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Cross country: Beaver River boys, girls set the pace

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The “Beaver Dam,” was just as jam-packed and sturdy as ever on a warm and sunny Tuesday at Watertown High School.

The Beaver River boys and girls cross country teams each placed five runners in the top 10 to win their respective Frontier League championship meets on Watertown’s 5K course.

The Beavers’ boys team claimed its sixth straight league title, while the girls won for the fifth time in the past six years.

South Lewis junior Leif Ostrum finished first in the boys race, and South Jefferson senior Jackie Miller captured the top spot for girls by a 41-second margin.

BOYS RACE

Ostrum set the pace with a 17-minute, 56 second race.

He was followed by teammate Dylan Durgan, a freshman, who finished in 18:12.

Ostrum settled in early before moving to the front about a third of the way into the race.

“They took it out hard and I know how to get back up with them so I tried pushing it on the hills and keeping up the pace,” said Ostrum, who placed 10th as a sophomore last season.

Durgan’s finish was his highest ever at an invitational. The first-year runner’s previous high was an 11th-place showing earlier this month at the Whitesboro Invite.

“I’m happy. I really wanted Leif and I to get the top two because we’ve been working really hard,” Durgan said.

Brett Neddo led the Beaver River runners with a third-place finish. He was joined by four teammates in the top 10 — Greg Virkler (sixth), Dustin Neddo (seventh), Alize Jarrett (ninth) and Travis Edwards (10th).

Beaver River coach Jay Steiner said that fans have started referring to Beaver River runners as “The Beaver Dam,” because of the team’s pack mentality.

“Overall we had that consistent pack,” said Steiner, whose team went 6-0 in league meets this season.

“Those guys shuffle back and forth a little bit,” he added. “But it’s pretty awesome.”

Carthage runners Nick Anderson and Isaac Arroyo placed fourth and eighth, respectively. Indian River’s Austin Millisor finished fifth.

South Lewis took second in the team standings, 30 points back of the Beavers. Carthage placed third.

GIRLS RACE

Miller was already biting into an apple and cracking open a water bottle by the time the second-place runner — South Lewis’ Sierra Corbett — crossed the finish line.

“I’ve wanted this forever. I’m just ecstatic,” Miller said. “I just really wanted to rock it today because it’s my last Frontier League meet and I’m kind of emotional about it.

“I’m just really, really happy,” she added.

Miller’s official time was 20:31.

She missed last year’s league meet and much of the last month of the season, according to South Jefferson coach Steve Rogers, due to a stress fracture in her foot.

She placed third in the league championship race as a sophomore.

“She had run very well as a sophomore, just missed going to states, and of course couldn’t finish last year, so she was hungry,” Rogers said. “She’s driven. She’s dedicated. She ran over the summer and did the things she needs to do and is really starting to come into it. So I was pleased for her.”

Beaver River runners captured five of the next six spots.

They were led by seventh-grader Taylor Moore, who finished third overall. Sierra Kempney, Nola Pominville, and Emily Lighthall took the next three spots and Reganne Smith finished eighth.

“We just push each other,” Moore said. “We’ve been training for this and we definitely did what we wanted to.”

The Beavers, who had a four-year winning streak snapped by South Jefferson in last year’s league championship, went a perfect 6-0 in league meets this season.

“It’s just a tradition,” Smith said. “It was hard last year losing, and this year it is a big confidence booster.

“I think it will definitely help going into sectionals just saying, ‘You know what? We can overcome anything,’” Smith added.

Gaelyn Bronson joined Corbett in the top 10 to help South Lewis finish second in the team standings.

Aubrey Harrington and Amanda Lloyd took ninth and 10th, respectively, as South Jefferson placed third.




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