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Central, Milbank Area runners compete at Twilight meet

Aberdeen Central’s David VanVeen, center, runs during the Salmi/Sahli Invite last season at Lee Park Golf Course. VanVeen was Central's top boys' runner at the Augustana Twilight meet on Friday. Photo by John Davis taken 9/8/2022

SIOUX FALLS – The Aberdeen Central boys finished just outside the top 10, while the girls posted a 25th place finish at the annual Augustana Twilight meet Friday night at Yankton Trail Park. The meet, which features more than 400 athletes in the boys high school varsity race and more than 300 in the girls race, is one of the largest early-season meets in the region.

“The Twilight is a great meet and an unbelievable atmosphere,” said Central boys coach Greg Murley. “Seventy-plus high schools represented, so we get to compete against a lot of great talent we don’t get to see regularly.”

The Golden Eagles were led by David VanVeen, who finished in 48th place. Tate DeVries was 74th and Joseph Perkins was 86th.

“This meet gives us an opportunity to see where we are sitting with times against other (Eastern South Dakota Conference) teams,” Murley said. “We will continue to work on things this week and are looking forward to our home meet on Thursday.”

Murley also noted several junior varsity runners that had solid races Friday night. Patric Severson finished third and Max Nelson was fifth out of more than 430 runners in the JV race.

Milbank Area’s Payton Brown also turned in a solid performance, finishing 18th overall. James Batchelor was 57th, as the Bulldogs finished 19th as a team.

On the girls side, it was Juna Ramey once again leading the way for the Golden Eagles. Ramey finished 35th overall.

“The girls got out and competed hard,” said Central girls’ coach Eric Pedersen. “We talked a lot this week about how it can play in our benefit in a huge meet like this to use the competition to help us get out and race hard. Some of these athletes and teams, this is the only time we will see them all year, so it provides and early-season opportunity to push the pace a little bit and see how we want to set our races up as we go forward.”

Morgan VanVeen was 139th and Alexis Ketterling finished in 218th place.

“Yankton Trails is a course we will see a couple more times this season for ESD and state, so just getting familiarized with it helps us out a lot, as well,” Pedersen said.

Milbank’s Ashlynn Batchelor, left races for the finish line with Rapid City Christian’s Marissa Bonsness, right, during the Class A girls race at the 2021 South Dakota State Cross Country Meet at Yankton Trail Park in Sioux Falls. Batchelor finished 16th at the Augustana Twilight Meet on Friday. Photo by John Davis taken 1023/2021

Milbank Area’s Ashlynn Batchelor finished 16th overall to lead the Bulldogs to a 26th place showing, nine points back of Aberdeen Central.

The Golden Eagles will host the Salmi-Sahli Invitational Thursday at Lee Park Golf Course.


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