Four Dakota Valley cross country members – Sophia Redler, Reed Donaldson, Keaten Wright and Blake Schmiedt – made it to the state cross country meet held in Sioux Falls Oct. 23.
Redler took 32nd place for the girls with a time of 20:29. She credited her coaches.
“I wouldn’t have the passion or the determination for the sport if we didn’t have awesome coaches,” Redler said.
“I am so proud of Sophia Redler,” head coach Tiffany Wendling said. “This was the first time I saw nerves from Sophia, but she still ran with a smile and she gave it all she could.”
In the boys race, Donaldson finished 53rd with a time of 18:25, followed by Wright in 86th in 19:08. Schmiedt was injured and unable to finish the race.
“Reed Donaldson had an awesome fan crowd there – his family and little brothers were holding letters that spelled out ‘Go Reed,’” Wendling recalled. “Keaten Wright mentioned after the race, ‘That was the toughest race.’ Which Keaten was exactly right, these young men gave it all they had. Blake Schmiedt ended up dropping out of the race, his legs gave out and then became extremely sick. As much as this broke my heart to see, I think it calmed me knowing that he plans to continue running in college, so this was not his last race.
“I am going to miss our senior crew more than they know,” Wendling said. “They are great leaders and role models. We had so many runners there supporting these four runners so that says a lot about how much they look up to these four!”