Barons Compete in NHC Meet: DeKalb Junior Wins First Place

posted Oct 7, 2013, 6:28 AM by webmaster district   [ updated Oct 7, 2013, 7:39 AM ]

DeKalb junior Mark Beckmann wins boys race!  

FORT WAYNE — Mother Nature was not kind to runners in Saturday’s Northeast Hoosier Conference cross country meet at The Plex - it rained throughout the entire competition, there were puddles everywhere and the course was muddy beyond belief.

And that’s the way Mark Beckmann prefers it.

The DeKalb junior runner not only embraces those elements, he thrives in them. 

And he proved as much Saturday morning, winning the boys’ individual title with a time of 16 minutes, 9.8 seconds.

“I love rain,” Beckmann said. “It just gets me pumped up. It’s awesome to run here, just because I look around at my body and say, man, I’m soaked and that was awesome. That was fun.”

Beckmann held off Carroll sophomore Cameron Clemens, who finished six seconds back. The duo was running shoulder-to-shoulder for the first 2/3 of the race before Beckmann pulled ahead the woods shortly before coming down the final straightaway.

He’s been waiting for that for three years,” said DeKalb coach Rowland Perez. “It’s a good confidence booster right now to take us through the rest of the tournament.

“He’s a hard worker, and he’s one of the best in the area. We’re looking for top-15 at state and he just showed he belongs with an elite group. We’re proud to get the win now, so he can see that he can do it when he has to.”

Beckmann, a state qualifier in cross country and track last year, earned first-team all-NHC honors last year but he wasn’t satisfied with that performance last year. The goal Saturday was to win, and Beckmann accomplished the feat.

“I was proud because it’s been awhile since a guy was able to do this from DeKalb, and I’m glad to do it,” Beckmann said. “It’s a momentum thing and mental thing, so that helps a lot, too. Just keep trying to set goals and trying to reach them, trying to make a statement before the postseason starts.”

DeKalb (78) finished third and East Noble (125) fourth in the team competition. Carroll won with 36 points, narrowly beating runner-up Homestead (42). Norwell was fifth (140), Bellmont sixth (160), Columbia City seventh (164) and New Haven eighth (202).

Joining Beckmann on the first team was East Noble sophomore Joe Vandiver, who placed seventh (17:06).

“We were hoping he’d get first team, but he’s a sophomore so you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said EN coach Mark Liepe. “He plugged away and finished real solid. He had a better kick than I’ve seen him have in a long time. He had a goal set in his mind and he didn’t let anyone take that away from him.”


DeKalb junior Clay Travis finished 13th (17:36.1) to earn second-team all-NHC honors. DeKalb senior Bradley McBride (17th, 17:47.8), East Noble senior Jonathon Kane (18th, 17:48.2) and DeKalb senior Dante Graham (19th, 17:50.9) all earned honorable mention all-NHC honors.


DeKalb sophomore Scotty Beckmann was 28th (18:23.3).


For East Noble, sophomore Tyler Klinger was 30th (18:24.3), Seth Gorski was 32nd (18:25.7) and junior Frank Herrera was 38th (18:43.6).


“(Klinger) made up a lot of ground after the first 1,000 meters,” Liepe said. “We had a freshman, Seth Gorski, who stepped up big time (Saturday). Those four ran real good races and set the tone for the rest of the team.”


In the girls race, Carroll completed the boy-girl sweep with 33 points. Homestead was second (66) followed by Norwell (106), Bellmont (121), DeKalb (126), East Noble (137), Columbia City (151) and New Haven (203).


East Noble senior Alexia Zawadzke (ninth, 19:56.5) and DeKalb sophomore Krista McCormick (11th, 20:00.9) both earned second-team all-NHC honors. East Noble senior Courtney Casselman (16th, 20:58.8) and DeKalb senior Kara Robinett (21st, 21:20.0) were honorable mention.


“(Zawadzke) went out way too hard last weekend and this time she went out way too easy,” Liepe said. “We’ve just got to figure out what’s right for her to finish strong.”


For the Barons, junior Ashlyn Teders was 29th (21:56.7), junior Taylor Beachy was 30th (22:02.3) and senior MaKayla Rieke was 35th (22:21.7). For the Knights, freshman Jessica Vandiver was 27th (21:49.8), freshman Lanie Allen was 40th (22:38.3) and senior Kara McLaughlin was 45th (22:59.3).


“It’s not a do-or-die situation right now but we like to use it as a gauge to where we are and what we need to do,” Perez said. “We’ve got a week to refine some things. We’ll try to get as fast as we can and try to get a couple individuals to Terre Haute, but this is a difficult area for runners.”

Article from The Star on Sunday, October 6, 2013 -- Written by Phil Friend