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Wakpala's Rhaecine Sam figures to be in the hunt at a very competitive Class B race

Watch out for Wakpala's Rhaecine Sam - Final CLASS B POLLS - Team Battle looks TIGHT
Oct 18, 2017

By Rich Winter

Like a lot of South Dakota cross-country athletes, Wakpala's Rhaecine Sam spent part of Tuesday contemplating (on social media) how he was going to do in Saturday's Class B cross-country state meet. The junior has had a spectacuar season up north and will be looking to punch his first ever ticket to a podium (top-25) performance. 


At the 2016 state meet, Sam finished 28th!


To be precise, Sam floated out a message yesterday wondering if he could hang with the BIG-DOGS of Class B and hoping that a top-10 performance might be coming. 


I think it is!


Have been keeping my eye on Sam this year and while the year started with good results, consistent results, Sam improved a lot this year and towards the end of the year, 4th's and 5th's turned into 1st and 2nds, and most recently, JUST FIRSTS.


At the Region 4B meet, on a cold, windy and chilly day, Sam torched a pretty good field to lay claim to a Region title. 

 1 Sam, Rhaecine             11 Wakpala               17:08.03                  
  2 Hass, Christopher         12 Sunshine Bib          17:29.58    1             
  3 Weeldreyer, Colton        12 Ipswich               17:35.61    2             
  4 DuBray, Beau              10 Timber Lake           17:46.10    3             
  5 Kulesa, Ben               11 Ipswich               17:48.22    4 

Hass and Ipswich's Weeldreyer are both solid, and Sam put the screws to them....It's going to get interesting!!


And so, with just a few days before the state meet, here are the final polls from my eyes and ears to the north, Brian Decker and Paul Ekern. 

Brian Decker Class B poll:

(this one is very, very close)
1 B/SC
2 Freeman Academy/Marion
3 Ipswich 
5 Warner


Paul Ekern poll and discussion

Class “B” Boys

  1. Burke/South Central
  2. Ipswich
  3. James Valley Christian
  4. Freeman Academy/Marion
  5. Warner
  6. Harding County

Honorable Mention – Bison, Great Plains Lutheran, Oldham-Ramona/Rutland, Timber Lake, White River

Title chasers – Daniel Burkhalter, Bison; Kray Person, Burke/South Central; Aaron Voigt, Gregory

Top ten contenders – Thaniel Schroeder, Freeman Academy/Marion; Michael Wirth, Warner; Sam Rhaecine, Wakpala; Cody Larson, Warner; Rhett McMasters, Lake Preston; Christopher Hass, Sunshine Bible Academy; Colton Weeldreyer, Ipswich; Jarret Haven, Northwestern; Colton Schweigert, James Valley Christian; Garret Rolph, Harding County  


Panic Button poll and discussion:

1. Burke/South Central      

2. James Valley Christian

3. Freeman-Academy/Marion

4. Ipswich

5. Warner


How low can Bison's Burkhalter go: 

There are some tremendous competitors in this B race with a bunch of guys that have college level talent. But, like Derick Peters in the class A boys race, no one is touching Bison's Daniel Burkhalter. Loved watching this young man run at Howard Wood last year. He's patient, runs pace and is a Division 1 talent. BSC's Kray Person and Gregory's Aaron Voigt have seen each other so many times over the years and it is going to be one heck of a battle as those two have been close all season. 


Team race: Great article a few weeks back in the Mitchell Daily Republic about BSC's Kray Person. He's a team guy and ya gotta figure the senior is looking for some serious hardware. Has been a good season down south and sophomores Tyson Mayer (5th at the region meet) and Jackson Liewer (7th at the region meet) have been improving over the last month. Always love how James Valley Christian competes at the state meet. JVC might not have their most talented team but you can bet that Tom Brantner will have his guys ready to run. Throw in Thaniel Schroeder for Freeman Academy/Marion and a TUFF Ipswich group and you have yourself one heck of a four-horse race. 

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