Track Tuesday: Custer's Nathaniel Youngblood has monster mid-distance week out west

Custer’s Nathaniel Youngblood leads Peters and Plitzuweit during the anchor leg of the 4x800 at last year’s Class A state meet - Photo, courtesy of Kernit Grimshaw

By Rich Winter

One of the great Class A mid and long distance efforts this week comes from Custer senior Nathaniel Youngblood who, seemingly out of nowhere, etched his name as the top 800 and 1600 meter guy in the Class A ranks.

Couple of big efforts for Youngblood:

800m Run - 2:04.14 (Automatic qualifier)

1. Youngblood, Nathaniel 2:02.51 Custer

2. Dobney, Jakob2:02.81Vermillion

3.Peterson, Scott2:02.84 Canton

4.Peters, Braden2:03.17 West Central

5.Nikkel, Tommy2:03.79 Vermillion

1600m Run - 4:39.81

1.Youngblood, Nathaniel 4:32.54 Custer

2. Peters, Braden4:34.24 West Central

3.Sorensen, Justin4:36.43Vermillion

4.Wulf, Camden4:36.94Lennox

3200m Run - 10:26.31

1.Atwood, Alec10:10.81Beresford

2.Wulf, Camden10:15.28Lennox

3.Glenn, Jarek10:17.36St. Thomas More

4.Oesterling, Jace10:17.59Custer

5.Sorensen, Justin10:19.62 Vermillion

As we head towards the Howard Wood Dakota Relays this weekend, distance runners from across the upper midwest are looking for FAST times in loaded fields.

It has been such a tough year weather-wise that we haven’t really seen what the 1600/3200 Class A guys can do yet. The usual names are there….Beresford’s Alec Atwood (10:10 in the 3200), Lennox’s Camden Wulf (10:15, 3200, 4:36 1600) and Braden Peters West Central (2:03/4:34)….

All of those guys: Atwood, Wulf and Peters are going to USD next fall and the times have been fairly pedestrian so far this year…

But Custer’s Youngblood is on top of some elite South Dakota runners.

Youngblood anchored the Custer 4 x 800 teach to a school record (8:10 last season) but didn’t run the open 800….

The 800 field looks wide open this year but Youngblood’s 2:02 looks dangerous. Couple that with a 4:32 1600 so early in the season suggests the Big-3 just added another legitimate state title contender.

Sounds like a pretty good kid this Youngblood:


Custer Rotary Club president Jill Kettle presents a $350 check to Custer senior Nathaniel Youngblood. The money will be used to buy T-shirts for Youngblood’s “Cats on the Run” senior project involving more than 70 elementary students.

With a little encouragement from his running coach, Karen Karim, Custer senior cross country runner Nathaniel Youngblood has put together an early morning “Cats on the Run” running program for elementary students.

The program is Youngblood’s senior project and involves up to 76 students in grades K-5 who have signed on to run up to three miles a day from 7:10 to 7:40 a.m. Monday through Thursday.

“Some of these students were late to school last year, but this year they are on time,” Youngblood told members of Custer Rotary Club at noon Monday, Sept. 10. Parents drop the students off and the students run around the Ravens practice field adjacent to the schools.

“Most run a mile, but some run three miles,” Youngblood said. “The main benefit is physical activity.”

He has five or six fellow cross country runners who help him keep track of the number of laps each student runs.

Each participating student will receive a “Cats on the Run” T-shirt sponsored by Custer Rotary Club.