At left is 2018 Class B state cross-country champion, Jolie Dugan of Jones County. At right is Gayville-Volin’s Maddie Fairley who finished 3rd and ACDC’s Isabella Brouwer who finished 2nd in last year’s state meet.
By Rich Winter
In just a few weeks the cross country season across South Dakota will explode with a flurry of activity. Runners who have put in the miles this summer will be sharp early, some will take their time to get in shape.
One groups of runners to pay particularly close attention to will be the three BEST in Class B.
Jolie Dugan, Jones County - 2018 Class B state champ
Only a 9th-grader, Dugan pulled away late in last years race to earn an 18-second victory by running that 5K in 19:12.
Track season was a bit of a different story. Dugan was dealing with some hefty family issues and just worked herself into good enough shape to finish 4th in the 1600 and 4th in the 3200.
Look for this Jones County freshman to be in good shape early and be in contention when the state meet rolls around in October.
Isabella Brouwer - Andes Central/Dakota Christian (ACDC)
Like Dugan, Brouwer is only going to be a ninth grader.
Brouwer out-kicked Gayville-Volin’s Maddie Fairley in the final meters of the state meet to take 2nd with a time of 19:30.
At the state track meet, Brouwer was second in the 3200, out-kicked Fairley again in the final meters to claim the 1600 title (Tough race, this girl has some guts) and then anchored the Medley team to a 2nd place finish…This young lady is tough, she’s a competitor and if she’s close at the state meet she’ll kick for the win.
Gayville-Volin sophomore Maddie Fairley
All season long it looked like Fairly was the top dog in Class B. She usually sees some stiff competition in the early part of the season and hangs right with the elite Class A and Class AA runners she sees in those fields.
A year ago, at the state meet, Brouwer settled for third.
At the state track meet, Fairley won the 3200 meters, with AUTHORITY, running 11:31 to easily outdistance Brouwer, who was 20-seconds back.
Will be fun to keep tabs on these three this season. They probably won’t see each other very much until that state meet, and then…Hold on tight, this one is going to be good.
Other contenders should be Victoria Zirbel of Dakota Hills and Deubrook Area 9th-grader, Ellie Olson.