Technology is great…until it works against you.
After thinking my interviews from Katie Pavlicek, Kelli Pavlicek, Shannon Stockert and Taylor Ihmels were saved in my backup files at work, they weren’t, so instead of running an article in the paper without quotes from the four seniors and DHS head coach Brittany Messer, I decided to put up the story on my blog.
Here is the story:
The Dickinson High girls cross country team has achieved many goals this season.
But there’s one final meet and one final goal to achieve — placing in the top five at the North Dakota Class A state cross country meet.
Dickinson’s big key to success this season has been the consistency of its four senior leaders — Shannon Stockert, Taylor Ihmels, Katie Pavlicek and Kelli Pavlicek.
The seniors, who have helped the Midgets place in the top five in nearly every meet this season, conclude their high school cross country careers at the state meet at 12:45 p.m. Saturday in Valley City.
With Dickinson ranked fifth as a team in Class A, the four seniors said this season has been everything they wanted.
However, the seniors know the season isn’t over. Their goal of placing in the top five at state is within grasp.
One trait, which has helped the girls place in the top five as team throughout the year, is running as a pack. This is trait has been possessed by the girls team for the last couple of years.
Yet, the girls’ pack last year ran was between the 30 to 40 runners. This year the Midgets cut down to top 20 to 30.
The senior girls influence has trickled down to the underclassmen. Dickinson’s top two runners for a majority of the season has been junior Emily Tyrrell, who is ranked seventh in the state, and freshman Elizabeth Yoder.
At one time, Stockert and Yoder were both ranked in the top 10 in the state. Yoder said it has been amazing learning from the seniors.
“They’ve been great role models,” Yoder said. “They are encouraging us and pushing us to go a little bit further, because they want us to do well at state. We are going to do our best for our seniors.”
The Midgets’ underclassmen also include juniors Kelsey Gillen, Caitlin Klitzke, sophomore Melissa Martin and freshmen Milla George, Chelsea Anderson and Heather Hintz.
Dickinson boys ready to finish season on high note
For the last three years, the North Dakota Class A boys cross country title was won by Jake Leingang.
With Leingang graduating and a freshmen runner for the University of Oregon’s cross country and track and field teams, North Dakota will have a new cross country champion.
The question is who will it be?
There are a handful of runners who are in contention of winning a state title. One of those runners is Dickinson junior Jackson Binstock.
Binstock won the Mandan Invitational in down-pour conditions and was ranked in the top-spot in the state multiple times.
However, the top three has shuffled between three runners: Binstock, Bismarck High’s Matt Gotta and Fargo Davies’ Brandon Scheel.
“I just want to run with the top guys as long as I can,” said Binstock, who was ranked No. 3 in the final cross country coaches poll. “This is what we’ve been training for all year and this is the last meet of the year for everyone.”
As a team, the Midgets are looking to finish as well as they can. Dickinson will have a majority of its runners return next year. The two seniors listed on Dickinson’s roster Aaron Bernal and Sam Metz.
Collin Schock, a sophomore runner, will compete in his first high school state cross country meet. Schock has been Dickinson’s No. 2 runner the entire season and said he’s been able to learn every week.
“This season has gone much better than I expected,” Schock said. “I’ve improved in nearly every race. It was a little challenging at the beginning of the season, but it has gotten a lot better.”
Binstock said it’s been great to have Schock as part of the cross country team this season.
“He’s really been a big part of the team,” Binstock said. “He’s been the second runner all year and be up there for most races.”