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Custer's Mallory Delmont battling Hill City's Karlee Simmons at the 2016 Region 5A meet

Custer vs. Hill City and one more run for Vermillion's Maddie Lavin - Final Class A girls rankings
Oct 21, 2017

By Rich Winter

All season long a battle has been brewing out west. The Custer Wildcats came into the cross-country season as the prohibitive favorites to repeat as Class A champs, BUT, their neighbor in the hills, Hill City, coached by the Noyes brothers have brought this Hill City team to the next level. 


These two have seen a lot of each other this season and as the season has gone on, Hill City has gotten stronger. 


At the recently completed Region 5A meet in Belle Fourche (Hills so don't turn up ur nose at the times) Hill City ran past Custer 18-30 with eight of the top-10 runners in the region coming from the two distance power-houses from the Black Hills.

Region 5A results:  

1 Simmons, Karlee           11 Hill City             19:47.09    1             
  2 Cooper, Kaci              10 St. Thomas More       19:58.00    2             
  3 Delmont, Mallory          10 Custer                20:07.48    3             
  4 Hohn, Marion              12 Hill City             20:41.90    4             
  5 Ecoffey, Jade              7 Red Cloud             20:43.50    5             
  6 Hanka, Janean             11 Hill City             20:48.98    6             
  7 Escalante, Lizzy          10 Hill City             20:56.18    7             
  8 Dooley, Kadense            8 Custer                20:58.75    8             
  9 Carlson, Tayler           12 Custer                21:14.61    9             
 10 Glazier, Tori             12 Custer                21:20.20   10 
Hill City is loaded on top with Karlee Simmons one of the favorites. Senior, Marion Hohn finished 4th at the region meet.
But the real story this season from Hill City has been the improvement from 
Janean Hanka and Lizzy Escalante. The Ranger pair finished 6th and 7th at regions while Custer's No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4
were 8th, 9th and 10th. 

Hill City is the favorite, but somehow, I gotta think Tori Glazier is going to 
throw down a big effort today. If she can get up with Hohn, then all bets are off and 
this is a dead heat coming to the wire. 

Final cross-country polls:
Brian Decker:
Class A
1 Hill City
2 Custer

Paul Ekern - Tri City Star: 

Class “A” Girls                                                                           

  1. Hill City
  2. Custer
  3. Sioux Falls Christian
  4. St. Thomas More
  5. Flandreau Public
  6. Winner Area

Honorable Mention – Beresford, Chamberlain, Ethan/Parkston, Lennox, Milbank

Title chasers – Cait Savey, Beresford; Maddie Lavin, Vermillion; Karlee Simmons, Hill City; Sidda Schuyler, Winner Area

Top ten contenders – Sinona Flute, Flandreau; Micah VanKalsbeek, Sioux Falls Christian; Allison Hough, Chamberlain; Mallory Delmont, Custer; Kaci Cooper, St. Thomas More; Kenzie Hamann, Deuel; Ali Bainbridge, Lennox; Rana Hegg, Webster Area  


Panic Button poll:

1. Hil City

2. Custer

3. St. Thomas More

4. Sioux Falls Cristian

5. Winner Area

6. Flandreau


Discussion: All season long the individual title looked like it was going to be in the hands of Beresford's Cait Savey. She ran well early, but, did suffer a loss to Vermillion's Maddi Lavin late in the season. Savey won the region title by 26 seconds over Lavin on her home course in Beresford. Here is where it gets interesting though....At the state track meet last spring, Savey won the 3200 but Hill City's Karlee Simmons was closing like a freight train (30 more meters and Simmons would have had her. Winner Area's Sidda Schuyler had the fastest region time of 18:14 and this young lady is TUFF as nails. She would have to have a lead with 400 to go because Lavin, Simmons and Savey are all experienced track athletes with some big-time kicks. 


One person people aren't talking about is STM's Kaci Cooper. St. Thomas More always runs tough at the state meet and I would not be shocked to see Cooper coming down the final stretch in the lead. 


Two elite runners not in today's field: 

While there is a ton of horsepower on top of this field, when the season started there was anticipation of an even better field to be assembled at the state meet. 

* Haleigh Timmer - STM - At the 2016 state meet, Timmer rocked the field all the way to a state individual title. Well, Timmer who was 2nd in the 400 and 800 at the state track meet went out for volleyball this season. Had she been around and in peak form, STM would be right there with Custer and Hill City. 

* Ella Byers - Chamberlain - Early in the year, Byers was experiencing some fatigue that doctors just couldn't explain. One evening, she just couldn't breathe and had to go to the emergency room. She finally got a diagnosis, Blood Clots on the lungs. She is taking medication and will be jut fine for track. For those that don't know she jogged the JV meet at the Region 4A meet on her home course in Chamberlain. She will be back and better than ever...We wish her a speedy recovery.



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