milbank’s Nick Batchelor runs down the finish chute during the Class A boys race at the South Dakota State Cross Country Meet Saturday at Yankton Trail Park in Sioux Falls. Photo by John Davis taken 1023/2021

SIOUX FALLS – The pace was blistering in the Class A boys’ race during the state cross country meet at Yankton Trail Park on Saturday.

Sawyer Clarkson of Belle Fourche broke the course record by nearly 30 seconds to win the event. Milbank Area’s Nick Batchelor was second place more than 20 seconds faster than the next runner.

Batchelor knew that Clarkson would bolt out quickly.

“The first mile was 4:45, around there. I was like wow,” Batchelor said. “It was overall a really good race.”

Batchelor said he tried to keep up with Clarkson the best he could at the beginning of the race.

“I knew he had a really fast start,” Batchelor said, “so I was just hoping to stay with him as long as I could.”

Batchelor clocked a solid time of 16:07.50.

“I really wanted to break 16,” he said, “but it was a really good time for me.”

Sioux Falls Christian, which had three of the top six runners, won the team title. Custer was second and Milbank Area third.

“We were hoping for top three so that’s what we got,” Batchelor said. “It was a really good day overall. Some of our guys really stepped up to get us to that place.”

Milbank Area’s Payton Brown was 11th and James Batchelor was 25th.

Ellie Maddox of Sioux Falls Christian won the girls’ individual championship. Custer captured the team crown.

Dakota Hills’ Madison Zirbel runs to the finish line in the Class A girls race at the South Dakota State Cross Country Meet Saturday at Yankton Trail Park in Sioux Falls. Photo by John Davis taken 1023/2021

A trio of area runners finished among the top 17 runners. Heidi Olson of Mobridge-Pollock was ninth, Madison Zirbel of Dakota Hills was 13th and Ashlynn Batchelor of Milbank Area was 17th.

Interestingly, Zirbel the 13th child in her family finished in 13th place.

“I just kept my head in the game and had no negatives,” Zirbel said of her racing mindset.

Zirbel’s sisters are well-known runners. Melinda is a past state champion and teamed with other sisters, Nicole and Danielle to win the Class B state team title in 2001.

When asked what the best advice was that her sisters have given her, the sophomore responded, “To work hard and you’ll achieve.”

To see complete meet results click on the following link:

https://results.dakotatiming.com/display.html?event_id=869&res=211023F005

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